If I found myself in possession of a 505 horsepower, rear-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, the first thing I’d do would be to take it to a track day and powerslide the living bejeezus out of it. And apparently that kind of behavior would get me triple black-flagged in a single day. Update: The organizer speaks!
That’s exactly what happened to proud new Alfa owner Andrea, who sent in the following video of what got him three black flags at a recent trackday. A black flag, for those of you who have not yet gone to a trackday, gets you booted off track. You can get black flagged for technical reasons (my old VW once blew an oil filler gasket and got me sent off once) or for unsafe driving, though I can’t say I personally feel that was warranted here:
Andrea explained his situation over email to Jalopnik:
It happened in 3 session and have been told by the CotA team that I may not be welcomed in the future if I continue this behavior.
Regardless, the Quadrifoglio is fantastic and, beside reaching 150mph on the back straight, it lets you choose whether you want to be a hooligan or give a hard time to a 997 GT3.
Absolutely gorgeous and performing car.
If you want to buy one you should consider to marry a tirerack manager as the 60 treadwear tires do not last long...
I personally don’t understand why trackdays and autocrosses punish you for getting sideways. That’s all I ever want to do in a car, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or whatever. I only assume that stodgy serious old people running these events hate fun.
Jalopnik’s resident track expert Stef Schrader offered a more reasonable explanation: “I think it’s discouraged because the whole point is to be predictable to other drivers, as in, that’s what HPDEs teach. One dude drifting at an event meant to teach control is gonna get a paddlin’, even if he’s under control of the drifts. The other drivers out there aren’t expecting that.”
I suppose that’s fair. Maybe Andrea needs to go find himself a local drift meet where things are a bit more low key. I bet Lone Star Drift would be happy to have you, man.
Update: The organizer of the event, Mark, emailed Jalopnik with the official justification for why they didn’t want this Alfa smoking its rear tires: they were afraid people would think it was on fire. Honestly, given that this is an Alfa Romeo with what’s nearly a Ferrari engine, that’s not the worst idea:
“Offering a bit of back-story on black-flagging the drifting Alfa at COTA. That was at a Chin Track Days event, I was there in person and spoke to the driver in person. Here’s the fundamental nature of the issue: creating smoke where none is expected. The corner workers see it and think something is wrong with the car. The safety teams see it and respond to a possible fire. Following drivers see it in the distance, without seeing the car drifting, and they’re concerned that there’s oil down ahead and alter their driving accordingly. If it were wet, power oversteer would not create smoke, and there would be no issues with a competent driver enjoying huge slip angle. In the track day/lapping setting, it’s the smoke that creates a problem for track officials and other drivers. And that’s the rest of the story...”