The same pair took Most Accurate Rookie honors last year in the 120-mph class, so this year they jumped to the top-tier 135-mph class. They finished second, four-tenths shy of their 40-minute target time over the 90-mile course. Scroll down to see the engineers talking about the course and the car, and for a press release on the achievement.
Buick luxury sport sedan finishes second in 135-mph class
ELY, Nev. (2012-05-21) – A pair of Buick engineers piloted a stock Regal GS luxury sport sedan to a second-place finish in the 135-mph class of this month's Nevada Open Road Challenge, finishing within 0.4 seconds of their 40-minute target time.
The podium finish follows a first place title claimed by the same team – driver Bill Rietow and navigator John Townsend – in the 120-mph class last fall.
Success was based on balancing low-speed sections of the course with running the Regal at top speed for a period of time. During that segment, a radar trap controlled by race operators verified a speed of 162 mph for the 270-horsepower Buick.
Buick's 2.0L turbocharged engine was named one of WardsAuto World's 2012 "10 Best Engines" for North America.
"The Regal GS is an incredibly capable performance sedan," said Rietow. "In addition to the strong acceleration from the engine, the chassis maintained its composure well while running across these closed public roads at high speeds. Likewise, the Brembo brakes were easy to trust coming hot into a corner."
The Nevada Open Road Challenge takes place on a remote, two-lane, 90-mile-long segment of Nevada State Highway 318. Rather than a test of who finishes a course the fastest, the goal is average speed consistency. Podium finishers often are separated by hundredths of a second.
The Regal GS piloted by Rietow and Townsend was a stock 2012 model, with modifications limited to safety equipment such as a roll hoop and five-point harness seat belts, as well as data collection computers.
Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan, Buick Verano sedan and the all-new 2013 Encore crossover. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick.