That recurring dream, the one that scares the whee out of even 50-year-olds, unfurls from my brain and falls right into my lap as soon as I plug in Audi's jaunty little USB jump drive into the black box.
Is there a test this morning? 'Cause I forgot to study last night, and there's no way I'm reading all of The Stranger on this 16-minute bus ride to school.
Why worry? It's just three or four years since I drove Sonoma Raceway the last time, and nothing's changed, except for the name.
Sonoma's still a technical track. That's the time-honored euphemism for "walls hurt." And today, it's barely toned down, just some cones placed here and there for guidance on braking points.
Why worry? It's just a group of car writers with varied levels of experience, a brace of 450-horsepower Audi RS 5s, and a hard, hot, sunny sky, baking off all the sweat pooling in the black head sock stuck to my head.
Did I mention there's also the RaceKeeper? It's a veritable Tupperware for digital video, perfect for preserving driving memories. Either that or it's the omniscient critic of your every gaffe, always on the record. RaceKeeper's cameras point at you, the mic perches close enough to hang on every cuss word like a church gossip. Even the little red LED "on" indicator light stares up at you without flinching, as if to say, really.