View Full Version : Thunderhill: Sept 19th. Be there.

09-03-2008, 06:31 PM
I know I said I was going to limit myself to Laguna this year for logistical reasons.

I lied.

I just signed up with Hooked on Driving (http://hookedondriving.com) for their September 19th event at Thunderhill Raceway Park (http://thunderhill.com). $285 is a good price. The money I don't spend on the track will go to gas getting there I suppose, and motel.

Any other takers or is it just me?

09-03-2008, 11:54 PM
I'd love to get out on the same track as you sir, but most of the 50 states lay between us.


Steve Levin
09-08-2008, 05:21 PM
I am going to be there on the 17th or 19th; not sure which at this point. My poor SRF got damaged at Sears:



09-08-2008, 05:32 PM

That is WAY more intense than anything we do in street cars. Looked like that guy with the red tail you said hello to was moving pretty aggressively. Pretty sure he traded a little paint with a yellow car earlier, and from the looks of it he slowed down as fast as he did in front of you because he hit the guy in front of him.

I'll bet you were pissed.

I thought about the 17th but the 19th was cheap enough that I could justify it more easily. Plus this is my first time on this track, and I wanted to be able to sign into the noobie group so I have an instructor nursemaiding me the line around the track. No need to pretend I know more than I do. I'll save the intermediate run group for some other time.

09-08-2008, 06:11 PM
Damn Steve, that blows bud.

Matt, no can do this month. Play time for me ends until mid Oct, work has me buired for a few weeks.

And clean out your PM box too!!. :)

09-09-2008, 10:58 AM
I'd love to get out on the same track as you sir, but most of the 50 states lay between us.


X2 on that one, Matt!! :blam:

Have Fun!! :racing: :banana:

Steve Levin
09-09-2008, 12:03 PM
Well, that kind of stuff happens on starts. I was trying to get the best start possible, and ended up in a spot where things could happen, and, well, they did. Can't really blame anyone as it happens really fast on the track. :)


Steve Levin
09-09-2008, 11:46 PM
I'm signed up for the 19th now. Matt -- you should definitely not go in the newbie group. You can still get someone to go around with you the first session or two if you want in the faster group, but I think you'll be sad in the beginner group.

There's also typically a chance in the morning before the runs start to go out and do a few parade laps, and I'd be happy to go out with you then.

In fact, if you go up 101 from your place, we could potentially rideshare up to the track and split fuel costs if you want :)


09-10-2008, 12:44 PM

HOD told me I can always be bumped up. And they pretty much told me I had to go in with the noobs since I had never been on this track. With any luck I can get signed off for solo (that seemed kind of odd for a track vendor... more like a school) and bumped up. BUT if we can get out for some early station wagon runs I am very much up for that! If it is enough to get me off the noob group so much the better. And if not, I'll take it like a man and just practice being slow and not using my brakes.

Speaking of that, dunno if you saw it but I made (yet another) pad change to the rear and lost 300 degrees off my front rotors. Looking forward to testing that out to see if it holds up.

I'll be coming up hwy 99 from Fresno on Thursday afternoon. Sounds like we'll both get hosed on fuel :-(. But I'll have my track wheels in the back and the car will be loaded with jacks and crap anyway.

Staying at the [-]Easy[/-] Super 8. Crap I should have asked you for the best motel deal. S8 was $45.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Steve Levin
09-10-2008, 02:02 PM
Well, I'm sure it'll go quickly enough. :)

If my wife comes we'll be at the Baymont because it's a bit nicer and is only about 15 dollars a night more. Otherwise I'll likely be at the Super8.


Steve Levin
09-15-2008, 01:18 AM
Come on folks...weather is supposed to be perfect and it'll be a lot of fun!


09-15-2008, 04:05 PM
Yep! I've already got my track pack list ready to go. I'll be stuffing the car full over the next couple of evenings. You can just come up and watch and thats fun too (and cheap!)

09-21-2008, 12:33 PM
OK, a quick follow up.

Thunder Hill was GREAT! A nice, technical track that is windy as hell but you can get up a nice satisfying head of steam all over it.

Hats off to Steve Levin for giving me my first run around the course in his C prior to event start, showing me the line and giving me all the tips I could handle, and more. Great seeing you again, Steve.

I was impressed with Hooked On Driving, the vendor for the day. Very safety-oriented, very professional and great people. As part of their safety program they want new drivers to start out in the beginning group regardless of experience level. I did that and despite the fact that I was cleared for solo driving early in the day, I opted to have the instructor in the car for all my runs. Given the opportunity to have a track expert in the car feeding me tips turn-by-turn in real time -- for no extra cost -- I had no intention of shortchanging myself from that freebie.

Part of the HoD philosophy that initially I was disappointed in, but I understood and agree with at the end of the day: No timing equipment. You are on the track to learn how to drive a good line. Focus on driving right, corner by corner, and the time will take care of itself. I can always use a different vendor that lets me put timing gear out once I have learned the track.

Speaking of learning tracks, I have signed up for three more track days with them:

- Monday October 27 - Buttonwillow (1st time!)
- Saturday Nov 15 - Thunder Hill (again)
- Thu Dec 4 - Laguna (again!)

And I signed up for a beginner session at Laguna. I'm pretty sure HoD wants it that way if you haven't qualified for solo or B/C Group with them, but even if they didn't... the opportunity to again have an expert driver run with me, point out my bad habits and hone my line all day long -- for free -- is just too good to pass up.

No video this time. I was concentrating on learning the line without distractions. I'll put the camera up in November.

Tire wear: None to speak of. 44 psi warm pressures were the way to go again.

Brake temps: without the front brake fans, 550 degrees. With them on, 400. Rears were consistently in the 450's-550's. ThunderHill is not so tough on brakes.

Quote of the day from one of the other instructors, who walked over after getting out of another guy's car:

"Station wagons are not supposed to be that fast!"

Steve Levin
09-22-2008, 03:18 PM
Just to add a little color to Matt's comments... some of the reasons that timing equipment is somewhat prohibited is that 1) in an environment without open passing, what does a laptime mean (unless you get a clear lap), and 2) it makes people push.

For example, at another two day event this past weekend, three cars got written off. In three HOD days, there were only a handful of spins and no actual contact incidents.

We actually did have a beacon up on Friday, because I was running my SRF and the beacon provides a "zero" for the data acquisition, but I wasn't particularly tracking laptimes other than on a casual basis. I'll have some video later.

During one of my sessions the skies opened up for a minute and it was very "Thunderdrift" for about three laps until the track dried again -- but it was fun!

I would love to instruct at the upcoming dates but unfortunately all those three conflict with our plans -- there is a year ending date at Thunderhill (Dec 13th I think) that I will certainly come and instruct at if anyone from here signs up!