When Donald Trump took over the Doral golf resort last year, he knew he would have the opportunity to create a memorable event when the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship rolled into Miami in March.
So far, very memorable.
From the addition of signature events, like a Travie McCoy concert and a Carolina Herrera fashion show, to more options for luxury seating and the Escalade Lounge, everything has Trump’s touch.
On this crisp Wednesday morning, a day before the golf tournament started, it was all about the Cadillacs. Pro golfers, VIPs, and even a Make-a-Wish recipient were all being whisked over from the golf course to Homestead-Miami Speedway in Trump’s private helicopter for the Cadillac V-series Challenge to race versions of the Cadillac CTS-V.
Here’s how it all went down.
“We left in Trump’s private helicopter (VIP in its highest form) and reached the speedway in 15 minutes. Once on the ground we were rode in the re-designed 2015 Cadillac Escalade (an SUV big enough for a family, but that’s another story) to pit row. And that’s when we went from pure luxury to raw power – thanks to the Cadillac CTS-V racer.
After a few introductions the pit crew asked who wanted to go first in the CTS-V race car. The little-boy-speed-racer-with-his-Mach-5 in me was jumping for joy! So I suited up, putting on my super-fly, chick-diggin, hot-black, Darth Vader-like racing suit. (Helloooo Lemans!) From here I was introduced to my racecar driver, Andy Pilgrim, and his Cadi. Andy is a soft-spoken, polite gentleman, unlike his car. This beauty of a machine with a 6.2L, V-8 producing 460 horsepower at 5400 rpm and 447 lb.- ft. of torque was mine for a few adrenaline minutes. The CTS-V is not the biggest heavy hitter but very quick and well-balanced and Andy tamed it to the edge. Getting in to the car was tight, but soon forgotten as Andy wasted no time rocketing out of pit lane at 71 mph.
We accelerated into Turn 1, glided thru 2 and 3, but when we exited turn 4 at 42 mph and roared into 5, watch out – we hit 124 mph on the short straight away before a hard brake as we lunged into a pair of right corners. Turn 6 was at 68 mph then we rolled out through Turn 7 and went hard on the gas, reaching Turn 8 at 136 mph. Leaving a hairpin Turn 9, Andy floors it, again, and the CTS-V’s engine rooooaaarrrrssss in joy reaching Turn 10 at 136 mph. Turn 10 is where the banking straight and road course meet and it’s a HARD jolt as we cross over (I thought the car’s suspension was going to break). Braking there took us to 110 mph and then up to 115 mph before going back to 68 mph for the tight Turn 11. Exiting Turn 11 to the left at 55 mph we hit the front straight-away at 131 mph then slightly braked again to an uneven Turn 1 on the left, and it was time to do another lap.
The lap and a half in the Cadillac CTS-V racer was loud, exhilarating, bumpy, griping and fast! Everything I expected and enjoyed. I can see why these professionals don’t want to leave or retire when their fine-tuned machines feel that confident. It’s probably too addicting. Once we returned from our ‘stint,’ all I could say was ‘give me more, give me more, give me more.’ The Cadillac V-series Challenge / Trump Doral Experience was the most fun I can recall having with a race car.
Now excuse me, I have to catch my helicopter.”