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Laguna Seca - The Ultimate Track Day Fun

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca or simply Laguna Seca for short is by far one of my most favorite tracks to drive on. This was a very special track event was hosted by NCRC (Northern California Racing Club) what made it special was that this event was an unlimited db event. If you don't know normally Laguna Seca track events have a noise restriction but this weekend was initially slated to have a pro sanctioned racing event but do to covid had been cancelled.

The lack of a noise restriction allowed everyone with a racecar to come out and not have to worry about being black flagged for noise. The event was very well organized and professionally run with run groups going out like clockwork.

For me it was another opportunity for more seat time in Project 71-109 this time with the addition of a set of 255 re-71 Potenza's mounted to a set of 949 17x9 +55 wheels out back. I wasn't able to get the fronts in place before having to head out for the event, so I was stuck with the stock 215s up front.

The 215s up front were 1 of the 2 negative issues in an otherwise perfect day. The other recurring issue was my 3rd gear. For some reason I kept missing my upshift into 3rd gear. After talking to a few people I have a couple things i'll have to try to rectify what could be the causing the 3rd gear issue

The rest of the day couldn't have been any better. First lets start with the fact that the high temp for the day was an absolutely perfect 68 degrees. With a little marine layer fog to start the morning that broke into a perfectly sunny cool day.

The turnout of vehicles for the unlimited event were outstanding with everything from a rare McLaren Senna to a fully race prepped Pantera. Now like a said at the beginning with an unlimited noise event everyone brought out their fun cars. For this track day I decided to run the Open - Slow run group which I thought would put me in with a bunch of race prepped Miata's and etc. Wow was I wrong.

My run group was dominated by race prepped Porsche's, Mustang's and more. It was funny at one of the pre-grids I was between 3 race prepped Porsche's and a McLaren. One good thing running in an open run group and with all the big boys was that I didn't get caught up by slow traffic and was able to focus on running consistent lap times.

So how did Project 71-109 do? Well after a few laps the 215's up front were done, resulting in a slow turn in and pushing through the corners both of which forced me to slow my entry speeds and also have to wait longer before being able to get back onto the go pedal.

Everyone I talked to about Laguna Seca all have the same question; what's the corkscrew like? Honestly, I find the corkscrew to be one of the easiest corners on the whole track. Don't get me wrong dropping 3 stories does have a roller coaster feel and it is fun. My favorite corner has to be the kink of turn 6, where I found a quick upshift to 3rd allowed me to settle the front end, turn in at full throttle and just go for it up the hill towards the famous corkscrew.

Now the day wasn't without a little drama for Project 71-109, during my second session I applied a tad too much throttle and found myself 2 off at turn 4, thankfully it didn't result in a spin but at the end of the session when I pulled into the pits I had a terrible rattle and banging.

At first I thought the worse, figuring and bent or damaged something in the suspension. After jacking up the car and working my way around the car I found that the exhaust hangers on the passenger rear had completely torn which left the muffler hanging.

Now here's where I really got lucky, I had parked next to another S2k owner (Nathan) who after I explained what had happened and that I was attempting to fix my exhaust with, of course zip ties, Nathan went to digging through a box he had and after a few seconds pulled out an extra exhaust hanger.

With the exhaust secured it was time to get back out there for the last sessions.

After finishing up for the day I tool a final walk around the paddock while my car cooled off and to take a few more pics. With the car, specifically the brakes a little cooler (still hot) I swapped out my brakes for my street set and headed back down to SoCal. For the next 6 hours I replayed the day taking in what went well and what things needed to be addressed. Laguna Seca is my all-time favorite track, I will attempt to get one last track day in before the end of the year hopefully this next time I'll get my a couple more of my crew to come out so we can have some fun challenging each other. It's also about time the Project 71-109 and the 335i have another friendly grudge match.

Sometimes things move fast. As I'm typing this I already have more parts that are going on the car to fix the issues I had and I'm prepping for the Vtec Club event next week at Chuckwalla. Well its time for me to get back to work on Project 71-109.

Everything Else. Enjoy!!


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