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View Full Version : Laguna again yesterday (Aug 22 2008)



MattRobertson
08-23-2008, 04:00 PM
Beautiful day at the track. Great weather. The day was shared with what looks to be a big 3-day shindig of Porsche Owners Club members. SpeedVentures is sharing one session with them for the day -- as a sort of cost offset for renting the track, I imagine. Anyway, that means with only one run group, all classes of drivers are in it on the track together. The Advanced drivers are essentially semi-professional racers who mortals should not be mixing with. A half dozen of the cars were sponsored and not street legal, including a full team of supercharged Minis from hell.

There were four 25-minute sessions, which is a little different than the usual 5 20-minute sessions. I prefer five 20's as its easier on the car and you don't have so much downtime in between, although I must admit that extra time came in handy yesterday as much as it was sometimes boring.

I was a walk-on. Trying to get in after a paid no-show took them to less-than-full capacity. I barely made it in. Here's what happened, session by session:
Call to grid so hit the track. Helmet. Check. Gloves. Check. Neck ring. check. Engine on... Where the hell is the key? It was in my pocket a minute ago. Where the f*ck is the key? not on the floor. not on the passenger seat. not on (and so on for 10 minutes until key is found in tool bag). Session 1 out the window. Treat that as a learning experience. 1st session was a total cluster f*ck anyway as apparently chaos reigned among the drivers on a grand scale, with open passing, no point bys, slow cars and a whole lot of cussing going on. The after session download was like an episode of the Jerry Springer show.
On the track just fine. On advice from the tire mfr rep, maxed out the rated pressure on the tires. Total disaster. Car was almost uncontrollable, so slow going and constant point-by's the rule. The good news was we were waved in early for no apparent reason, just like Session 1.
It was determined the early wave-ins from Session 1 and 2 were because the track people thought we had 20-minute sessions. So to make up for it #3 is going to be a 35-minute marathon. Should be fun... but its going to be hard on the car. Everyone is worrying about their brakes holding up. We wind up gridding for several minutes and I discover that the car will not shift into a numbered gear. Not with the ShiftHammers and not with the stick. This happened once a year ago under identical grid conditions, and I thought it was the SH's fault. Apparently not. The tranny in some circumstance can insist it stays in 'D'. So for this 35-minute marathon I am going to run the track in 'D'. Charming. With the Mopar Performance TCM in play I still have a little downshifting help but not much. Very hard on the brakes but I take it easy and ... point people by.
Plenty of cool down time and the shifters are working again. Checked the brakes after Session 3 and no bubbles, so I didn't bleed them. In fact after only a short cool-down parade the rotors were only around 600 degrees, and this was seen consistently thru the day. More on that later. Anyway I am now on the track for my last session. The shifters are working. The tires are good to go. I can finally drive the damn car. So I do. I had a good time running down cars that, by this time in the day, figured me for a big sissy. Station wagon on the track... pfttt. Well it was a different station wagon on that run and I did well... but only 1:56 well. With 35 (thirty five) cars on the track, some slower to be gotten around and some way faster so I had to slow and let them pass, it was a tough place to try and open up. I had to quit about 5 minutes shy because... my brakes were toast. Pedal-to-the-floor toast. I should have bled them. Fortunately I was smart enough to see it coming, didn't push it too far and got off safely before they went completely dead, which they did by the time I was in the paddock.It was actually a pretty good day from a learning standpoint. I will NOT follow the credo of no-bubbles-equals-no-bleed again. If you heat up the brakes and the pedal softens up, bleed if you have the fluid, the tools and the time. Its cheap and avoids consequences like losing track time. Or crashing.

Brake temps stayed lower than I have ever seen them, and more balanced. I think this may be due to the Porterfield R-4 pads I am running in the back. The increased bite in the rear may be taking load from the front. I did engage ABS a little more than I am used to seeing (which is almost never), but it was nothing unsafe and barely a factor. Most of it was coming into Turn 2 after the straight, and as I was decelerating into the Corkscrew. Both of those are hard on the brakes. Braking performance overall was improved insofar as longevity was concerned and again the only change was the rear pads. The Polymatrix H pads in the fron and the R4 pads in the back seem to be the best combo yet.

My gear is still in the car and my numbers are still on the sides. Its a 3-day event and after a full brake bleed some time today I am going back to the track tomorrow to see if I can walk on again and get some runs in.

CoolVanilla
08-23-2008, 04:18 PM
Very nice. Give me a call if you do head out there. Maybe I can find some time to come watch.

How do those rotors look?

ChargerGirl
08-23-2008, 05:44 PM
Wow...hell of a day.. good write up!

MattRobertson
08-23-2008, 05:48 PM
How do those rotors look?A little worse I think. Nothing unexpected. At this rate of deterioration I'll get .. 4 or 5 days out of them? Works for me. The rears have some deposits on them. I was catching a vibration (not serious) and that was the source. Not sure why.

Ron380
08-23-2008, 08:35 PM
Sounds like you had a good day, despite Mr. Murphy riding shotgun! :mrgreen:

Glad to hear you picked up some more good info. to use for the next run! Hopefully the traffic will be better next time, too! :racing: :thumbs_u:

"Supercharged Coopers From Hell" LOL That should be a new car-club!! :mrgreen:

SRT8U
08-23-2008, 08:48 PM
Awesome Matt sounds like a great Track Day!

TTMR
08-23-2008, 09:09 PM
Yeah, one of these days I'm going to have to plan a road trip to get out on that track.

Wonder how many of us it would take to make getting a day or two on it almost economical?

Ron380
08-23-2008, 11:10 PM
I think we're "pretty well off" having Mid Ohio kinda nearby... we could probably make a run to Watkins Glen sometime, too... ;)

I'm eagerly awaiting info. on the new Bluegrass course in KY, too! The SCCA groups are going to be arranging a PDX or two there, I know! :mrgreen: :racing:

MattRobertson
08-24-2008, 02:30 PM
No Sunday track session for me. Too many chores :-(. I went and bled the brakes and everything yesterday too. There's always November.