View Full Version : Hot August Days at CMP

08-30-2006, 01:55 PM
It is truly amazing - to me anyway - that in only seven weeks, three days, eight hours and fifteen minutes it is possible to lose focus and corporate memory. When we went to load up for the Carolina Motorsports Park event with Turnone for last weekend it was like we had forgotten everything about the process. We spent inordinate amounts of time looking for helmets, chatterboxes, tools, cots, track boxes, coolers, tires, DVD player, grill, etc. that have migrated to other locations in the hiatus since the last track event. After the expenditure of considerable emotional energy we finally loaded up the truck, trailer with the ZO6 plus "stuff" on board and the 99 FRC Vette in convoy to make it to the track for tech on Friday night by 2000 (8 PM EST). As a corrective action I am developing a plasticized checklist with attached grease pencil to be filled out every outing!

Getting through registration, unloading at the track, getting teched and setting up Friday night was painless. Amazingly, we only left behind a couple of nice to have items for the weekend (e.g., electric drill to speed up tire swaps). As a very special treat we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Camden on Friday night. I figured hotel cost is about the same as feeding Jake breakfast on the road - especially since I used "points" for the room.

There was a good turnout for the weekend. Everything from a C6 ZO6 to a vintage Alfa Romeo race car was there. Several "track ho's" were there and it is always fun to have some familiar faces in the paddock - and on the track.. Rob and ROAR Racing showed up with their fleet of RX8s and support semi's:worship: to test for the Utah Grand Am next weekend. Jody and Big Pine Key Motorsports showed up to test for NASA nationals next month in Ohio - thankfully, minus his pit babes I might add. Aardvark Performance showed up in our 12 year old trailer to see if our clutch job would take a track test and then make it back home. Toby showed up just to visit for a while and catch dinner since he did not get a student this weekend:bananna2: . One CMP regular even showed up in a different car - JohnT was in a very nice 930 slant nose instead of his 240Z with a V8. It was very nice since I got to pass him once in while, for a change, while he sorted out the new ride - which ran for the whole weekend I might add.

Jake and I really lucked out with students - we both kept it "in the family" with fine young men of known lineage. Jake's student had a prepped "street" RX8 that really ROARed - if you get my drift. One thing I noticed about the RX8 crowd is they are into pirouettes (known as a spin to most of us) - but maybe it is a technique they use to throw off the competition - kind of like a opossum playing dead. My student (guess we could call him Lil' Butt or Lil' Ped?) was from the "Butt Ugly" race team driving his mother's C5 , and unlike my oldest son when driving his mothers car (05 GTO), treated it with respect and dignity. We both really enjoyed our students and they progressed quite nicely. Jake was even able to get a passenger seat view of the RX8 pirouette technique, twice I believe. He even explained it to me - get the car loaded up in the corner at the edge of traction and apply throttle until tire stiction is exceeded - simple executable concept if you ask me.

The track was very slick from all the recent heavy rains washing all the rubber residue off. With the heat and slick track everybody was having grip issues - there were a fair number of pirouettes and spins. I know we did our part in laying down a good base of Sumitomo, Kumho and Hoosier rubber on the track. Once again we honed our abilities to drive expired tires and well used brakes to the best of our meager abilities. It was quite a shock to Jake to have to drive on "glassy tires" instead of the "good stuff" - it was quite a shock to me to see him fishtailing the ZO6 in turn 3. He mumbled something about his life flashing before his eyes since I had just told him about gentle throttle inputs on old tires, especially in Turn 3, the only real common place to hurt a car bad when you go off at CMP. We did manage to go beak to beak with 04 Cobra Convertible (Beerkat) in the carousel:drive2: . But Kim handled the off in an outstanding manner and we kept on out merry way!

To keep things interesting we eventually put the near new Hoosiers (4 heat cycles or 1 day at VIR) on the FRC with its ZO6 pads (~12 hard track days on them). It took daily bleeding to keep a decent pedal on the car. The team manager decided to leave the rode hard Kumho MXs on the ZO6 with new Carbotech XP8 pads. These combos seemed to really help teach optimizing the car you have instead of the perfect car you want to have. Almost anybody can drive a ZO6 fast with great pads and tires - just watch Jody sometime....at least that's my story and I am sticking to it. By Sunday Jake was lapping the field quite well in a stock LS1....

The only real eye opener all weekend was the front left hub on my students C5 having the three bolts holding it on come loose! Wally was able to take one bolt out with his fingers. The brakes had been acting funny all day - pulling, loss of pedal, noise and an intermittent ABS/Brake Inop light. It was suffering piston knockback occasionally with a pedal to the floor then a pedal that would work fine for a few turns. Luckily, trouble shooting eventually found the problem before it came off on the track. After it was determined the repair needed tools ( I did have a new spare hub though!) we did not have at the track it was loaded on the trailer and taken home on Sunday. I did manage to take a bolt in a rear tire on the ZO6 - that makes two tires trashed at CMP due to bolts for me. At least this time it went flat in the paddock instead of at 120 mph entering Turn 8.

Staying out of the sun, drinking plenty of water, getting service at Gus's Restaurant and keeping focused on the task at hand was the only real safety threats all weekend. Looking forward to doing it again real soon..... 29 Sep - 1 Oct at Roebling is the plan

Until then I am back at work to fund the "tires for the needy" program.