Kevin nicely hosted us at his shop, Competizione Motors at Sears Point. He is a super knowledgeable Ferrari guy, and mostly works on race cars.
He gave us a very useful list of tips, like:
remember to go easy during your first laps to bring the brakes up to temperature, or you can glaze and ruin them
he actually recommends bringing temperatures to 3psi above stock and make sure that you equalize left and right temperature after the first session.
it's a good idea to slightly engage the brakes to set tha pads before you do the heavy braking
which fluids are recommended
you don't want slick tires on a street car
carbon brakes vs older regular pads
F355 mini pad vs current F430 carbon pad: huge difference
Kevin nicely agreed to work on my car to work out the bugs that have been bothering me, like misbalance shaking, checking the alignment, fixing the front/read brake bias, and a general inspection of the car.
I had a few coworkers who signed up for a day at Laguna Seca and decided to join the group for Laguna Seca on President's day.
The main problem was that there was a 92dB sound limit and that turns out to be a lot less than what my car does at wide open throttle (100dB-ish).
I got thrown off the track after 2 laps on my first session, and 3 laps on my last session, leaving me to go home. Sessions 2, 3, 4, I did my best to not touch the throttle between turns 5 and 6 where they record sound.
Quite frankly, I'm quite annoyed at people who moved close to the racetrack and managed to mandate all those bullshit rules to force the racetrack to be quiet enough for them. It's the same kind of stupid selfish people who move next to an airport and then try to close it down because it's noisy. Fuck'em is what I say, they knew what they were getting into and got cheap housing for a reason.
Anyway, while in my opinion, the people who do track days at Laguna should do a better effort at telling people that the 92dB sound restriction actually does catch totally stock cars with catalytic converters and stock exhausts (and most organizers know which ones typically fail).
The HOD guys were actually nice in offering me a refund if I wanted to go home after being booted off the track on my first session after a mere 2 laps.
Since I was already there and that I would clearly never go back to Laguna Seca with my car, while starting to pack, I ended up deciding to just try and make the best of it, especially since I had several coworkers there that day too and the point was also to spend some time with them.
In the end, I got 3 sessions out of 5 :-/ and I just didn't do so well on the track, not counting the place where I just had to get off the gas and lose several seconds, my car felt unbalanced and unsettled (it's actually visibly shaking on some of the videos, and my rear brakes are now too powerful and cause the car to skip or skid a bit when I brake downhill).
On top of that the HOD folks seem pretty convinced that I overdrive my car too much and they're just too nervous about that. From my side, baring the hydraulic brake failure I had, I haven't put a single wheel off track yet and worst case I've overshot a few apexes and understeered just a little bit in a few places. I think the problem however is that I've been trying to approach the perfect speed for each turn from the slightly too fast side instead of the slightly too slow...
the second stage exhaust mufflers is what I needed apparently
street legal atom 3 (300hp)
My coworker Attila's GTR
This guy in group B unfortunately hit the inside wall around turn 6
Anyway, it wasn't a fantastic day, especially as I didn't get that many laps to improve my line and my braking points, not counting how my car just didn't feel very planted, but it was still nice to run the track at least once, and shoot the shit with my coworkers.
I'm hoping to get someone knowledgeable look at my car and offer fixes that will make it more manageable closer to the limit.
A couple of incomplete sessions: