ATLANTA — Professional driver Bryan Germone uttered instructions under his breath as we traversed a wet track recently at Atlanta Motorsports Park in a 2023 Subaru BRZ to experience Bridgestone's new Potenza Sport AS.
"Brake hard," he said. "Turn. Back. Gas."
Germone, of RealTime Racing, was one of several drivers at a recent Bridgestone track event set up to aid the media in trying out the four tires in the Potenza ultra-high performance (UHP) line-up, specifically the new Sport AS.
The test site for the Sport AS — as in "all season" — was a tight, short circuit, sprayed down by a water truck. After driving for an extended time, each lap pushing the BRZ a little more, I asked Germone to take the wheel and show me how an experienced driver would take the course.
He was more than happy to honor the request. Maybe better known as "Flyin' Bryan," Germone was a fixture of the NASCAR Southwest Series in the 1990s, winning a championship in 1997.
I learned there's a big difference between an everyday driver and a professional one. He found his lines quickly and optimized every chance to go faster. He was very much in control, and there was never a feeling that the tires wouldn't hold their grip.
"That's a fun little car right there," he said when we pulled back into the pits. "I might have to get me one of those when I grow up."