IRL: Scheckter's coaches get ride of lifetime

CTS Coaches Carmichael, Griffin Get Ride of Lifetime FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- After Tomas Scheckter spent a rigorous day of training and testing at Carmichael Training Systems with Founder and President Chris Carmichael and coach Craig Griffin, he...

CTS Coaches Carmichael, Griffin Get Ride of Lifetime

FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- After Tomas Scheckter spent a rigorous day of training and testing at Carmichael Training Systems with Founder and President Chris Carmichael and coach Craig Griffin, he took the two world-renowned training specialists to Pikes Peak International Raceway for a taste of his world.

Carmichael and Griffin hopped in the Menards/Johns Manville two-seater IndyCar and let 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier rip off some laps on the one-mile oval. It was Carmichael -- who is the personal coach of six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong - who had no problems summarizing the experience for both men.

"That was the coolest thing I've ever done in my entire life," Carmichael said. "I'm serious. It was amazing; my heart is still beating like crazy."

Scheckter didn't drive the two-seater for his new friends, but he stood on the pit wall smiling as they got the thrill of their lives. As Carmichael was getting strapped into the cockpit, Scheckter leaned down and smiled, "If those seat belts don't fit, I just met a great trainer that can whip you into shape."

Carmichael and Scheckter stood and watched as Griffin was last to get his ride, and laughed as he staggered a bit when he got out of the car. It took him a minute to adjust after experiencing the G-forces that come along with riding around at speeds reaching 200 mph.

"The wall just comes right at you. How close did we get to it?" Griffin, whose credentials include five National Championship titles while cycling for the New Zealand National Team, asked. "I just have a huge new appreciation and respect for (IndyCar drivers). I'm serious. I can't believe how stuck down the car was. That was something special."

"These guys have been great to me," Scheckter said. "And Carmichael Training Systems is such an amazing facility and the coaches are wonderful to work with. They have such a huge wealth of knowledge, and they really want to help you. I was surprised because you don't have to be an Olympic athlete to train there -- it's for everybody. It works if you want to train for the Tour de France and at the same time it's perfect for somebody that's just looking to get into shape. Those coaches are awesome."

Scheckter gave Carmichael and Griffin an autographed Pennzoil Panther firesuit to display at CTS, and thanked both men for the experience. Both Carmichael and Griffin attended the race at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Sunday and the Pennzoil Panther #4 displayed a Carmichael Training Systems logo on its nose. There were many other CTS (www.trainright.com) coaches and staff in attendance for the race.

-www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Buddy Lazier