: First HPDE at California Speedway this past weekend



jb_bgg
08-01-11, 09:45 PM
All I can say is I think the hook has been set... The ONLY thing I've done sport-wise that was a slightly bigger adenaline rush was skydiving back in the early 90's. Car definitely had more capabilities than the driver, but by the last session after hitting 140+ on the straight and taking turns 1 & 2 at 120-125 I have a complete new respect for the NASCAR boys driving door to door through the turns @ 180+. Balls of steel, I tell ya...

Sunday one of the instructors showed up with his girlfriend's stock 2011 V Coupe auto with about 5000 miles on stock PS2's and took me out for a couple laps. Had an issue when he hit the rev limiter in 5th on the straight and the car wouldn't move into 6th gear for some reason. Seeing the way his car stuck and held gave my confidence a little boost and I trusted mine would stay put when I incrementaly increased my speeds in the turns my last session. WAAAY too much fun.

May need to pick up another set of rims and track tires at some point; my Hankook EVOs got a bit greasy by the last session the second day. Hawk HPS's worked great and not a peep out of 'em afterwards on the street (so far...)

Gary Wells
08-01-11, 10:30 PM
Congratulations, Jim. You're a much braver man than I.

Bushidopupil
08-01-11, 10:42 PM
That's awesome! I am a straight line guy, for now, but I am really looking to get the best of both worlds as far as driving excitement goes. Question for you, the Hawk HPS's you have, are they low dust during normal driving conditions?

jb_bgg
08-01-11, 11:01 PM
Can't answer on the street performance as I installed and bedded Friday night then hit the track Sat AM. Looking at the wheels from the first couple sessions when I was much lower in speeds the wheels were still pretty clean. Sunday I was heating them up pretty good and they dusted a lot more. Let you know after I wash and clean them and see how they do after a couple weeks of street driving. I don't expect them to be as clean as ceramics, but I opted for stopping power over dust.

Gary, Sunday morning my first two sessions were in the rain on a track with standing puddles in many of the corner apexes and straights. I learned more about driving, car control, and getting in tune with the car feedback in those two sessions than anything I've done in the past. Kinda white knuckle at first even at lower speeds, but once I understood where the limits were the speeds came up a bit.

Torxila
08-02-11, 10:16 AM
Silly questions: did you drive with all electronic "nannys" off or in Comp-mode? Auto or stick? PSI front vs rears.
Thanks
George

odla
08-02-11, 10:51 AM
i hope your not married because lots of time and money will be spent on doing this a lot. LOL

thebigjimsho
08-02-11, 12:35 PM
Last year I had just bought a house and had a busy summer. I ran my '09 at V-Day IV and then at the SHO Convention a few weeks later. But I wasn't into it. This year I got track wheels/tires and pads and had a blast at VIR. The bug is back for me, too. My '04 had seen dozens of track days and autocrosses...

thebigjimsho
08-02-11, 12:40 PM
Silly questions: did you drive with all electronic "nannys" off or in Comp-mode? Auto or stick? PSI front vs rears.
Thanks
GeorgeYou can still have a blast(as well as learn to drive smoothly) with everything on. I still have 4 years of payments so my ego allows me to run with nannies. But, once I get used to a track, I'll go into competitive mode.

I always am willing to accept having to fly or take the bus home. Doesn't mean I can't be a bit careful...

jb_bgg
08-02-11, 01:45 PM
TCS nanny on full both days, suspension in sport mode. My instructor was comfortable enough to ask if I wanted to kick it in to competitive mode for my last two sessions Sunday. I elected to pass as I'd gotten through thus far with no incidents and didn't want to push my luck as I was increasing my speeds, particularly on the big track. On the interior track as I got faster I got looser exiting the turns so I don't think competitive ABS mode would have helped that much; fair amount of throttle oversteer so I really had to feather it. My car is a stick and the instructor's coupe was an auto. When I rode with him I saw the same lag between gears I'd experienced when I test drove an auto but I don't know for certain which mode he was in. Nonetheless, reinforced my decision to stick with a manual.

As BJS said above, unless you're well-experienced on the track there's no reason other than ego to not keep it engaged until you get very comfortable and confident. When I did the two rain/wet track sessions 30 -40% of the cars in my group spun out, and one guy locked up his brakes and car to a dead stop going into a turn right in front of me. Pretty sure the nanny helped keep me stable and able to turn around him safely in that one. Either way, these cars are heavy and stock like mine they ride kinda high with a fair amount of body roll. Not sure I'm ready to lower it yet as I don't want to deal with the squeeks or sacrifice too much comfort in DD, but I can see a second set of wheels with track tires in my future for this car.

Bottom line is if I ever did decide to get more serious about track driving I'd buy a smaller, more nimble, less horsepower cheap car I wouldn't worry about crashing and having to insure everytime I put it on a track. Track weekends appear to be consistent around $200-300; $50K of track insurance for a two day event costs as much as the event itself, but I'm certainly not ready to gamble that big....

thebigjimsho
08-02-11, 01:54 PM
Don't forget to check your policies. Your agent will always scream "No!" but that is the lawyer-speak in them. I actually haven't checked my current policy, but the policy I had on my '04 would cover damage at HPDEs as long as it wasn't with another car. Just run-offs.

jb_bgg
08-02-11, 02:59 PM
I did check prior and with Progressive they specifically exclude all HPDE/track event usage. I didn't ask the direct question, of course; simply asked to have ALL the exclusion content emailed to me and it was near the top.

Another thing I learned when I asked why people were taping their rear plates is apparently some insurers send spotters to these events, take pics of the street cars on the track, and should that car/owner be a customer in their system they've been known to cancel their auto insurance. Not sure how true that is but I saw enough cars with taped plates to think it was a real possibility. Going to check into this one a bit more with some contacts in the business I know.

Dr. Design
08-02-11, 03:00 PM
Very cool! Glad to see more V's getting out on the track. There is another event coming up August 14th at the same track. We will have a few of our race prepped V's making a few laps. If you are in the area you should come check it out!

Thanks,

Dr. Design
D3 Cadillac


All I can say is I think the hook has been set... The ONLY thing I've done sport-wise that was a slightly bigger adenaline rush was skydiving back in the early 90's. Car definitely had more capabilities than the driver, but by the last session after hitting 140+ on the straight and taking turns 1 & 2 at 120-125 I have a complete new respect for the NASCAR boys driving door to door through the turns @ 180+. Balls of steel, I tell ya...

Sunday one of the instructors showed up with his girlfriend's stock 2011 V Coupe auto with about 5000 miles on stock PS2's and took me out for a couple laps. Had an issue when he hit the rev limiter in 5th on the straight and the car wouldn't move into 6th gear for some reason. Seeing the way his car stuck and held gave my confidence a little boost and I trusted mine would stay put when I incrementaly increased my speeds in the turns my last session. WAAAY too much fun.

May need to pick up another set of rims and track tires at some point; my Hankook EVOs got a bit greasy by the last session the second day. Hawk HPS's worked great and not a peep out of 'em afterwards on the street (so far...)

jb_bgg
08-02-11, 03:58 PM
I saw that and will likely be there. Need to understand what the difference is between the autocross @ $140 and the other FULL course for $190 for the weekend. Both events use the same track layout...

Dr. Design
08-02-11, 04:46 PM
AutoX is in the infield parking lot for the cone carvers. A big car like the CTS-V will want to stretch its legs on the big course!

We have a couple of new combinations we are taking to the track.

Thanks,

Dr. Design
D3 Cadillac


I saw that and will likely be there. Need to understand what the difference is between the autocross @ $140 and the other FULL course for $190 for the weekend. Both events use the same track layout...

JimmyH
08-02-11, 06:15 PM
hopped up miatas rule the autocross.

garfin
08-02-11, 06:53 PM
Gary, Sunday morning my first two sessions were in the rain on a track with standing puddles in many of the corner apexes and straights. I learned more about driving, car control, and getting in tune with the car feedback in those two sessions than anything I've done in the past. Kinda white knuckle at first even at lower speeds, but once I understood where the limits were the speeds came up a bit.

Great write-up! Thanks!
I totally agree with your statement about learning when tracking in the wet. I know a lot of people will choose not come out on a track day if it's raining or wet, but there's a reason why these events are a "go", rain or shine. The learning curve is definitely steeper for me as well in wet conditions!


TCS nanny on full both days, suspension in sport mode. My instructor was comfortable enough to ask if I wanted to kick it in to competitive mode for my last two sessions Sunday. I elected to pass as I'd gotten through thus far with no incidents and didn't want to push my luck as I was increasing my speeds, particularly on the big track. On the interior track as I got faster I got looser exiting the turns so I don't think competitive ABS mode would have helped that much; fair amount of throttle oversteer so I really had to feather it. My car is a stick and the instructor's coupe was an auto. When I rode with him I saw the same lag between gears I'd experienced when I test drove an auto but I don't know for certain which mode he was in. Nonetheless, reinforced my decision to stick with a manual.

As BJS said above, unless you're well-experienced on the track there's no reason other than ego to not keep it engaged until you get very comfortable and confident. When I did the two rain/wet track sessions 30 -40% of the cars in my group spun out, and one guy locked up his brakes and car to a dead stop going into a turn right in front of me. Pretty sure the nanny helped keep me stable and able to turn around him safely in that one. Either way, these cars are heavy and stock like mine they ride kinda high with a fair amount of body roll. Not sure I'm ready to lower it yet as I don't want to deal with the squeeks or sacrifice too much comfort in DD, but I can see a second set of wheels with track tires in my future for this car.

Bottom line is if I ever did decide to get more serious about track driving I'd buy a smaller, more nimble, less horsepower cheap car I wouldn't worry about crashing and having to insure everytime I put it on a track. Track weekends appear to be consistent around $200-300; $50K of track insurance for a two day event costs as much as the event itself, but I'm certainly not ready to gamble that big....

As far as the nannies are concerned, I was very surprised at how unobtrusive competitive mode is on the track in these cars. I ran Mosport last year at the Cadillac Track Experience with all the nannies on for most of the day ('cuz we had to), but then my coach allowed me to put it into competitive mode, but there was never an occasion to find out how competitive mode behaved. This year, during an open track day on the same track, I was running in competitive mode when I put the hammer down a little too quickly coming out of a turn and my ass end wanted to trade places with my front end. As far as I could tell, the stabilitrak did not kick in at all during the incident - and it was serious enough that I would have expected it to cut in.




Another thing I learned when I asked why people were taping their rear plates is apparently some insurers send spotters to these events, take pics of the street cars on the track, and should that car/owner be a customer in their system they've been known to cancel their auto insurance. Not sure how true that is but I saw enough cars with taped plates to think it was a real possibility. Going to check into this one a bit more with some contacts in the business I know.

I have heard this as well and I do remove my front plate (for unblocked air flow as well) and tape the rear. These guys are affectionately known as "bird-dogs"

Glad you had a great day and learned a ton with the ego getting in the way!!:thumbsup:

Best regards,

Elie

jb_bgg
08-02-11, 07:29 PM
When I looked at the track layout on SpeedVentures website for autox and full course they posted the same circuit which is what confused me. Yeah, the Miatas are pretty much wide open all around the infield and I wouldn't catch 'em until we hit the long straight and banked turns, then they'd pull away again coming into the infield.. pretty funny.

Gary Wells
08-02-11, 09:39 PM
Jim:
Please drop me an E-mail sometime so we can stay in touch.
>gary-l-wells@msn.com<

Vcoupe11
08-03-11, 12:20 PM
jb_bgg,
Sounds like you had a blast. I did my first couple of HPDE's last month with the V couple 6spd and was pleasantyly surprised how well the car handled.

Did you get any "rear differential overheat" messages? I got a few during the events I was at.

Gary

jb_bgg
08-03-11, 03:17 PM
No codes all weekend. Before I went I had all fluids replaced and new belts installed, etc.; all the basic stuff for a 30K mile car. Only thing I didn't do was clutch fluid; dealer wanted $300 because they have to drop the exhaust to get to the bleeder; and given no return to the clutch resevoir vacuum/turkey baster replace only gets what's in the resevoir. If I do something with the exhaust I'll get it then.

hlantin
08-03-11, 05:23 PM
jb..glad to hear about your experience! thanks for sharing...this has certainly piqued my interests and will consider this in the future..

thebigjimsho
08-03-11, 06:20 PM
piqued.

hlantin
08-03-11, 06:26 PM
edited..thanks bjs!

JimmyH
08-03-11, 06:40 PM
bjs, now that's funny

thebigjimsho
08-03-11, 06:43 PM
edited..thanks bjs!No prob. I'm hear to educate.





















wut?

thebigjimsho
08-03-11, 06:44 PM
bjs, now that's funnyIt's Tbjs to you, Jimmeh...

hlantin
08-03-11, 06:59 PM
It's Tbjs to you, Jimmeh...

apologies..i can't get anything right today..must be the lack of coffee..

thebigjimsho
08-03-11, 07:26 PM
apologies..i can't get anything right today..must be the lack of coffee..You can call me bjs. JimmyH must include T...