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