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 My racing class experience

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SuicideKing
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PostSubject: My racing class experience   Sun Sep 06 2009, 01:07

Last weekend I went to a Mazda Club track event. It's called "High Performance Drivers Education" or HPDE. The track's called Virginia International Raceway, VIR. The Grand Am and Rolex series race here as well. It was a two day event, bring your own car as long as it met minimal tech specs required by the track and club. Since my '83 BMW 320i wasn't up to specs, my wife allowed me to use her '07 Toyota Corolla S. The hotel was great, 2 double beds with a jacuzzi, it was trackside, great view too.

This part is very long, readers beware. There were 4 track sessions each day, 20-25 min. each. People were grouped by experience between 5 groups. So basically there was an hour and 20 min. break in between runs. There was 2 class sessions for day 1 and only one class session for day 2. They taught passing signals, showed us videos of a nice RX-7 running the proper line that was to be followed and that was pretty much all I picked up from that. They didn't take up to much time. My very first track run was embarassing. I probably went 60 mph top and took every turn slow. But I had reasons, I've never been on the course and it is full of hills and turns coming in and out of the hills. I didn't really pick up to much speed over the next couple laps. Then I got to ride with my intrusctor in his Prosche 944s2 (didn't know there was an s2 version 'til now, sports a 3.0L 4-cylinder). What an experience to ride in a fast car with a professional driver. He was hitting a lil' over 120 on the straights. He would come up to the turns so fast that you would think he wasn't going to slow down, and the g-force from braking was probably similar but in the reverse direction of a plane taking off. There was a set of S-turns that he would go at least 100 mph through running the curbs over looking for the most direct straight path. So after I rode with him, my next session was a lot better, now that I seen the course a couple more times, proper braking zones, and manageable speeds in the turns. By the end of day 1 my top speeds on the straights were 95 MPH, and I learned a lot of the turns, and making progress on the harder ones. My family said that my wife's car was the only car making so much noise (screeching) in the turns due to the street tires and how hard I was running the car. Day 2 went even better. I was taking all the turns properly, and overcame the ones I had problems with the previous day and I was hitting 98 mph on the straights. I know its only a 3 mph improvement but now that I was getting a better exit on the turns leading to the straights I found my self going a tad bit faster. My instructor told me I was doing probably the best that the car can do since it was on street tires and facing a lot of understeer. To cure the understeer though he just asked me take those turns slower that way I will come out faster without the understeer. And the last session of the day, my instructor signed me off to run solo. And since a corvette blew its motor on the track that day, we lost some time. So the track combined 2 groups to run a 30 min session. This was much more enjoyable for me, more cars and no instructor. I noticed a difference in the cars handling without my instructor(maybe 200 lbs.) and I found myself taking the turns a bit more faster as well.

The whole weekend was great. I got at least 50 laps total on the course. My wife and mother got to ride in my instructor's car, and my dad got to ride in another instructor's E36 M3, which he told me was doing higher speeds than my instructors porsche. I saw Corvette's, all kinds of Porsches including the GT3, Imprezas, several different Lotus', only 2 new GTR's, 5.0 Mustangs and newer Mustangs, 1 older Firebird, 1 Mustang 2 (Ugly car), a fully race set up Ferrari, of course a bunch of mazdas, a lot of E36 M3's, and 1 BMW 2002 built to race, but lacked a racing motor. The aftermath damage on my wife's car: The main drive tire was eatin' up (never seen a tire get that kind of wear), on the other tires - some of the threads melted together, 1 new set of front brake pads (luckily the rotor didn't warp or wear unevenly), 3 full tanks of gas (didn't know racing a car would eat up that much gas, 1 tank was for the trip there and home), and an oil change. I really gained a lot out of this experience. I found that brakes have a lot more power than what I used to think, and I tend to look a lot more farther down the road then I used to (and I'm a defensive driver already). It also inspired me more to get into racing. I would recommend a similar event to any of you guys, it was so much more fun doing it in real life than in the game.

If you guys want to see a map of the track, visit its site virnow.com and youtube has some in-car footage of random people running the course.


Last edited by SuicideKing on Wed Sep 09 2009, 21:32; edited 1 time in total
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BlackJack
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PostSubject: Re: My racing class experience   Mon Sep 07 2009, 15:16

I watched an instuctor put his ferrari into the wall at one of those classes..it was sad, but kind of funny! I agree 100%, there's nothing better than inside the car. I've won drag and kart races. Hard to describe the feeling when you see the win light in your lane during the finals. However, my ribs still hurt from my kart race..lol
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SuicideKing
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PostSubject: Re: My racing class experience   Tue Sep 08 2009, 01:07

Sucks for that instructor lol. I like Porsches more anyways. Never seen any win lights...yet. Hopefully I can get into the right field that will allow that, i.e. money, or even a sposorship. But for now I have a couple more priorities to take care of before i really get serious with it. Btw, thanks for taking the time to read my essay lol. king
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AceOfClubs
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PostSubject: Re: My racing class experience   Wed Sep 09 2009, 13:42

I tracked my roadster once at Button Willow here in SoCal, it looks kinda like Suzuki in GT5. It was very challenging, the only car I was able to catch was a Mustang on straight, I smashed the gas pedal as soon as i came out of the Mazda Turn then slammed on the brake just a few feet away from entering the Lost Hill turn 120 mph was my top speed, the distance between the 2 points was approximately 1/8 of a mile,

It was a great experience but it was pricey tracking my weekend ride after just a few laps, the Michelin Sports have shown the signs of abusiveness





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SuicideKing
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PostSubject: Re: My racing class experience   Thu Sep 10 2009, 17:49

Hey vin that track looks awsome. The class here was $375. You had to get your own room and what not so Id say i probably paid 600 for the trip total, and another 100 for the the stuff I replaced on my wifes car lol.
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AceOfClubs
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PostSubject: Re: My racing class experience   Fri Sep 11 2009, 22:21

The track event I went was sponsored by Redline, aprox $150 a day. Its about 3 hrs from my home I didnt need a room . There was a little guy Miata there and couldn't even keep up with Sad

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Last edited by aceofclubs on Mon Sep 14 2009, 12:14; edited 2 times in total
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AceOfSpades
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PostSubject: Re: My racing class experience   Sun Sep 13 2009, 20:48

Riverside to Star Mazda Turn, skipping the Lost Hill is what, 100+ mph, then slammed on the brakes. Wow, that's got to be an awesome experience!!!

How fast can you go from Star Mazda Turn, thru the Esses, to left hander Sunrise?

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AceOfClubs
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PostSubject: Re: My racing class experience   Mon Sep 14 2009, 12:20

I don't remember, maybe 45mph. I had to slow down to 15mph at Cotton Corners. I was slow like an old woman from Pasadena Smile I didn't have the correct tires, Michelin Sports2 is excellent for street but not for tracks.

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PostSubject: Re: My racing class experience   Today at 12:52

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