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russo
Posted on: Sep 10 2014, 05:42 PM


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Instructing at Daytona sure made me think about why I was doing this. The fact that my $1600.00 fee was waived due to me instructing made me realize that no amount of money is really worth risking life and limb. Daytona is a very fast track, advanced drivers in high HP machines, myself included, reach speeds of 177 mph on the final stretch before coming into the infield. Beginner and intermediate drivers approach this section at 140 mph. Daytona, unlike most of the straights at regular tracks, such as VIR, Road Atlanta, and COTA are fairly straight and speeds get to 165 mph. Daytona, on the other hand, you are doing crazy speeds on corners with 28 degrees of angle; hence, if a tire blows, or God forbid, you hit the yellow line on the low part of the track it will shoot you out towards the outer wall. You are in a world of trouble since the concrete wall lines both sides of the track and at some point you will hit both and hit them at high speed. My first student was in a C5 Z06 with only a normal seat belt restraint, this is where I started to rethink that my passion perhaps has gotten the best of me. This fellow was fairly level headed and thus not a too much of a worry that he might overdrive himself; nevertheless, right rear tire blow outs are a concern at this track. At drivers meeting you are instructed to keep an extra 2-3 psi extra in the right rear tire to mitigate this type of occurrence from happening. The second student had a similar type of car but it was a track car, meaning, a full harness and half cage. Nevertheless, although I felt nominally safer with this car it doesn't eliminate the risk entirely. From experience, at my last COTA event, I can tell you a tire can come apart at any given moment. In my case it happened on the front straight, no drama, just a bunch of damage. Conversely, if this type of scenario plays out at Daytona, all bets are off.
Indeed, Daytona was an awesome experience from a stand point of me driving; however, it was somewhat intimidating being in the passenger seat. Would I do Daytona again as an instructor? You bet, there is a satisfaction in seeing a student make progress and thanking me profusely and telling me how much he enjoyed the experience.

  Forum: General Board · Post Preview: #23931 · Replies: 6 · Views: 4,116

russo
Posted on: Sep 1 2014, 12:15 AM


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QUOTE (Ed99 @ Aug 25 2014, 03:07 PM) *
Tony Stewart ran that kid over on purpose he should fry.


A very provocative statement, to say the least. If your gonna fry Tony Stewart, you should at least gather the facts, and then try to understand the context of the environment in which the tragedy took place.
  Forum: General Board · Post Preview: #23910 · Replies: 8 · Views: 13,131

russo
Posted on: Jun 4 2014, 01:23 PM


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If I get my car back in the next week or so I am thinking of going back to RA and VIR with CHIN. Back to back events. I really want to go back to VIR.
  Forum: General Board · Post Preview: #23859 · Replies: 3 · Views: 2,854

russo
Posted on: Jun 3 2014, 11:31 PM


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QUOTE (rmj951 @ Jun 3 2014, 11:07 AM) *
https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=eFypNaory7g

Picked up my car on Friday & made to to Road Atlanta to test what a great track!



Definitely my favorite track, much more interesting than COTA.
  Forum: General Board · Post Preview: #23858 · Replies: 3 · Views: 2,854

russo
Posted on: Jan 12 2014, 09:27 AM


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If you are getting a dedicated track car the only configuration you should be looking at is rear wheel drive. Four wheel drive adds weight and complexity; although, its a much more superior platform in the wet, this is why Rally racing uses this platform, and front wheel drive you are asking the front tires to do way too much in that steering, braking and/or acceleration must be handled simultaneously.
  Forum: Chassis Supension Wheels Tires Brakes · Post Preview: #23682 · Replies: 16 · Views: 4,644

russo
Posted on: Jan 11 2014, 07:14 PM


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Let me throw a big monkey wrench into this discussion. Many people have no idea what Porsche parts cost in the event of a catastrophic failure. Corvette engine costs are nowhere in the neighborhood of what a Porsche engine costs. Similarly, you have a transmission failure you can ask Rene and Bossolo, Rene has a Vette and Bossolo has a Porsche and they will tell you that replacement costs are a world apart. Here is an example, a Corvette LS3 engine found in earlier 2000 models can be had new in a crate for a few thousand dollars. A Porsche engine, if you have a core, will cost you in the Tens of thousands of dollars. Hence, facing a catastrophic failure if you are a Porsche owner you will have to try your luck and see if you can find a junk yard sample, and these are not cheap either. I know I faced this dilemma a couple of years ago with my car, a GT3 with catastrophic engine failure. I had no core, engine cost was 65K before installation. A rebuild was about 28K, that is when you have a core to trade back. A similar Corvette engine was 3-4 times less expensive. As a result, before you make your final decision you really need to look at what you can comfortably afford and then go with that. Yes, Porsche's have a better quality build, no doubt; however, if your budget is limited you really need to consider buying a Porsche. Furthermore, if you really plan on being a track rat you need to understand that a major failure is a real possibility, period. My recommendation is to thoroughly research the costs of a power plant replacement for both cars. Good luck.
  Forum: Chassis Supension Wheels Tires Brakes · Post Preview: #23676 · Replies: 16 · Views: 4,644

russo
Posted on: Jan 3 2014, 11:37 PM


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Most importantly Red Dog this is not a race. What type of car will you be driving?
  Forum: Track Events · Post Preview: #23632 · Replies: 10 · Views: 3,804

russo
Posted on: Dec 17 2013, 11:12 PM


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"The turbo was most impressive in the wet, no drama at all." You couldn't have expressed that thought any better. I was totally impressed by the capabilities of the Turbo in the wet, my respects to Porsche; perhaps, I need to re-evaluate the conversion that I have planned to two wheel drive on my C4. Needless to say, your driving was just as impressive, considering your 11 month absence from the track. Hell, you had me almost going sideways just to stay out of your way and finally conceding you a pass. The car looked like it was on rails, after you passed me I tried, in vain, to maintain pace but whenever I tried my car wanted to go sideways, after a couple of episodes in which I had to save myself, and the car, I gave up. Likewise, I think the Turbo had a great deal of stress placed on it, heck, what other car can stand triple duty for a full day and a half? Three drivers, two advanced and one beginner, with little or no time to cool down.
Kudos to the folks at PCA Alabama, each time I have visited this region they have been very hospitable and extremely nice. They know the distance and expense that I incur to participate in their events and they go out of their way to accommodate me and give me extra run sessions. This last event they scheduled the last three runs of the day by combining two groups to run simultaneously. The kicker was that my group was included in all three run groups. Thank You PCA Alabama.
Yes, I am eagerly anticipating the MVP event at COTA. Last year's event was a smashing success, with three days of bountiful track time that was measured in the degree of fatigue and the large smiles on their faces that each participant demonstrated at the end of the weekend. On the other hand, LSR's event at COTA was a total disaster, a waste of time and money and an event I will surely miss; unless of course, they can demonstrably show how they have improved the event. What can I say, I am very forgiving of LSR's missteps, they are also a very hospitable bunch of guys and after participating in several events with them at TWS these guys do not place second to anyone.
  Forum: General Board · Post Preview: #23600 · Replies: 11 · Views: 4,359

russo
Posted on: Dec 10 2013, 10:02 PM


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QUOTE (rmj951 @ Dec 10 2013, 09:16 PM) *
Nice any pics or video?


I will download when I get back from Barber.
  Forum: General Board · Post Preview: #23593 · Replies: 11 · Views: 4,359

russo
Posted on: Dec 10 2013, 02:50 PM


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Wow, that is how I can quickly summarize my experience at Daytona International Speedway. The event was a three day event in which I had the opportunity, or should I say, the constant pre-occupation of being an instructor. The event cost was $1200.00, the instructor's fees was fully compensated by the Audi Club of Ohio, the organizers of this event. Unlike any of the other tracks that I have driven, even the renown track of Road Atlanta, where turn 12 is known as the widow maker, Daytona will put the fear of God into you. Why? Number one, the closing speed differences between the different classes of cars and drivers. Number two, the actual speed involved in driving the format of the Rolex 24 track which includes driving 4/5 of the actual oval. Exiting pit row you find yourself in the infield part of the track in which the various abilities of the drivers are quickly sorted out due to the challenges of the twisty part of the course. Once you negotiate yourself out of this section you are met by a 31 degree wall witch is the starting point on the oval part of the track. Getting on to the oval you quickly realize that you need to be petal to the metal all the way to the Bus stop. Closing speed onto the bus stop in a GT3.1 is 165 mph with no clear visual marker for your breaking point, this is the tricky part since you need to slow down to around 60-70 mph and negotiate the 4 turns before getting back onto the oval. No bid deal if you blow past your breaking point, you will just hit the cones that are placed on the straight part of the oval. Once you are back onto the oval, again its petal to the metal into turn 3. Turn 4 is what separates the men from the boys, you really need a large set of Huevos, since you need to continue keeping the petal to the metal with your speed increasing to the point in which I was making the turn at 165 mph. Once you are through turn 4 its still balls to the walls, again you gotta have those Huevos, with the speedometer still climbing up into the 180 mph range you need to be cognizant of your breaking point because, guess what, you will be coming back into the infield section of the course. Thus, 180 needs to be scrubbed down to 55 mph to negotiate the first turn and back onto the infield.
Both of my students had Corvettes, high HP cars, lucky for me they were very competent drivers and thus was able to check them off to solo only after two sessions. Whew, I tell you that was close, I am so glad I could check them off. At these speeds any driver error, or equipment failure will surely spell disaster. My first student's car only had the 3 point restraint, that is the normal type of seat belt you find in all cars. This, to say the least, is a considerable concern when you first approach one of these cars and you realize that you are only held in by a restraint system that is not optimal for the speeds that you will be traveling at. Mind you, their speeds were 40 to 50 mph less than mine; nevertheless, you are still traveling in the neighborhood of 140 mph+.
Going back to the approach into turn one, which I am doing about 180 mph, and waiting for the last possible moment for my breaking point. This is an area that separate the men and the boys, where closing speed differences are just as notable as on the oval. Once you start your breaking at this speed the car feels like it wants to turn on itself, this is due to the fact that your breaking is not done puerilely on a straight line but on a bit of a curve and at 180 mph, hard breaking, not coasting. Hence, the technique is to pick your breaking point in an area that gives you a little more of a straight line, not easy because of how fast things are moving past you. Yes, even when you are able to hit the straighter part of the track the car still has the tendency to destabilize just for an instant. By the end of the day your realize that this is normal due to the crazy speed that you are doing, and the amount of breaking that must be done before you approach turn 1, you become accustomed to it.
Daytona is not a seriously challenging track like Road Atlanta, VIR, or COTA and you can quickly become bored of it; however, the part the continues to call to you is the danger, living on the edge. All of the advanced drivers and instructors I spoke to would tell me the same thing, its the danger that keeps them coming back. 3-4 cars blew their engines and about another dozen of cars managed to hit barriers coming into the infield and through the infield. Luckily, no one had any close encounters with the barrier walls on the oval.
Weather you are on the track or in the pits, Daytona requires constant vigilance on the part of the driver and their equipment, this means tire pressure measurements, coming off and going back on, and re-torquing your wheels before going back on track. Tire pressure is the most important factor in making sure you do not have a blow out. It is recommended that the right side have 2-4 pounds more air than the left side. Low tire pressure is the number 1 culprit in blow outs at Daytona.
The allure of Daytona is the constant fact that you are living on the edge, the elixir of all track junkies, I count myself as one of these proud folk.
I'm off to Barber for this weekend, my sixth running at this track, this is where Porsche has their school at and this is where Indy has been racing for the past 10 years. Perhaps I will post another write up for those interested.






  Forum: General Board · Post Preview: #23591 · Replies: 11 · Views: 4,359

russo
Posted on: Nov 29 2013, 06:19 PM


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FYI, CHIN motorsports is having a two day event at TWS on the weekend of April 12/13. This outfit is known for a limited number of participants,(65-80) and extended track time, almost twice the time that PCA and NASA provide and only costs about $525.00 for a two day event. They are extremely strict on matching skill level to the respective run group. This outfit attracts professional race teams and drivers, they use these events to shake down their cars. For example, if you are running in the advanced group you will automatically be placed into the intermediate group and will be given a check drive to be advanced. First time registration will require you to submit a driving resume, no ifs, ands or butts. If you are a beginner and are interested you need to register as soon as the event opens for registration, typically, this run group fills up in the first few hours.
The link to their website is: <a href="http://www.chinmotorsports.com/mark/tracktimes.htm" target="_blank">http://www.chinmotorsports.com/mark/tracktimes.htm</a>
They run some of the most iconic tracks on the east coast; for example: Road Atlanta, Barber, Watkins Glenn, Road America, Mid Ohio, Sebring and VIR. This year they have included TWS for April and August of 2014.
If you are serious about HPDE and want to improve your skills CHIN, and another similar group, Rezoom are the groups to get involved with.
Once you earn your placement into the advanced group they have expanded passing. This means that passing can be done anywhere anytime with a point by. Something to think about.
Next weekend I will be driving at a three day event at Daytona International Speedway with Rezoom http://www.rezoommotorsports.com/index.html using the Grand Am 24 hr layout, the GT3's get up to about 185 mph on the straight, and the weekend after will be at Barber with PCA Alabama.
Happy Holidays.
  Forum: Track Events · Post Preview: #23582 · Replies: 6 · Views: 12,263

russo
Posted on: Mar 20 2013, 09:35 AM


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Robert was a classy guy, I know we all miss him and his little white Carrera. Robert, RIP.
  Forum: General Board · Post Preview: #22991 · Replies: 7 · Views: 3,107

russo
Posted on: Mar 20 2013, 08:47 AM


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Wow, for a city like Dallas, I was expecting a real car show. A total waste of time and money. The high end cars like Ferrari, Lambo, Aston, were part of the local dealer inventory, used of course. The car show consisted of GM, Ford, Toyota and the likes, and that was the extent of it.
Even Porsche's display was a joke, only 6 cars. What a joke, a Texas size joke.
  Forum: Track Events · Post Preview: #22990 · Replies: 4 · Views: 2,189

russo
Posted on: Mar 20 2013, 08:42 AM


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Salesman deserved it.
  Forum: Safety · Post Preview: #22989 · Replies: 6 · Views: 2,550

russo
Posted on: Mar 20 2013, 08:35 AM


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86 Honda Prelude
88 Honda Prelude 4ws
88 Honda Accord
90 Honda Accord
92 Honda Civic
94 BMW 325i (my 1st track used in anger, that is at the track
00 Honda Accord (still with me)
02 Lexus 300
04 996 C4 Convertible (in my garage)
04 Cayenne S
06 996 C2 Convertible
06 Cayenne Turbo (in my driveway)
07 GT3RS (used in anger)
09 Mercedes E350 (in my driveway)

My list is very short, but then again, I still own 5 of these cars.

  Forum: General Board · Post Preview: #22988 · Replies: 21 · Views: 9,281

russo
Posted on: Mar 20 2013, 08:11 AM


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I don't have any regrets what so ever on cars that I have previously owned; perhaps, this is due to the fact that the cars I am attached to are all in my possession. They are properly cared for, and they are all driven like they were stolen.
  Forum: General Board · Post Preview: #22985 · Replies: 8 · Views: 3,195

russo
Posted on: Mar 8 2013, 11:01 AM


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QUOTE (DallasCarlos @ Mar 8 2013, 10:36 AM) *
For you guys heading up here for next weekend's MSR event here's a bonus:
http://www.dallasautoshow.com/
Tomato



Thanks for the head up. Its been a couple of decades since I have been to an auto show.
  Forum: Track Events · Post Preview: #22958 · Replies: 4 · Views: 2,189

russo
Posted on: Feb 25 2013, 06:43 PM


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QUOTE (DallasCarlos @ Feb 25 2013, 12:47 PM) *
Have yet to visit COTA but yeah nice to see an extensive gathering of toys, even Italians. FYI next time any of you guys up here in the DFW area please let me know. I'd be more than happy to take you to PPM's dungeon where evil scientists play.
Tomato


Will be there at MSR Crescent; however, I don't know about participating in any extracurricular exertions. I know Russell is still thinking about his Carnival outing. LOL.
  Forum: Track Photos · Post Preview: #22940 · Replies: 18 · Views: 10,950

russo
Posted on: Feb 25 2013, 08:16 AM


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QUOTE (DallasCarlos @ Feb 24 2013, 10:12 PM) *
GT3s and GT3RS grow on trees up here so it seems!!So do GT3 Cup cars and Grand Am toys too.
I've yet to master the hydroponics side of it smile.gif
Mr. Tomato


I'm sure you guys have quite a few RS's compared to other parts of the state; but, at COTA, participants drove in from as far as Massachusetts. I would venture to say that most of the cars were from out of state since MVP is based out of Missouri.
  Forum: Track Photos · Post Preview: #22937 · Replies: 18 · Views: 10,950

russo
Posted on: Feb 21 2013, 06:07 PM


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QUOTE (MR-2 @ Feb 20 2013, 11:15 PM) *
Do they mean don,t race on these tires unless the conditions are perfect god forbid it rains, or you get pushed of on a corner or slide or leave to quick after a pit stop,,


These tires are absolutely not for the rain. From what I remember, the advisory was to allow plenty of time for the tires to heat up. COTA's surface is very smooth; thus, the extra time to allow for the heat cycle. I know I was using the first two laps to bring them up to temperature, mind you I was on a full slick. The great thing about COTA's surface is that its really easy on the tires. I used 3/4 of the tire over the 3 day weekend, approximately 350 miles, close to 5 hours, of balls out driving with speeds in the 150+ on the back straight.
  Forum: Track Events · Post Preview: #22924 · Replies: 7 · Views: 3,098

russo
Posted on: Feb 20 2013, 10:57 AM


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QUOTE (handdoc @ Feb 17 2013, 08:08 PM) *


Nice to see that the pumpkin made Mark's list, considering that almost half of the 140+ cars were GT3RS. I have never seen this many RS at any event. PCA Barber is having en event on the first week of March. Their list also has 140+ cars signed up and only 3 RS. Up until COTA Barber was considered the finest track in the country. Now, it's the second best.
  Forum: Track Photos · Post Preview: #22922 · Replies: 18 · Views: 10,950

russo
Posted on: Feb 20 2013, 10:53 AM


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QUOTE (handdoc @ Feb 20 2013, 09:40 AM) *
Same here.



I'm sure that given their volume and time constraints we will be getting them soon.
  Forum: Track Photos · Post Preview: #22921 · Replies: 18 · Views: 10,950

russo
Posted on: Feb 19 2013, 10:26 PM


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QUOTE (rmj951 @ Feb 19 2013, 10:56 PM) *
Did you order from the track side guys or are you talking about the Scott & Ian?


So far neither one has come through.
  Forum: Track Photos · Post Preview: #22918 · Replies: 18 · Views: 10,950

russo
Posted on: Feb 17 2013, 11:51 AM


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QUOTE (handdoc @ Feb 16 2013, 01:38 PM) *
Cool pics. Did you see the ones on the link Mark sent by e-mail?
There's a good one titled: "He who shall remain nameless". LMAO!!!


Do you have the link?
  Forum: Track Photos · Post Preview: #22911 · Replies: 18 · Views: 10,950

russo
Posted on: Feb 17 2013, 11:50 AM


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QUOTE (grocery getter @ Feb 14 2013, 09:24 PM) *
Spoke with Emire at New Years and he asked if I knew what a beginner and a expert driver have in common? They tend to over drive the car.


Who is Emire? I'm not so sure of his observation. A beginner does not possess the ability or skill to overdrive a car. Indeed, they usually overestimate their ability and end up overdriving themselves. On the other hand, an expert driver, expert meaning a person that has experience and skill, will not overdrive their car since, once again, they are an expert. The expert driver is able to drive their car at the limits of the car itself. It's usually a rare occurrence that this type of driver loses control. Hence, I think Emire needs to elaborate on what he really means because as it stands his observation makes very little sense.
  Forum: Safety · Post Preview: #22910 · Replies: 3 · Views: 1,788

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