Guest post by Carl in Southern California
Wow! You guys missed out. The Buttonwillow track is too fun.
There were as smattering of other cars like Radical SR3, Viper, Porsches ,VW’s, Audi, BMW and Mini’s.
We get on the track by 9am. Within 2 laps, full throttle over a rise and getting barely airborne the suspension sets and bang a huge blast of sparks out my back end can be seen in my peripheral vision in my mirrors. I run a challenge race exhaust I don’t here anything pop or feel suspension bottom. I’m on full throttle to the next turn and everything is O.K.. Into the third sweeper I’m feathering the throttle then back to full throttle into the essess before a short straight. BOG! If feels like 5th gear but I upshifted from 3rd to 4th. What the f*&k? Thankfully, pit entrance is just ahead. Car sounds a bit ratty now. I get out look at the engine and my right cat is glowing cherry red hot. Arick, part of our group, is standing right behind my right exhaust pipe. Plink! Arrick get hits with something on his leg, “Hey, your catalytic converter is puking itself all over me!” I rev the motor and it looks like a 5-year-old blowing cookie crumbs out of his mouth from a partly chewed cookie.
With makeshift tools, I proceed to pound the rest of the convert guts out. Ferrari holds the catalyst in with stainless steel wire mesh that looks just like their wiring…a bowl of pasta thrown into your car. It took about 45 minutes to get this bird’s nest of stainless steel wool looking crap out of my catalyst. O.K.! Cat back in; fire the car up, perfect.
Later, I’m behind Byron in his 348 and his car is clean again from the track water hose. I have the video camera going and the starter waves us onto the track. We get to the first turn and B slams on the brakes. I’m on his 6 and he cranks the turn up to the right.
I back off and take a different line, B is machine-gunning the track for the first few turns as I dodge the rocks and whatever flying off his car. Things settle and we go around for a few laps. I get some good video and B waves me by. I have open track in front of me and I’m running to catch the cars ahead. There’s no one around and everything is quiet just me and the car. Let me tell you, Rob Schermerhorn really knows how to do shocks and springs. My car was a pig until I had Rob revalve my shocks and set me up with a race spring set. Now the car is quiet at speed, handles flat and is effortless to drive. There is no twitch in the front end and even the braking has improved.
The groove is happening as I pass a few cars. I get a bit cocky now: I chase a guy down deeper into a short straight because I CAN beat that guy to the corner. I get by him, brake really late at threshold, but I’m going too fast on my entry speed which will make it so I’m later on the throttle on the exit. Of course, thinking too far ahead is just as bad as not thinking at all. O.K. this car is handling great lets see if I can make it. I’m coming off threshold braking on the straight and trail braking to the apex. I’m on the gas now. I’m 3/4 the way through the turn at full throttle but I am running out of road. SNAP! Wow dude, nice 360.
Well, I learned that there are still the laws of physics in spite of the improved handling.