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Team3S Member Track Report:

Red Gradient Line, 1k GIF

Chuck Willis:  Porsche Club, March 2-3, 2002
Lone Star Region Porsche Club of America
"High Speed Drivers Education", Texas World Speedway, College Station, TX

Red Gradient Line, 1k GIF


I'll keep it brief because my fingers are still frostbitten...

Red Gradient Line, 1k GIF


I thought I was going to get a lot of free time, but at the last minute got asked to instruct. When we left Houston Saturday morning, it was 54 degrees. By the time we reached College Station, 90 miles northwest, it was 34 degrees and dropping. I've never seen so many people wearing helmets standing around the grid!

My dear wife, Diana, accompanied me in the '93 VR4 and helped me set up the '94 VR4 for the track. I missed the first Red session Saturday morning, but had three really excellent sessions later. First run, I drove with the DSBC set at low boost (about 10 psi) which was plenty. Second run, I took out a former student, and went off track for the first time in 2 and a half years. We were following a Porsche into Turn 4. He had just filled up with fuel and didn't have the cap on right. He started sloshing fuel over one of his tires and started doing the death wiggle at track out, about when we hit the apex. I said "sh&t." and "We're going off." I had the choice of hitting him, adding steering, spinning and hitting him, or unwinding steering and driving straight off the track, which is what I did. No damage to either car - thanks the the wonders of AWD, no tow truck necessary! At least the guy had the courtesy to explain what happened later in the paddock.

Had a fun follow-the-leader with a race-prepped BMW. One lap I executed 13-14-15 perfectly and he didn't and I flew up past him, and then missed the upshift into 4th (duh), so I looked like a jerk. I couldn't really press him on Sunday, but Saturday I had him on the ropes.

I was blessed with a Green student in a V8 Firebird who had 15 years of ralley and sprint racing in the UK and a Blue student already Solo qualified with an '85 (Euro) 930 Turbo. Green student advanced to Blue on Sunday, Blue student advanced to Yellow last session Sunday. I was really just baggage and fine tuning - it's so easy when the driver already has all the car control skills.

At the end of the first Red session Sunday, a race-prepped Porsche (my Team Leader) dumped 14 quarts of oil on the line from Turn 2 through Turn 9. I was on the track about 1/2 lap behind him, and approaching the end of the main straight at about one-twenty-something when the debris flag came out. Not knowing where or what kind of debris, I dumped as much speed as possible in the flat approaching turnin for Turn 2. You can't just brake harder, because you don't know if the debris is actually in your braking zone, you just brake for a longer time and try to feel if you have grip. Then as I turned in I noticed the two Porsches in front of me going squirrelly at the apex and trackout for Turn 2. So was I at the apex, but saved by the miracles of AWD! Then you breathe hard and think you're out of trouble. We get around the track to Turn 6 and the same two cars are kicking up dirt at the track out for Turn 6. The oil was barely visible, only a slightly darker gray than the pavement. They shut down the track to spread kitty litter and then sent the Green students out to soak it up! Actually, the grip was not bad after the kitty litter. The delay caused them to combine Red and White groups.

When we gridded up for the last Red/White session, a race-prepped 944 in the Yellow group dumped a ten-foot wide, sixty-foot long swath of oil on the line through Turn 5 during their checkered lap. The kitty litter was only marginally successful - I drove a displaced turnin apex and trackout the entire session (slow).

Diana was only able to clock a few laps because of the high wind and low temp. I haven't looked at the numbers, but she was saying I was running 2:15's a couple of 2:10's and some 2:20's in the last oily session. I think were gonna invest in a lap timer, because there are lots of other things Diana could be doing.

I corded another front right tire. I still have a spare that will go on the rear. Maybe the miracle antisway bars will stop this. This is the 3rd event on the same oil change and brake fluid, and about 5th or so on the same set of Panther Plus pads, although last month was only one of two days. I'm finally seeing come wear on the pads, maybe new ones next time.

No overtemp problems!

---   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 255R40Z17 tires

Red Gradient Line, 1k GIF

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