Marc's Public Blog - Cars


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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:

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2011/06/18 Drive to Mountain House via Skyline
π 2011-06-18 00:00 in Cars
A nice friend of mine gave me a gift certificate for Mountain House, so that was an excuse to drive there via Page Mill and Skyline since it's on Skyline :)

This was also a good time to get Jennifer some driving lessons, so we did :)




2011/06/08 Ferrari Experience Advanced Course at Mt Tremblant
π 2011-06-08 00:00 in Cars
So I'm not quite ready to buy a F458, but when I got an offer to drive one at the track, it was difficult to pass up :) (Ferrari has a program for its owners that allows you to learn to drive their latest car at speed on a nice racetrack).
Ok, so it wasn't cheap, but considering that changing tires is around $2000, and changing ceramic brakes is in the $10k range (not sure how many track days they last), once you add that you can drive a car you won't have to buy and can't otherwise rent for track use, the cost becomes more acceptable :)

They use a track in French speaking Canada @ Mt Tremblant which is one of the best ski resorts on the east coast during the winter (although they all suck compared to the Rockies and Sierras). I liked the track layout, it was challenging.

arriving at the hotel
arriving at the hotel


lineup wasn't too bad :)
lineup wasn't too bad :)


The 2 day advanced course had a mix of:

  • skid pad in a Ferrari California, where you were actually supposed to do full powerslides through an figure 8 at the end (I was one of the least sucky students, but still not good at it, because it's hard).
  • autocross around a section of track to see who got the best lap time (boy was that hard, especially since I've never been that good at Auto-X).
  • driving around the north and sourth sides of the track first.
  • Of course, we then got to drive the whole track, although we were always "tethered" in a lead follow pattern where the instructor would only drive as fast as he thought you should (based on whether you looked safe or not, and then it felt capped around 2:02 per lap kind of regardless).

    A few pictures of the F458:

    the LCD rendered speedo is cute
    the LCD rendered speedo is cute

    Ok, let's go, let's lap this baby :)
    Ok, let's go, let's lap this baby :)

    We used the Ferrari California for skid pad training:

    Ferrari California in the simulated rain, ironic :)
    Ferrari California in the simulated rain, ironic :)

    inside is nice too
    inside is nice too


    They had one F598, which was used by the intructors to give laps, and slow us down (unfortunately, it is heavier and slower in turns, so I did feel like it was slowing me when I was behind it in the 458 :)

    598 interior isn't too shaby
    598 interior isn't too shaby


    The fun part for me was that all the instructors spoke French, so half the time they would instruct me in French, half the time in English depending on what we felt like.

    So, the slightly disappointing part was that as I got better the 2nd day, my lap times did not improve since I was effectively held back in some places by the instructor driving in front of me (although in other places they were clearly still a bit faster, since they were obviously better than me).
    We also had to drive with the traction control in street mode, which wasn't as aggressive in cutting me off as I was fearing it would be, but I'm sure it slowed us down a bit compared to race mode which I use on my car at the track (but eh, I was willing to live with that tradeoff for being able to drive those nice cars on a real racetrack).

    So even if I don't feel I got to improve much on the second day due to being held back, it was still a hell of a lot of fun :)

    part of the track tours
    part of the track tours

    Jennifer is ready for a hot lap :)
    Jennifer is ready for a hot lap :)


    A good coffee and desert with fresh fruit keeps a sweetie happy :)
    A good coffee and desert with fresh fruit keeps a sweetie happy :)

    and everyone is a winner :)
    and everyone is a winner :)

    They had an in car video setup, but it failed miserably, so they lost all of it. Lame...
    Thankfully, trusting person that I am, I took a few of the laps with my GoPro (yes, the camera isn't straight, I was trying not to block the main camera that never worked).

    Longish session following an instructor as close as I could :) (yes, the camera was sideways, it had to be where I put it)

    Another session where I was following a slower F598 (it has a lot more horsepower, but has a hard time putting that power down and has a harder time turning and breaking with its extra 1000lbs of weight). Of course, the instructor was still faster than me, but I had to brake to early in places because of him :)

    One of the last sessions, which were getting shorter by then, and where I hopefully did better :)


    More pages: 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