: Track day report: Pacific Raceways in the wet, 10/2/2008



AAIIIC
10-13-08, 01:04 AM
So, two Thursdays ago I did what I told myself I was not going to do when I bought the V a year ago - I took it to the track. And not only did I take it to the track, but I took it to the track in the rain, just asking for problems. But, with the help of Stability Control I brought the car home in one piece. :)

My original intention was to take my Subaru, which is my normal auto-x/open track car. The Saturday before the event I finished up an engine swap and intended to put a couple hundred break-in miles on the rebuilt engine over the rest of the weekend. I went out Saturday evening to do the initial drive, and about 10mi down the road the car died. :( Thankfully, the problem was electrical, and not a problem with the engine I had just stuck in the car, but I was stranded nonetheless and had to be towed home. By Sunday evening I hadn't figured out what the issue was (frankly, I was a bit sick of the car and didn't try very hard), so by Monday I realized there wasn't any chance I was going to get the electrical problem fixed and then get some miles on the car before Thursday. I also have a track-prepped Mustang, but it's not terribly reliable - it's been a work-in-progress for 6 years now! :lol: I knew it was going to be wet on Thursday, which meant it came down to high-HP RWD car with really wide tires and no electronic driver aids vs. high-HP RWD car with skinnier (more rain-friendly) tires and the full gamut of electronic driver aids. I elected to take the latter. This was my last opportunity to get some track time this year, having only done 2 days this year up to this point, so there was no way I was going to cancel out of the event!

Monday I ordered some track pads for up front, and I installed those and bled the brakes after work Wednesday. I also got the oil changed while I was at work, as I wasn't going to have much time to work on anything. (I can't even remember the last time I had someone else do an oil change for me - it's been at least 7 or 8 years!) Other than that I didn't do anything to prep the car. I had to resist temptation pretty hard to call Luke on Monday and order one of his remaining sets of TD wheels to put some R-compounds on, but I figured I really didn't need them and in the short term they'd get very little use, so they'd just be sitting in my shed with the rubber hardening up while I'm out at sea.

The event was kind of sponsored by Pacific Western Performance (http://www.pacificwesternperformance.com/) and run by Proformance Racing School (http://www.proformanceracingschool.com/). I say "kind of" sponsored because it cost the same as a normal Proformance lapping day, so I'm not really sure what Pacific Western's involvement was - I just know their name was on that date on the calendar. Whatevah! There were only 20 or 21 of us signed up, and as a result they did just a single run group with long run times. The group was primarily Porsches (all 911s except for a 944 and a Cayman), along with an R8, an F430, a Jag XKR, a new M3 and me. Honestly, I was pretty bummed I didn't get to take the Subaru - it would've been funny to have been the only plebeian car out there, and with the AWD I would've been gobbling people up. :lol:

Anyway, weather forecast called for rain on and off all day, and that's what we got. They tried to hustle a bit through the driver's meeting to get us out for the first session before it started to rain, but it was already sprinkling during our 2 warmup laps behind a pace car (and the track was already wet, anyway). Here's the track map:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=45283&stc=1&d=1223860165

For the most part I stayed in 4th gear, except for on the main straight, where I was getting up to around 125mph before the turn 1 kink. I occasionally went to 3rd in 3A/3B, but coming out of 3B in 3rd gear it was very hard not to get sideways, so much of the time I was just lugging it out of 3B in 4th at 1200rpm or so.

The first session was moderately wet, with light rain falling. The session was cut short when a 911 GT3 Cup car went off in the 5A area. I'm not sure what the guy was thinking, as he had gone out on full slicks. I had heard him talking about testing out rain tires, so I'm not sure why he went out on the slicks. The car wasn't too badly damaged, apparently all cosmetic, but pretty much the entire right side of the car was going to need to be replaced.

Weather-wise the 2nd session was more of the same. I ended up spending some time behind the Cayman, which I let by on my 2nd or 3rd lap out of the pits. I then hung with him reasonably well, although you could definitely see where the mid-engine weight balance helped his traction coming off the slower corners. After following him for a few laps I had a pretty lurid slide coming out of turn 6, as you can see in the video.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC_e6rp26AM
Here's the same video in WMV format (http://www.submariner.org/thepno95/Video%20clips/Pacific%20Raceways%20Oct08/Two%20laps%20with%20Cayman.wmv) on my website, 29MB.

The 3rd session was even more wet. The first few minutes of footage were pretty much a total loss, as the little lens on the camera was constantly pelted with water droplets so you could only see a blur of what I was doing. Once the camera cleared I got some good footage of me following the M3 for lap after lap. We then repeated that performance in the last session I ran - almost 20min of me running behind the M3. More on that later when I get the videos captured. For now, I need to go work on the damn Subaru. :p

odla
10-13-08, 07:10 AM
looks like fun. good thing you had the electronic aids helping you out.

thebigjimsho
10-13-08, 05:43 PM
Man, I'm really bummed I couldn't make it to Seattle this summer and missed a day at Pacific.

BTW, I was shadowing a Cayman S at NHMS earlier this year. Both of us with R compounds. Early in the day, he should've let me pass but was too stubborn. As he figured out a couple of turns, he would've been harder to pass.

NormV
10-14-08, 01:32 PM
Nice sliding save! You'll find that once the momentum starts to go you'll "Pausing " a little longer with close to 4000 lbs. CPR: correct, pause, & recover. The pause will allow the momentum to slow or stop, suspension to unload.

Once rear is hanging out the car is very controlable. :)

Norm

Civardi
10-14-08, 03:03 PM
This is close to me. Are you in WA state?

C66 Racing
10-14-08, 08:18 PM
Finally got caught up enough with work and life to start catching up on this forum...

Several observations/comments:
- I can't believe you ran in the rain at Pacific! My wife would have an absolute cow if I ran the V at the track, much less ran it in the rain, even much much less if I ran it in the rain at Pacific (where I didn't fair too well last time I was there).
- What exhaust do you have. Every time I hear you drive out of the parking lot I realize how tame the stock exhaust is.
- What video system are you using? Editing software? Video was nice quality and having the graphics helped. I'd like to learn how to do that as I get back into racing.

FYI, my SCCA license was renewed but still not sure if I'll get it in time for the race at Portland this weekend. If not, I'm thinking of heading down to Thunderhill for a DE there this weekend. :cheers:

AAIIIC
10-17-08, 02:55 AM
This is close to me. Are you in WA state?
Yup, Silverdale.


Finally got caught up enough with work and life to start catching up on this forum...

Several observations/comments:
- I can't believe you ran in the rain at Pacific! My wife would have an absolute cow if I ran the V at the track, much less ran it in the rain, even much much less if I ran it in the rain at Pacific (where I didn't fair too well last time I was there).
Just wait until I get some more video captured so you can see my close calls. :) Been working ridiculous hours this week (home after midnight Tues and Wed, about 11 tonight), so I haven't had any chance to get to more video capturing.


- What exhaust do you have. Every time I hear you drive out of the parking lot I realize how tame the stock exhaust is.
Magnaflow.


- What video system are you using? Editing software? Video was nice quality and having the graphics helped. I'd like to learn how to do that as I get back into racing.
It's actually nothing special, and I've been meaning to upgrade for a couple years now. The camera is essentially a webcam. I've had it since 2000, bought it from conecam.com (which then became chasecam.com and is now under different ownership). It's about cueball size, and is mounted on a triple suction cup mount. The Cone Cam feeds my trusty Digital8 camcorder, which I also bought in 2000. All the video capture and editing is just done with Windows Media Maker, which is pretty self-explanatory to use. I have a Firewire card to get the footage from the camera to the laptop, and then edit it and upload it.

In my Subaru I have a Home Depot special tripod that I can erect in the back seat, which allows me to video using the camcorder itself to get in-car footage. I didn't have time to figure anything like that out for the V, so I just strapped the camera down in the passenger seat and used the Cone Cam. For the last session I suction cupped it to the inside of the windshield, passenger side, so I do have some in-car footage, but you can't see what I'm doing, so as far as giving me any feedback it's worthless. Fun to watch, though! :D

C66 Racing
10-21-08, 12:45 AM
Thanks for all the info. In my Z06, I have an I/O Port mount attached to my roll cage and just record right onto my Sony camcorder. Works pretty well. But, I need to get smarter on the editing part.

John Buttermore has some good video on his Runoffs thread using a Chase Cam. I'll have to look into them as I'd like to get up to HD quality. :cheers:

AAIIIC
11-02-08, 04:32 AM
So, with the extra hour provided by the clocks falling back an hour ;), I finally got another video captured. I'm once again following the M3, this time in a later, wetter session. The first two bits of oversteer you'll see (exits of turn 2 and turn 8) I caught with a bit of counter-steer before the Stability Control screen even came on. The third one, though, in turn 9 towards the end of the lap, was all Stability Control. You can kind of hear me laughing out loud as I accelerated down the main straight - laughing because I knew I was sooooo frickin' lucky. I don't know if I would've been able to do anything to keep the car in one piece there, but the SC pulled the car straight and sent me on my way down the straight. Pretty amazing. I'm not sure exactly how fast I was going through turn 8, but I was well into 4th gear, so probably 80mph or so?

I made that a cool-down lap and pulled in to take a break for a bit, as the conditions were very squirrely and I obviously was pushing beyond my limits.

Anyway, here's the vid (http://www.submariner.org/thepno95/Video%20clips/Pacific%20Raceways%20Oct08/Gettin%20loose%20behind%20M3.wmv) (about 17MB).

On Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAdByBGIEYc

bluegizmo83
11-04-08, 11:44 AM
So, two Thursdays ago I did what I told myself I was not going to do when I bought the V a year ago - I took it to the track. And not only did I take it to the track, but I took it to the track in the rain, just asking for problems. But, with the help of Stability Control I brought the car home in one piece. :)

My original intention was to take my Subaru, which is my normal auto-x/open track car. The Saturday before the event I finished up an engine swap and intended to put a couple hundred break-in miles on the rebuilt engine over the rest of the weekend. I went out Saturday evening to do the initial drive, and about 10mi down the road the car died. :( Thankfully, the problem was electrical, and not a problem with the engine I had just stuck in the car, but I was stranded nonetheless and had to be towed home. By Sunday evening I hadn't figured out what the issue was (frankly, I was a bit sick of the car and didn't try very hard), so by Monday I realized there wasn't any chance I was going to get the electrical problem fixed and then get some miles on the car before Thursday. I also have a track-prepped Mustang, but it's not terribly reliable - it's been a work-in-progress for 6 years now! :lol: I knew it was going to be wet on Thursday, which meant it came down to high-HP RWD car with really wide tires and no electronic driver aids vs. high-HP RWD car with skinnier (more rain-friendly) tires and the full gamut of electronic driver aids. I elected to take the latter. This was my last opportunity to get some track time this year, having only done 2 days this year up to this point, so there was no way I was going to cancel out of the event!

Monday I ordered some track pads for up front, and I installed those and bled the brakes after work Wednesday. I also got the oil changed while I was at work, as I wasn't going to have much time to work on anything. (I can't even remember the last time I had someone else do an oil change for me - it's been at least 7 or 8 years!) Other than that I didn't do anything to prep the car. I had to resist temptation pretty hard to call Luke on Monday and order one of his remaining sets of TD wheels to put some R-compounds on, but I figured I really didn't need them and in the short term they'd get very little use, so they'd just be sitting in my shed with the rubber hardening up while I'm out at sea.

The event was kind of sponsored by Pacific Western Performance (http://www.pacificwesternperformance.com/) and run by Proformance Racing School (http://www.proformanceracingschool.com/). I say "kind of" sponsored because it cost the same as a normal Proformance lapping day, so I'm not really sure what Pacific Western's involvement was - I just know their name was on that date on the calendar. Whatevah! There were only 20 or 21 of us signed up, and as a result they did just a single run group with long run times. The group was primarily Porsches (all 911s except for a 944 and a Cayman), along with an R8, an F430, a Jag XKR, a new M3 and me. Honestly, I was pretty bummed I didn't get to take the Subaru - it would've been funny to have been the only plebeian car out there, and with the AWD I would've been gobbling people up. :lol:

Anyway, weather forecast called for rain on and off all day, and that's what we got. They tried to hustle a bit through the driver's meeting to get us out for the first session before it started to rain, but it was already sprinkling during our 2 warmup laps behind a pace car (and the track was already wet, anyway). Here's the track map:

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=45283&stc=1&d=1223860165

For the most part I stayed in 4th gear, except for on the main straight, where I was getting up to around 125mph before the turn 1 kink. I occasionally went to 3rd in 3A/3B, but coming out of 3B in 3rd gear it was very hard not to get sideways, so much of the time I was just lugging it out of 3B in 4th at 1200rpm or so.

The first session was moderately wet, with light rain falling. The session was cut short when a 911 GT3 Cup car went off in the 5A area. I'm not sure what the guy was thinking, as he had gone out on full slicks. I had heard him talking about testing out rain tires, so I'm not sure why he went out on the slicks. The car wasn't too badly damaged, apparently all cosmetic, but pretty much the entire right side of the car was going to need to be replaced.

Weather-wise the 2nd session was more of the same. I ended up spending some time behind the Cayman, which I let by on my 2nd or 3rd lap out of the pits. I then hung with him reasonably well, although you could definitely see where the mid-engine weight balance helped his traction coming off the slower corners. After following him for a few laps I had a pretty lurid slide coming out of turn 6, as you can see in the video.

YouTube - Pacific Raceways HPDE in the Rain, 10/2/2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC_e6rp26AM)
Here's the same video in WMV format (http://www.submariner.org/thepno95/Video%20clips/Pacific%20Raceways%20Oct08/Two%20laps%20with%20Cayman.wmv) on my website, 29MB.

The 3rd session was even more wet. The first few minutes of footage were pretty much a total loss, as the little lens on the camera was constantly pelted with water droplets so you could only see a blur of what I was doing. Once the camera cleared I got some good footage of me following the M3 for lap after lap. We then repeated that performance in the last session I ran - almost 20min of me running behind the M3. More on that later when I get the videos captured. For now, I need to go work on the damn Subaru. :p

Looks like fun! I own a older Caddy (95 STS) and have taken her to Pacific Raceways a few times. She's not quite a V series but still fun!

AAIIIC
11-05-08, 03:10 AM
It would be sweet if we could go back and edit posts (as is possible on every one of the other 6 or 8 automotive forums I frequent). That way I could figure out why my Youtube link isn't working. Oh well.

camnet
11-05-08, 11:59 PM
That was some pretty good driving considering the rain and that track's obvious lack of safe run off at most points. What tires are you running? I'm running Laguna Seca in December and will likely see the same wet conditions. From the 3 recent days of rain we've had in No. Cal since I bought my car, I have gone sideways (inappropriately) three times with the stock RSA run flats and hope that the Conti 3's that are going on next week will help the situation. Your car seemed to hook up pretty well under WOT.

AAIIIC
11-06-08, 12:28 AM
I was running my Falken FK452 street tires. Throttle control was definitely the phrase of the day. I had to really *****foot it out of just about every corner. A lot of the time I just stayed in 4th through corners that I would've been in 3rd in the dry - it was just too hard to put the power down coming off the corners in 3rd, so I lugged a bit in 4th instead.

Between 3B and 4 there's a little rise/dip, and if I came out of 3B in 3rd (as I was for most of the time following the M3), I would get to that dip at about 6000rpm in 3rd. The momentary "float" as I went over the little rise would cause the Traction Control to come on just before I shifted from 3rd to 4th. Good stuff. :)

Seattle CTS-V
11-06-08, 10:52 AM
Awesome driving. Oh how I miss my old blown V. My last time at Pacific (back in '07) was a little wet in the earlier sessions but it dried up later on. No accidents all morning but the (dry) afternoon took out a new ZO6 and a 996 GT2. Both were caged and nobody got physically hurt (pocketbooks took a pounding though).

My session:

YouTube - Cadillac CTS-V Lapping Day at Pacific Raceways