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Video - Novice driving at Summit Point


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I participated in this past weekend's SCCA PDX on Summit Point's Shenandoah Circuit. Thank God Marshall was in the car as my instructor to help keep me on the track. Marshall kept a running commentary of my exploits via headset, and somehow managed to avoid vomiting, shrieking in terror, or wrestling the controls away from me. I suspect the fact that Marshall spent several years on a ship in the Bering Sea had something to do with his relatively calm demeanor in the face of adversity.

Thanks to Marshall, I learned far more than I had expected. Primarily, I learned that smooth dancing with the car is far more challenging than it looks. My ride along laps with Marshall at the start of the day were silky smooth. Marshall's ride along laps with me for the rest of the day were as jittery and wobbly as a ride on an electric bull mounted to a wooden roller coaster bolted to the deck of a small ship being tossed about in a hurricane with an apprentice captain at the helm. But on a race track, with 22 other novice drivers.

If you're hoping to learn the racing line, pick up some advanced driving skills, or witness some high-speed shenanigans, this ain't the video you're looking for. The video below demonstrates numerous rookie sins, including crappy (or non-existent) rev matching on downshifts, sloppy transitions from brakes to throttle, mid-turn steering adjustments, and missed marks all over the place. In my defense, I've only driven the car about 1300 miles since I bought it. Additionally, I swapped out the shocks, springs and front subframe less than 100 miles before the session, so I was being a bit cautious with what is essentially an unfamiliar car. I was quite wary of tailgating other drivers, overrunning braking zones, and sliding off the track. I was also unfamiliar with the safe run out zones, and figured I'd try to avoid off-track excursions until such time as I know where and when risking them is acceptable.

With the exception of excessive coolant overflow from my new radiator and a fuel leak from the carbs, the car appears to have survived the abuse quite well. I'll give it a thorough inspection this week, and address the coolant and fuel issues. Gotta get the car in tip top shape so I can practice my skillz, and attend autocrosses and track sessions.

http://vimeo.com/27398460

Grice

williamggruff

'76 2002 "Verona" / '12 Fiat 500 Sport "Latte" / '21 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road Prem “The Truck”

 

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congratulations!

looks like you had one of your 10-Best days on EARTH

the best part is driving a 30-year-old car on the track

and still holding pace in the turns and braking areas

with modern digital injected, ABS, ASC, AirBaged -

for a fraction of the cost. You can't do this with

many other 30-year-old production cars.

A testiment to even a STOCK 02.

You know what to focus on for next time.

Life is just waiting untill then..........

i just wish your vid loaded and ran so I could enjoy

the action?

'86 R65 650cc #6128390 22,000m
'64 R27 250cc #383851 18,000m
'11 FORD Transit #T058971 28,000m "Truckette"
'13 500 ABARTH #DT600282 6,666m "TAZIO"

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i just wish your vid loaded and ran so I could enjoy

the action?

This might be a function of a missing Flash plug-in in your browser, or some other donkified software glitch. I've successfully watched the video on 3 computers using Chrome, IE8 and IE7. Best of luck sorting out your techno issues, but you're really not missing much with this video ;-)

I'll post the fourth and final session later this week.

Grice

williamggruff

'76 2002 "Verona" / '12 Fiat 500 Sport "Latte" / '21 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road Prem “The Truck”

 

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Grice,

I just watched a good chunk of your video. I enjoined your passes (Mini, Civic, Golf, etc.)... especially watching you and Marshall chuckle at the red toyota tercel up ahead... which you blew by quickly.

I gotta do one of these... on my bucket list for sometime in the next year.

Nice work.

-Marc

'73 2002 (Agave) - Horst

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Nice video, compliments the one Marshall posted. Your car looks amazingly flat through the turns...that Tercel on the other hand.

Andrew Wilson
Vern- 1973 2002tii, https://www.bmw2002faq.com/blogs/blog/304-andrew-wilsons-vern-restoration/ 
Veronika- 1968 1600 Cabriolet, Athena- 1973 3.0 CSi,  Rodney- 1988 M5, The M3- 1997 M3,

The Unicorn- 2007 X3, Julia- 2007 Z4 Coupe, Ophelia- 2014 X3, Herman- 1914 KisselKar 4-40

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I just watched a good chunk of your video. I enjoined your passes (Mini, Civic, Golf, etc.)... especially watching you and Marshall chuckle at the red toyota tercel up ahead... which you blew by quickly.

Well, we weren't actually chuckling at the Tercel. Marshall asked about the craptastic line I took through the turn--which left me running up along side the Tercel--inquiring whether I had done it on purpose. I explained that I was testing to see just how feasible a pass would be on that short straight, so I was cutting the turn tight to get a look. Marshall got a chuckle out of that, probably because it sounded like a lame, yet plausible excuse for poor driving. But seriously, that was why I cut inside. I mean that.

I actually didn't laugh at any other drivers or cars on the track. It seemed kind of pointless to do so, given that it was my first time on the track and it wasn't a race. I was more focused on improving my own lackluster skills than I was on seeing how well or poorly the other drivers were doing. I did see some maneuvers that were interesting to say the least, some of which resulted in cars going off the track. I opted to stay well within the limits of my car the entire day, partially to maximize my track time, partially to keep repair costs down, and partially to avoid having to explain to Marshall's wife that I had broken or damaged her husband. I just don't see that sort of conversation going so well ;-)

Grice

williamggruff

'76 2002 "Verona" / '12 Fiat 500 Sport "Latte" / '21 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road Prem “The Truck”

 

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Awesome driving Grice!!! You can really tell the passenger seat is a good bit lower just from the height of Marshall's helmet. I hope that those brackets and the trunk are still holding up good. It looks like a blast to fly around that track, still wish I had my project. Keep up the good work!

Chris

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Nice video, compliments the one Marshall posted. Your car looks amazingly flat through the turns...that Tercel on the other hand.

The car has a new set of SPAX adjustable struts and shocks, SPAX Cup springs, ST sway bars front and rear, and poly bushings all around. It's also stripped down to two OMP racing seats, which are mounted 3-4 inches below the stock seat height; there's no carpeting, heat shielding or sound dampening (except for three strips of Rattle Trap on the roof, visible in the video); and there's no back seat. So it's relatively light. The battery is on the floor behind the passenger to keep the mass as low to the ground as reasonably feasible. There's a TEP front strut bar helping to stabilize the front geometry, KMAC stage 2 camber plates up front to increase camber, and KMAC rear camber inserts to reduce camber induced by the low ride height. The rear subframe mounts are flipped, and have have IE poly inserts to increase stiffness. Not surprisingly, the ride is stiff, and there's very little body roll, so the car stays flatter than, say, an 80's Tercel ;-)

Grice

williamggruff

'76 2002 "Verona" / '12 Fiat 500 Sport "Latte" / '21 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road Prem “The Truck”

 

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grice is understating how he did. probably the best first day student i have had.

his car is a hoot. incredibly light. mine feels like a tank in comparison. of course, once he puts a cage in that will add a couple hundred lbs...;-)

key to driving fast is to be SMOOTH. no abrupt movents with the hands, feet or head. gotta make it look like you are on a grocery run. if the car is jerking around it is not able to maximize traction in any direction.

2xM3

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Looks like a nice track. i wish I had bigger b*lls for the track stuff. I tend to get chicken foot in the turns.. Is that the Eric Kerman motor you got from Blunt?

dlm ny country

Yep, that's the Kerman stroker grunting up a storm. I've had some minor challenges tuning the carbs, as they're not a perfectly matched set. I intend to rectify the situation by installing either a set of DCOM 40's that I recently purchased on the FAQ, or a set of DCOE 45's that I plan to purchase from the passenger in the video. Once I get the carbs really dialed in, I can tinker with the timing a bit to release the demons that are trapped in the motor. I've heard them snarling a few times, and felt their demonic hate unleashed in anger. The difference between my current tuning and the ideal tuning for the motor is quite surprising. Lots of tinkering in my future, and lots of fun!

Grice

williamggruff

'76 2002 "Verona" / '12 Fiat 500 Sport "Latte" / '21 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road Prem “The Truck”

 

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Awesome driving Grice!!! You can really tell the passenger seat is a good bit lower just from the height of Marshall's helmet. I hope that those brackets and the trunk are still holding up good. It looks like a blast to fly around that track, still wish I had my project. Keep up the good work!

Chris

Thanks for the compliment, but that's not awesome driving ;-). Your SAE beast would be a really fun car to take on that track. The course is so delightfully twisty. It was a shame we couldn't get mire laps in with the LeMons tii, but quite frankly, without having someone instruct me on the proper racing line, it would have been pretty sketchy dicing it up with 75 cars of widely varying speeds and handling characteristics. Still, I would have loved to pass a bunch of cars in the turns, which a stiffened 2002 can definitely do. I look forward to seeing video.of your SAE car, and to seeing you on the track!

Grice

williamggruff

'76 2002 "Verona" / '12 Fiat 500 Sport "Latte" / '21 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road Prem “The Truck”

 

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