When we were finally allowed access to the paddocks of the big track, we had a great BBQ in the paddocks. I decided not to camp this year and split a motel room with Choo. Carl's brother Perry was staying at the same motel, which allowed us to leave our race cars at the track and ride in comfort to the motel in Perry's Cadillac CTS-V. Nice.
On Monday, the plan was that fellow instructor Jean-Sébastien would share my car. I was running in the advanced group and he was in the intermediate group. For the first session, I took Pascal's girlfriend for a few laps in his Civic hatch so she could see the track. She decided that the track was a bit much for her and decided not to drive it. I got to try Pascal's car and can confirm that it is fast in a straight line, but more of a handful than mine in the corners.
When I finally hit the track in my own car, I had a blast. After a discussion with one of the track marshals, I decided to try a different line (single apex) through corner two. After analyzing the data, I still cannot confirm if it is faster or not. At least I now have two options for entry into that corner, which could come in handy in a race situation.
I managed to follow Pascal for several laps, as I often can when he has a passenger on board. In the following session, I managed to follow him yet again, even though he had no passenger. I managed a 1:43.20 in that session, my best ever lap since installing the 1.6 liter engine in late 2008. I was unable to match that time later in the day as my Toyo RA1 tires seemed to be gripping less and less. Maybe it was the rising track temperature?
I also got to try Choo's fast 2.4 liter Civic. The body is identical to my car, but the engine comes from an Acura TSX. After a few laps, I managed to get down to a 1:41. Choo himself managed a 1:37... pretty darn fast. I rode with him for a few laps and he is really driving well. He had the car lightly drifting in corners 2 and 4, which I would not dare to do (on purpose) in my own car.
When Nick offered me the chance to try his E36 M3, I could not refuse. I took it much easier with this car, as I am not that used to rear-wheel-drive. Still, I managed to enjoy myself and I can see why people love these cars.
All in all, it was a great day. The only negative point: I did not get the GPS data on my fastest run because the files were somehow corrupted. At least I have those laps on video (see below).
Here are some pics:
Here is a little video I put together of a fun few laps chasing Pascal around the track: