This past weekend I was at Mid-Ohio for the IMSA Sports Car weekend. We had a very wet, cold event there, despite the better weather the forecast had promised. We only had brief glimpses of the sun until the WeatherTech race started on Sunday.

One of the unique experiences at the event belonged to fans who got to take a hot lap with us. They were truly able to appreciate just how treacherous Mid-Ohio is in the wet! Mid-Ohio is extra-slippery in the rain because of all the sealer that’s on the surface, so there are extreme grip changes depending on where you are on the track.

I was driving the brand-new 2019 turbo-charged Mazda 6, and we started our hot laps right after qualifying for the WeatherTech Series. That really put it in perspective for the fans riding along with us, who got to feel how slippery and unpredictable it was out there while the cars were trying to put in a fast qualifying lap.

As I drove, I would explain to my passenger what the rain line was and show them why it was useful.  I also showed them what drivers were doing to try to optimize the car’s performance around the “skating rink.”

Overall, the fans gained a huge appreciation after experiencing the circuit firsthand, especially in the wet. They then got to see some great racing during the rest of the weekend in really challenging conditions, though luckily the event wrapped up with a dry race for the premier series!