Playing in the middle of the Streets

Here’s the video of my first session at the Streets of Willow Springs (SOW) on April 18, 2008.

I tried to take it easy in the beginning and still spun on my second lap in the left-hander after the chicane. If you start watching at 3:25, you’ll see my spin shortly thereafter. As you can see, the car broke away from me suddenly. Does anyone have any ideas what may have induced the spin? I wasn’t getting onto the power yet nor was I entering the turn at an aggressive pace.

Here’s the video of my second session at the SOW.

This was the most fun session of the day as I had a great tussle with a R53 MINI Cooper S. First, he courteously let me by. When I saw I wasn’t able to draw away from him much, I let him by. He wasn’t able to pull away from me, either. He pointed me by a second time shortly before the camcorder’s battery died. I didn’t get to talk to him to find out what he’s done to the car, but I know he was on Nitto NT-01 R compound tires.

Here’s footage of my third session at the SOW.

I had a great battle with the driver of an E46 M3 Coupe until I ran out of talent around 9:45 into the video. I got loose exiting the chicane either from a bump or from trying to apply too much of my car’s 187 whp. I almost saved it, but ultimately lost.

You can also learn how not to drive a Porsche 911 on the track. The gentleman in the black 911 (997) was driving it too slowly for the fast intermediate group. He approached me afterward saying he didn’t like how close I was to him in the corners and was letting up on the straightaways so I couldn’t pass him. 🙄 Perhaps he is unaware of how much more powerful his car is than mine.

My best (timed) lap of the day (1:34.728) was during this session some time after the spin. The organization running the track day forgot to charge their AMB transponders on Thursday night. Because of that, timing was unavailable for sessions 1 and 2 and the transponder I ended up with ran out of juice between sessons 4 and 5.

Here’s my fourth session at the SOW.

I began this session with Barber Volkswagen/Subaru’s Alvin Tolosa riding shotgun to give me some feedback. After a couple of laps, I brought the car in and picked up my friend Louis who was participating in his first track day with his 2006 Lexus IS 350.

Here’s video of my fifth and last session of the day.

The driver of the E46 M3 Coupe I was chasing in the third session apparently got a lot better by the end of the day as I couldn’t hang with him anymore. In this session, my new friend Chris rode along with me. Chris was participating in his second track day with his 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan.

I tried to apply some of Alvin’s advice of using up more of the track and going deeper into the chicane in this session. It’s too bad the transponder’s battery died before the session. It would’ve been nice to see what effect his feedback would’ve had on my lap times.

For those wondering what the vibration/sound is from the third session on, it’s my car’s left front wheel bearing throwing in the towel.

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About USCTrojan4JC

God Follower, husband, father, USC Trojan alumnus, Mazda employee

7 responses to “Playing in the middle of the Streets”

  1. Anonymous says :

    looks fun, but by the sounds of it, you’re spending a lot on repairs on your car. perhaps you should think about getting a cheapo daily driver and keeping your wrx for a track car.

  2. sup_cuz says :

    i’ve spun on that left hand right after the chicane too. it looks like either you hit a hole, or you were braking too hard while turning then let off the brake. of course i could be wrong.

  3. banilla777 says :

    you spun out at 3:25 on your first video cuz you turned in while your weight was still on the front wheels from braking. a counter steer and getting on the gas a bit earlier would have saved ya rather than getting off the gas completely. either that or do you braking in a straight line before you turn in. i brake into the turn to get the tail out a bit, but i’m right back on the gas.bad idea to drive on a bad bearing. my friend locked up her front wheel during a turn and spun a few times. use neo grease when you do the rebuild, it doesn’t melt away as fast as anything else.

  4. GodFollower4JC says :

    @banilla777 – I was already completely off the brakes.  Any other ideas?

  5. GodFollower4JC says :

    @banilla777 – If it’s unclear above, I had done all my braking in a straight line for that turn.  Like I wrote earlier, I didn’t go into the turn hot at all.  I also took the car to Irvine Subaru for its 90K mile service on Saturday.  I had them do both front wheel bearings and the LF hub assembly at the same time.

  6. banilla777 says :

    ok, so you did your braking early, but the weight was still shifted to the front when you started turning in, thats pretty obvious in the video. getting on the gas a bit earlier and small countersteer prob would have straightened you out. i think you waited too long then floored it as you spun out as a reaction. or it might just be your pinks being too stiff in the rear. you’re not running stiffer rear sways, are you?

  7. GodFollower4JC says :

    @banilla777 – I don’t think the weight was still overloaded on the front when I started turning in, but it might’ve been. :shrug: =Þ After that spin, I took that turn in second gear the rest of the day. When I would feel the rear getting light, I’d feed in some gas to transfer some weight back to the rear in conjunction with a little less lock on the wheel. I wasn’t on the gas at all when I spun. The sways are stock. The rear Konis are set at what I used at Buttonwillow. I appreciate your feedback! Thanks!

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