Launch Control 4.0 is a good name for a track day. So, we decided to take part – in a diesel Merc!
It is hard to describe the excitement a driving enthusiast feels when they hear the words – Track Day. Why? Because a track day not only allows you to unleash your four-wheeled weapon’s full potential but also lets you be around a plethora of like-minded individuals and their drool-worthy machines. So, naturally, when I got to know that I’d be heading to the Launch Control 4.0 track day at the Buddh International Circuit, my immediate thoughts went to deciding which car to take for it, of course, only once I stopped jumping and buzzing with joy. Speaking of which, things did not go exactly as I’d hoped. While in my mind I was picking a car from among Porsches and Audi’s delectable RS line-up, as it turned out, these cars were not available in Delhi at the time. However, all was not lost. A quick call to Mercedes-Benz confirmed the availability of the C 300d, and it was the weapon I went with. Now, before purists unload their rage on me, let me explain. I know – putting a diesel car and a track day together is like picking someone like me to do a sprint race (those who have seen me will understand this reference in a wink). But having driven the car only a few days ago, I wasn’t unhappy with my pick – packed with 261bhp and 550Nm of torque, the C 300d isn’t a car that you can smash lap records with, but its definitely a quick car in my books. And with its sorted driving dynamics and a capable chassis, I knew I‘d very much be able to extract plenty of fun from it on the track.
Love at First Sight
Cut to the moment I rolled into the pit lane, and immediately, I was awestruck. From Ferraris to Porsches to Lamborghinis all neatly lined up in an OCD-friendly fashion, it was nothing short of my ‘kid in a candy store‘ moment. And the best part? I could simply walk up to their owners and talk to them to my heart’s content. An enchanting prospect indeed. But before I could spend any more time all dreamy-eyed, I had an important agenda – to look for a suitable competitor for the upcoming drag races. Yup, the two-day event was divided as follows: Day 1 was reserved for drag races that would continue late into the night (something that Launch Control claimed was a first for track days at the BIC), and Day 2 was dedicated to doing hot laps. And, as a cherry on top, the support paddock had been converted into a really cool ‘drifting patch‘, with photographers and videographers present to record you in action.
Overall, if I was to describe my experience in one term – breathtaking. It might sound like an exaggeration, but for someone’s debut track day, Launch Control ticked all the right boxes – a great atmosphere, splendid line-up of participating cars, enticing stickers and livery, and, most importantly, enabling fun without compromising safety. Of course, I would have loved to take part in it with a proper track-bred sports car, but having said this, I really cherished my time with the C 300d. As predicted, the diesel sedan proved itself to be a worthy companion.