Hundreds test drove cars at Riverhead Raceway

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10/21/2012 1:13 PM |

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | A 2012 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport was the most popular choice to test drive among visitors to Riverhead Raceway at this weekend’s first public test drive event at the racetrack.

A 2012 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport was the most popular choice to test drive among visitors to Riverhead Raceway at this weekend’s first public test drive event at the racetrack.

After consumers purchased a $10 ticket, they were driven around the banked track at high speeds in the Corvette by professional driver Paul Parisi of Riverhead. Other cars available for a test drive in the banked track included Camaro, Scion FRS, Fiat 500 Abarth and other models.

Matt Fowler of North Valley described the Corvette test drive this morning as “unbelievable.”

“I loved how fast it was,” he said. “I wish I could drive it in the racetrack, but I understand.”

The event’s organizer, Michael Lucki of ARC Test Drive, said over 300 people visited the racetrack Saturday and he expects a large turnout again today because of the sunny weather.

“Most of the kids want to go around the racetrack again and again,” he said. “Everyone has said they’ve had a great time.”

Mr. Lucki, whose family owns several local dealerships in Riverhead, said the event is designed to help consumers shop for cars without having the pressure to go to different dealerships. He said he reached out to Riverhead Raceway in August with his idea because he believes it would help consumers find the perfect car.

“Most people go online to search for a car,” Mr. Lucki said. “This gives them an opportunity to have fun and shop at the same time.”

Next year, he plans to organize 10 different test drive events throughout the country.

This weekend’s event featured more than 100 cars from brands sold at local dealerships; including Toyota, Jeep, Honda and Volvo.

Attendees were also able to test drive cars themselves along a road course and some trucks were taken off-road.

Port Jefferson siblings Leo and Alyx Sternlicht test drove a Jeep Wrangler and a Ford 350 off-road this morning. Leo Sternlicht, 25, said he prefered the Ford because he felt it was more sturdy.

“This was a lot of fun,” he said. “We like to go hiking, so this was a great opportunity to test drive different trucks.”

The event ends at 6 p.m. tonight.

jennifer@timesreview.com

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