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Thread: When was your First time on a race track?

  1. #21
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    Just turned 17; 1998, Buttonwillow raceway had just opened and i was at some VW show/club event. I was in a bone stock 84 rabbit GTI.

    We ran some totally strange layout. CCW Sunrise>truck stop>up cotton corners and ended at the top of on-ramp, they used cones to add auto-cross like chicanes on the i-5 straight. Very strange.
    I only did about 3 runs and got sick of waiting and went to watch the burnout contest. (lulz)

    Couple months later i basically just showed up at a Alfa or VARA, event I cant remember which exactly. It was at SOW CCW but using one of the blow passes that cut the front straight. I *do* remember driving out the night before and sleeping in the back of my car in the taco bell parking lot, I didn't bring tools or even an air gauge.
    The next morning I pulled into the track with no idea who to talk too or what to do. One of the old guys took pity on me and my GTI had me park next to him; he gave me the cliff notes and told me too look like I knew what i was doing. He gave me the run down on flags and passing... and having to call ahead etc. He let me use a torque wrench and gave me zip ties and talked the tech guy into letting me run some solo laps at the end of the sessions. Like 3 laps then pull in.

    As scary and overwhelming as it all was i was hooked on it

    Earliest pic i could find is from about 2003ish at SOW im pretty sure this was one of the last days i drove the rabbit at the track. Man this brought back good memories.


  2. #22
    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Beginning of September 2008, SoW CW with POC, 1999 Mazda Miata did a 1:42 on the transponder IIRC. Met Brent Barker there since he had the only other Miata in the paddock.

    I was a cameraman on Setup several months earlier and shot the car that flipped coming toward me in the chicane - almost got hit later that day by a car going off track - I was scared to death overtime going through the chicane. I swear I had mild PTSD.
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    Amaroo Park (Amaroo Park - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) circa 1988 in a warmed-over '82 Rx7.
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    Around 1990-93 wsir with AROSC. I visited some friends doing TT and race. In the paddock I started talking with some guys about how I would love to get my Ferrari on track. An AROSC chief was there and told me to go home and get it and I could drive around at lunch. I told him my ferrari leaked a little oil. He said no problem I would be right at home among the rest of the Italian cars. I was hooked on track even at freeway speeds my first time. So I did the minimum number of time trials. Then stripped a perfectly good 348 Ferrari to the tin floor and welded my first roll cage. I did the AROSC race school and got race licensed with AROSC. Thanks to that fun group I'm still racing today and plan for the SCCA runoffs in October.
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  5. #25
    Not Certified Slow SDSUsnowboards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbird View Post
    This is the problem with self placement.
    It is your first time on a track, why are you signing up for inter group?
    I think it's a *potential* problem with self placement. It depends on how accurately and honestly a person can assess himself. It also depends on ego.

    Fair question. Here is how I came to my decision.
    1. I have a lot of experience with video games. I am well familiar with driving on track, passing, dealing with traffic, etc. albiet, in a virtual setting. I think it's well established by now that virtual practice is very valuable. Like many others with my virtual experience, I started ahead of the curve.
    2. I didn't want to pay $100+ to do 40 mph parade laps and have a nervous instructor in my passenger seat telling me to go "slow in fast out." I believed I would not benefit from either of those procedures.
    3. I researched lap times by run groups and took an educated guess where mine would fall. I didn't want to be stuck in traffic, or causing traffic.
    4. I knew I could move down to beginner at any time if I found I had not assessed my own skill level correctly.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDSUsnowboards View Post
    1. I have a lot of experience with video games.
    sorry, but I was cracking up so bad my co-worker looked at me funny....
    sure your points are valid....
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  7. #27
    Not Certified Slow SDSUsnowboards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    sorry, but I was cracking up so bad my co-worker looked at me funny....
    sure your points are valid....
    Not sure if facetious...
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  8. #28
    enjoys driving fast Jack Olsen's Avatar
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    My first track day was very frustrating -- and in retrospect, pretty great. It was a two-day DE at Streets of Willow in May of 2000. But the first day was held over 100 miles from the track; it was all classroom for 8 hours. On the second day, we finally got to see the track. But the first half of the day, we only walked the track, going through each corner while two instructors kept circling past us at low speeds.

    There was a LOT of information, and very little actual driving.

    After lunch on Sunday, we got to drive. And in spite of all the waiting, I was hooked.

    And I guess I had more learning/theory/whatever in my head than most guys on their first few laps around a track.

    The whole thing was led by Topper Chasse, now deceased, who knew both tracks at Willow better than just about anyone. He was 72 at the time, and had been instructing for the Porsche Owners Club since 1965. He died in 2005, at the age of 77, and was still instructing for HSR that year.
    Last edited by Jack Olsen; 04-18-2014 at 10:06 PM.

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    Senior Member suki101's Avatar
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    Are we talking big boy tracks only?

    First time on a track was at Adams Gokart track in 1991; 8 years old and loved it.

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    It was October 2003. I had bought a new 350Z Track model about six months earlier when they first came out. I had always liked modifying my cars to go faster and corner better, and there was a Nissan dealer in San Diego County that offered a package of power and handling mods. I went down there to test drive the Parts Manager's car, which had the same package installed. I loved it and bought the whole package. It took all day to install. While I was hanging out there, the Parts Manager said: "Why don't you come out with us next month to Streets of Willow racetrack? The Nissan SE-R Club and some 350Zs will be running open track and we have instructors for beginners."

    I didn't really know you could even do that, drive your street car on a racetrack, but it sounded like a lot of fun so I ran with them. One day and I was hooked big-time. I don't know what my lap time was, but it would not have been very fast.
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    I didn't really know you could even do that, drive your street car on a racetrack, but it sounded like a lot of fun so I ran with them. One day and I was hooked big-time.
    Same here, I didn't know you could track regular cars until after buying my Miata in 07 and seeing the Track section of Miata.net.
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  12. #32
    Spec Backhoe Champion redtopz's Avatar
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    First of all, I've always driven flat out. The guys in my car club call me Cali Stig. So when I did my first track day in 2011 in my procharged 760 whp viper at Buttonwillow 13CW I signed up in the red group. I figured my car was red so that's the group for me . I was pretty much the fastest guy out there my first session passing slow cars left and right. My times were around 2:30 laps I think on sticker hoosier slicks. I did notice some miatas and s2000's kind of keeping up with me so they must have had NOS or turbos or something. I knew at my 2nd track day I shouldn't bring a knife to a gunfight so I showed up in my ZR1 with a whipple, cam and NOS putting down about 1100 rwhp of import stompin' American goodness. This was at Cal Speedway but they wouldn't let me in the red group this time because this car was blue. I brought some crew members along with a RV and some video equipment to capture all the ass-kickin' I was going to do that day. It was epic and I'm pretty sure I was the fastest driver at the track hitting insane speeds down the straights like 160 mph! Then my brakes got hot and I spun real hard in the turn 2 oval brake zone and hit the wall real hard. After that it's pretty much been coffee and cars for me, but I know if I went back out there again I could still dominate.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pure EvoIX View Post
    Please state the track, the exact day, what group, what year make model car you were driving, and lap time if you happen to know (transponder, stopwatch, video).

    I'll start.

    Thunderhill Raceway CCW Over T5 - August 17, 2007 with T.E.A.M. Racing - 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 - 2:32.xxx

    I had sooo much fun. My instructor drove a white 1997 E36 M3. Good times. Now I am broke and addicted to the track.

    Video of my 2nd track day ever. Not too shabby.
    You were a heel-toeing, tire screeching, pass master right from the get-go!

    Did you have any carting or auto-x experience?
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    Intentionally deleted "mis-post".

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Olsen View Post
    . . . .The whole thing was led by Topper Chasse, now deceased, who knew both tracks at Willow better than just about anyone. He was 72 at the time, and had been instructing for the Porsche Owners Club since 1965 -- when he was only 17. He died in 2005, and was still instructing for HSR that year.
    Boy, would he be proud to see how you have continued his legacy at Willow!

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtopz View Post
    First of all, I've always driven flat out. The guys in my car club call me Cali Stig. So when I did my first track day in 2011 in my procharged 760 whp viper at Buttonwillow 13CW I signed up in the red group. I figured my car was red so that's the group for me . I was pretty much the fastest guy out there my first session passing slow cars left and right. My times were around 2:30 laps I think on sticker hoosier slicks. I did notice some miatas and s2000's kind of keeping up with me so they must have had NOS or turbos or something. I knew at my 2nd track day I shouldn't bring a knife to a gunfight so I showed up in my ZR1 with a whipple, cam and NOS putting down about 1100 rwhp of import stompin' American goodness. This was at Cal Speedway but they wouldn't let me in the red group this time because this car was blue. I brought some crew members along with a RV and some video equipment to capture all the ass-kickin' I was going to do that day. It was epic and I'm pretty sure I was the fastest driver at the track hitting insane speeds down the straights like 160 mph! Then my brakes got hot and I spun real hard in the turn 2 oval brake zone and hit the wall real hard. After that it's pretty much been coffee and cars for me, but I know if I went back out there again I could still dominate.
    I am starting to see a disturbing (for me) pattern here. A lot of fast guys started that way . . . and just got faster.

  17. #37
    Track Whore Pure EvoIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Caboose View Post
    You were a heel-toeing, tire screeching, pass master right from the get-go!

    Did you have any carting or auto-x experience?
    Haha! I have never ran a Auto-X event before going on a track. I did some go-karting before like LeMans Karting, K1....2-3 times a year just for fun. Oh yea, I did most of my driving on Gran Turismo 3 on a controller... It helped some...

    Waiting for William to lulz my post.

    I knew how to heel toe before going on the the track. I didn't know how to drive stick when I bought the evo, but the salesman who sold me the car drove it home for me. He actually gave me an hour of lessons of me behind the wheel the next day. It was scary driving it the first few weeks. I thought it was the fastest thing ever. I did watch alot of Keiichi Tsuchiya Best Motoring videos. That helped alot. I also didn't know how to heel toe after getting the evo. I self taught myself via videos. The evo was my first stick shift car. It was also my first sports car. I had stock suspension, stock tires, DS2500 pads (absolute crap), 294whp, and probably 3600lbs with that instructor in car.
    Last edited by Pure EvoIX; 04-18-2014 at 08:35 PM.
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  18. #38
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    We've never met, you might be a good guy and you seem to come across that way in your posts, but you have no idea how nervous your post makes me.
    Certainly makes me appreciate clubs that take a more conservative approach towards beginners like POC which you have to be signed off by an instructor to drive outside the beginner group, regardless of how many video games you played.
    Quote Originally Posted by SDSUsnowboards View Post
    4. I knew I could move down to beginner at any time if I found I had not assessed my own skill level correctly.
    Either you lied to yourself or trying to sell it to us..
    Ever met the guy that decided he was not qualified to get in bed with a playboy bunny and therefore should only aim at getting to second base with the neighborhood girls?

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    Hey Redtopz,

    Did you happen to participate in the Open Track Challenge back in 2002?

    You sound exactly like the other Viper drivers who were there... lol

  20. #40
    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtopz View Post
    First of all, I've always driven flat out. The guys in my car club call me Cali Stig. So when I did my first track day in 2011 in my procharged 760 whp viper at Buttonwillow 13CW I signed up in the red group. I figured my car was red so that's the group for me . I was pretty much the fastest guy out there my first session passing slow cars left and right. My times were around 2:30 laps I think on sticker hoosier slicks. I did notice some miatas and s2000's kind of keeping up with me so they must have had NOS or turbos or something. I knew at my 2nd track day I shouldn't bring a knife to a gunfight so I showed up in my ZR1 with a whipple, cam and NOS putting down about 1100 rwhp of import stompin' American goodness. This was at Cal Speedway but they wouldn't let me in the red group this time because this car was blue. I brought some crew members along with a RV and some video equipment to capture all the ass-kickin' I was going to do that day. It was epic and I'm pretty sure I was the fastest driver at the track hitting insane speeds down the straights like 160 mph! Then my brakes got hot and I spun real hard in the turn 2 oval brake zone and hit the wall real hard. After that it's pretty much been coffee and cars for me, but I know if I went back out there again I could still dominate.
    You are my hero !!
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