The Joys of Summer – Lexus Track Days

Lexus Summer of Performance New Zealand

For most of us, it’s hard not to enjoy the summer months. The days are longer, and so too are the smiles. It’s easy to conjure up playful images of sandy beaches, huge Ice Creams, Poolside lounging, mouth-watering BBQ scents, and oodles of vitamin D should you venture out into embracing the warmth of the sun. But there’s one more thing that is sure to put a smile on your face during this period, and that’s the Lexus Summer of Performance.

The Lexus Summer of Performance includes six track days (one of them women only) held at three of the best motorsport parks across New Zealand. They are exclusive events where Lexus customers and invited guests can test their mettle and metal (their own cars and Lexus’s) in an informative and well-controlled environment. High speed driving experiences, lessons on handling techniques, ideal cornering, ABS braking and exercises, gymkhana competition, skidpan driving (with traction on and then off), and culminating in Hot laps with a professional driver – with all elements (apart from an excellent lunch) designed to showcase the extreme excitement that can be had behind the wheel of a Lexus F-Sport badged race-bred car.

You see, over the past seven or so years, Lexus as a brand has gone through a change of seismic proportions, and the Summer of Performance is an expressive way of presenting this move –  showing rather than telling. Shrugging off what has been described as a bland or even boring persona and (thanks to the vision of Toyota Motor Corporation’s President Akio Toyoda), they are embracing a more dynamic and ‘edgy’ vehicle style, all while remaining true to their Japanese heritage and craftsmanship – not an easy task to achieve.

The Lexus range of vehicles right now have looks that are often quite startling. From small hot hatches, through SUV’s to their new Gran Tourer flagship the LC 500, dramatic flowing lines and dominant spindle grilles are great cause for head’s to turn. Not only this, their focus on vehicle performance hasn’t gone wanting either. Whether it’s Hybrid or Fossil fuel, CVT, 6-speed or even 10-speed gearboxes, Sport or F-Sport, Lexus are (as so ably demonstrated at the Summer of Performance events), very track ready.

The event concluded with prize giving, a few last words of encouragement and a gift that to me, signified the end of summer – an umbrella (sigh). But this also got me thinking, glorious summer days spent out at a racetrack are one thing (and bookings for this year will start soon and I urge you to reserve your spot early as they sell out quickly), however, you could, of course, go ahead and grab a Lexus for yourself, and then experience one of the ‘joys of summer’ all year long!

Thanks for the pics Bruce Jenkins

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