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View Full Version : Putting Together My 2009 Track Schedule



MattRobertson
12-16-2008, 04:20 AM
Here it is so far. [-]Two[/-] Three new CA tracks (Infineon, Streets of Willow and Willow's big track). The Aug and Sep ThunderHill dates might get replaced... HoD is the only group that is talking about the last half of 2009 so if another vendor gives out a date to another track I want to visit I can jump ship. Nothing but more Thunderhill stuff late in the year. Too soon to call any of that.

HoD is doing Laguna on March 18 but I want to do Infineon and am not willing to give that one up two days later. Or am I? HoD is doing a 2-day in July there.

http://foohbar.com/magnum/trackschedule2009.gif

MattRobertson
12-19-2008, 06:11 PM
Welp, I just made it official for January 29. I'm signed up for Buttonwillow.

DadsSRT8
12-26-2008, 07:28 PM
Matt... I may have to cruise up and see you.. we just finished BW on 12/21...is your SV event the 24th or 29th???

MattRobertson
12-26-2008, 07:55 PM
January 24th. And come on down (or up or whatever). I am trying to talk Cam into the same day. I think he's up for it.

DadsSRT8
12-26-2008, 11:00 PM
Ok it is marked in .. I will see you in a few weeks on Sat.

btw can I ask you what sepcs are you using for wheel alignment?? if you care to share your set up..

HMS put in -1 on my camber but I think they went the wrong way as my lt front is showing more wear on the outer edge.. especially after my last track day.. normally the little pointer arrows at the treads edge is where the tire wear shows (except the lt front is past that point and coming down on the vertical edge of the tire).. my pressures are good and the other 3 tires are wearing to the top pointer.. I am going in next week to have it checked..

I got bumped up late last year so now I am runnng against some more tricked out cars (Z06/7, M series, EVO's, Acura's, modified Hondas and Porsches and others) I guess it is time to get a set of R compund tires and put my sway bars back on... :) or go spend some money on my BMW...

Tnx...

MattRobertson
01-03-2009, 07:57 PM
Sorry bud I missed your post. I don't have the specs. Mine was done as a part of my Pedders install. Was supposed to be a streetable road race alignment, but I was told at the time when they tried to do it they couldn't get it to the requested spec. Dunno what it exactly worked out to be. Mike (dms-motorsport) would be the best to ask as he set up the specifics based on my feedback.

Good luck on the R compounds. They don't exist for 20's unless something recent just showed. If you find them... let me know!

BTW I altered the schedule on the first post. Dates added. I will probably not do the 2-day event at Infineon in July, skip July entirely and instead do two dates in June and *three* in August... the Laguna date doesn't really count for me on traveling cuz I'm just driving down the road. Hell, I buy my groceries at a Safeway thats closer to the track than my house.

Ron380
01-03-2009, 08:11 PM
Gosh Dang It All!! You have SpeedVentures AND HoD doing events in Cali... t'ain't nuttin' like that out here... :cry:

TTMR
01-03-2009, 08:32 PM
Hate to say it Ron, I'm kinda glad. I'd be so very broke if we had more track opportunities!

Ron380
01-03-2009, 09:00 PM
Oh, I dunno... Matt's got us 2 or 3 of his to one of ours, with the prices they're posting! :cry: :cry:

Still eagerly awaiting the opening of Bluegrass, though! ;)

DadsSRT8
01-04-2009, 02:13 AM
Gosh Dang It All!! You have SpeedVentures AND HoD doing events in Cali... t'ain't nuttin' like that out here... :cry:

and we also have NASA, Open Track, Track Master and Speed Trials as well.. but look what we have to put up with out here with all of the governmental regulations telling us when and where we can do anything and the minority opinion outweighs the majority consensus in most cases...

but you guys do have mid Ohio, Road America (Elkhart Lake).. see here http://www.nasaproracing.com//

DadsSRT8
01-04-2009, 02:22 AM
Sorry bud I missed your post. I don't have the specs. Mine was done as a part of my Pedders install. Was supposed to be a streetable road race alignment, but I was told at the time when they tried to do it they couldn't get it to the requested spec. Dunno what it exactly worked out to be. Mike (dms-motorsport) would be the best to ask as he set up the specifics based on my feedback.

Good luck on the R compounds. They don't exist for 20's unless something recent just showed. If you find them... let me know!

BTW I altered the schedule on the first post. Dates added. I will probably not do the 2-day event at Infineon in July, skip July entirely and instead do two dates in June and *three* in August... the Laguna date doesn't really count for me on traveling cuz I'm just driving down the road. Hell, I buy my groceries at a Safeway thats closer to the track than my house.

I had the alignment checked this past week and my RT FT was off by a couple of degrees.. HMS fixed up and it may be due to regular driving, pot hole, or when the Pedders settled some..

I am checking with car buddies to see if they are interested in the Feb date... cause i just love that track.. maybe we will hook up then....

I see you in a couple of weeks.. and if you want give you the skinny on BW.. cotton corners and Majic mtn recently renamed Phil Hill, sunset and sunrise.. you can make big time up here if you set them up right..even if you are driving a station wagon.. however if you don't things can go really wrong...

Hemi Family
01-04-2009, 12:51 PM
Here it is so far. [-]Two[/-] Three new CA tracks (Infineon, Streets of Willow and Willow's big track). The Aug and Sep ThunderHill dates might get replaced... HoD is the only group that is talking about the last half of 2009 so if another vendor gives out a date to another track I want to visit I can jump ship. Nothing but more Thunderhill stuff late in the year. Too soon to call any of that.

HoD is doing Laguna on March 18 but I want to do Infineon and am not willing to give that one up two days later. Or am I? HoD is doing a 2-day in July there.

http://foohbar.com/magnum/trackschedule2009.gif

Matt - Looks like a lot of time, money and fun! I've been wanting to get in on track days since I picked up the MSRT8. Can you fill in a newcomer a bit with any rules, regs, car and driving preparation one would need for these events? Is this full competetive racing or just track laps? Assuming I can't do the full schedule you've outlined what would be your reccomended (don't miss) events? I've done the Skip Barber Racing school many years ago but they didn't allow passing in the one day schools. I'd love to join you and learn from your experience.

Thanks!

DadsSRT8
01-04-2009, 04:44 PM
Matt - Looks like a lot of time, money and fun! I've been wanting to get in on track days since I picked up the MSRT8. Can you fill in a newcomer a bit with any rules, regs, car and driving preparation one would need for these events? Is this full competitive racing or just track laps? Assuming I can't do the full schedule you've outlined what would be your recommended (don't miss) events? I've done the Skip Barber Racing school many years ago but they didn't allow passing in the one day schools. I'd love to join you and learn from your experience.

Thanks!

Not to jump on Matt's reply, but there are many different venues to grow your driving kills, some of the organized events are sponsored on by NASA, Open Track, Track Master, Speed Ventures and Speed Trials as well. They all have web sites.. In your area you have Thunder Hill, Infineon ( Sears Pt) and Laguna in close proximity.

Most of these type events are HPDE where you start out with limited passing zones if any at the beginning of the day and you work your way up at your own pace. These are not competitive events at the lower levels. but there may be competitions during the day.

Some events have individual instructors while other venues have an instructor for 4 - 5 people and you do lead follow.. it varies.. Safety is paramount, but with that said I have seen over aggressive drivers stack up their cars..

In NASA you are signed off by the regional staff before you progress..

SMKG HOT
01-04-2009, 04:51 PM
I want to go...........

MattRobertson
01-05-2009, 04:59 PM
DadsSRT8 has pretty well covered the bases. A couple quick additions:

HPDE = High Performance Driving Event. Not racing unless you get into the upper classes of SOME but not all vendors. And by 'racing' it means a bunch of competitive guys where - in its most liberal form - 'open passing' is allowed anywhere on the track. 'Open passing' means you can pass where you see fit without a 'point-by'. A point-by is another driver seeing you fill his mirrors and sticking his arm out the window pointing and thus letting you by. Point-by rules vary by vendor. TYPICALLY they involve the slower driver lifting and moving out of the driving line to allow the faster driver to pass so his faster-traveling auto has the safest line to travel at speed. I've run with one vendor who did the opposite though... the slower driver stays on line and more or less on-throttle and the passing driver has to move out of line, pass and move into line again. The idea being if you can't do that safely then don't pass.

In terms of prep, there can be very little or a LOT. For the "lot" side, look at my car and its history. With an SRT you'd be capable of going straight onto the track, but if you want to keep doing it there would be things you'd want to upgrade. And you will be using up tires and brake pads at a rate you don't think is possible right now :-)

But at minimum you are going to want to *know* that your car is going to hold together. An inspection is not the world's worst idea. Ideally, you would make sure your brake pads are new or near it and put in fresh hi temp fluid. You probably won't have a problem but until you know what your wear patterns are going to be you should err on the safe side... we've seen some awfully hard wear on some guys' brake systems, myself included.

One of these days I am going to finally put up my "what I take to the track" thread. Its quite a list, but then again I have a station wagon so I have the room to bring *everything*, including a recliner.

DadsSRT8
01-05-2009, 10:48 PM
Matt R
"One of these days I am going to finally put up my "what I take to the track" thread. Its quite a list, but then again I have a station wagon so I have the room to bring *everything*, including a recliner."

but see Matt is real crazy about this stuff... :thumbs_u: I am not quite so crazy, but I started with a SRT.. I check my brakes, tires and bring a real BIG cooler.... and then go to sleep on Matt's recliner when he is not using it.... :mrgreen:.. or if Matt is not around go to sleep in the back of my station wagon...

MattRobertson
01-06-2009, 01:13 AM
:D

Hey, get your ass signed up at Buttonwillow for the 24th. I checked today and it is filling up FAST. No way is it going to get cancelled now.

Hemi Family
01-06-2009, 10:43 AM
Thanks guys, I think I'll join you on one of the local tracks...I gotta get a helmet, or maybe borrow one for an event to see if I'm going to be doing more of this. I hope it is not as addicting as I've heard, I've got plenty of irons in the fire already.

A couple more questions;

1. Should I go through any effort to protect the front of the car from track debris?
2. I've been racing on two wheels most of my life with some minimal instruction/experience in four wheel racing, should I assume to be a begginer or try intermediate?

Thanks!

MattRobertson
01-06-2009, 01:25 PM
I gotta get a helmet, or maybe borrow one for an event to see if I'm going to be doing more of this.Check with the vendor well in advance to see if they will rent you a helmet. But remember your day is over before it starts if they forget them or sell them out on-track or something.

For a good, cheap helmet, go to http://saferacer.com and look at the SA 2005 certified helmets. You should probably get a full face helmet if total safety is your concern. I personally wear open face. My helmet was $149. Motorcycle helmets usually don't count. The certified helmets have lots more padding and fireproof linings.


1. Should I go through any effort to protect the front of the car from track debris?
Some people cover their headlights with blue tape. Me, I don't bother anymore. Its your call. Generally a track is pretty clean, but you never know. I bet you'll start out covering the lights and then say to hell with it if you get into this, as track days and conditions become more routine to you.

2. I've been racing on two wheels most of my life with some minimal instruction/experience in four wheel racing, should I assume to be a begginer or try intermediate?
Beginner! Start out slow and work your way up. Ignore your motorcycle experience completely, except to tell the instructor you have it. You are going to be driving a bus on a race track and I guarantee you the experience is going to be different even from another car more suited to track driving. I drove for two years without instruction, then earlier this year decided to step back and go to A group with a vendor that offered a LOT of instruction. Thats HookedOnDriving.com and since you are in NorCal I *strongly* recommend you use them. They put instructors in the car with you for free, and they're all about education. I learned a lot about breaking a ton of bad habits and my 4 or 5 days with them last year gave me a big leg up. Plus they cater a damn good lunch.

Thunder Hill is pretty close to you and thats where you want to go. They have a season opener there on Jan 31 you ought to consider.

MattRobertson
01-06-2009, 04:02 PM
Schedule updated. I changed off of the Speedventures Infineon date of March 20 and moved to March 21 with NASA, and signed up for that day. The 21st is a Saturday so that helps with work a little, and since I have not run with NASA yet they will put me into HPDE 1, which is the noob group. This is not ideal for ass-hauling but I would prefer a babysitter my first time on that track. I had good experience with HoD where, once the instructor saw I wasn't really a noob, s/he adjusted their instruction accordingly and from there all I had to deal with was traffic.

Which is the main worry with NASA events. I hear they pack 'em onto the track. On the other hand, it was cheap at $179. That seems to be a big plus for NASA stuff. Their dates are mostly on weekends and inexpensive... relatively.

I'm planning at least one more Infineon day this year and I could wind up doing more. I'll go fast some other time and treat this day as a learning experience.

DadsSRT8
01-06-2009, 10:02 PM
Schedule updated. I changed off of the Speedventures Infineon date of March 20 and moved to March 21 with NASA, and signed up for that day. The 21st is a Saturday so that helps with work a little, and since I have not run with NASA yet they will put me into HPDE 1, which is the noob group. This is not ideal for ass-hauling but I would prefer a babysitter my first time on that track. I had good experience with HoD where, once the instructor saw I wasn't really a noob, s/he adjusted their instruction accordingly and from there all I had to deal with was traffic.

Which is the main worry with NASA events. I hear they pack 'em onto the track. On the other hand, it was cheap at $179. That seems to be a big plus for NASA stuff. Their dates are mostly on weekends and inexpensive... relatively.

I'm planning at least one more Infineon day this year and I could wind up doing more. I'll go fast some other time and treat this day as a learning experience.

Matt.. don't worry about going slow.. you will get to go as fast as you want and can safely perform in NASA... .. like everyone I stared in HPDE1 and yes they usually run HPDE1 & 2 on the track together.. likewise HPDE 3 & 4 go together at the same time as well...

that being said you have your passing zones and believe me you are encouraged to pass (safely of course) if you arecomfortable with it.. my experience is as long as you are in control and not going off or putting wheels off .. then go challenge your skills... and haul as much butt as you want too..

I would line up at the end of 1 and then work my way to the mid pack of HPDE 2.. it is fun... HPDE 2 has some very capable drivers...

As mentioned ealier NASA prefers the passee to maintain the line while lifting on the throttle and let the passer go by on the off line... the passer hass all of the responsibility to make sure they can complete the pass safely...

I found in my last 3 evetns that I am working on gettng smoother into the tuns on to the brakes and gas... and then you watch your lap times drop .. it is easier on you and the equipment..

I want to get a tire temp tool to measure the tire temps (inner/mid/outer) to see how the car is doing on its setup and adjust either the pressures, shocks or sways accordingly...

Ron380
01-06-2009, 10:03 PM
Hey Matt, you may have seen it already, but I found this instructional video for "Streets of Willow Springs", thought you might get some use out of it! The driver is in a Honda S2000, so it's a RWD car. That's practically an autocross course! I'd love to try it with my AWD! :mrgreen:

s8oD2_Dh5e4

"You paid for the whole track, so use the whole track!" LOL! So True!

MattRobertson
01-07-2009, 01:57 AM
yup its a tight little sucker :-)

Steve Levin
01-09-2009, 05:26 PM
With regards to car prep, I have a slightly different take on it than Matt. When I had my 300SRT-8 I just gave up a little here and there (for example, lifted a couple of seconds earlier on the straight, and used a longer time to haul the car down) and I did not use up brakes the way Matt does. Now, I used up tires at a pretty quick clip because I wasn't giving up anything in the corners, but I firmly believe that you can get a whole lot of brake "life" if you give up 2 or 3 seconds a lap.

And as a beginner you certainly want to focus on maximum threhold braking last. You can easily do a large number of track days before all you are left with to go faster is using your brakes harder.

And at that point, you can consider a lot of options. Especially given the cost of consumables on a 4,000+ pound car, you can consider renting real race cars for between $800-1000/day, hammer the living snot out of them, and then hand them back at the end of the day and not have to worry about consumables, etc. And the fun thing is that if you spin off track in a race car, it's typically no big deal. (and it will ALWAYS be less of a deal than in a unibody car).

Although Jan 31st (HOD Thunderhill) will represent 3 weekends in a row that I'm at a track (racing at Phoenix on the 17/18, Cal Speedway 23/24), I should be there as an instructor, so PM me so we can be sure to touch base.

Steve

MattRobertson
01-09-2009, 05:43 PM
Good advice Steve. Following it last time, last session at Laguna, I wound up having a firm pedal at the end of the session, and I am still using that same fluid in the car. That never happened before. I'm working on smoothing everything I do out and, once I have that taken care of (or at least I can *do* it) I'll start to try and go faster. I think I can do more by changing how I exit turns than I can hauling ass up to them until the last second.

DadsSRT8
01-23-2009, 11:05 PM
Matt ... see you in the morning... I will be driving up form LA leaving at O dark thirty...

MattRobertson
01-24-2009, 01:37 AM
Matt ... see you in the morning... I will be driving up form LA leaving at O dark thirty...
OUTSTANDING!

I am here already. Ah yes the glamorous life of the race car driver I'm living. Here at the palatial Red Roof Inn at picturesque, posh Exit 268. Life is a banquet.

:-)

Weather looks like its gonna be great. Warm and no rain. It freaking poured most of the way down. You can recognize my car cuz it has most of Northern California stuck to it from all the rain and highway driving I have done over the last week (over 1000 miles).

TTMR
01-24-2009, 08:55 PM
Well did you boys have fun?

Carfinish
01-27-2009, 06:04 PM
:popcorn::popcorn: what happened???..I see no other threads

MattRobertson
01-27-2009, 06:35 PM
oops! Sorry! I've been really thrashed at work and I am hoping to get the video and writeup done for posting tonight.

Short version: Incredible. It was an episode of The Keystone Kops Go To The Track. A season of NASCAR doesn't have this many crashes. I came out in one piece, but I also have a brain.

I told DadsSRT8 that I was not only glad to see him for the day and hang out... I was REALLY glad he was there as a witness, otherwise nobody was going to believe the story.

Details should prove entertaining.

Carfinish
01-27-2009, 10:27 PM
will be waiting... this sounds good... at least you made it out in 1 piece

FlyByU
01-27-2009, 10:42 PM
LOL, hope you caught some of it on video :)

RobAGD
01-27-2009, 10:45 PM
I am very tempted to call a randy on you for that !

I can't wait

-R

CoolVanilla
01-27-2009, 11:01 PM
I am very tempted to call a randy on you for that !http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z260/JasonWilliamPics/Friends/Matt%20Robertson/MattsDuneBuggy1.jpg

RobAGD
01-27-2009, 11:34 PM
Buwhahahaha

-r

DadsSRT8
01-28-2009, 02:35 AM
oops! Sorry! I've been really thrashed at work and I am hoping to get the video and writeup done for posting tonight.

Short version: Incredible. It was an episode of The Keystone Kops Go To The Track. A season of NASCAR doesn't have this many crashes. I came out in one piece, but I also have a brain.

I told DadsSRT8 that I was not only glad to see him for the day and hang out... I was REALLY glad he was there as a witness, otherwise nobody was going to believe the story.

Details should prove entertaining.

Yes I was there with Matt and I have never seen faster laps time into the pits than his group.. I swear that if he got in 6 laps w/o some dee dee dee in the group going off was amazing.. bad part is that last week if you went wheels off you need a hook to get out of the mud..

dont get me stared with the guy in the Corolla who thought that by jerking the steering wheel so he could to get some wheel noise was real getting the hang of it.. including the time he looped it out of turn going on the straight; then turned around twice in the middle of track drove against traffic for about 30 yards just to go into the pit entrance...

Matt would have had some faster lap times but he was dodging bullets...

Matt will fill in the details but getting the tire pressure right was a chore as the weather was cool to moderate.. but he does love to bleed his brakes..

Good eats afterward s though...

RobAGD
01-28-2009, 03:35 AM
Good eats afterward s though...

:shock:

hahaha

-R

DadsSRT8
01-28-2009, 11:26 PM
:shock:

hahaha

-R

Clarification on Good Eats.. after the event concluded we went to a local place that for the price the food was very decent and better than most places.. there was no rice involved...

concussion
01-29-2009, 01:38 AM
:popcorn: :rock: :popcorn:

MattRobertson
01-29-2009, 02:13 AM
... there was no rice involved...But plenty of dead animals!

The video all sucks. But I've got some usable. It'll go up tomorrow.

RobAGD
01-29-2009, 02:30 AM
lol

-R

ps - Matt dont forget that PM from a few days ago <poke><poke>

Hemi Family
10-01-2009, 10:34 AM
Matt - Are you still running at Infineon Oct. 9th?

MattRobertson
10-01-2009, 02:47 PM
Yup!

Hemi Family
10-02-2009, 06:04 PM
I finally cleared my schedule so I'm in...what are you doing for a tow hook or tow location on your Mag?

MattRobertson
10-02-2009, 09:54 PM
Outstanding! You are signed up with TrackMasters? http://trackmasters-racing.com

I actually had a front and rear hook manufactured into the car. I used Rennline steel hooks. Nowadays they have a mounting receptacle at their online store (http://www.rennline.com/Mounts-Receivers/products/664/) that I bet would be as good or better than the setup [email protected] made for me. Weld that sucker to the frame, poke a hole for your fascia and you are done.

Hemi Family
10-03-2009, 02:31 AM
What is the advantage of signing with TrackMasters over Speed Ventures? They mention instruction but I didn't see anything firm or additional pricing. The Speed Ventures package I was going with had 2 sessions of instruction $80, transponder $20 + entry fee for the day.

"Weld that sucker to the frame, poke a hole for your fascia and you are done. " In for a penny in for a pound uh? I've been talking to Bob about a few other goodies as well.

MattRobertson
10-03-2009, 02:02 PM
What is the advantage of signing with TrackMasters over Speed Ventures? They mention instruction but I didn't see anything firm or additional pricing. The Speed Ventures package I was going with had 2 sessions of instruction $80, transponder $20 + entry fee for the day.

ahhh I forgot SV and TM are running that as a joint event.

TM generally puts fewer cars on the track, has better food if they bring it in (these days nobody caters anymore, and if you bring your own sammiches you don't have to stand in line, which is what I do) and provides timing transmitters free of charge for those of us who have our own equipment. Saves me the trouble of bringing a tripod, batteries and of course the transmitter. They also have no formal instruction, although I have seen them put volunteer instructors into cars in the beginning run groups.

You absolutely want an instructor guiding you thru that course and you've made the better choice of the two, since you are also going to be getting timing.



"Weld that sucker to the frame, poke a hole for your fascia and you are done. " In for a penny in for a pound uh? You know what, twice now I have had to have tows (flat tire on the side of the road) and the AAA flatbed guy has told me the tow hook saved my fascia. The front hook NEVER leaves the car.

Give Bob that hook receiver and let him go at it. He's done them before for more than just me and knows exactly what to do. A hook turns a disaster into no big deal.



I've been talking to Bob about a few other goodies as well.I was there just yesterday fixing a couple of gremlins. Check out the exhaust shop they opened up a few doors down in the same building. Talk to Jay. He's got some fabrication skills, that guy. Way past bending pipes.

Hemi Family
10-04-2009, 07:53 PM
Thanks! I'll try to git'r done by Friday...

Hemi Family
10-07-2009, 03:40 PM
Done, by Tuesday night!

Bracket and bumper attachment
19922

Front clip reinstalled
19923

Tow hook removed
19924

Hemi Family
10-07-2009, 03:45 PM
Helmet arrived today...
19925


Boogity Boogity Boogity!

MattRobertson
10-07-2009, 04:50 PM
:D
I got my oil changed yesterday, and packed the car. Am in Fresno fully loaded. Will spend the night here and drive up tomorrow after work. Staying at my usual spot: Inn Marin. The closest hotel to the track. Tell them you want the "NASA Rate" and they knock off about 40 bucks.

RobAGD
10-07-2009, 04:58 PM
I have th GF brain bucket, it was a tad snug but it fits great.

I like that tow hook solution.

-R