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Thread: VIR followup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Lynchburg, Va
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    VIR followup

    My weekend at VIR just wrapped up and it was a great time. I'm unskilled enough to warrant the slow group, but that's probably still a good thing. The weather could not have been better, high 50s in the morning, high 70s maybe low 80s in the afternoon.

    My biggest discovery of the weekend is that my (our) cars will get fuel starvation starting at about a half a tank. Turn 1 at VIR is a moderately wide u-turn and coming out of it I would get some starvation but no issues anywhere else on the track.

    I also got a lot more comfortable with the oak tree turn which people apparently struggle with for extended periods of time. I also mustered up the confidence to get deeper into the braking zones and get a little into trail braking. On the second day, once the track got hot things got a little more slippery for me and I had to fight some understeer on a lot of turns.

    My front tires on the fence of needing to be replaced by the end of the summer before I got on the track, now I'll be surprised if they'll make it through July.

    Quite out of the ordinary for the weekend, there was a wreck in the instructor group during exercises. They were doing side-by-sides and the one car dropped two wheels off the track and hit the start of some curbing. That, of course, upset the car, may or may not have wrenched the wheel out of the drivers hands and sent the car into the side of its exercises partner. No injuries, but decent, but repairable damage to both cars.

    One of my track friends blew two front tires, one on day one, the other on day 2, left, then right. and another in the group of friends came in from his session billowing steam from his hood. The radiator fan in his WRX decided that it didn't like the upper coolant line and ate away at it until it broke. I discovered the leak by putting my face near the line and squeezing it, would not repeat.

    My big scare of the weekend was on the last run of the weekend. There was a car on the track where the driver never got comfortable with speed, braking, or really learned the line. I came up on her in the last third of the track, and had noticed a c5 or c6 vette hauling ass and knew he would be on me by the front straight. Front straight comes, slow car gives me a point, just as I was going to make my move I checked my mirrors and saw the vette flying out of the turn and rip by me and the slow car.

    I don't know how any of the DEs that you guys do work but this one has a no point, no pass rule. He was definitely the asshole in the situation and should have come in behind me and I probably would have pointed him by and tucked in after him to pass the slower driver. If I hadn't checked my mirrors and just come out he would have probably ended up in the back of me and very well may have pushed me into the slow car. I may not have been at fault, but my car still would have been totaled.

    I have a couple videos from the first day and once I get them encoded I'll pick a good one and put it up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Great read. Looking forward to pictures and video.

    "Arnold smoking a cigar in the Red Square; your argument is invalid." -Galaxy S5
    2003 Oxford Green ZSP 5MT 330i
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Baton Rouge, LA
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    760
    That sounds like an excellent time. I would love to get on the track and drive my car how its meant to be driven, but im curious how durable these cars are as mine is my DD? I know it should be fine, but I can't afford to go without transportation.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigerTater View Post
    That sounds like an excellent time. I would love to get on the track and drive my car how its meant to be driven, but im curious how durable these cars are as mine is my DD? I know it should be fine, but I can't afford to go without transportation.
    As long as you maintain it regularly, shouldn't see any issues. Smolck's car had 210k miles and he rode it hard.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Lynchburg, Va
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    Mine is my DD too, but I'm a bit low on miles at just under 83k. I'm sure that I'm in the norm with having a required track inspection before the event. Its something like a state safety inspection with more attention tot he suspension, and fresh brake fluid. The most stressed parts are going to be, in no particular order, tires, brakes, hubs, diff, cooling system, and then your engine and trans will get more of a work out than they usually do, but unless you miss a shift you probably aren't going to hurt anything.

    I have learned, just as I was told by many-a-person, that in your first couple of events, your car will be better at driving than you will ask of it. Unless you are out there throwing caution to the wind (and your instructor is guaranteed to not let you), and you still have your dsc and abs on, you're fairly unlikely to do any physical damage to the car.

    That being said, driving on a track is a very good way to find the weak points in your car, and it will accelerate something that was starting to break, and it can stress parts that may not have broken if you never tracked it. It's entirely possible to blow a coolant line, break a radiator, have a hub seize up, or any number of other things. But it is a hell of a lot of fun.

    Your first time can be a bit of overload though, I know it was for me. There are a lot of highway habits to unlearn. I still would 100% recommend it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Silicon Valley
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    1,630
    Asiah119, I enjoyed your story. Having done many track days and upgraded the suspension and tires, I still run into many turns and times where the car exceeds my ability to drive it. VIR sounds like a blast... maybe someday I can fly there and rent a track car, or drive my car across country and drive it. (Isn't the Oak Tree itself gone now?)

    I have never noticed fuel starvation but rarely drove any big right-hand sweepers and previously never ran below 1/4 tank because of the fuel starvation concern. Maybe I wasn't taking those right-hand turns fast enough! Last year added the M3 fuel tank baffle.

  7. #7
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    Jan 1970
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    I'm very surprised you're fuel starving at that tank level.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by M0nk3y View Post
    I'm very surprised you're fuel starving at that tank level.
    I'm not. I get starvation on long sweepers at half tank


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wertyu78 View Post
    I'm not. I get starvation on long sweepers at half tank


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    Right. A long right hand sweeper.

    I know different car, but autocross I've ran at 1/8th of a tank on a 60 mph sweeper w/out starving.

    I thought E36s were bad...they starve at a bit over 1/4 of a tank

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk


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  10. #10
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    May 2012
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    TIRERACK.com - Revolutionizing Tire Buying
    Quote Originally Posted by M0nk3y View Post
    Right. A long right hand sweeper.

    I know different car, but autocross I've ran at 1/8th of a tank on a 60 mph sweeper w/out starving.

    I thought E36s were bad...they starve at a bit over 1/4 of a tank

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk
    Left as well.


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