Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lagnua Seca 10/1/07

I ran another one day, HPDE only, event with NASAproracing at Laguna Seca Raceway. I am in love with these events. There are just three run groups, with no novice group, so you know everyone there has at least a few events under their belts. More importantly, there are no races (and therefore fewer racers) crowding the sessions. With seven 20 minute sessions, and only 40 minutes in between to debrief, cool the car, grab something to drink, check out some of the other cars, pee, and maybe change the tape in the video camera, it is quickly time to grid again. It all makes for a Legend.... (wait for it) ... ARY day at the track.

I started the day on the wrong foot by driving off into the gravel trap during the first session at turn 11. I almost managed to drive out the other side, but ended up sinking the rear wheels deep into the gravel. Lewis Hamilton and I now have something in common. I missed the next session while I scooped and poked gravel out of every nook and cranny of my rear suspension and brakes. I determined the problem my next time out. I was catching my heel on the gas pedal under heavy braking. No wonder the car didn't want to stop. A quick software upgrade (to my brain) and everything was good for the rest of the day.

This was the M Coupe's first outing with its new rollcage, race seats, an
d full 6-point belts. The car is much easier and more relaxed to control now that I'm not sliding around in the seat. Kudos to TC Design for their great work.

I had one of the best single sessions of my life. I spent part of that session six chasing after a Ferrari 430. There was no keeping up with him on the straights, but I kept him in site for a few laps. I logged a new personal best for Laguna Seca (1:50.8), which came one lap after I stopped trying so hard to keep up with the 430. According to my Traqmate my theoretical best time is about .85 seconds faster, and I already have a two good ideas where I can pick up some time. I'm looking forward to breaking the 1:50 mark the next time back to Laguna.

Now for the obligatory photos and video...