Track Day: Results, I Guess…

Apparently, I did something really fun a couple weekends ago:  I put the pile of “work” I’ve done to my Falcon to the test at Thunderhill Raceway Park (I think that name’s right, but really, they don’t even have a sign on the freeway).  It worked out pretty well, and I only got the car kind of loose one time–this is pretty good, considering I’ve only got relatively cheap Falken street tires.  Relative to speed, I’m not really sure what I did on the straight, but I was hovering around 5000 RPMs in fourth gear (1:1), so I figured it was 100-something.  Straightaways are for losers who can’t get enough of the freeway…

Pics:

GBM51063 GBM52071 EV0G8906 EV0G7506 DSCF0251

The first four pics were courtesy of http://www.gotbluemilk.com, the track photography gurus–they do awesome work.  My wife took the last one, with our less-than awesome house camera.

The experience was educational, and I’m pretty sure my car had more dents than anyone else’s.  I only wish I hadn’t been horrifically sleep-deprived all day; I probably would have had a lot more fun than I did.  I intend to hit the big Nor-Cal three:  Thunderhill (which I’ve done, obviously), Sears Point/Sonoma (name changes all the time), and Laguna Seca.  I might even try this with better tires some day, although I did not seem to touch the limit of my street tires.  I did melt them a bit, however…

My suspension and steering stuff worked great–I came nowhere near any perceived limits with these, but I was not really pushing that hard, either; there’s a ton to be said for proper alignment and fitting the right size tire to a rim.  I did find a reason for better brakes, but this is from threshold braking at 80 MPH, something I usually avoid in real life.  I don’t need better brakes, as I’m more likely to attend occasional autocrosses than trackdays; the real tracks just cost too damn much money (plus catastrophic wear on the car/parts).

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