When gunning for the Grand Champion title at the Holley LS Fest West, there are four driving exercises to partake in to fulfill the exciting LS Fest weekend experience: autocross, drag racing, 3S Challenge (speed, stop, steering), and road course. Generally, most of the participants coming to the LS Fest have done some sort of drag racing and autocross, and many are familiar with the 3S Challenge, but there are quite a few who rarely get the opportunity to let it all hang out on a road course.
Granted, driving your car on a road course for the first time can be somewhat intimidating. The speeds can get high (over 100 mph on the straights) and the adrenaline rush is insanely intoxicating. Needless to say, a lot is being asked of the car and from the driver.
The folks at Holley recognize this and with safety being the highest priority, they divided the participants into three classes: Novice, Intermediate, and Expert. Each participant chose which class they were most comfortable driving in to ensure everyone competing on the course were doing so at similar skill levels. Good idea, since no one wants expert and novice drivers on the course at the same time. That could get ugly. With approximately five to eight cars on the course at one time passing is allowed, but only on the straights and when the driver being passed waves his arm in recognition of the faster car needing to get by.
Those who pulled their harness a little tighter and kept the pedal down a little longer, experienced the LS Fest to its fullest and pushed their rides to the extent of their ability—a true test of man and machine.
We were trackside at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway road course capturing images of the competitors as they participated in a five-lap session (one warm-up lap, three timed laps, and one cool-down lap) for a shot at a $500 gift certificate good for any Holley/MSD product, a decorative award, and, of course, bragging rights valid until the third annual Holley LS Fest West in 2019.
Photos: Nick Licata