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Team3S Member Track Report:

Jim Matthews: First track day experience!  May 11, 2002
Elvington Airfield, North Yorkshire, England

Jim's '94 Stealth RT/TT at Elvington Airfield
{ Click to see a bigger image }

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This morning I participated in my first track event, held at Elvington Airfield near the town of the same name in North Yorkshire, England.  The course was marked out with cones and was approximately 2 miles in length.  It was a beautiful, cool day and there were only eight cars in attendance.  It was non-competitive and an "open pit" policy allowed drivers to enter and exit the track at any time.  It cost $120 for six hours of track time (10am - 5pm with an hour off for lunch) plus $15 for helmet rental and $32 for 30 minutes of one-on-one instruction.  In short, absolutely perfect for a first timer!

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After a brief meeting to discuss rules, flags, etc., we took four slow laps to learn the track.  It consisted of (sorry, I don't know all of the right terminology!) a long straight, fast weave to the right, tight chicane (hard right-left-right, long sweeping right, shorter straight, tight left-right-right-left and a deceiving pair of rights leading back into the long straight.

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Cars were staggered at the start and I began third behind two Porsche 928S4s (one had slicks and the other was REALLY loud) and ahead of a Mitsu Lancer Evo VI and a few race-prepared vehicles (an old TVR, a little Caterham Seven and some kind of MR-2 looking thing with a big wing).  Unfortunately, I wore one of my front Porterfield R4S pads down to the backing plate and had to call it a day early (and limp home), but here are a few observations:

1.  Handling is nice and neutral (Michelin Pilot XGT-Z4 all seasons, stock suspension with ECS on Sport).  It tends to understeer slightly under throttle and oversteer when you lift or brake.  Four wheel drifts are easy and a lot of fun (except when I drifted right through a line of cones and off the track!).

2.  These cars are FAST!  I pulled past the Porsches on the straights without too much trouble.  The AVC-R was set to 1.00.

3.  The brakes suck.  At one point, I was running down the MR-2 looking car and found myself with the brakes to the floor, ABS pulsing wondering if I was going to slow down in time to avoid rear-ending it and making the turn.  After that experience, I would accelerate up to about 90 on the straights and then coast up to the turn.  This took a lot of fun out of it; if you're considering a track day, invest in better brakes.

There will be another event in two weeks.  If I can get some new pads in time, I'll be there!  Click HERE to see some of the other cars that were at Elvington that day...

---  Jim Matthews (email)


Jet Black '94 Dodge Stealth R/T Twin-Turbo AWD AWS 6-spd Adjustable Active Suspension, Adjustable Exhaust System K&N FIPK, A'PEXi Super AVC-R v.1 (1.0 bar @ 64% BADC) A'PEXi Turbo Timer (30 sec), Blitz Super Blow-Off Valve Magnecore spark plug wires, Optima Red Top 830 Battery Redline synth fluids (trans= MT-90, xfer & diff= SPHvy) Cryoed rotors, R4S pads, braided lines, red calipers Michelin Pilot XGT-Z4 245/45ZR17, Top Speed: 171 mph G-Tech Pro: 0-60 4.79 sec, 1/4 13.16 sec @ 113.9 mph 1 Feb 99 Dyno Session: 367 SAE HP, 354 lb-ft torque

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Article 2002-2004 Jim Matthews, All Rights Reserved.
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