The SL55 meets a CS

CIMG0555_4dd6f38ceffa3-lightboxGoing early on a weekday morning insures a clean and swift run. I have been driving my Challenge Stradale a lot, so I decided to give the SL55 some exercise. The 550 lb ft of torque is brilliant coming out of corners, and all the electronics in the suspension help this car hide its 4000 pound heft. AMG did a great job with this car. It doesn’t have the feel of a CS, but its purpose is different.

On the last 2 miles before I get to the technical bits I see something coming up on me in the distance. I’m already doing 80 and he’s coming……. HARDAs I try to make out what it is……. the first thing I notice is it’s red…… a very familiar rosso. I think its a Ferrari. Then I notice the tell tale boy racer stripe of a Stradale. I wonder if it’s one of my friends?

Just as that thought is crossing my mind, he screams past me! You gotta love that V8 wail! Montana tags. I have no idea who it is. Must be a ‘snow bird’ out for a blast. I’ve been doing this canyon for 20+ years… let’s see what he’s got! So I blip down a couple of gears and squeeze the loud pedal….. and its off to the races!

I reel the CS in and I catch him glancing in his rearview and see him shake his head. With that he downshifts and tries to open the gap. He ain’t going anywhere, as I’m right with him. His car sounds great, but stock, so I know he’s got nothing on me on the straights, but ‘my’ 15 miles of ‘fun’ is coming up FAST! He should have no problem dealing with the 55, but I know this road very well.

The first few corners are sweepers and the big Merc and CS are locked through the apexes. This could be good! We are now in for a series of second and third gear corners with elevation changes. Here we go! NOT! He was off line and all over the place. By the third corner it was painfully obvious that he was holding me up.

The next section is a short uphill straight with a right at the top of the hill. The road goes to a downhill straight into a decreasing radius left. So I decide that I am going to get him at the bottom of the hill into the left.

I give him a little gap heading up the hill, so I have a good run at him downhill to the left. I come out to the downhill like a bull out the shoot. In moments I am on him right at the braking zone, so I tuck to the inside for the pass and off I go!

Within two corners he’s nothing but a memory and I finish the run. This was one of the few times I have not run into any SUVs, or boat trailers on this road. Bliss!

At the end of the run I pull over and decide to wait for my prancing friend. After what seems like hours, I see the CS coming into view. I am out of the car and waving. Did he stop? Did he flash his lights? Did he nod his head? Nada! Zip! Nothing!  Huh? Did I just get dissed by a Ferrari guy? I should have brought my CS!

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Dino Micalizio