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Below is a recounting of various car events I've attended along the years, from car club meets, autocrosses, track events, and enthusiast drives.

Table of Content for cars:

More pages: October 2019 September 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 March 2019 February 2019 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 December 2017 October 2017 September 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 July 2016 June 2016 April 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 November 2014 September 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 February 2014 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 September 2011 July 2011 June 2011 April 2011 March 2011 October 2010 August 2010 July 2010 April 2010 February 2010 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 November 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 June 2007 April 2007 December 2006 November 2006 May 2006 January 2006 July 2005 May 2005 April 2005 January 2005 December 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 February 2004 October 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000




2019/10/18 Louwman Car Museum in The Hague
π 2019-10-18 01:01 in Cars
Little did I know that 1H away from Amsterdam, The Hague has a world class car Museum, actually one of the best collections I've seen. I spent a few hours in Den Hagg to see other things, but Louwman Car Museum was where I spent the most time.

The story is that a successful Dutch businessman started collecting cars, and eventually realized that he needed a better place to house them, so he built this extensive multiple building, multiple story museum to house them all. The collection is heavily weighed towards older rare cars:


very old steam powered car
very old steam powered car

face to face sitting car, using candles for lights
face to face sitting car, using candles for lights



another very strange design, makes you wonder why it didn't catch on :)
another very strange design, makes you wonder why it didn't catch on :)


the controls look 'interesting'
the controls look 'interesting'

unusual steering control
unusual steering control


boat car, which apparently was a poor boat and a poor car
boat car, which apparently was a poor boat and a poor car

not a boat car, but pretending to be one
not a boat car, but pretending to be one


another steam car
another steam car

the first hybrid gas/electric car, some 90 years before the prius!
the first hybrid gas/electric car, some 90 years before the prius!



looks like every crazy thing has been tried
looks like every crazy thing has been tried










6 wheel drive formula 1!
6 wheel drive formula 1!




whoa!
whoa!














And after 4H, the visit was over, just as the museum was closing. It was definitely a museum that was one of a kind.

See more images for Louwman Car Museum in The Hague
2019/09/08 Fairbanks Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
π 2019-09-08 01:01 in Ak2019, Cars
While in Fairbanks, I noticed that they had a car museum, so out of habit, I figured we should go check it out, not expecting much. Well, the joke was on me, it was a fantastic museum with very rare cars, several more than 100 years old, and including many I had never seen before, including one even that had a magnetic transmission and was a hybrid electric, over 100 years ago!

doesn't look like too much from the outside, until you walk in
doesn't look like too much from the outside, until you walk in




The 1917 Owen Magnetic ar was a masterpiece. It used a gasoline engine to make electricity which turned a magnet which in turn created induction power and turned the wheels without needing any direct link or transmission. Genius! There are only 12 left in the world:





And may other cars I hadn't seen yet:








early open wheel racing
early open wheel racing



Are you complaining about your drives to the ski resort:


they got you covered
they got you covered

that's also cute
that's also cute

this beats chains big time :)
this beats chains big time :)

More cars:








this car looks like it was designed to have a mean face, back in 1912
this car looks like it was designed to have a mean face, back in 1912





mirror on top of the spare tire, interesting :)
mirror on top of the spare tire, interesting :)








There are more cars, some still being restored, but hopefully those give you an overview. If you'd like to see them all, see https://photos.app.goo.gl/7Bwc4wrCAJQitJ9W8

2019/07/18 Golden Gate Porsche Club Track Day at Laguna Seca
π 2019-07-18 01:01 in Cars
It had been a while since I last went to Laguna Seca. I signed up for what was originally a 4 day event, but once I got the schedule (just a few days before the event), I realized I'd get very little track time (1h30 or less) and cancelled the last 2 days.
Thankfully with Robb and the organizer's help, I was able to sign up for 2 rungroups the first day, and a slower rungroup the 2nd day where I drove my 650S.

I got the F458 down to 1:32, and my instructor got it down to 1:30 on non fresh tires. With fresh tires when it's cool, it seems that it could do 1:26 or so. Interestingly I did feel the change in car power depending on the outside temperature.

The 650S had very used tires, one had a tire patch for a nail hole, so I didn't expect a whole lot, but I got it down to 1:40 on one lap. Interestingly, while it had less grip for sure, the extra amount of power is very noticeable. I think with proper tires, I could easily get a 1:37 or better. Maybe one day :)



Many cars in the paddocks:








I drove in my 650S to use in a slower rungroup:



Many tires:



The place was overrun with ground squirrels:




A few nice pictures:



2019/06/10 Skyline to the Sea Loop
π 2019-06-10 01:01 in Cars
It has been so long since our last drive, I really needed that. It was fun despite my being a bit tired.











See more images for Skyline to the Sea Loop
2019/05/07 BBR Private Track Day at Thunderhill
π 2019-05-07 01:01 in Cars
A mere 6 days after Droid and Friends at Thunderhill, I was back for more with BBR and a small group.

The other folks had already chartered a flight from Moffett, and given that I was tired and the weather was marginal VFR, I happily joined them:




We had a handful of cars, which meant mostly clear track and little passing for me, leaving me to focus on improving my skills. Despite the day not being very warm, the track felt sticky and I didn't get that fast (I think I got as low as 1:51 (with bypass) after installing fresh tires). Still, I got to work on my technique, so it wasn't all for naught :)




On the flight back, the pilot did a quick pass by TH, which I hadn't done myself in a while:





Here's a single session until I spun:

2019/05/01 Droid and Friends, Thunderhill 5 miles
π 2019-05-01 01:01 in Cars
Another year, another set of trackdays, starting with Droid and Friends. I wasn't in the best condition that day sadly, so I tried but overall I was tired and distracted. That said, Chris, my guest for the day, didn't seem to mind, and had a good time anyway when we went for a ride:



I only got down to a meager 3:16 with fresh tires, which was 3sec slower than my previous best time, but I guess that's all I was capable of that day, so I didn't try to push too hard and just enjoyed the day the best I could. Despite those challenges, it was still fun to be back to thunderhill and see my friends there.

A few pictures:


Chris was happy with the flight
Chris was happy with the flight








Oooops, someone misbehaved at some previous track day ;)
Oooops, someone misbehaved at some previous track day ;)

2019/03/27 First Non Stop Tesla Drive to Kirkwood
π 2019-03-27 01:01 in Cars, Snow
Back when I had an 90D, it claimed that it might barely make it to KW on a summer day at low speed, but it was just too short to get there in the winter, forcing me to stop at least 30mn in Manteca, creating a 45 to 60mn slowdown.
Long story short, it did get me to Kirkwood, but it was a bit annoying to have to stop, especially the day the Manteca Supercharger was down and I was forced to drive to Folson and all the way around 50/89/88, causing an almost 2H detour.

After getting my new Model 3 AWD LR, my first drive to KW I stayed conservative and stopped 10mn in Manteca to recharge 10%. After arriving, I arrived with 20% left while having driven quite hard. This gave me enough confidence that I'd be able to do it in one shot, even if that day the weather was not absolutely perfect.

So, for my 2nd drive, I planned to drive in one shot, despite the less than ideal conditions (snow at the top). This was a bit risky because if the road closed at the top of 88, I'd be in trouble. My backup plan was first to beg caltrans to escort me through, and if that failed, to roll back to jackson's bus station to use their 240V/22A charger which although not that fast would give me enough charge in 30 to 60mn to make it to the folsom supercharger. Obviously, this would have sucked, but better than being totally stuck.

Before you try to replicate this:

  • You need at least the M3 AWD LR (range 310mi). The RWD LR is actually rated for 330 miles, but if you have to put chains, it will more than kill the extra 20 mile range the car has.
  • I have the 18" aero wheels. The more fancy looking wheels will make you lose 20 to 30 miles of range, leaving you with a very small margin.
  • I didn't drive faster than 75mph
  • I had to have headlights on for half the drive
  • I didn't use heating, this uses a lot of energy
  • I only used the defogger for 15 seconds at a time about 10 times total
  • I used wipers as needed
  • note that I arrived with 11-13% less than than the car predicted, so you need margin
  • Don't even try this if snow is down to Ham's station or lower, the snow that far down (plus the temps) are likely going to eat your entire margin
  • Basically understand that it will not work in all conditions and that there isn't much margin for error, especially if Carson Spur closes in front of you when you've almost arrived.
  • The biggest thing is: the lower the snowline, the lower the temperatures, the less likely you are to make it. If you don't make it, you'll have to turn back to Jackson's charging station or make it all the way to the Folsom supercharger and drive around hwy 50/89/88, which is a 45mn detour at best.

    When I left, my car claimed I'd arrive with 20%, which I knew was likely optimistic:



    Strangely just 9 miles into my drive, it then said I'd arrive with 22%, but it soon adjusted to 17%:



    By the time I was climbing 88, my forecast was 16%. Probably because I was driving 70 to 75mph on the freeways:



    However, by the time I reached lower temperatures, and then hit the snow, this dropped like a stone. Good thing I gave myself a reserve:

    13%
    13%

    11%
    11%

    then it dropped and stayed at 9%
    then it dropped and stayed at 9%

    finally arrived safe and sound with 9%, happy to have made it in just 3h11 even with the snow at the top
    finally arrived safe and sound with 9%, happy to have made it in just 3h11 even with the snow at the top

    notice the big drop compared to the predicted range
    notice the big drop compared to the predicted range

    I could have saved maybe a few percents by driving even slower, but ultimately the lower temps and the rolling resistance from the snow definitely harmed the range by a lot in just the last 30mn of driving. Be prepared for that.

    Now, I was curious of whether I could get anywhere if I hadn't been able to recharge. Allegedly I could make it barely to stateline or folsom SCs but honestly with no margin and with snow resistance, I would likely not have made it to either of the 2:

    stateline with 6% used
    stateline with 6% used

    folsom with 7% used
    folsom with 7% used

    Now, Kirkwood nicely installed chargers last year, and keeps the spots empty of non electric cars (at least I'm told they do):


    their Tesla charger is good, 10kW/48A. I didn't even know my M3 AWD could charge at 48A
    their Tesla charger is good, 10kW/48A. I didn't even know my M3 AWD could charge at 48A

    otherwise, in an underground lot, charging from 110V is much slower :)
    otherwise, in an underground lot, charging from 110V is much slower :)

    Important notes:

  • The fact that I made it was definitely based on the conditions of the day. On a colder day with a lower snowline, my 9% could have turned into -3% or somesuch (i.e. not making it). Please plan accordingly.
  • The chargers at kirkwood are a very nice addition. You only pay the premium parking fee, but they are too close to one another, so it's unlikely that 6 teslas will fit. On a busy weekend, be ready for the fact that the chargers may be full and you might have to park by the lodge and steal a nearby 110V plug if you are desperate
  • In case of emergency, the Folsom and Stateline Superchargers are far in time (1H), but you should be able to get there witth just 10% as long as you are not in a snowstorm.
  • Do not park your car overnight unplugged into anything or be ready to lose a lot of battery if it's cold
  • Understand that you should however not plug into the few building plugs that you can find without getting permission. Those are typically paid for by the HOA at the rate of 66c/Kwh.
  • Fun facts:

  • It took me 91% to drive to KW, but the drive back was predicted to only be 35%
  • My car showed it drove 184 miles at 356Wh/mi average, or 65.5Kwh used for 91%.
  • As a consequence of the above, 100% usable battery capacity should be 72Kwh (and the pack 75Kwh if you add a 3Kwh buffer).
  • I had no idea my car could charge as fast as 48A from an AC charger, faster than my Model S I believe.
  • 2019/02/12 First Snowmobile Trip around Mt Tremblant, Canada
    π 2019-02-12 01:01 in Cars, Snow
    After arriving in Mt Tremblant, and snowboarding a few hours, I confirmed that anything not groomed was sheer ice, so I figured I might as well try some snowmobiling instead while waiting for the incoming ft+ storm.

    I had to drive 20mn to a nearby town and rent for a local store. They just gave me a 2mn briefing on what button does what, a crappy map showing me where to go (this included crossing multiple roads). Sadly, I ended up missing a turn that was not obvious at all and had to ride on the street only to figure out that a snowmobile cannot turn at all on asphalt, making things very hard.
    Eventually I got help and directions back towards the trail and had a great 70km 2h30 ride across cold canadian wilderness.
    I could have flipped the thing multiple times and hurt myself easily. I did top out at 100kph and caught air at least once, as well as scared myself a few times but managed not to understeer into a river or a half frozen lake :)

    This probably wouldn't last more than a few days if they allowed americans to rent those things with no guidance, or a proper map (I had to use my GPS more than once to find breadcrumbs back), or over drive off the trail into a tree, or a lake :)

    Either way, definitely had fun, and this probably beat any speed limited guided tour available anywhere else.






    yeah, the planes were unexpected
    yeah, the planes were unexpected



    I eventually reached a place that had dog sleigh rides, and turned back there
    I eventually reached a place that had dog sleigh rides, and turned back there


    Covered wooden bridge, very nice
    Covered wooden bridge, very nice







    2019/02/08 Porsche Ice Experience Driving Course at Circuit Mecaglisse
    π 2019-02-08 01:01 in Cars
    Circuit Mecaglisse is 1.5h north of Montréal, and I was lucky enough to be accepted in their level 2 course thanks to the training I got at Dirtfish learning the basics of rally driving. As expected, my almost 20 years of track driving was mostly worthless :)

    They had a professional photographer who obviously took better shots than I did :)




    The busy photographer (40 drivers) got a few shots of me, along with my talented co-driver Alain. Alain was a great guy as well as one of the best snow/ice drivers in the group, which definitely made me feel self-conscious. He showed me what I should have been doing :)

    Alain
    Alain



    for a short while I was also driving with Mark, the other star in our group
    for a short while I was also driving with Mark, the other star in our group

    Anyway, here are my pictures. The drive from Montréal was actually "interesting", a passing storm yielded some ice on the road and driving 20mph wasn't even safe anymore. Eventually it turned to snow, which was easier to drive on with the snow tires on the 2WD rental car I got:


    the nice hotel where we were hosted, but it was 45mn away from the track
    the nice hotel where we were hosted, but it was 45mn away from the track

    they fed us well :)
    they fed us well :)

    Every morning, we got a bus ride to the track, which is specifically designed to have a layer of ice in the winter:


    when I say ice, it really is ice
    when I say ice, it really is ice

    Kees Nerop, the head instructor we were lucky to end up with
    Kees Nerop, the head instructor we were lucky to end up with

    we drove both 4WD and 2WD 911s
    we drove both 4WD and 2WD 911s



    they had studded tires, but the studs were pretty short
    they had studded tires, but the studs were pretty short

    A few driving pictures:

    Alain, showing me how it's done :)
    Alain, showing me how it's done :)

    I didn't expect things to be easy, and they weren't. The biggest problem is if you go in a bit too deep, there is mostly nothing you can do to fix it. In this oversteer turn exercise, I turned a bit too late and while I did mostly the right things, I was just a bit too late and smacked the snow wall with the car:

    sigh. this was not a proud moment
    sigh. this was not a proud moment

    This is when I need to really recognize Porsche for offering this class at all and allowing students to make mistakes. Basically unless they deem that you were driving like an idiot, you aren't liable for damage. They apparently have a full supply of body panels and bumpers, are quite used to fixing/changing them.

    seeing the cars eating snow as people hit snow banks, was also pretty common. At least the intercooler was cool :)
    seeing the cars eating snow as people hit snow banks, was also pretty common. At least the intercooler was cool :)

    that one wasn't me, but another cracked bumper
    that one wasn't me, but another cracked bumper

    The driving was a both fun and very hard. It definitely kicked my butt. Honestly, I sucked when I showed up. I couldn't even properly drift in a circle. By day 3, I was far from being an expert, but my proudest accomplishment was managing a 4mn power drift when I wasn't even able to manage a single turn without spinning when I started:

    Now, this is nothing compared to the better students who could not only drift but even fit between cones, which I can't quite do yet:

    By day 3, we were driving around most of the track. It was still hard as hell as there was very little recovery possible if you went too fast, but if you went too slow, it was hard to not possible to induce necessary oversteers for most turns, so the balance was quite hard to keep.
    The last day, we finished with 2WD cars on a super icy track with killer downhill off camber turns. I managed to get one right a couple of times, like at the 1:45 offset and then smacked into the snow wall by getting my timing wrong the 2nd time (offset 3:10). What's terrible is that we knew what was going to happen before it did, but by then there is no recovery possible with a 2WD car (a 4WD has a small chance of pulling out with power):

    The day ended with us getting a hotlap from one of our coaches to show us what we could have done if we didn't suck :) I lucked out and got a lap with our chief instructor (forgive the non optimal camera placement):

    And just like that, it was over. We had a farewall dinner with prices for the best drivers in each group (i.e. not me :) ):


    Thanks to all the instructors, to Porsche for letting us drive their cars and make mistakes, and the great codrivers in our group (blue group is #1 !) :)

    2018/11/06 BBR Private Track Day at Thunderhill
    π 2018-11-06 01:01 in Cars
    I just had a motech system installed in my car which gives detailled logs of how I drive my car, namely how much and exactly when I pushed on each pedal compared to where I was on the track. Once the improvements you can do get smaller, it's easier for coaches to get a data log to compare their near ideal lap against your best lap and look at telemetry to see where you are slower.

    this is how coaching happens now :)
    this is how coaching happens now :)

    With the time change, the morning flight was not in the dark:



    We had around 10 cars:






    Sadly one of the cars had a not quite explained oversteer in turn 15 and did a full 180 before hitting the inside wall hard. We're thinking it might have had a tire failure:

    that wall was supposed to be straight
    that wall was supposed to be straight

    the rebar got ripped out
    the rebar got ripped out

    TH put the wall back in no time, I guess it wasn't the first time
    TH put the wall back in no time, I guess it wasn't the first time

    poor car
    poor car

    In the meantime, while the track got slower in the afternoon, I slowly relearned what I manage to forget every time I go, and got my time down to a record 1:47 (for me) on the 3 mile track with the bypass after putting on fresh tires. I could have gone faster in the morning when the track was faster, so my guess is that in ideal conditions, the car can do at least 1:45. Nothing to sneeze at :)

    This was my best session where I managed a few fast laps, including 1:47:xx

    With the same time change, the flight back was darker :)



    More pages: October 2019 September 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 March 2019 February 2019 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 December 2017 October 2017 September 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 July 2016 June 2016 April 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 November 2014 September 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 February 2014 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 September 2011 July 2011 June 2011 April 2011 March 2011 October 2010 August 2010 July 2010 April 2010 February 2010 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 November 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 June 2007 April 2007 December 2006 November 2006 May 2006 January 2006 July 2005 May 2005 April 2005 January 2005 December 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 February 2004 October 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000