This week, the vegetables and herbs go in! Suckers or not, spring, here we come….
My first track days of the year at Oregon Raceway Park hosted by the Oregon Porsche Club were almost uniformly fabulous. Good friends, good fun, and good driving add up to a potent cocktail. Saturday’s HPDE saw fine weather until my final session, at which pointed it poured buckets but I still went at it pretty hard. High-performance driving in the rain is a wonderful test of driver skill and I highly recommend it! My instructor for part of the day, Paul Klas, offered nicely targeted feedback that helped improve my race line between turns 2-3 and where to brake on turn 8. Saturday night’s BBQ & wine tasting was also a hit with the 2-day die hards like me, especially now that I can enjoy alcohol (after having been allergic to it for the previous 18 years)!
Sunday’s lapping day started out wet, and I was actually black-flagged part-way through my first time out and told to “take it down a notch” because the corner workers were concerned about me. This rather boggled my mind because I was doing nothing but driving my best, but I tried to take it as a kindly sentiment and not a condescending one…. Anyways, I kept at it and after the track dried out around lunchtime my lap times dropped to around 2:04 and even more good times were had. Last season I clocked a 2:01 on R-compound tires and even though I’m running Dunlop Direzza V1 Star Spec’s this year (i.e., street tires) I think I can get close to that with more seat time. Mid-day Andy Chenoweth took me for a fabulous ride in his insanely planted Corvette, demonstrating such smooth inputs you could hardly feel any braking (OK, the racing harnesses helped a lot here!) and definitely not any shifting. Inspiring, and now I think I have to learn left-foot braking to get to that next level!
I had camera issues as the battery died in GoPro after my first session on Saturday so this little video of some later laps on Sunday was taken inside the car with my Canon point-and-shoot.
In the second lap I do get slowed down behind a couple Miatas, which are still quite cute. In the third lap, you can hear me go “Whoa!” because of the BMW parked on the right side after turn 3—not exactly what you want to see there! And here are a few pictures from the paddock as well, with our little cabal of Caymans and above it all, Mt. Hood:
On April 17, 2011, Oregon PCA held their second autocross event of the year in the south paddock area of Portland International Raceway. Somehow Britain Smith devised a fun course that he christened “Course of the Americas” for us to drive in this tight, hazard-filled lot. I won my class (P5) and was eleventh fastest of all drivers competing that day.
Here are some visual highlights from the event, mostly fruits of nice camera work by my friend Trevor, comprising 3 photos and 4 videos (one kind of shaky filmed on an iPhone from outside the car, and the rest high-definition movies filmed with the GoPro camera from various vantage points on the car)