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October 02, 2006

The car finally becomes a Porsche

I just finished a 3 day HPDE with the PCA at Brainerd. I have to say, I didn't enjoy it as much as before. This had nothing to do with the event, it's just me on this day. I think since my car exploded in Canada, I'm nervous. You wouldn't believe how many times I needed to pee during the weekend :)

The car looks fixed. Absolutely no issues with it at all. As for the driver, well, I just couldn't go fast all weekend. I was only managing 2:10s, my quickest was an 08. I did a 2:04 last Sept on street tires and I have pilot cups on the car now. Anyway, compared with the luck some of the others had, I'll walk away happy.

Day 1

Day 1 was a bit of a wipeout. It was raining and I was in the advanced group whose first session was in the afternoon. I had switched to my street tires in the morning but then it dried up and I put the pilot cups back on. I gridded up and then the rain drops started. Holy shit. I couldn't believe my luck. Murphies law at work. We went out under yellow and then it got worse and I needed my wipers on. I'd decided to get off the track when at T10, we got black flagged. I happily drove in to the pit lane. Then I spotted a 996 in the inside wall on the main straight. Backwards and smoking. Not good. It was a friends car, he'd just put suspension, sways, seats, harnesses, about 10k in to the car and this was his first lap with it. He went wide on T10 and drove the dry line when the second lap started. The drag strip on the main straight was now wet and that was that. He spun and hit all 4 corners, twisted the frame (we think), destroyed the rear driver side suspension and looked to have punctured the engine with a suspension arm. I didn't go out again after that but maybe I should have. I just wasn't prepared to risk it. That drag strip is a frigging nightmare and spoils the track.

Day 2

More black flags on day 2. First session out someone got high on T1 and spun at well over a 100mph, went across the track and demolished a corner worker stand with the lady inside it. She won the lottery that day. Incredible she wasn't killed. The driver went through the stand and landed on its roof. We got one more session in the morning, John got some video of me but I was pretty crappy. Only managed 2:08s which is 4 seconds slower than last year in a car that should be 4 seconds faster (Pilot Cups instead of PS/2s).

I did 2 more sessions in the afternoon. We'd a big crash at turn 8 also when a 993 went off in 8 and hit the tirewall and flipped over in to trees. Car looks a mess but the driver was ok, a little dizzy so they brought him to the hospital but he came back.

Day 3

I did my first session with Brett Bailey and he said my line looks fine, I was just not driving it fast enough. The car has plenty left, I just wasn't using it. I had a pucker moment with him in T2 when the car wiggled but I corrected it. I haven't seen Brett grab the seat that fast in a long time. Wrong frigging corner to have a problem at. Cars have barrel rolled down the outside.

The next session, Brett was watching and I was managing 2:10s consistently so that was good but I should have been able to do 2:00s if I'd had my head in it but with all that happened and a working car, I was happy to head home as in.

I went to the track with Eric in his ultra cheap Porsche 944. He did the beginner school and had a blast. He broke down on the last day when his fuel line broke so he was lucky it didn't catch fire.

Summary

All in all, a good event and we may do NASA Road America in October next. A lot of drivers at the event were nervous seeing the carnage. Two roll overs made a lot of people think. A lot of people will start switching to track only cars with cages or at least doing what I've done as far as 4 pt bolt in cage, seats, harnesses and H&N.

October 2, 2006 | Permalink

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