Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Civic takes a beating at Calabogie

My Civic is a tough little car. My friend Rob and I drove the car in 13 different lapping sessions at Calabogie yesterday, for a total of about 5 hours of track time. The car had absolutely no problems. All we did was add gas and, once in a while, oil.

This was the first time for me driving my race car at Calabogie, after several visits as an instructor. It was Rob's first time at the track. Rob went out first and felt confident enough that he did not need me to ride along with him. I had a spin on my very first lap, when I was checking behind me to see if my students were following and lost track of where I was on the track. It turned out I was in Temptation, a corner with a sharply decreasing radius, and I ended up braking mid corner like a total beginner. After that, the day was relatively uneventful. I had an off later in the day at the Brow when I locked up in the short but crucial braking zone. As a result, I flatsptted one of my better tires. We totally cooked a pair of Toyo 888's as well. We also flat-spotted a Hoosier (I had brought 7 tires of three types). My stash of used race tires is rapidly decreasing. I can't say that my lap times were great. The old tires did not help, but I was several seconds per lap behind Carl's pace with my car at the Ted Powell Memorial race in 2009. Part of this is due to the old tires we were using, but part of it is due to my less than great driving. I only had the lap timer in the car for two sessions, and I didn't get many clean laps, but my best time was a 2:37. Carl had managed a 2:29 with new race rubber. I can tell that I am losing time in some of the slow corners and in Temptation. Still, I was flat out in many areas on track (which means I can't go any faster in those areas) and I am confident that if I show up for a race weekend, I will not be totally lost. All in all, both Rob and I had a blast.

The Civic parked at the end of the day
Cool cars spotted:
Ferrari F430
Aston Martin Vantage
Corvette Z06
Lotus Elise (x3)
Acura NSX (x3)
Volvo P1800

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