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…


GBM51063 GBM52071 EV0G8906 EV0G7506 DSCF0251

The first four pics were courtesy of, 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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