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First Race Report - VIDS

Old 09-11-03, 12:59 PM
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First Race Report - VIDS

Well, after finally getting my license in July, I decided to skip the Reno race in August, and race at Thunderhill this last weekend. I struggled to get all my incidental issues (cooling, suspension, brakes) finished up and we loaded up and headed to the track Friday to get setup and ready.

I should have checked the car for tech items Friday, I ran through my tech checklist Saturday morning and found that my right front hub was loose (I had to replace the spindle and wheel bearings after my rollover in May). Chris (1984Special) and I scrambled to get the hub and my $330 transponder (ouch!) mounted on the car in time for my 10am warmup session. We finished up just in time for the session to start. I really like to spend a few minutes thinking about the car and making sure that i have everything ready to go, but I ran out of time.

Fortunately, I did have everything right, and my warmup was great. I ran a 2:15, good for 1st in PS1, with Brad Leabo in his white/blue S4 RX-7 running around a 2:16, and with Derek Welch running a 2:17 or 2:18, so I was jazzed to be fastest in the warmup.

Here's some video of that warmup. http://para.noid.org/~silkworm/thrp-090603-warmup.wmv

Qualifying left me with butterflies in the stomach, here I am going out to qualify for my first race, but it was fairly easy. I hooked up with a faster ProSedan 7 car, and spent two laps really trying to catch him, and turned a 2:13.6. I also apparently forgot my lesson that you have to drive your own car. I ended up spinning, around lap 4, as another PS7 car came up on me. I looked in my mirrors, turned in late and wide, and ran off the damn track. ARGH! Well, the 2:13 was good for 1st in PS1, with my competitors over a second slower. I was to be gridded 6th overall, with 3 Super Unlimiteds and 2 ProSedan 7 cars ahead of me, with Albert Butterfield in a Honda Challenge Civic next to me. The other guys in ProSedan 1 were in 10th and 16th place, so I had some breathing room.

Our race was at 5pm, and the Camaro Mustang Challenge cars joined us for their 2nd race. They were to start well behind us, with the Super unlimiteds. Those butterflies I mentioned earlier got issued power armor for the race, I felt slightly sick but I gutted it out. I knew that I was capable of running 2:13s, I just had to go out and survive the start. I didn't know if we were doing a standing start or a rolling start, so I made sure I was lined up and ready on the back straight, and had the car in 2nd gear just in case. It's a standing start, holy ****! Since the SU cars were starting behind us, I ended up starting 3rd in the group of cars, with two first gen PS7 RX-7s ahead of me. I moved a little to the left, so I could see the flagger. 4K and BAM, off we go. I've got a run on the two first gens.. Oh ****, I'm leading the pack into turn 1!!! I was so pumped, but I remembered that we're still on cold tires, and just drove my line. The now 3 1st gens were nipping at my heels, but I had power on them, so I managed to open about a car length going down through 6/7/8, but they caught right back up going into 9, and had a run on me into 10. I decided to not try to defend the line and let them through, they were all racing for class, and I wasn't. The first got past me going into turn 10, with the 2nd blazing by between 10-11. The third (who I thought was a P7 car but turned out to be a 3rd PS7 car) ended up trying to get me in the esses, going 2 wheels off to make the pass. I stayed on my line, but realized he was going to go off if I didn't leave him room, so I moved over, and he sliced ahead of me. We stayed bumper to bumper down the back straight, and I popped out to pass under braking. Hello! I'm a freaking rookie, WTF am I doing! I ended up snapping into oversteer, caught it, and drove right off the damn track. Big lesson learned there, leave the fancy **** alone until I have a clue..

I got back on track just as Brad gets ahead of me, with a 944 Turbo car ahead of him. F***! Fortunately I stayed kind of close on the straight, and managed to reel in the RX-7, and passed him exiting turn 6. The 944 and I battled it out for the rest of the race, I managed a clean pass at turn 6,and held it until the front straight, and he just motored right on past me. Damn, I want a turbo! Anyway, we caught a CMC mustang, the 944 forced open a door exiting turn 8, and I came with him, but the Mustang has the motor, and he managed to run me down and pass me on the front straight. I ended up stuck behind him through the more technical turns 2-6 and the 944 got about 5-6 car lengths on us. Rather than force the issue, I decided to just be patient, I didn't want to get taken out on my first race, and I still had a decent lead on 2nd place. Fortunately the checker came out before my lollygagging behind this Mustang could let Brad catch me, and I WON!!!!!! I freaking won! My dad and brother were going to dump a cooler full of water on me, but I had to race Sunday, so I ended up getting drenched with just a bottle, but I didn't care, I was jumping out of my skin!

Here's the Race video, it's almost 50mb. http://para.noid.org/~silkworm/thrp-090603-race.wmv

Sunday warm up went great, and I trimmed down a bit more on my best time, running a 2:13.4. Brad was a no show, he ended up going to the 9ers/Bears game, so I figured it was just Derek and I running. Derek was pushing hard to get out of the 2:16s, so I figured I'd be ok in the race, but you never know. Qualifying came and went, with a new best of a 2:12.8. I really started to figure out turn 5, and subsequently turn 6, which really helped my times heading down into turn 9. That left me with 2nd place, with a surprise entry on Sunday taking the PS-1 pole with a 2:08. So much for the win.. Oh well, I knew better than to think I had 1st locked up anyway, so I just pressed on and got ready for my race at 5.

Here's some of the Qualifying video. http://para.noid.org/~silkworm/thrp-090703-qual.wmv

This time, CMC was absent, so it was just the 30 or so of us in Group A. Super Unlimited was started well behind us, and I was gridded 5th. The lead PS1 car, and the three PS7 cars, then me and Albert in his HC5 Civic. For some reason I thought I launched Saturday at 3K, and tried that on Sunday, and bogged the hell out of the motor. Still had the omph to get up past Albert, and stayed 5th. Albert kept me on my toes for the first two laps, I'd get him through 6/7/8, but through the technical section he would reel me back in. Fortunately I managed to open up a decent lead on the 2nd lap and just kept stretching it. The lead cars just pulled away from me, and as I pulled away from Albert, it quickly got lonely! I lost sight of the leaders, and couldn't see Albert, so my concentration level started to drop and I got sloppy. Still, I kept it on track, and managed to pull out over 1.5 seconds from my qualifying time, running a best of 2:11.1, and an uneventful 2nd place in PS-1.

Here's the start of the race, and my fast lap. http://para.noid.org/~silkworm/thrp-090703-race.wmv

Hope you guys enjoy the vids.

PaulC

Last edited by Silkworm; 09-11-03 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 09-11-03, 01:19 PM
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I love your videos, some exciting racing.
I just wish that I could afford an all out racecar myself, so far ive only driven my car at three tracks, im just getting the hang of it as i did some race schooling a few weeks ago
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Old 09-11-03, 02:24 PM
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SWEET!

I almost fell out of my car when u went offroading.
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Old 09-11-03, 02:58 PM
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u are an animal.
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Old 09-11-03, 04:27 PM
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Very Sweet, That looks like a sweet track.
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Old 09-11-03, 04:45 PM
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Damn That looks like fun!!! You did great!!
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Old 09-11-03, 05:10 PM
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Good stuff! I have not run door to door with anyone and really envy those vids! I do know what you mean about cars behind you. I never realized how difficult it is to lead when you have people on your tail; trying to concentrate on you and not him. It's tougher than I thought and I have only done open track events where I know he is not allowed to pass me except in certain areas.

What a way to start this thing out. Drive it like you stole it, but don't ever get into a corner and run out of talent
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Old 09-11-03, 05:16 PM
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dp

Last edited by DamonB; 09-11-03 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 09-11-03, 10:07 PM
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Don't have time to watch them right now, but I read your story with great interest. Sounds like you had a blast. You seem to be the only guy here doing some REAL stuff with your FC.
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Old 09-12-03, 03:16 AM
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just started grabbing the vids, im sure they'll be great but on a totally unrealated note, i love that domain name. para.noid.
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Old 09-12-03, 07:16 AM
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Congrats Paul! Ill watch the vids when I get home. Great story. I can tell your still pumped hehe. So how did this differ from the school races? Did you feel different?
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Old 09-12-03, 09:52 AM
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Thanks for the videos Silk (or is it worm...)
DSL makes it all happen

What Tach is that? I can't quite make out the numbers and am curious about the RPMs you're running...
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Old 09-12-03, 09:59 AM
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And what's that red light right below the three gauge pod? It came on at about 12:30 in the video.

Red lights = bad...
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Old 09-12-03, 10:54 AM
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Damn... can i still get a ride in the car someday?

Can I have your autograph? your my hero!
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Old 09-12-03, 11:13 AM
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Congrats on winning your race Paul! I know that's gotta mean a lot consider how long it's taken you to actually get everything going. Anyway, I noticed that in the Qualifying video (3rd vid...090703) you were a bit more relaxed when driving which I'm sure led to better times as well as figuring out turn 5. During the race it seems like that offroad action kinda shook you up (as I'm sure it would), after the win it seems like you began to relax and just drive instead of race. Obviously it paid off very much so!

Btw...the 911 is BLISTERING FAST on the circuit! Especially the Qualifying vid (same vid...090703), he just absolutely FLIES by you guys and zips past the blue FB like I don't know what!

Once again, congrats on the race and I hope you have a great season!
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Old 09-12-03, 03:59 PM
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Carl,

Well, NASA does driving events for their schooling, so I was more comfortable being close to cars and passing in corners, but would they didn't do is practice starts. Everything is so crazy during the start, and I was very nervous.. I feel better about it now, but I know the guys were cutting us rookies a lot of slack.

Cwaters - that's the autometer ultra light pro comp tach, if you see where I'm shifting, that's just shy of 8K. First big number is 5.

Red light is the electric fan toggle, I added a fan last month to try and help get the temps down. I'm probably going to go to another switch, this one worked itself loose during the race, and generally is flimsy..

Cheers, just gotta drag your self out here during a track weekend

Kiyo, thanks! Yeah, I was very tense for the first day, after the win I found it easier to relax and enjoy the track time. The problem for me was that in HPDE, cars were so different, some street, some race, and it was hard to pick up and learn from anyone. Here in the race group, everyone's going flat out as hard as they can, and I was able to learn alot.

Yeah, the 911 is a turbo monster, 25 seconds a lap faster than I He lapped me twice in the second race.

Thanks for the comments guys!

PaulC
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Old 09-12-03, 07:42 PM
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Wow, we did a bunch of practice starts including wave offs in the SCCA schools I went to. Very hairy, specially since we were all n00bs.

On the fan thing, get an aerospace/mil spec switch if you can, if not then use a relay. I burned up a couple of those auto parts switches on my e-fan very quickly (the contacts and quality of them are junk). They just cant handle the amps.
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Old 09-13-03, 09:50 AM
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I'll go wheel to wheel with ya, Mr. Bottorff
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Old 09-14-03, 05:26 PM
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bah! i wish i was sponsored too... my studnet loans = 4 times the value of my car.
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Old 09-20-03, 09:36 AM
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Great write up and great vids! Thanks.

Nice driving Silkworm! Congrats!

Thanks again. I love those vids!

Llew.
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Old 09-24-03, 04:06 AM
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Fun **** huh Paul, Now you need to try an Enduro and keep up an average of single digit pace for more than an hour in 100+ temp. hehehe Man I though I was going to pass out when I got out from 1 hour and 10 min. run. ( No Joke! I thought I was going to fall on ground when I tried to step out the harness.) Enduro is good practice especially if you have Hot Laps.
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Old 09-24-03, 05:34 PM
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Oh hell no! Well, maybe Yeah, I can imagine passing out, I was exhausted after 30 minutes!

Hey, I hear you were dorifto master out on course Sunday!!!!! I wish I knew you were doing that, I had a buddy I wanted to get a ride for but I didn't know where you were at..

PaulC
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Old 09-25-03, 06:42 PM
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If you want to look for me always goto Timing and Scoring. Ralph got pissed by the end of the day, Well it was more like Jerry, Ralph probabily did not care. I did not have enough ***** to do turn 1. I had to come in at over 110mph, 100-105 just was not fast enough to carry the drift all the way. Turn 3 O can only swing it and the car will slow down and catch back. Turn 3 was cool but huge difference in traction if you run off line just a little due to all the debri on the track. Turn 4 is good because of the swing. Turn 5 always liked to understeer . Turn 6 is sweet. Turn 7 it gaining speed. Turn 8 is fun but it does not turn enough to stay in it, fast though. Turn 9 would have been good but it is blind at exit and up hill really takes alway speed so I was being to timid there. Turn 10 is good classic turn to practice. Turn 11-12 is great that was the funiest turn because of slower speed and the switch backs. Turn 13-14 was cool too but just not quite enough power to carry throgh. If I did not spin out at all it would have been cool, but I spun 3 times and Jerry chewed me out for kicking gravel on track. Drifting high speed is great for me because most of the events in So.Cal are under 60 MPH. Doing 100+ mph drift really made me step up. I did not think Thunder Hill is possible in the dry but now I think it definitely can be done even in low HP cars. I just whish I could have more laps because I am confident I can pull drift in all corners of Thunder Hill. I am trying to have an event at TH. But for now all events are in L.A. I tried to put things together but No.Cal people are just too conservative compared to So. Cal. I mean Irwindale charges $1700 for parking lot and has support with crowed control and equipment. Oakland colisium wants $3,500 and 1.5 mil. insurance for just the lot. Candle Stick wants $3,000. For that kind of money I rather just go to a real track.
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Old 09-26-03, 01:23 PM
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See, I get confused sometimes with the RX-7 gang, I'm horrible with putting names to the face..

So what's your name j9fd3s? I thought you were Todd Ho, but then I thought Mazdized was Todd

PaulC
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Old 09-26-03, 05:46 PM
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I think Ho Man was using a computer than Mike was logged into - the cookies auto logged j9fd3s on, but Todd was typing away...


-Ted
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