: An assortment of videos from my track events

07-14-11, 09:22 PM
I've captured a number of videos and never really shared many of them, so I figured I'd just post a bunch in one thread. These are in chronological order, and you'll see that the videos get more advanced as I add more toys to my video setup. :)

Back in the fall of 2009 I was stationed in Bangor/Bremerton, WA, and made a trek down into OR with Proformance Racing to run at Portland International Raceway and Oregon Raceway Park. Apparently Proformance had been doing yearly trips down to PIR, but it was the first time they also ran ORP, which had just opened that year (or maybe late 2008, I can't remember). At that point my car had a completely stock drivetrain, the KWs, and was running on street tires.



And ORP:


As the descriptions on the videos say, PIR was a decent track, but with no elevation change it just didn't do much for me. ORP, on the other hand, was an absolute blast. It was out in the middle of nowhere - we drove a few miles on an oiled gravel road to get to the dirt entrance to the track - but it is a very fun track.

In 2010 I was transferred to the Pentagon, putting me back in the Mid-Atlantic region within a few hours drive of a number of excellent tracks. The combination of some good tracks in the area and a job that allowed me to take some more frequent leave meant I got plenty of track time I think I did 12 or 14 days on track, which was more than I had done in the previous 3 or 4 years combined.

V Day 4 @ Summit Point Main was one event. I've posted this video here before, but I'll post it again.


I also got to run 3 days (2 days at one event, 1 day at another) on one of the Grand courses at VIR. (I've seen this configuration referred to as both the Grand East and Grand West course, and I'm not sure which is actually correct. It's the same configuration that Car and Driver uses for their annual "Lightning Lap" issue.)

That's a Nissan GTR that points my by at the beginning and then follows me around. Eventually he turned up the wick and pointed him back by.

In the winter 2010/2011 "off-season" I added Chase Cam's DM10 and OBD2 cable to my existing 2 camera setup, so I was able to datalog and do gauge overlays. Unfortunately, sometimes I forget this extension cord or that power adapter, so not all of my videos end up with all the overlays. :helpless: But the gauges and track map make things look way cooler. :cool2:

So, first video of the season I didn't have the OBD2 cable hooked up, so I didn't have all the cool gauges yet. This was a DC Region SCCA PDX at Summit Point Main:


For the second day I got the OBD2 cable hooked up, so I added the gauge overlays. Ooooooh! Aaahhhhhh!


A few weeks later I was down at VIR again, this time on the Full Course running with the Audi Owners Club. I had some technical difficulties with the camera setup at that event (due to user error), so no internal shots, but my brother did get this clip of me blasting by on the front straight:

As I pass by the tire barrier at the end of the pit entrance I'm probably in the 100-105mph ballpark, and as I pass the start/finish tower I'm doing upper 120s.

A couple weeks after that event I was at VIR again, this time with Trackdaze.com, and this time I didn't screw up the video. :p


In June I once again headed to a Trackdaze event at VIR. I drilled a hole in the back of the driver side of the front crossmember so I could mount one of the Chase Cams down there, looking out at the front suspension. That got me some pretty cool video:


Unfortunately, the event was cut short in rather dramatic as the #5 rod and piston decided they didn't want to play anymore:



07-14-11, 09:35 PM
Apparently, having the "Automatically convert links into video" option selected does not actually automatically convert links into videos (unlike every other forum I frequent). And clicking the youtube button in the the post editor puts [HR ][ /HR] tags around the link, which appears to do absolutely nothing. I love this forum!

07-14-11, 09:52 PM
I still say the Summit Point vid with Andy Pilgrim driving your V was one of the best produced, most informative track videos I have ever seen...

07-16-11, 08:52 AM
Well done. You have good hands. ORP does look like a blast. Kinda like a rollercoaster at Great America.

07-16-11, 09:26 AM

I miss tracking cars. Lots of seat time in my heavily mod'ed '01.5 A4 from 2002-2007, but haven't been out much since. ...just a spectator at V-Day IV & V.

You're running about 2:17 range at VIR Full, according to the time on the vid, which is humping it around! I assume that's on the wider Rcomps.

I hope you get it back together soon! Are you rebuilding it stronger? If so, what all are you planning? Are others having issues like this tracking their Vs?? gawd, I hope not.

Maybe see you at VIR with ACNA in the fall ;) FYI -- ACNA will be at Summit Point for a 1-day in Sept., which I'm thinking about...

07-16-11, 09:34 AM
I've actually been down into the 2:15s at VIR, and yes, that's on the 275 Hankook Z214s.

Rebuild plans just took a kick in the junk last night, as I broke my left foot playing indoor soccer. Just in a splint for now, but the doc said I'll probably be in a cast and on crutches for ~6 weeks. :( That's going to make working on the car a real pain in the ass.

That aside, my plan is to at least do a cam and all the valvetrain stuff, and maybe do the heads, too. Haven't really decided on that yet.

07-16-11, 09:54 AM
oh, cripes. left or right? going to make clutch work interesting...

valvetrain = ? I assume at least springs and rods -- options?

06-19-16, 01:09 AM
Catching up for the last 5 years or so... :rolleyes:

After taking much of 2012 off due to work scheduling, I got to an event at the end of the year in November 2012. Unfortunately, the alternator died on the first day, so I got very little useful video. :bang

In March 2013 I signed up for an event in the V, but I waited until the last minute to finally do my oil cooler install, had a leak that I couldn't resolve, so I took my Subaroo instead.

Finally, in mid April I got the V back on track at VIR with the Potomac-Chesapeake Chapter of the Audi Owners Club. They run a couple of great events at VIR every year, so whenever the Navy has had me on the East Coast I've maintained an Audi Club membership just so I can go to the PCC events. :)

Here's some footage from the last session on the first day:


I ended up running with that red and orange Boxster in a few different sessions during the two days - we were actually pretty evenly matched for lap times, with me being a little bit faster so I would gradually pull away. He stopped by where I was parked in the paddock at one point and said something along the lines of, "How am I going to explain in my videos when I get passed by a Cadillac in my race car?" :lol:

My brother was attending the event in his 2004 BMW 330i sedan, and for the first time we were in the same run group. I had him go out ahead of me on the second day so I could get some footage following him. Here's the short clip of him letting me by on the back straight after I followed him for a couple laps. (Unfortunately the clip proves once again that the biggest weakness of the GoPro cameras is the crappy audio - you can hardly even hear my car on the video.)


A clip from my first event of 2014, at Summit Point with the Audi Club:


June 2014 @ VIR with Chin Motorsports:

First, just a generic video of some laps:


From the same event, chasing down a new Z/28. And by "new" I mean "brand new" - I talked to the owner after this and he said it had "100 miles plus whatever I've put on it today". Oh, and it was his first time @ VIR, so that tempered my enthusiasm about catching him a bit. :p


June 2014 @ Summit Point. This was the weekend after the event above. I had picked up a ReplayXD 1080Mini HD camera while I was at VIR, and had fiddled with it a little bit at that VIR event, but this Summit event was the first opportunity to really play with it. So, all of the data (GPS, g-sensor, OBDII inputs) are embedded in the SD video file that I get from my older Chase Cam DVR, and then the HD video comes from the ReplayXD camera. Those then get combined in Dashware, which is Chase Cam's video processing software. When I initially did this event back in 2014 I hadn't figured out a good way to combine the two sources; I have now figured out that it's actually pretty easy to sync up the HD video and the data file in Dashware, so I actually went back and re-captured this video clip to get the HD.


November 2014 @ VIR with Trackdaze. I try to get to this event every year, as it's one of the few opportunities to run the longer Grand Course. This clip is from the start of one of the sessions, so the run group is still pretty bunched up and I was picking people off left and right. I'll warn you now that the audio sucks - very choppy due to a low mic battery.


2015 was a slow year for track events. I'm pretty sure I got to an event or two in the spring, but if I did, apparently I didn't capture any video. So, nothing to report from 2015.

Which brings us to my first event of 2016 - June 2016 @ VIR, once again with Chin Motorsports. I was in the advanced group, as I normally am, but this seemed like an exceptionally fast advanced group! There were 2 open-wheel cars, a couple of Viper ACRs, a couple cars (Cayman & 911) from the Rebel Rock racing team (an IMSA team), an Ariel Atom, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNF1iunNbI (I messed up and didn't upload this one as HD)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__0CfTmoSew (this one is HD)

Next up is a trip to Summit Point the first weekend in July, and after that I'm not sure. I'm hoping to get up to Watkins Glen this year - I haven't been there since 2001, and that was in a ~185hp Subaru, so the V would be an entirely new experience. I actually got a ride-along in a new C5 Z06 at that event, my first taste of LS powah! :D

06-13-17, 01:26 PM
I let this thread lag behind during the latter half of 2016, so time to catch up again... First up were a couple of new-to-me tracks in the late summer / early fall.

Sep 2016 @ PittRace with Chin Motorsport:
PittRace, formerly known as BeaveRun, is about 45min NW of Pittsburgh. In my head I was thinking it would be a long haul to get up there, but it turns out it's about the same time to get to PittRace as it is to get to VIR, so not bad at all - right about 4 hours from home. The facility initially opened in the mid '00s, with just a 1.9-mile North Course - obviously, the name implied that there would someday be a South Course, but it took a decade or so for that to happen. They finally made the South Course (I think it opened in 2015), and although you could theoretically run 2 simultaneous events on the 2 courses, in actuality everyone just does the full course. That gives you 2.8 or 2.9 miles. Unfortunately, the old North Course portion is incredibly bumpy in spots; that's going to be resolved during fall/winter 2016. Despite the bumpiness, though, the track was great - good flow, tons of elevation change, good mix of corners - and I look forward to going back next year when it's all as smooth as the new section is already.

Unfortunately, I had some technical difficulties with the memory card for my datalogger, so all I have is the HD video (no OBDII or GPS overlays). Here's a bit over 2 laps from my 3rd session on Saturday. Watching the video now, I'm not sure why I was running the big Esses (from about 1:00 to 1:25 in the first lap) in 4th gear - probably should've gone to 3rd to let me adjust the car's balance with the throttle a bit more. Ah well... next time!


Sep 2016 @ Dominion Raceway with Potomac-Chesapeake Chapter of the Audi Club:
Shortly after the PittRace event I ran at Dominion Raceway, a track that opened in summer 2016 right off I-95 between Richmond and Fredericksburg. Very convenient for me - only 75min or so away (assuming I don't try to drive to/from there during peak hours on 95/495). The track was supposed to open in the spring, but due to construction delays (exacerbated by heavy snow in the winter and a wet spring) they didn't hold their first event until late July, I believe. And although the track is open, it's really not done yet - they've only got the first layer of asphalt down (and some nasty depressions/bumps have developed), much of the curbing isn't in the right spots and/or isn't long enough, there are significant drop-offs on the edge of the track, run-off area is limited to non-existent in spots, etc.

It's got a lot of potential, though, and I really enjoyed the course. I look forward to seeing what improvements are made in the off-season to address the issues that all of the various Mid-Atlantic clubs (SCCA PDX, NASA, Chin, PCA, etc etc) have raised.

Here are a few laps from my last session on Saturday:

That session was a lot of fun. The black RS5 let me by about mid-way through the video (so 4 or 5 laps into the session). He then hung around behind me for a few laps, so I let him back by about half-way through the session. He opened out a little, then I reeled him back in, and he let me by again and followed me for the last 7 or 8 minutes of the session. I went and talked to him afterwards - as I approached him in the paddock he was jokingly telling his wife that he had let me by because he wanted to get some footage from my rear-view camera. ;) We talked a bit about how much fun the session was, and he said to me, "You're flogging the shit out of that thing out there!" :cool:

I'll have more video to share in the coming days; I recorded with my HD camera stuck to the inside of the windshield, and an SD camera shooting off the trunk, so I need to get some software so I can do PiP like I used to do with 2 SD cameras.

06-13-17, 01:29 PM
Following up on the Dominion event, here's a clip with the picture-in-picture showing the rearview camera.


You'll note that there's some black triangular masking on the corners of the PiP - that's because I didn't have any way to verify the ChaseCam on the trunk was mounted correctly, and it turned out it was ~110deg off vertical. Oops. I downloaded a trial of Adobe Premiere Pro, which allowed me to rotate the video 110deg (Windows Movie Maker will only do 90deg increments), then put the rotated vid into the PiP. Success!

October 2016 @ Watkins Glen with Hooked on Driving (HOD):
This was my first trip to Watkins Glen since 2001. At that event I was driving my N/A Subaru Legacy, which at that time had a bone stock powertrain, so a whopping 165bhp. I was able to go WOT from turn-in at Turn 1 until I got to the Bus Stop at the end of the back straight. Even with my foot on the floor, the car would literally not accelerate through the Uphill Esses - the combination of the steep climb + cornering forces was enough that it just held speed at ~95mph until I started to unwind the wheel at the top of the Esses. :lol: Based on ancient videos (recorded on a Digital8 Sony mini-cam and transferred to my computer via FireWire 15 years ago) my lap times were in the ~2:50 range. Needless to say, the CTS-V was a slightly different story - I haven't gotten through all the videos, but looks like I was routinely in the 2:17s, and there are probably some quicker laps if I ever managed to put it all together for a solid lap.

Weather was cool both mornings, but clear and dry. HOD put on an excellent event, with plenty of track time and Ross Bentley on hand to impart some of his driving wisdom.

Note that the speedo is a bit optimistic, as my track tires are shorter than stock, so the car thinks it's going faster than it really is. But it's still hauling ass! :D I think the car was capable of going up the Esses without lifting off the throttle, but the virtual tunnel of blue Armco barriers is pretty daunting, so I couldn't bring myself to go flat through there. Maybe next time!

At about the 2:15 point I turned in a bit too early (common mistake of turning in when the car ahead of you does) and came unnecessarily close to the outside wall as I turned onto the front straight. You can kind of hear me laughing at how I almost screwed myself - "That was way closer than it needed to be!" or words to that effect.


06-13-17, 01:46 PM
Another clip from Watkins Glen, this time just the standard def rear-view camera. (As explained in the Youtube description, my windshield camera's battery had died a few minutes earlier in the session.)

Viper ACR (3375#, 645bhp, 295 front / 355 rear purpose-built R-comps, massive downforce) vs 2005 CTS-V (~3750#, ~460bhp, 275 R-comps, no downforce) in the Esses:



Edit: A pic of one of the ACR rear tires vs one of my street rears (275):

That's a lot of rubber!!

06-13-17, 02:11 PM
Nice !

Watkins glen has all sorts of railings around it, no runoff, that make you a bit nervous ?

06-13-17, 02:53 PM
My final event of the 2016 season, 3 days straight at VIR last week. Thursday and Saturday were on the 3.27mi Full Course, and Friday was on the 4.2mi Grand Course. I have more video to get through, but here's a couple laps from the Grand Course on Friday, trying to chase down a KTM X-bow. The session was cut short so I wasn't able to get the satisfaction of actually earning the point-by, but I think it was coming. :D


An added treat for this last event of the season was that I rented a session in a Radical SR3 on Saturday. Due to the way the schedule worked out, I ended up going out in the blue/intermediate group, which did detract from the experience a bit due to the more restrictive passing rules. (In my normal run group it's pass anywhere with a point, whereas the blue group only allowed passing on specific straightaways.)

As for the car itself, it was pretty awesome. I wish I had taken my camera over to get some pictures to go along with the video. Motorcycle engine, 6-speed sequential gearbox - I only touched the clutch pedal to get moving (poorly, as you'll see :lol:) and to bring it to a stop at the end. No-lift upshifts, auto-rev-matched downshifts. Shifting around 9000rpm; in 6th I was topping it out and having to ease off a little to keep it around 9k. Afterwards I asked what the top end is and the mechanic said "mid 130s" as it was geared for that event; I told him I was wanting another gear. :) So, about what the V does on the front straight, and slower than the V on the back straight, but the Radical gets to that top speed way, way sooner - in the V I'm accelerating the full length of the straight until I brake, whereas the Radical was topping out 6th gear by 1/3 - 1/2 way down the straights! Despite that, the acceleration didn't feel all that brisk compared to the V, which was kind of weird.

I think I was working the brakes pretty good (particularly on a couple passes into turn 1), but I'm sure I wasn't even scratching the surface of the cornering performance. Other than karts, which are a completely different animal, I've never driven anything that has so much more grip than typical cars. That made it awfully tough to know how to approach corners. I'm guessing if I had a speed plot of the session I would see that my cornering speeds weren't significantly higher than what I do in my cars. On the couple of occasions when I did yank it into a corner, I just started laughing at the level of grip.

I was definitely left wanting more, but it was a helluva experience, and a great way to cap off this track season.


06-13-17, 03:15 PM
A short fly-by video shot by my brother on his phone during the event at VIR back in November 2016. This is on the long back straight - he was standing in the South Paddock.


May 2017 @ PittRace with Chin Motorsports:

Here's a clip from Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Some pretty impressive hardware out there - Ferrari 458 Challenge car, Porsche GT3 Cup car, Viper Comp Coupe, plus some other "normal" cars.


PittRace is a very fun track, and they resurfaced the older 1/2 of it over the winter (the north course portion), so it's much better now than it was when I ran it for the first time last fall. Despite being on less sticky tires (Nitto NT01s this time vs Hankook Z214s last time), my best laps were ~4 seconds faster - greater familiarity with the course, grippier surface, and no need to compromise the line in a couple of spots due to the nasty bumps in the old asphalt.

06-13-17, 03:28 PM
Watkins glen has all sorts of railings around it, no runoff, that make you a bit nervous?
A little bit in a couple spots. I was never able to go flat through the uphill esses - I'm almost positive the car is capable of it, but I couldn't bring myself to keep my foot on the floor for the turn to the left (about the 0:28 point in the first Glen video). The other spot is turn 9, about the 2:00 point in that first Glen video. It's a much slower corner than the big uphill esses, but you've got that concrete wall right off the edge of the track (with lots of black marks where people have stuffed it), and I just feel like if I roll into the throttle too quickly and cause the rear end to step out, there will be very little time to correct / catch it.

When I was there way back in 2001, turn 10 was also a bit of a pucker moment, as the Armco barriers weren't far off the track at track out; now they've added decent run-off room there, so it's not nearly as daunting. I'll have to see about uploading one of my old clips from when I ran the Glen in my Subaru way back when, just to show the comparison (of the track itself, and the difference in speed between the two cars).