As far as shows about three white guys and cars go, Proving Grounds is damn decent. What really like about it though, actually, is the format of the test track. In every episode, cars get put through a course that is uniquely realistic. And challenging!
A lot of people I know and like work on Proving Grounds, so it’s hard for me to claim I could objectively review it. But, I do dig it, and if you’re into cars you probably will too.
Sam Smith, the curly-haired one, is Road & Tracks Editor-At-Large and a Jalopnik alum. Slick NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman is dead to me because he once told me he didn’t like the “Truck Yeah!” song. (No, I’m kidding, he’s a really good dude and his byline has appeared on Jalopnik as well.) Leh Keen, Proving Grounds’ “Stig,” sort of, is a pro racer too but more recently rose to lowkey internet-of-cars fame by effectively starting the 911 Safari trend.
Anyway, I’m really into Proving Grounds’ test track because when I described it as “realistic,” I meant, the track isn’t exactly smooth or simple.
Cars get shunted through fast corners sure, but there are also evasive manoeuvres, animal dodging, an optional off-road section (appropriately referred to as the “dirty shortcut” for high-clearance vehicles to make up lost time against road cars), and a parallel-parking challenge.
That’s way more interesting than hot lap times, I think, and gives the idea of “racing” some practical flavour!
My favourite episode, of the ones I’ve seen, I think is the “Cadillac CTS-V & Hellcat Challenger” one, but not because of the title cars. I just enjoyed watching a modified Toyota Tundra use the shortcut and seeing Kligerman thrash a WRX.
Check out the full playlist on YouTube.
Hopefully, this makes your weeks indoors for the foreseeable future a little more bearable!