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      03-06-2011, 02:06 PM   #1
Skelekitty
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Talking First Track Day - "Squeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Finnegan and I had our very first track day yesterday to celebrate one year with the Skelemobile! We took track school with NCRC (NorCal Racing Club) at Thunderhill Raceway just north of us here in the CA central valley.

OH.

MY.

GOD!



Short version: I'm addicted. I know this because I can barely stay awake today and wish I were back on the track. Even though it's pouring rain. LOL!

I learned a lot of interesting and useful tidbits of information yesterday, amoung which were:
  • Do NOT put your Z4M into sport mode, no matter what your friend in the e46 SMG M3 says. (I finally figured that out on my last session.)
  • BRAKE BEFORE TURN 11 and take it slowly
  • Don't bother looking for the track at the top of turn 5. It was there last time, it will most likely be there again this time.
  • Learn how to exit the track when no-one else is so that when you get a black flag during the flag exercise, you don't look like the jerk who ignores the flaggers - just like the one who can't get off the track

Everyone* was unbelievably awesome. The instructors are passionate about what they do and great at explaining and everything ran like clockwork! We met some cool people, including 'Todd with the 3.0,' who I hope stops lurking on this board and starts posting. I even got to ride along with one of the instructors so I could get some step-by-step instruction on his line and braking/acceleration. It was fabulous.

Yes. There were pics... http://www.flickr.com/photos/misskri...7626209040880/



*"Everyone" does not include the douchebag in the Mitsubishi Evo who was being a total JERK to everyone and rattled me by taking the apex of a turn away from me as I was setting up my line (our group was NOT supposed to pass in corners and were only allowed to pass if we were pointed by). I heard he was black flagged though...
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Last edited by Skelekitty; 03-06-2011 at 02:31 PM.
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      03-06-2011, 02:24 PM   #2
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hehehe..... But did you like it?


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      03-06-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inTgr8r View Post
hehehe..... But did you like it?


LULZ!
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      03-06-2011, 02:46 PM   #4
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Yeah, she liked it "just a bit"! That's me in the silver 07 STI behind Skelekitty in some of the photos....

The guy in the Evo did get black flagged and was NASCAR drafting all over my ass too through the no-passing sections (this was "Driver's School" first day track stuff--no need for that ****). Man, what a douche. Thing was modded to hell too with a giant ass wing. I will say this--it was one hell of a fast car.

The Z4M is so much fun on the track! I drove the Z4M for the last session of the day (in the wet) and it was way more fun than the STI. The off camber turns (3 and 5a) were a real PITA in the STI and a breeze in the Z4M even wet (I only drove the STI on a dry track).
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      03-06-2011, 03:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skelekitty View Post

*"Everyone" does not include the douchebag in the Mitsubishi Evo who was being a total JERK to everyone and rattled me by taking the apex of a turn away from me as I was setting up my line (our group was NOT supposed to pass in corners and were only allowed to pass if we were pointed by). I heard he was black flagged though...
Look on the bright side, you started to learn how to enter a turn 'at speed' off line and compensate...
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      03-06-2011, 03:16 PM   #6
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Cool! I've had a couple driving classes, but never been brave enough to track my own car. The prices of NorCal RC seem reasonable.
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      03-06-2011, 03:36 PM   #7
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Seems like loads of fun! Track days are extremely addictive... I wanted to go to Thunderhill this weekend but it is a bit of stretch for me from SD...
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      03-06-2011, 03:55 PM   #8
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Look on the bright side, you started to learn how to enter a turn 'at speed' off line and compensate...
Hm. You make a good point, there!
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      03-06-2011, 03:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipkiller View Post
Look on the bright side, you started to learn how to enter a turn 'at speed' off line and compensate...
Yep--that's what I told her too! Guy was jerk but she didn't off or miss the turn. And she was smart enough to come off the track too since she was pissed off about it. No sense in driving when in that state.
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      03-06-2011, 03:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santov View Post
Cool! I've had a couple driving classes, but never been brave enough to track my own car. The prices of NorCal RC seem reasonable.
They ARE! They put on a very well organized and complete program, but you're not paying for Jeeves to wipe the imported brie and baguette crumbs from the corners of your mouth as you eat lunch with your pinkies in the air. We brought sandwiches, but there was a lunch counter/grill/cafe that was open (and the fries were AWESOME). You're also not paying for one-on-one in car instruction, which I would like to do at some point, but I felt like yesterday was an incredible value for $125-ish.
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      03-06-2011, 04:04 PM   #11
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Did the brakes hold up OK?
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      03-06-2011, 04:30 PM   #12
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Brakes held up fine, but I don't think we're good enough to really tax them!

Prior to the track day both cars were set up with new DOT 4 fluid and Stoptech Street Performance dual-use pads. I talked to Zeckhausen and they said these were good up to "moderate" track use--figured they were just fine for track noobs.

No fade and going into turns 10 and 14 speeds were pretty high (I wasn't looking at the speedo) and these are pretty slow speed corners (heavy braking). I was well into 5th in the STI and into 4th with the Z4M prior to those corners. Speeds going into turn 1 were high as well, but you don't need to slow that much (relatively) for that corner. Some brake pad smell with the Z4M but none with the STI (STI has bigger pads and Brembos front and rear). No smoking or other issues and pedal feel remained constant. But like I said, we're not good enough to really get deep into throttle and brake heavily on the rest of the track.

BTW I like the Stoptech SPs on the street better too. More progressive and better feel than the stock pads on both cars. So far quiet too.
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      03-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
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BTW I like the Stoptech SPs on the street better too. More progressive and better feel than the stock pads on both cars. So far quiet too.
What he said! I love 'em!
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      03-06-2011, 06:54 PM   #14
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Awesome Flkr pics ... Glad you had fun!! Noticed that although starting you were behind an M3, however on the track the M3 was eating some of your dust...LOL
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      03-06-2011, 09:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
Yep--that's what I told her too! Guy was jerk but she didn't off or miss the turn. And she was smart enough to come off the track too since she was pissed off about it. No sense in driving when in that state.
Coming in and/or letting people like that go is a good idea. Those type of people in beginner/intermediate groups with gobs of power who think they are race car drivers because they are on a track end up driving themselves off the road fairly quickly if they have open track anyway...
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      03-06-2011, 09:14 PM   #16
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I think a front splitter would look good on your car......
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      03-07-2011, 01:06 AM   #17
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Finnegan, when did you get an STI?

I've been away from the boards a bit (mostly to avoid torturing myself, since I can't drive the M). That all changes soon!

I've been hooked since my first track day last year as well. Already signed up for the first DE of the year with our local BMWCCA chapter.
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      03-07-2011, 07:45 AM   #18
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what exactly does sqqquuueeeee mean? i was trying to decide if it meant excitement, or it was the sound of tires squealing lol.
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      03-07-2011, 12:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Finnegan, when did you get an STI?

I've been away from the boards a bit (mostly to avoid torturing myself, since I can't drive the M). That all changes soon!

I've been hooked since my first track day last year as well. Already signed up for the first DE of the year with our local BMWCCA chapter.
We, like you, are hooked. Lucid warned us about this last year, and the instuctors said about 30% of people end up more or less hooked. I can't remember when I've had that much fun and all I can think about is the next time out (April 1).

Bought it more or less by accident at the end of last year. That's what you get when you run by the dealership to get a lightbulb I guess (no, I'm not joking). I really need to stay away from car dealerships....

It's the "limited edition" w/o the giant wing, full leather, more sound insulation, etc. (the "old person's STI"). With the Cayman S and the Z4M we really needed a four seater, and my 95 GSR 4 door wasn't something that you'd want to take on a long trip or out in bad weather (it leaked). It was a good deal, and with some M+S all season tires and AWD works well in the wet and snow (taking it to Tahoe for example).

Honestly, I can't really justify having three cars at this point from a long-term financial perspective, and the Cayman will probably need to go (most expensive to feed and care for). The Z4M is a keeper, so it stays, no questions on that!

The Scooby is super-cheap to modify as parts are cheap due to the huge market and repairs are pretty cheap too. A some more negative camber (darn stock setting on the STI are a mere -.3) and ARBs and it should help handling and we'll have two cars that met our needs.

I'm going to take the Cayman to the track the next time and see how that goes and reserve my final decision until then. But it's going to be really hard to justify three cars when two will do. Money can go to savings and investments and--wait for it--more track days and associated expenses (R3 equipment, instruction, seat time, tires, brakes, maintenance)!
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      03-07-2011, 01:24 PM   #20
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That is the best looking Z4M out there! It was nice to meet you three @ T-hill
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      03-07-2011, 02:27 PM   #21
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That is the best looking Z4M out there! It was nice to meet you three @ T-hill

Same here!
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      03-07-2011, 09:11 PM   #22
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what exactly does sqqquuueeeee mean? i was trying to decide if it meant excitement, or it was the sound of tires squealing lol.
LOL!!! It's a girlie expression of excitement. There is a certain amount of irony implied when I use it (as I'm not a girl who ever "squeeed.") I can see why you'd think it was tires though! HA!
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