: Spring Mountain Racing / road trip. Blog.

02-08-05, 06:34 PM
Well I just returned from my long road trip to Pharump, Nevada and spending three days at Spring Mountain Corvette Racing School and then competing in the ATA Taekwondo Spring Nationals in Vegas with my wife.

So perhaps some facts.

I drove from Vancouver, B.C., Canada via Sacramento - Reno on the way down, and via Reno - Klamath Falls on the way back. The drive down took 26 hours including pit stops, gas, food etc and the drive back took 22 hours of seat time. Could have done it in 20, but more on that later.

The stats for the drive from Vegas to BC.

1330 miles. Average speed 59.9 miles per hour. Gas mileage 23.4 mpg. Most highway driving was 70 - 85. Total trip was about 3600 miles in all.

The driving course is a three day event starting at 8.00 ending at 4.00. Probably have about 4 hours of class time at most over the three days and LOTS of seat time. EXCELLENT course and great instructors. The whole group there were fabulous. There were 8 of us in the class and 5 of the others had some degree of experience. We used 6 2004 ZO6's and two white C6's. On the final day I was able to hot lap and time the Caddy :)

Random thoughts, in no order.

Although we all complain about the life expectancy of the F1 Supercar tires, they are UNBELIEVABLE on a track. Candidly, they are wasted on a daily driven street car. The Vettes had them as well. I was STUNNED at now much a street tire could take and stay planted. VERY impressed. However, I had about 10,000 miles on them when I got there and they were completely toast at the end of the day. My plans called for replacing them in Oregon on the way home due to no sales tax. The fronts were bald. I got some GSD3's for $988 - including the Discount Tire replacement "warranty". First impressions are good and perhaps just a hint softer ride.

The three instructors all took my car for a ride. Although GM does a TON of winter testing at this track - they have had the CTSV, the CTSvR cars and they are testing the new ZO6 there today and tomorrow - the instructors had not been able to drive a V car before. They were very complementary. One driver had a personal best of 1.54 in the Z06 and managed a 1.575 on his third and final lap in my car. He figured a 1.56 would be possible. I think that is pretty good comparative number to the Z.

My best in a Z was 2.018 and my best in the V was 2.06.

Active handling (Vette) and Stabilink are VERY impressive and non-invasive. Indeed many times the only reason I knew it had been activated was after the fact when it blinks. Both systems are REALLY smooth. Of course, the idea is that you do NOT want them to engage. Also heel - toe shifting is a misnomer. Its "...ball of your foot, rolling over to your pinky-toe shifting." But I got it down and now it seems like I do it all the time in the Caddy. :) Its fun.

I went as a passenger with one of the instructors in the Caddy. Must have only been about 25 but had been at the track for 8 years. Victor. Mexican chap. Great guy, very cool and controlled. He took me for a leasurely drive in the V and managed a 2.04 and downshifted to second about three times - I had only down it once - and was as smooth as greased weazel poop. man the motor sounds great when in the hands of a good driver.

Top speed in the V on the back straight was 103. Most corners were 40 - 70. I'm not sure exactly WHO achieved it but the new g-meter readings are 1.17 and 1.22 (previous was 1.07 - .99).

Also, I did not experience wheel hop at anytime. that being said, I was shifting from 3 to 4 but Victor would downshift to second three times on each lap. However, they teach you to squeeze the gas (and the brake) and not hammer it. thus the smooth application of torque did not cause any wheel hop.

Whilst I was down there I got a used B&B installed - I bought it off a board member. Sounds great in the car and no regrets. The other guys at the track said the car sound great around the track but I have not replayed my video yet to hear myself. Two thumbs up to B&B.

At Klamath Falls we had to stop and overnight because of snow. The drive from there to Eugene WA would normally take about 2.5 hours but the next morning I had my heart in my throat as I drove on the hard pack snow at about 30 - 40 mph. In spite of the bald fronts and sketchy rears I only had one scare. Driving a steady speed up a gentle grade to the summit, the rear starts to slide out at 55 mph and the TC comes on - of no use of course. However after an intial panic and letting off the gas, I was able to practice my training which was to get back on the gas just a little to keep the rear from getting squirelly. No harm down but damn scary.

In summary, this was a BLAST. EVERYONE should try and do one of these course and I'll be back for the level 2 course one day.

Also, whilst I was down there I saw two parked, black V cars and one silver one on the street moving. One black one was at the tournament. An '05 with an after-market exhaust and CA plate. Also had a "LG Motorsports" sticker on the back. I managed to snap some pictures of both cars and left a message for the owner to come here to the boards. Are you out there? The other was at a hotel garage, Mandalay Bay I think. I think it was an '04 but it had both the '04 antenna and it appeared to also have the '05 one *shrug*

PS: I was first in sparring in my ring of 10 and my wife came 2 in sparring in her ring of 16. Don't mess with us when we are out for a stroll. :)

02-08-05, 08:45 PM
Great write up sounds like you had a great time! I'm envious. I'm dying to get my V on a track somewhere. The local police have about had it with my 4 wheel drifts into my neighborhood. They're very narrow minded. Congrat's on the sparring as well. Tough sport.

02-08-05, 10:23 PM
Actually the sparring is not THAT physical. One wears foot gear, gloves, head gear, chest protector and shin guards. Mostly kicking to the body and head. I'm a brown belt in the 40-49 division. A few bruises to the arms and upper shoulders but don't get to badly hurt.

02-08-05, 11:04 PM
Thanks for your review of Spring Mountain. I'm taking the 3-day course on March 14-16. Sounds like it's money well spent. I'm just disappointed that you didn't get to run your V flat out. I've done 6 track day events and got the V up to 145 at Pocono. And at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen did north of 125.

02-09-05, 03:05 AM
The reason you didn't see my V, is cause it's moving too damn fast. (BANG!) J/K:histeric: Glad you had a good time at the track and in your events. I thought about taken a run out there when I read your last post, but work tied me up.:disappoin
Guess I better sign up and get out there and use up the rest of my runflats. Sounds like too much fun.