Penny-pinching car geek's guide to racing, track days, and car build. DIY projects, product reviews, and interviews.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Ending - GIR Track Day Report 3/26/11

The Brokecore car and Luis' turbo Miata

Well, before I knew it I got there.  59.3 at Gainesville International Raceway's test course.  Wow.  An eye-opener for me.

First of all, I'd like to apologize for my long absence.  A lot of things happened since.  I was at first busy preparing for and taking my final final examinations at law school.  Yes I passed all my classes.  I did pretty well this semester in this class, so I'm happy.  Bunch of my classmates are pissed at me because they felt that they studied harder yet I beat them.  Call it the 3L effect; a third year law student in his final semester is generally very keen on studying smart, studying just enough while slacking off and getting the grades he wants.  Besides, they usually only have 3 classes or something like that.  I was no exception.  3 classes and a clinic.

So I graduated, and my sister came to visit and met her sister-in-law for the first time.  At the time, I was also in a hurry to move from one house to another.  Oh, and I'm very sorry to say this, but I was also in a hurry to sell my car; after this summer, I will probably have to relocate.  After all that, I have been studying for the California bar exam, pondering about my future, exploring career options.  I don't have a job yet so if anyone can help me with that, I'll be forever grateful!

Yes, so this will be my last entry in my blog.  Thank you everyone for the support, encouragement, and readership.  I am truly thankful for it and I am very happy that you all made it possible for me to do my first successful blog.  I had such a fun run at this and learned a lot from the experience.  Thank you for my supporters; Airtab® and One Greek Store.

Well, time to get on with the track report.  Thank goodness I took notes right after the event.
This day, my student organization, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association was putting together a big conference.  I'd been part of the conference effort from the get-go.  Furthermore, I had personally invited a speaker to talk about a very cool topic at the event, so I really should have been there.  Unfortunately I had already signed up, and although the guys who put on the event usually let me cancel, I had a feeling that this was my last true opportunity to do the road course.  So, I compromised; I was going to do the first half of the day (till noon) and the rest of the event would be done by someone else.  Hey, Luis, thanks a lot for the help! After I left, Luis' brother Lou drove his 240sx for the remainder of the day.

My day only lasted from around 10:40am to 12:00pm.  Oh wells, I'm happy because I still achieved my time goal.

Tire pressures:
I ran 36psi and 31psi cold for the first feeler session, then bled them down to the same.  Therefore, 36/31psi hot after the 1st session.

Changes in car:
NB tophats with cut NA bumpstops
15x8 wheels wrapped in 225 RS-3s
1.8L miata front brakes
fresh front brake pads

First Session 
I was trying to get used to the new tires. The difference in feel wasn't shocking, but it was quite different. The steering response was just a tad bit slower than the azenis. The tires also understeered a little bit compared to the Azenis. I think the tires were a bit more forgiving, but I didn't get to drive consistently enough on the new tires to really feel out how it was compared to my old tires. They start to make noise a bit earlier than azenis, which helped me figure out the braking a little bit. I needed to adjust my driving quite a bit.

Second Session
Air temps were already rising.  By this time I realized these tires don't fade.  Awesome!  In fact, throughout the first session the tires just got grippier.  My splitter loosened up and ran at an angle not so optimal though, because I didn't tighten some things very well.  I think it happened after the first session, when I had to drive through grass in the paddock the splitter got caught on something.  So the car was more understeery.

I got to analyse the driving a bit in this session.

-Right after turn 1, where the first skidpad turn starts, I can immediately get on the gas and accelerate at full throttle until I can see the corner exit, then I have to ease off.  Point-and-shoot. Wow!
-It is much easier to get on the correct line for turn 3.
-I can get on the gas immediately after the first apex for the double apex left hander, which I've been calling turns 5-6.
-The chicane dive-bombing hasn't changed much

The increasing radius turn was an eye opener. As soon as I get the car turned around (I do it as tight and quickly as possible), I can get on full throttle. From there I never have to lift, and my stupid viscous tLSD action only kicked in once or twice, when my splitter was still properly mounted. Talk about lack of power and excess grip.  In all the sessions I ran I was trying to figure out a way to carry more speed into that turn but I couldn't.

The car handled much better, even with the increased understeer. There is barely any post apex snap oversteer, and it behaves much more predictably to bumpy surfaces and going over curbs.

I only got to do two sessions. First session out I finally broke the 60 second mark @ 59.8, and on my second session I got a 59.3. I was having trouble putting together all the elements of a fast lap.

Things to work on if I did another event
Get turns 5-6 dialed in; I tihnk I am lifting much more than necessary. I also want to try jumping onto the right side curbing before turning in.  However, Grant told me its more important to jump on the inside curbing.  Last time I got on the outside curbing I almost spun, but maybe with the new suspension I'll be able to use the extra road. (stupid idea?)

Well, once again thank you very much!  I will be back on track at a future point of my life, but now I've moved onto less time-consuming hobbies while I get my life together.  Thanks Grant! Drew, Kevin, David, all the Lemons guys!  Eric, for supporting me with fab equipment.  Thanks everyone on IMV boards, other local guys who recognized me and my car.  Thanks to everyone at and  Thanks Carl for buying the car, I'm glad another motorhead owns it now! And thank you readers everywhere in the world!