So much for sunny Florida. As I pull out of the pits at Homestead Raceway, veteran driver Scott Pruett riding shotgun, the gentle drizzle that had been falling most of the morning has turned into a classic tropical downpour.
Rivers of cool water flow across Turn 1, at the end of the first straight, and my initial inclination is to simply pull into the pits and wait the storm out. But Pruett, putting his life in my hands, only encourages me to go for it. So I squeeze the throttle, shift into fifth and watch the speedo on my Lexus LF-A surge past 100 before it’s time to brake and dive into the flooded corner.
There’s no question having the eight-time Daytona champion along for the ride is a confidence builder, but as I turn laps, gaining speed despite the storm, I realize the real credit goes to the LF-A itself. It’s the sort of car that makes even an average driver feel like he could win Daytona.
Slipping behind the wheel of the LF-A was a long-awaited treat. It’s been nearly five years since the Lexus supercar made its debut, in concept form, at the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit.