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October 02, 2005

Drivers Education Day #3 at Brainerd with PCA

Today began wonderfully. Nice weather, cloudy, not a lot of sun and a dry track. Car went well, was faster than yesterday but was still blowing turn 4 and PSM saved my ass twice. Did I say not to switch PSM off? It'll save you a fortune... It only cuts in when you screw up royally. It didn't interfere with me driving smoothly at all.

The brakes (EBC RedStuff Ceramic) are awesome on the track with no fade for me at all. But, I'd now say that with their horrible cold performance, it's hard to recommend them for the street and I'm changing back to stock pads for the winter.

Today was supposed to be 2 sessions in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.


During session two, my buddies Ferrari wouldn't engage in gear coming out of turn 3. So, he stopped the car on the side of the track just before turn 4. Yellow flag time. Still, at least now I can say I lapped him twice :) His transmission had failed and he couldn't select a gear. It was leaking tranny fluid so we thought it might just be empty. A quick trip to Walmart. I bought jack stands and an OBD II reader but no fluid. We went to NAPA then and bought the fluid for the car. We then drained his tranny and all the fluid was there but looked awful. Plus, a lot of metal around the magnetic drain plug. Not looking good at all. We refilled the tranny but 4/5 and R weren't working. 20k for a new tranny, 7k for a rebuild. Ouch. So, that scuppered the day. I didn't go out again. Jim Bryant from Apex SPG was awesome as usual as we put the Ferrari in his trailer and he brought it to the Ferrari garage. I also bought a tire pressure gauge and Sparco driving shoes from him. Once again, he's just an awesome dude.

Car status after the weekend

It's looking fine. I found it hard to read how much oil was left and the electronic oil level guage is a waste of time. It's not accurate at all. I also couldn't find ANY Mobil 1 0W40 oil around Brainerd. It was killing me that I have 6 quarts in my home. When I got home, I washed the car at the garage and it looks great. Couple of new nicks/scratches but thats life. My oil level was in the middle on the oil stick when I arrived so its 1.5 liters between levels so I added 750ml of oil to the engine. I'd changed the oil just before going so it used 750ml in 3 days of tracking, maybe 2 hours a day. Couple of rubber marks on the rims which I'll remove tomorrow with cleaner.


You have to do this as many times as you can. The car is just awesome, very safe, sticks to the road and brakes really well again and again and again, no fade. It's plenty fast, I could have gotten up to 145 ish through turn 1 if I was better but lifted at 135 to enter at 115 and exit at 115 on my last session. I had done turn 1 at 120 with the instructor but he looked nervous and so was I so back off 5mph. It's amazing the difference 5mph can make.

I ended up doing turn 2 at 100mph and exited at 110 and entered turn 3 at almost 130 before wicked braking to 40 and 2nd for turn 3.

Then turn 4 which I messed up pretty reliably (no doubt entertaining the corner workers something fierce), then turn 5 where I thought I was ok, 6/7/8 were cool, 7 is one of my favorites as you can carry a lot of speed through that, 9 I can manage at 80 now and exit at 95, turn 10 I get up to 110 before braking but only carry maybe 65-70 through it and then I'm doing about 65-70 beginning the long straight to turn 1 again.

I felt comfortable at the end at these speeds. Tires were good, I have Michelin PS/2s, they started getting greasy at about 4 laps but were still fine. Looking worn now but I have 5 track days on them now. I may put shaved Michelin Pilot Cups on my 17s next year and save the PS/2s.

All in all, both of us had a great time despite the mecanical problems the Ferrari had. A hoot of a weekend and we're doing a bunch of these next year.

October 2, 2005 | Permalink


I'm sure this is a novice question, but how do you know when the PSM kicks in? Is it like the pulsing of ABS brakes?

Posted by: Ed Swarthout | Oct 8, 2005 3:54:19 PM

Pretty easily :)
You'll know you screwed up first of all. The tail will likely be just starting to rotate and you can feel that.
Besides the PSM light coming on, you'll feel the inside rear wheel braking (like ABS) as PSM attempts to stop the rotation by dropping an 'anchor' to hold the back of the car.
For me, PSM only kicked in on turn 4 when I tried to tighten the radius of the turn too much. This was the only place on the track where it intervened and it only did so there when I messed it up pretty badly.

Posted by: Billy | Oct 10, 2005 12:00:01 PM

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