Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Track Day #1 -- 2007/01

So my first track day was with a borrowed helmet on a cold, rainy day in the Pacific Northwest at Portland International Raceway (I'll just call it PIR). About the only thing I did for preparation was to put on some "high performance" brake pads from NAPA (Akibono) which are really bad. No, I mean they are absolute junk for track days -- they don't fade, but they also don't have any grip either.

Anyway, I naturally signed up for the novice run group and requested an instructor. Once I get to the track you have to get the car through "tech" which is where someone checks over the car looking for bad things -- checking lug nuts, battery tie downs, clean car, etc. I've never had a problem getting through tech; but I'm pretty thorough about removing anything that isn't physically attached to the car -- spare tire, junk in glove box, CDs, floor mats; I remove EVERYTHING before going through tech.

After getting through tech, you go to a drivers meeting where they tell you the flags and introduce you to your instructor (for novices). I already knew the flags because I used to be a turn worker way back when I was at university; and as you might imagine, they haven't changed.

I don't remember much of the rest of the day; it was just my trial run to see if it was something I wanted to keep doing, so I didn't keep notes or anything. I do recall that I had no idea of the gearing for corners -- downshifting to 2nd on nearly every corner; having a blast, but surely not going very fast either.

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