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Team3S Member Track Report:

Red Gradient Line, 1k GIF

Chuck Willis:  Porsche Club, December 9-10, 2000
Lone Star Region Porsche Club of America
"High Speed Drivers Education", Texas World Speedway, College Station, TX

Red Gradient Line, 1k GIF


It was another great weekend for driving at TWS, with the exception of the pea soup fog that cancelled the morning sessions on both Saturday and Sunday. As a matter of fact, the Red Group wound up losing both morning sessions on Sunday so the students could get decent track time. I had to laugh about the track being slick the first session Saturday morning, since there were only a couple of us with AWD, but it dried up nicely. My VR4 was the token Mitsubishi at the track - didn't even see an Eclipse this time.

Red Gradient Line, 1k GIF


This was the swan song for my '93 VR4: I'm transplanting the Ground Control suspension over to my '94 VR4 and getting it track-worthy between now and February. The '93 performed flawlessly. I was running consistently 2:20 on the 2.9 mile course, about 6 seconds off my best times, and loafing on the main straight. Fastest turnin to turn one was 125, but usual was 100-110. I was carrying students on three of my five runs, and that tends to slow you down, because you want to minimize risks with a student in the car.

The Panther brake pads are really helping with grab. My ABS kicked in about every time I really used the brakes. The bad thing was that the machine shop did a lousy job of turning the crossdrilled rotors last time: I had to return two to be redone when I was installing them - I should've returned all four. That just accentuated the jitter from the ABS.

No problems with transient overtemps: the flush and fill, new hoses, new thermostat, and special attention to the lower hose connection to the thermostat housing seems to have done the trick.

My routine exit speed from the last turn onto the straight is now 80 mph. This puts me at 110 mph and in fourth gear well before the start finish sign, maybe down the straight. I am definitely loafing down the straight. There is plenty of pedal left when I turnin to turn one. The '93 is running about 350 hp, I guess, with the K&N and manual boost at 12.5 psi. Oh yeah, no missing at high speed and high boost with the regapped spark plugs. The '94 will be running around 400 hp, with the dual solenoid boost controller set at 15 psi.

I was driving on the tires that will not die: My son's cast off Yokohama O32R's. This is the 12th DE event for these tires and they STILL have tread. I remounted them last month intending to use them at Heartland Park, but was sick and missed the fun. I finally destroyed my old set of Yoko's on Labor Day Weekend after 12 DE's. This set just won't give up. I already have 4 new ones (255R40's) waiting for me. I guess the old ones go back in the garage instead of the trash heap.

Driving with the Red group has its advantages and disadvantages. First advantage is free admission ($190) and a garage for $25 (no more EZ-up!) These guys have zero ego problems and drive safely. The ones with the race-prepped cars are just trying out tuning or just practicing: they have other serious racing venues. But it is still disheartening to get spanked so hard by their damn rocket ships - I think I saw maybe three cars in the group that don't have roll cages, including mine. They are all good natured about it, but my arm sure gets tired giving those passing signs. I am learning to take a lot of turns off-line, which is valuable. I stayed on the track again, which is more than I can say for several of them this weekend!

Instructing is rewarding, but very demanding. It's exhausting and hectic to ride with one student, try to summarize the session and then run over to get your own car on the track. I missed 1/3 of a session, because my green student needed debriefing. I had two students, one in Blue with a Boxster and one in Green with a '91 NSX. I took a third student in a Miata the last session Sunday while my Green student had her check ride and took a fourth in Blue in a 911 Cabriolet while my Blue student soloed the last session Sunday. Both my students will be promoted to the next run groups at their next event, pending the Blue student's checkride.

It's really fun seeing the students improve over the course of the event. It's amazing how maybe one thing you tell them makes a pronounced impact on their driving. It's also fun to drive different cars around the tack for a couple of laps to "show them the line" (grin). Some of the instructors have been driving the track so long that they have forgotten what it was to be Green. I feel like the Green Group's union rep, because I spent more time in Green than any of the other instructors, and have been away from it the shortest time! February is the annual instructor's clinic where I'll relearn everything I forgot since last year, but where we'll get some more help from new instructors.

Oh hell, I have to do some work today. When we hit the lottery, I'll spend all my time playing with my Hot Wheels.

---   Chuck Willis, 94 VR4
DSBC, GReddy(?) filter charger, GC and Eibach springs, Porterfield Crossdrilled front and rear rotors, Panther Plus brake pads, Goodridge stainless steel brake lines, GReddy SuperDrager exhaust, Volk TE37 17" wheels, Yoko AO37 255/40ZR17 tires

Red Gradient Line, 1k GIF

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Article 2000-2004 Chuck Willis, All Rights Reserved.
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