Living: Le Mans for the Masses

Miniracing with minimal risk

Vroom! ... Aargh! ... Eeesh! ... Careening out of a 180° hairpin bend, engine screaming at 6,800 r.p.m. and rear wheels adrift, the smoking blue racing machine slides perilously close to the curve, then barrels into a straightaway. "C'mon now," the driver growls through gritted teeth. "Punch that pedal! Now feather the gas! Hug that curve like your darlin'.. . !"

The driver is not Mario Andretti or even Walter Mitty. He is a thrill-seeking visitor at Northridge, outside Los Angeles, one of seven sites in California where anyone with a driver's license and a few dollars can safely...

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