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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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NorCal Track Day

I think it would be fun to get a group together for a track day. I need to get back onto a road course and know there are others in the NorCal area that would like to track their cars as well. Since there are some options for tracks, dates, etc. I figured we should start a discussion.

For those that have never done one, track days are generally run by a track day group (Hooked on Driving, TrackMasters, etc.) or clubs (NASA, SCCA, PCoA, etc.). These groups rent the track and then charge a fee for each participant ($250-350 depending on the group, track, number of sessions, instruction, etc.). Events are typically broken into 30 minute sessions and divided between groups/classes based on experience (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, etc.). Generally you can expect to get 2-2.5 hours of track time over the course of the day.

The only requirements for participation is a SA 2005 or newer helmet and a well maintained car. Prior to the event you should perform a thorough tech inspection (check tires, brake pads/fluids, etc.) but no other modifications are required (unless you're driving a convertible).

There are three major tracks in NorCal: Thunderhill, Sonoma (Sears Point), and Laguna Seca.

Spots for track days at some tracks fill-up quickly, so it is best to plan ahead. Also, track days are rain-or-shine (and almost never give refunds if it rains), so the time of the year might be important for some. Most groups/tracks are available weekends, but others are often mid-week. Track days generally run from 8am-5pm and can be physically and mentally demanding, depending on the track I would recommend looking into a hotel for the night before/after (a 2.5hr drive to Thunderhill trying to make an 8am drivers meeting can make for a very long day).

So, questions for everyone... who's interested in doing a track day event? Which tracks are people interested in? When (season, day of week, etc.) would people like to have the track day? Is there any desire for a two-day event? What on-track experience do people have? Any comments/concerns about doing a track day?

-Todd...

Note: If you're interested in participating check out and post in the Track Day thread on the LS1gto forums. I'm keeping track of participants and providing lots of information over there... it's just simpler that cross-posting everything here.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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NorCal Track Day events:


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 03:51 PM
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I'm (probably) in, though a buddy of mine and I are planning on a late January/early February Buttonwillow or Willow Springs weekend. I also coach High School/Club Volleyball and might run into problems with our tournament schedules. I'm in if I'm free.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by g8firebird View Post
I'm in if I'm free.
Any preference for a NorCal track? Would you prefer a weekday or weekend event? Any desire for two-day events?

I know you've driven at Laguna Seca and Buttonwillow before, so that opens-up lots of options as far as Track Day organizers. What experience level would you say you have? Do you typically run in the point-by or open-passing group?

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Originally Posted by g8firebird View Post
a buddy of mine and I are planning on a late January/early February Buttonwillow or Willow Springs weekend.
Cool. I'm guessing you'd be going with Speed Ventures?

-Todd...
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCorzett View Post
Any preference for a NorCal track? Would you prefer a weekday or weekend event? Any desire for two-day events?

I know you've driven at Laguna Seca and Buttonwillow before, so that opens-up lots of options as far as Track Day organizers. What experience level would you say you have? Do you typically run in the point-by or open-passing group?


Cool. I'm guessing you'd be going with Speed Ventures?

-Todd...
I'm down for Laguna or Thunderhill, though my street tires probably won't take a full weekend of track use as they are right now (I've been holding off on track wheels because I'm still toying with a C4/C5 dedicated track car, but I bought a streetbike instead last summer).

Sears point has a lot of walls/things to hit, just something to think about.

I prefer point by simply because the G8 is my daily driver, and I'll probably do Speed Ventures for the Buttonwillow or Willow Springs event.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 11:39 PM
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i like that first event at sonoma...


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 11:57 PM
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I'm down for what ever, I have been wanting to do this for a long time. If it's a week day I'll need a little advance notice and maybe a little luck getting it off.

I would like to do one that has the passing in the straights only. I'm not up for straight up racing yet, but I don't think they would let a beginer out there like that anyway. Hell, I think the newbie track driver might be required to have an instructor at first anyway?

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Morris View Post
I'm down for what ever, I have been wanting to do this for a long time. If it's a week day I'll need a little advance notice and maybe a little luck getting it off.
Good to know. I think it's going to be at least a few weeks (late January or Feburary) at the earliest. Ideally we'd do multiple days over the year, so if the first one doesn't work there will be more. As more people get experience our options for Track Day organizers increases too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morris View Post
I would like to do one that has the passing in the straights only. I'm not up for straight up racing yet, but I don't think they would let a beginer out there like that anyway. Hell, I think the newbie track driver might be required to have an instructor at first anyway?
For divers that have never been on-track before, most groups require an instructor for the first session or two (some the whole day). The beginning groups are mostly point-by passing and only in designated zones (long straights).

As you gain more experience and move into the higher run groups is when you'd start to see "open passing". Intermediate groups are often open passing on straights only. The advanced groups can pass anywhere, but in HPDE's it's still not head-to-head racing.

-Todd...
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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There's been some interest made towards a NASA event at Sonoma February 9-10. I'm still trying to find more details, but would people be interested in that date?

-Todd...
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 12:09 PM
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I'm free that weekend. Depending on the cost I'm in. Mind if a non-G8 ('90 RX7 Turbo) tags along? My friend and I may just skip Buttonwillow to do this one.

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Buttonwillow 2:11.2 (Coilovers) 2:17.4 (Stock Suspension)
1/4 - 13.3 @ 105

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by g8firebird View Post
I'm free that weekend. Depending on the cost I'm in. Mind if a non-G8 ('90 RX7 Turbo) tags along? My friend and I may just skip Buttonwillow to do this one.
I have no problem with it... it's fun to have people to run/talk with. Besides, there's no way we'll have enough people to get a run groups all to our selves anyhow.

I'm following-up with the NASA HPDE director to find out more info on the price/specifics for that weekend. Hopefully we'll know soon.

-Todd...
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 05:23 PM
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Which track event is the furthest North? Something as close to Western WA as possible?


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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Which track event is the furthest North? Something as close to Western WA as possible?
Thunderhill is the farthest North... basically a 10.5hr drive down I-5 from you (~3hrs south of the California/Oregon border).

-Todd...
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 06:11 PM
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I can handle that. Drive down the night before, stay in a hotel Friday, race Saturday, drive home Sunday. Fun weekend!


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Updated a few things in the second post.

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Originally Posted by ExpLiciTSainT View Post
I can handle that. Drive down the night before, stay in a hotel Friday, race Saturday, drive home Sunday. Fun weekend!
That's what I like to hear!

-Todd...
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 01:41 PM
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I just need to get my car back together... and reliably.


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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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There's been some interest in the Friday, February 22nd Hooked on Driving event at Sonoma (Sears Point)... rather than the Feb 9-10 NASA event. The Yeti and I can make this date, is anyone else available that day? The price is $350 but that includes instruction and lots of track time.

-Todd...
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 06:28 PM
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I'm still finishing the car so I can't commit yet.


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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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I'm still finishing the car so I can't commit yet.
I figured a Thunderhill event would be better for you (closer at least), this is one to get The Yeti up to speed on track days. While he thinks he'll only do it once... but we both know he'll get bit by the bug!

-Todd...
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCorzett View Post
I figured a Thunderhill event would be better for you (closer at least), this is one to get The Yeti up to speed on track days. While he thinks he'll only do it once... but we both know he'll get bit by the bug!

-Todd...
Haha no worries. I wouldn't ask for a northern track until I am 100% committed. I'd love to be down there with you guys though. You both have some nice rides that I'd love to compete against. :-)


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