It’s the stuff that dreams are made of – flying around the Ford Proving Grounds Test Track in a Ford Mustang. The speedometer well into the triple digits as a professional driver takes corners with enough G-force to keep you affixed to the door.
But this dream was a reality for two lucky Ford Social members and their spouses recently, as they were surprised with invites to be our guests at the Henry Ford Health Systems “Get Your Heart Racing” event in Dearborn. And get their hearts racing we did.
After a mandatory safety training video, Steven Johnson and Larry Mankins – along with their wives Angela and Joann – took off from the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn for an afternoon filled with fast cars and trucks, as well as ample adrenaline.
As unpleasant weather set upon the Ford Proving Grounds, our undeterred guests donned their helmets and queued up to participate in some hot laps around the test track. They had their pick of several high-performance Ford vehicles.
“I’m excited to drive Mustangs,” recounts Mankins. “I was able to rent one when I was out of town. But it wasn’t on a track or anything like that. So, it’s hard to really explore the limits of performance using a rental vehicle.”
Exploring the limits of Mustang performance also meant a few spins around the wet skidpad track for Larry and Steven. They got a first person account of what the Mustang – in the hands of a trained professional on a closed course – can do on wet pavement.
“Those professional drivers out there are borderline lunatics,” says Steven Johnson. “It was edge of your seat.”
As the day drew to a close, there was still one last score to be settled.
“I’m going to drag race my husband in a Raptor, and I’m going to beat him!” declared Joanne Mankins.
A feat that she accomplished not once, but twice, much to the dismay of her Raptor-owning husband Larry.
In the end, it was going to take a lot more than sore pride and rainy weather to dampen the spirits of our lucky Ford Social Members. The event gave them a unique, behind-the-scenes experience and generated memories that will last a lifetime.
Check out the video below to ride along with our participants and see more of what they experienced at the event. You can also check out Larry Mankins’ Ford Social story on his experience at the track.
This was Henry Ford Health System’s 2nd annual “Get Your Heart Racing” fundraiser at the Ford Dearborn test track. This exclusive opportunity for auto enthusiasts to participate in thrilling driving events and demonstrations while raise money for Henry Ford Health Systems.