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Race car drivers will get completed I-485 off to a (safely) fast start

The 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish reaches a maximum speed of 201 miles per hour. Its base price is $330,000.
The 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish reaches a maximum speed of 201 miles per hour. Its base price is $330,000. Courtesy of Sam Barnett

Race car driver Sam Barnett says he won’t get a speeding ticket when he opens the new section of Interstate 485 Friday.

He’ll be driving a $330,000 Aston Martin that has a maximum speed of 201 miles per hour, but the highway’s speed limit is 70 mph. Barnett lives nearby, and he’s just happy the road is finally open.

“485’s going to be finished, everything’s going to be moving faster,” he said.

“What better representation of that than a car that can do 200 miles per hour, which just so happens to be (almost) three times the speed limit of that road?”

Alongside Barnett’s 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish will be a $170,000 2015 Maserati Gran Turismo MC, driven by fellow racer Mike Skeen. Foreign Cars Italia of Charlotte provided both cars.

They will be the first vehicles to officially drive the 5.7-mile segment, which connects N.C. 115 and Interstate 85 to complete a 67-mile circle around the city.

Barnett races in the National Auto Sports Association and the Sports Car Club of America.

The race track is another matter, but Barnett said he and Skeen want to promote responsible driving on the road. Barnett’s real estate company will make a donation to the Fraternal Order of Police to thank officers for keeping the new highway safe.

Wester: 704-358-5169; Twitter: @janewester

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