CHICAGO – The night before the MLS All-Star Game, I drove a car so fast I thought I lost my drivers license. No, really. I couldn’t find it when I got back to my hotel on the Near North Side of the city. Maybe it fell out of my pocket when I was barreling down a straightaway in an Audi R8. Maybe it disappeared during the subsequent helicopter ride from Joliet, Ill. to the city. Turns out I had not lost my license — I found it a few minutes later, perfectly heat-sealed to my credit card.
It’s fitting considering I flew to Chicago to step a bit outside my economic comfort zone for a few days to drive some expensive cars with soccer players. Audi held a promotional event for MLS players before the match, and I was there to see it all play out. So I took a ride south out of the city in an Audi Q5 as part of a day where casually taking a breathalyzer test turned out to be like the sixth most ridiculous thing to happen to me.
The Audi event was split in two: a timed obstacle course in an Audi RS3 and a lead-follow event on a road course in an Audi R8. We each got two tries at the obstacle course to get our bearings and test out the RS3’s acceleration and braking power. The important thing to do, we were told, is really push the car. Don’t worry about the tires or the brakes or the engine. Gun it, be aggressive, and stop hard inside the box at the finish.