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Thread: Laguna Seca track day

  1. #1
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    Laguna Seca track day

    So with my recent move to Monterey, I had only one thing on my mind. Taking my car out and driving it all out around Laguna Seca.

    Last week, on the 23rd I was able to do just that. Now a track day for Matra or Clutch may be old news by now, but this was my first time out, and to do it on what is in my opinion one of the top tracks in the world.

    It was a pretty small affair. The group organizing it had two days of driving, and I went to the second, last tuesday. I guess monday there was a large turnout, but on the day i was there there were about 30 cars. pretty small for such an event on such a large track. There were originally 3 run groups, but dropped it down to 2 since there were so few cars. I was in the beginner group, which had just 2 passing zones, between 11 and 2 on the main straight (1 is more of a bend than a corner), and between 4 and 5, the second fastest part of the track, and before the uphill, more about this stretch later.

    The day started out wet, but seemed to be clearing up, but while we were in the driver meeting it started raining one more time. sure to make the track nice and slippery. My group was the first group out, and I was the 3rd car on track. It was very slippery, but was still a good time, and i quickly found i was faster than most of the other cars on the track. for now.

    We didn't have timers, so I am not really confident of my times, but as the track started drying i could feel that i was getting a lot quicker. I had my father-in-law and brother-in-law who where there watching and taking pics time me, and before lunch i was already going at about a 2:03-2:05. I only had about 3-4 laps per session where i wasn't stuck behind traffic, and they didn't time every lap, so its all approximate.

    The last session before lunch I ended up coming in early. The pressure in my clutch started to go away, so I decided to come in and let it cool. After four 30 minute sessions, with 30 minute breaks, it was probably due to cool down. I also noticed my brakes were starting to get a bit softer than they had been. The first session out after lunch the track had almost fully dried, and it was starting to get fast. I took my brother-in-law Will out with me, so he could experience the track in all of its glory. the morning sessions were fun, but not really fast, this session promised to be quick.

    I went out and started going real fast. My father-in-law stopped timing me, but i think i was in the 1:50s or so. I think I could have gotten to the 1:40s, but my brakes started really going quick. I was having to pump the brake pedal with my left foot while going down the straights to get some pressure for the corners. and i finally decided enough was enough, and i was going to take one more lap.

    Bad decision. As I came down the 4-5 straight I backed off a bit, so I was only doing 85 instead of the 95 i usually went on that straight. I got to the braking point, and the pedal went to the floor. Nothing. I started pumping the brakes as much as I could, but nothing happened. I downshifted to 2nd, and kept on with the brakes. I wasnt slowing enough to really make the corner, and the wall is very close to the track at the end of this straight. not the best situation, and I was getting a bit nervous. I yanked the wheel really hard to the left, put the whole car in a skid and managed to make the corner, never setting a wheel off.

    I drove back to the paddock very slowly with no brakes, and I called it a day. Will was cheering and telling me I was the greatest driver ever and such. We packed up at this point and drove on home. It wasn't fun getting home with no brakes, and I still need to get new brakes all around.

    All in all, a good day. And I aim to get some real brakes that can stand up to a day at the track without disintegrating, so I can do this again before too much longer.

    Here are a few pics, mainly from the morning. I will post more tomorrow.

    Here is a link to my flickr set for the event: Laguna Seca Track Day - a set on Flickr
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Honor. Courage. Commitment. Etcetera.

  2. #2
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    Time for some big AP Racing brakes

  3. #3
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    Steel braided brake lines can help keep pressure distortion and breakage down, I'd suggest grabbing those too.
    Weekly Quote -

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zytek_Fan View Post
    Time for some big AP Racing brakes
    Quote Originally Posted by whiteballz View Post
    Steel braided brake lines can help keep pressure distortion and breakage down, I'd suggest grabbing those too.
    not sure which brand i'm gonna go with. The top Z tuner pretty much in the country is in San Jose, a 45 min drive from here. I am going to consult with them and figure out what I need.

    The braided lines are a must.
    Honor. Courage. Commitment. Etcetera.

  5. #5
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    Masking-tape "4" = Über classy
    Good to hear you had fun and didn't stuff it.
    Did the GT-R conquer all?
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  6. #6
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    glad you had fun in the G! Race brakes would be nice! the steel braided work well! i guess she handles well since you ended up alive out that turn!
    Gone:
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  7. #7
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    Any ideia of the car list and times?

    Oh... nice save!

  8. #8
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    Nice to hear that (apart from the funny brakes)
    Perhaps even consulting with the other folks from the "pro" group could help.
    now fix those brakes and give us a second reportage!
    KFL Racing Enterprises - Kicking your ass since 2008

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  9. #9
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    Looks good.
    Yeah, street pads will not survive more than 15 minutes spirited driving on a trackday.
    The problem was most likely classic overheating of the pad material which drops their friction coefficient to near zero THe "pumping" was about getting more pressure to compensate
    Otherwise it was the fluid boiling at the pistons. I think you had a bit of both ( sounds alike a LOT of both ).

    I would advise you replace the brake fluid. It's a low cost, simple task and worth doing after such a large fade.

    Another possible issue coudl be discs warped or coated/glazed. Worth inspecting them all.

    Modern brake pipes have less of an issue with expansion than 20 years ago. But GOOD QUALITY braided will give you better feel. Avoid cheap !!

    For future, put a set of green stuff pads in or better still, have a set of race pads and put them in for the day

    At least with the rain you didnt' have to worry about grip changing where sand is blown across the track Great pics, great track and car looking good
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  10. #10
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    Close call, but sounded like a fun day overall! Because anything can happen I'm a bit conservative about taking my daily driver on a track (until I can afford virtually any repair bill). Laguna Seca is definately one of the tracks I dream of visiting one day!
    http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31695
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  11. #11
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    I reckon I'm a little envious...

    On the brakes issue I remember when we did the BMW driving course in Montmelo some months ago and the brakes were fine. Altough maybe the had replaced the standard parts with better ones.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by f6fhellcat13 View Post
    Masking-tape "4" = Über classy
    Good to hear you had fun and didn't stuff it.
    Did the GT-R conquer all?
    the painter's tape is pretty much autox standard, anyone that doesn't have magnetic/vinyl numbers uses the blue tape. there was at least one other car out there with taped numbers.

    the gtr was fast. not just a bit faster than the other cars on track, no, hands down faster than everything else out on track, including all of the race prepared cars. it was insane. he passed 5 cars (me included) on the main straight in one shot. the only thing that held a candle to it was a 240Z that was owned by the same guy. when he was driving the Z and his friend was driving the GT-R they were about the same.
    Quote Originally Posted by ruim20 View Post
    Any ideia of the car list and times?

    Oh... nice save!
    not a clue. there was no timing done, and no leader board. i think the gtr was probably in the 1:30s-40s. the race cars in the faster group were still probably only in the 1:50s.
    Quote Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine View Post
    Looks good.
    Yeah, street pads will not survive more than 15 minutes spirited driving on a trackday.
    The problem was most likely classic overheating of the pad material which drops their friction coefficient to near zero THe "pumping" was about getting more pressure to compensate
    Otherwise it was the fluid boiling at the pistons. I think you had a bit of both ( sounds alike a LOT of both ).

    I would advise you replace the brake fluid. It's a low cost, simple task and worth doing after such a large fade.

    Another possible issue coudl be discs warped or coated/glazed. Worth inspecting them all.

    Modern brake pipes have less of an issue with expansion than 20 years ago. But GOOD QUALITY braided will give you better feel. Avoid cheap !!

    For future, put a set of green stuff pads in or better still, have a set of race pads and put them in for the day

    At least with the rain you didnt' have to worry about grip changing where sand is blown across the track Great pics, great track and car looking good
    new brakes all around are probably a must. i am almost sure the discs are warped, pads are gone, and fluid is toast. im just going to pony up and get real brakes on all corners, so this hopefully wont happen again. i really didnt expect this to happen at all. i figured that since this car is so poorly set up for the street from the factory, they would have also matched that with the brakes. oh well. just a couple grand out of my pocket.

    the rain was really a lot of fun. although i kept the TC on the whole time. i typicaly turn it off when driving hard, and i did turn it off when it dried up. but with the rain i really liked the safety net that it provided. when i did turn it off in the rain, the car got very squirrelly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pando View Post
    Close call, but sounded like a fun day overall! Because anything can happen I'm a bit conservative about taking my daily driver on a track (until I can afford virtually any repair bill). Laguna Seca is definately one of the tracks I dream of visiting one day!
    i was a bit wary of it, but i do have another vehicle so if my DD goes down for a few days/weeks, i still have a method of transportation independent of my wife.
    Honor. Courage. Commitment. Etcetera.

  13. #13
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    more pics!

    1. is my brake pads decorating my wheel. all 4 looked like that.

    2. the GTR. very cool. i want one. im a fan boy now.this is a studebaker that was fast, and sounded like no car i have ever heard. sounded like it had a turbine and not a piston engine.

    3. is the fast Z i was talking about. fully prepared for the track, but still road legal. camber plates, strut bars front and back, slicks, and he had porsche brakes in it. even though it was still the original straight 6 with carburetters, it was still very fast.

    4 really nice 510 that wasnt in my group, so i cant really say how fast he was. but it was nice looking.

    5 this is a studebaker that was fast, and sounded like no car i have ever heard. sounded like it had a turbine and not a piston engine.

    last is a nicely prepared, and good looking corvette. unfortunately he was the slowest car out there. by a ways. passed him about 7 times on the day.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by cmcpokey; 12-31-2008 at 10:37 AM.
    Honor. Courage. Commitment. Etcetera.

  14. #14
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    ATE -Rapid transmission of brake pulses: ATE brake fluids

    Infiniti G35 Products: StopTech big brake kits, Centric & StopTech rotors, stainless steel braided brake lines, brake pads, tires

    Do it. Do it. Keep it neat.

    And I agree with Matra on the EBC Green Stuffs. I have them on der Wagen with some slotted rotors from ECS Tuning (pretty sure they are Brembo branded) and I don't have any issues with, uh, I'll call it spirited street and highway driving. Including stopping from 110+. I've never experienced pedal fade in two sets of pads.
    [O o)O=\x/=O(o O]

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by f6fhellcat13 View Post
    Masking-tape "4" = Über classy
    I've seen guys tape off the whole front end of thier car, wheels,and bottom half of the car.
    "We went to Wnedy's. I had chicken nuggest." ~ Quiggs

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