: Road Course Report - Harris Hill Raceway



mitchntx
06-27-10, 08:30 PM
Harris Hill Raceway is a members only, country club style road course located outside of San Marcos, Texas. It's a relatively new track, only operating a few years.

http://harrishillroad.com/

The 1.7 mile track is wide, but filled with technical turns and long straights, with butt-puckering kinks.

The hill country of Texas doesn't have the best soil in the land for buliding roads. Lots of granite boulders and black tar dirt cause issues with road base. Consequently there are "speed bumps" in some areas, giving the driver an added pucker bonus.

The track has some nice elevation changes, very nice flow and rhythm. And once you get it "figured out", you can carry some decent speed.

As for the V ... it is a stock 06 with 50K miles. It is shod with well used Goodyear GTs, new NAPA Ultra blanks and HPS pads. Temps were going to approach 100* ambient, so I put 7 fresh quarts of 15W50 M1 in the pan, replaced most of the power steering fluid with Redline, checked the tranny and diff for level, threw my helmet in the trunk and headed south. It has all stock suspension and FG2 shocks.

And to put everything in perspective, my race car weighs about 3K and I came off of a race weekend a couple weekends ago. I also only have had the Caddy about a month, having put about 750 miles on it, 250 of which was driving to Harris Hill.

First session out, I was refamiliarizing myself with the track. Like I stated above, it's very technical, with the sharpest of turns all at the end of long straights with kink thrown in for laughs.

Right out of the box, the V's weight was grossly evident. It was pitching and rolling, tires were yelling, I was screaming ... and yet, it never once stepped out. It was stable, balanced and predictable ... too predictable.

I was amazed at just how little throttle and steering input it required to shuffle through the medium and high speed Kinks and "turns". But it still felt heavy.

Hit your marks and lay into the loud pedal and holy Christ ... it was a rocket ship down teh straights. But hang on ... gotta slow down or go agricultural.

Braking zones were ridiculously long ... because of the weight. And the HPS pads worked amazingly well.

But don't believe it when they say they don't dust ... we'll see if the "doesn't dust" needs an asterisk which states

*when driven on the street.

The stock seats and the seat belts are comfortable getting to and from the track, but damn near worthless on track. As the car, pitched and rolled through the turns, it felt like I was in the wheel house of a crab boat on the bearing sea. I'm surprised I didn't wind up in the passenger seat or even the back seat a couple times.

At a minimum, if you are going to see track duty, you NEED a 6 point harness. And a seat with real side bolsters would certainly help. I saw a couple new Camaros there and they have what appears to be much better seats.

Does all that sound like I'm disappointed? Hell no! It's a freaking Cadillac and every driver out there rolled by, shook my hand and said they couldn't believe what that car was doing on track.

I didn't pass any one and every one in my group passed me ... some of them twice. But Hoosier shod RSRs should, right?

Either way, the grin on my face might very well become perma-smile ... Not a single problem, hiccup, scary moment or Oh shit, this'll hurt. It didn't even use any oil!

I took some video and a friend followed me for several laps with the GoPro attached to his hood. I'll try and get some clips cut and posted.

If you've never taken the Sherman Tank of road course sluts out, you owe it to yourself to see what she'll do. Awesome weekend ...

06CTS-V
06-27-10, 09:52 PM
Sounds like fun... Glad you got to enjoy your car. Not a lot of people realize what that "granny" car can do.

UnsafeAtAnySpd
06-27-10, 10:26 PM
You need to get some better pads on there. I personally think the brakes are the best performance aspect of the car stock, even despite the weight. :D

mitchntx
06-28-10, 12:20 PM
Never said they faded or failed ... just dusted like mad and it takes a while to slow 2 tons ...

Got the car up on the lift and did a nut-n-bolt inspection.

Lesson Learned ... don't overfill the power steering reservoir. It makes a mess! Fluid had migrated down the side of the motor, covered the oil filter and splattered all the way back to the trans tail housing.

Simple Green is your friend in these cases.

Pulled the engine cover and cleaned it and the engine bay. Soaked it with SG and lightly sprayed it off with a garden hose. Don't use a pressure nozzle.

Took the wheels off and cleaned the wheels and tires and inspected for any problems. No cracks and no chunks ...

Overall, I'm very pleased witht the way the car drove, handled and took the abuse.

That will most likely be the last time it sees the track. I just had to know ...

odla
06-28-10, 01:14 PM
vids yet?

mitchntx
06-28-10, 01:39 PM
vids yet?

This pesky job is really getting in teh way of my having fun ... :suspect:

PISNUOFF
06-28-10, 01:45 PM
Unsafe was saying that the HPS's have less stopping power than the stock pads. I run HP+'s on the street and they are about mid way between my Carbotech track pads and stock pads. My HP+'s stop the V better than stock brakes on my brother's C5 ZO6 and the Carbotech's are just rediculous.

mitchntx
06-28-10, 02:06 PM
Unsafe was saying that the HPS's have less stopping power than the stock pads. I run HP+'s on the street and they are about mid way between my Carbotech track pads and stock pads. My HP+'s stop the V better than stock brakes on my brother's C5 ZO6 and the Carbotech's are just rediculous.

Been a Carbotech customer for years. At first, the entertainment value of calling and talking with Larry was worth the investment in pad. But now Danny has really taken Carbotech pads to a new level.

I run XP10s on my race car and wouldn't dream of anything else. Danny has sent me 10s, 12s, 16s and 8s ... I like the way a 10 feels at the green flag.

The HPS pads are strictly for street use and was taken from conversations I read here. The OEm pads that were on the car prior were just stupid the way they dusted.

I am optomistic that the HPS pads will reduce that. I am not an aggressive street driver ... just tool around and enjoy the exhaust note. :bouncy:

AAIIIC
06-29-10, 08:54 AM
Looks like an interesting little track. I'll have to check youtube for some videos when I'm not at work.

While a 6-point harness would be nice, I don't think anyone "NEEDS" it to drive a V on track (or any other car, for that matter). And I certainly don't need the rollbar that would have to go along with it, nor the seats that are designed to use 6-points. I would definitely appreciate some more functional seats (even the base model Recaro SEs were a nice improvement in my Subaru), but I don't know how to work around the fact the seatbelts are integrated into the seats.

Looking forward to seeing those video clips. :)

tweeter81
06-29-10, 11:06 AM
All you need is a $50 CG Lock and you are good to go in the "staying in the seat" department. I have used one on the track for 4 years now and it has worked perfectly.

mitchntx
06-29-10, 01:46 PM
Guess I should have said "regularly see track duty".

I have become spoiled, no doubt, to my containment seat and 6 point. My shoulders, forearms and upper back are still sore. Been a long time since I had to wrestle with a car to stay in the seat.

And to clarify ... my butt stayed put for the most part. It was my torso that was tossed about.

I'll do my best to get clips up soon ...

repenttokyo
06-29-10, 02:14 PM
Looks like an interesting little track. I'll have to check youtube for some videos when I'm not at work.

While a 6-point harness would be nice, I don't think anyone "NEEDS" it to drive a V on track (or any other car, for that matter). And I certainly don't need the rollbar that would have to go along with it, nor the seats that are designed to use 6-points. I would definitely appreciate some more functional seats (even the base model Recaro SEs were a nice improvement in my Subaru), but I don't know how to work around the fact the seatbelts are integrated into the seats.

Looking forward to seeing those video clips. :)

why would you need a rollbar?

mitchntx
06-29-10, 06:19 PM
Theory has it that with a racing harness, it will keep you upright in the seat in the event of a roll-over causing the roof to cave in and you unable to duck.

It's sound reasoning, no doubt.

I feel the added steering wheel control one has and the feeling of the car's slip angle by being secured in the seat prevents most if not all of the situations that could result in a rollover.

It's an on-going debate.

AAIIIC
06-30-10, 07:46 AM
I'll be honest, I have no idea if there are any actual statistics that back up the whole "harness without rollover protection is bad" argument. I remember seeing pictures of an SN95 Mustang that had basically been pancaked at a track event and the driver and instructor actually crawled out thru the back window. The seats had collapsed back and kept them from getting crushed. So I guess that "proof" would indicate that harnesses without rollover protection is OK as long as you don't have a fixed back seat?

I have also seen pictures of cars with crappy rollover protection that ended up smashed flat due to poor rollbar/cage construction, so even that is not foolproof, of course.

crankedupforit
06-30-10, 09:50 PM
I've always been interested in XP10s. I always run HP+ so I can drive to the track. Can you get away with driving XP10s to the track then switch them out at home? Also I heard that if you switch to Carbotechs you need to turn your rotors even if you don't need to. Any comments?

mitchntx
07-01-10, 09:50 AM
I'll be honest, I have no idea if there are any actual statistics that back up the whole "harness without rollover protection is bad" argument. I remember seeing pictures of an SN95 Mustang that had basically been pancaked at a track event and the driver and instructor actually crawled out thru the back window. The seats had collapsed back and kept them from getting crushed. So I guess that "proof" would indicate that harnesses without rollover protection is OK as long as you don't have a fixed back seat?

I have also seen pictures of cars with crappy rollover protection that ended up smashed flat due to poor rollbar/cage construction, so even that is not foolproof, of course.

Actually, that Mustang HAD a rollbar installed ...

Unfortunately, it was welded to the car's floor pan and not anything structural. So the legs of the cage punched through the floor. :banghead:

So, you are correct on both counts ...


XP10s are a track only pad, IMHO. What that means, is that they require a significant amount of heat to begin "biting". That means that after about 10 minutes of hiway driving, they would cool off to the point of not working well initially.

Could be significant in a panic stop.

People do it all the time. Just be fore-warned.