CONCORD, N.C. (March 23, 2017) – One of motorsports’ most accomplished drivers tried out a new racing venue this week, when Mario Andretti shook down Charlotte Motor Speedway’s road course in two high-performance cars.
Andretti took to Charlotte’s 2.4-mile, purpose-built road course in an 887-horsepower 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid – which the 77-year-old got up to 177 miles per hour – and a 640-horsepower 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.
“It’s very difficult sometimes to really create a road course where you can ‘stretch your legs’ inside an oval,” Andretti said. “From that standpoint, I think they did a good job by giving it rhythm by putting some banking to the hairpin corners – which obviously invites some overtaking. It’s wide enough that you can choose a line. You’re not really trapped. … It’s got a multiple-line (groove) that you can choose from, depending on the capability of the car.”
Andretti is no stranger to Charlotte’s iconic 1.5-mile oval, either. The only man to win a Formula One World Championship, a Daytona 500 and an Indianapolis 500 also competed in the 1967 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte in a Holman Moody Ford.
Andretti’s shakedown included some high-profile passengers in Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith, Sonic Automotive Vice Chairman David Smith and former Formula One, Indy car and NASCAR driver Max Papis. Andretti visited as a guest of the speedway and the NASCAR Racing Experience.