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The Weekend That Changed Everything

What to do.... This weekend forced me to realize it was time for a change. So there are big changes coming, I'll get to what brought all that on but for now let's get back to how things started. I was at two different tracks over the long weekend, setting personal bests at both tracks, hanging out with friends and meeting some really good people.

Buttonwillow was first on the list to start things off. This was a Friday event so the number of attendees was low. Speed District was the host of the event and everything for me and Project 71-109 went smooth. I was able to find a little more time through a couple sections by carrying more speed. Two of the major improvements spots were thru the Bus Stop and Phil Hill corners. Both require full commitment on corner entry.

I was hoping to break a sub 2 minute lap which would have been a 4 second improvement over the last time I was out but only managed a 2:02 lap time. Dropping 2 seconds for a new PB is great but I was still a little disappointed that I wasn't able to get a sub 2 minute lap. Once midday hit and it started to get hotter I figured I wouldn't push things and save the car and tires for Laguna Seca on Sunday.

I started talking to the owner of this wicked 86 running aero, wide fenders and a SC that was parked next to me. After the normal never-ending car talk that was only interrupted by our different run groups being called I asked if he wanted to ride shotgun. Recently, I've enjoyed more of the coaching aspect at the track. I don't consider myself an instructor or anything but if someone can gain any knowledge from how I drive, then why not. The session which was suppose to be just a fun time out was absolutely crazy. While chasing a Mustang we had an Ariel Atom go off and completely dust the entire track to zero visibility, then later in the run we ended up playing with the driver of a Porsche who we had been hanging out with. Needless to say it wasn't just a "let me show you my line" set of laps.

Here's the link to the session. Enjoy!!

After all that fun it was time to pack up and head up to Monterey and prep myself for a fun day out at Laguna Seca with my buddy and his Supra.

So this was my first time back to Laguna Seca since installing the wing so I was interested to see how the additional downforce would effect me on what I consider my home course. Turn 1 which is the little kink after passing through the start/finish line was starting to hairy as the rear end of Project 71-109 would get real loose, like I've said before. It was full pucker loose creating that hill flat out, the video's don't do it justice.

I've loved Laguna Seca way before I even set foot on its hallowed grounds but being able to drive through all of its elevation changes and of course the corkscrew is just pure bliss. Typically I'm the most calm at Laguna Seca and I've found it to be my test and tune track. Like I said typically. This Sunday things went a little sideways.

This would be the first track day for my buddy (check him out on IG @naftygr) and the first time doing anything like this in his new Supra. We were were lucky enough to do a little track walk the day before. If you don't know you can walk most of the fence line of the track pretty easily and you're able to drive to most of the major corners which allowed me to talk my buddy through a lot of the intricacies that the sims just don't give you the feel for. On the day of my run group was also first to go out so I had him do a ride along with me to show him my line and to help him get a feel for the track before he went out. Well he was a fast learner and in a fast car and I guess this is where things starting going sideways, well at least for me.

Ever wonder what happens when you come into Laguna Seca's corkscrew to hot, well check out the vid below. In the full vid you'll see the BMW was holding up some of the fasters cars and when it came to Project 71-109 he probably thought his BMW was way faster, which going up the hill into the corkscrew it definitely pulled harder then my s2k. As I passed the BMW I waited way longer then I normally do yo brake and also was not on the line I like to run. No excuses and not the BMW drivers fault I just didn't get the car settled and was still trying to trail brake as I turned into the drop of the corkscrew. Well that was it and the rear swung around, there was no saving so I was along for the ride. Thankfully I came to complete stop just inches before I hit the wall.

At the end of my buddies 1st session he had all ready set a faster time then my PB by 1 second and this was on his first session, which meant he was only going to get faster and the day went on and he got more comfortable. So for me it was time to get serious, I couldn't just let my buddy set a faster time than me his first time out. As you saw I ended up almost putting in the wall at the corkscrew, so that blew that session. Session 3 went a lot better and I was able to drop a full second and set a new PB which was great until my buddy came and had easily went faster. Oh well..

This BMW had a bad day going off in turn 4. Lucky he didn't seemed hurt and the car overall looked like it would be able to be fixed. After grabbing some lunch and walking through the paddock admiring all the cool cars it was time to adjust the suspension setting and prep to go back out. I had 2 more sessions to see if I could improve on my time.

After seeing some of the custom helmets my stickered up helmet just isn't cutting it. I think for my next helmet I'll shoot for a some sort of Japanese themed design. I'm really feeling the look of the Stilo helmets going to have to try one on and see how it feels.

After lunch the Supra ended up with brake fade so he was pretty much done for the day. I went out the the last 2 sessions and just couldn't find any more time in Project 71-109. One of the sessions was more like going to war, I got bunched up with what seemed like the entire run group and everyone was fighting for position like they had money on the race. It was super chaotic and no-one was driving clean. So for the day The Supra ended up faster the Project 71-109, the s2k just didn't have enough to keep up

It was a long drive home, well what seemed even longer than usual. The 6 hour drive gave me plenty of time to think over the entire weekend, what went good, what went bad and in the end what could be improved on with both my driving and Project 71-109. The last is what I spent the most time on, my skills and what further could be done to the s2k to set faster lap times. The 6 hour drive gave me enough time to analyze everything and figure out my next move, but more on that soon.

Everything Else.. Enjoy!!


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