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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: 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



2015/10/13 Another TTS Track Day at Thunderhill
π 2015-10-13 00:00 in Cars
Barely a week after my previous TH day where I went off-roading and damaged the underside of the car, as well as all 4 shocks by landing when the shocks were in track mode, with virtually no travel, Mclaren SF was able to get my car fixed in record time (modulo a $10k bill or so), and I was back for more.

Clearly, since I overdrove my tires last time, I tried to be more mindful of their temperatures, and I just didn't drive them as hard. As a result, I barely managed a best time (for the 4.3 mile track) of 3:14 instead of 3:13 my last time there. Also I was just tired and not doing that well that day, so I guess there was no reason to push it unnecessarily.

Early sunrise flight to Willows
Early sunrise flight to Willows


interesting way to water fields
interesting way to water fields

Cool cars as usual:

back for more, full of bugs :)
back for more, full of bugs :)


competition was fierce :)
competition was fierce :)






:
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Although I was super tired, I did a 30mn RC flight around lunchtime to get some nice shots of thunderhill from low altitude. You should go to my RC flying Thunderhill 6 years later page, for more pictures and video.


On the flight back to PAO, I got extended very deep into Moffett. I could easily have landed there :)




2015/10/13 RC Flying over Thunderhill, 6 years later
π 2015-10-13 00:00 in Cars, Rc
It had been ages since I took some RC shots from Thunderhill in 2009. This was flown line of sight from the ground back then, so it was impossible to fly the whole track.
I now have better gear that I can fly several miles out, so it was easy to do a much better flight with front and rear video cameras in HD

my bigger power glider barely fits in my car :)
my bigger power glider barely fits in my car :)

it's a bit snug though :)
it's a bit snug though :)

2.6 meter wingspan
2.6 meter wingspan

Around lunchtime, I went for a 30mn flight around the track (easy to stay up with minimal power use due to the gliding capabilities). You can see videos (front and rear) and some screenshots below (synchronized version courtesy of viewsync)

-






someone had fun doing donuts :)
someone had fun doing donuts :)


Here is a virtual lap of thunderhill (although my RC plane took more than 3:14 to do the lap I did in my car :) ):


turn 2
turn 2

turn 3
turn 3


turn 5 and bypass
turn 5 and bypass



turn 6
turn 6

I was impressed in the length of the protective tire wall  before 8
I was impressed in the length of the protective tire wall before 8

8 looks benign from here
8 looks benign from here

turn 9E doesn't look uphill from here, but we were taking the fork to TH West
turn 9E doesn't look uphill from here, but we were taking the fork to TH West

Turn 9C  is an interesting roller coaster, but you can't see it from here
Turn 9C is an interesting roller coaster, but you can't see it from here

what's interesting is how I've never even seen the 2W connector when driving by off camber and trying to get back to the right of the track
what's interesting is how I've never even seen the 2W connector when driving by off camber and trying to get back to the right of the track

a rear view showing 2W
a rear view showing 2W

3W is an interesting turn where I'm braking hard and steering at the same time so that I can make 4W
3W is an interesting turn where I'm braking hard and steering at the same time so that I can make 4W

I also never noticed that tire wall to protect people driving on the highway from being hit by an out of control car
I also never noticed that tire wall to protect people driving on the highway from being hit by an out of control car

5W is usually not a big deal
5W is usually not a big deal

here it's easy to see the shortcut at 7W we were taking
here it's easy to see the shortcut at 7W we were taking

the normal 7W hairpin is tough, but we were taking the straight instead
the normal 7W hairpin is tough, but we were taking the straight instead

the new 7W shortcut is very inviting from this angle :) You also catch a bit of air at the 10W connector
the new 7W shortcut is very inviting from this angle :) You also catch a bit of air at the 10W connector

10W connector from another angle
10W connector from another angle

again, seen from the rear camera
again, seen from the rear camera

rear straight with 1W
rear straight with 1W

1W isn't too bad
1W isn't too bad

funny how I've never seen 2W because I was so focussed on not messing up 10C
funny how I've never seen 2W because I was so focussed on not messing up 10C


the conection back to the east track is very downhill and off camber, always scares me a bit :)
the conection back to the east track is very downhill and off camber, always scares me a bit :)

I didn't even know this access road to the west track was here
I didn't even know this access road to the west track was here


11 and 12
11 and 12

12
12


I like driving over this bit :)
I like driving over this bit :)


14
14

15
15


It was fun to get a few shots of the cars that were doing drag racing:



I never noticed those numbers to setup cars on the front straight
I never noticed those numbers to setup cars on the front straight




I had never seen the cell phone tower at the top of turn 1 until now:



Some shots of the paddocks, many solar panels:

that was just after takeoff
that was just after takeoff







I was piloting from the shade under the pro shop
I was piloting from the shade under the pro shop

skid pad
skid pad




just before landing, crow flaps deployed
just before landing, crow flaps deployed

2015/10/05 John's private TH track day: My first 1:56 on the original track (with bypass) on street tires, and out in 8
π 2015-10-05 00:00 in Cars
I had just come back from TH a couple of weeks prior and got invited to another day (thanks Arnaud).

I was looking forward to this since I was pretty sure I had gotten faster in my last day, but had no point of refrence on that new track, and wanted to see how I'd do on the original track.
In the morning we were running the bypass and I got down to a 1:56 on one lap (and several laps at 1:57). That's beating my best time ever by a whole 2 seconds on half worn (good) street tires, yeah! The best view is this viewsync video showing front and rear at the same time (i.e. follow the link), or you can have just front and rear non synchronized (in 4K goodness should that be needed :) ):

Sadly, it seems that I was indeed pushing the car and those tires a bit beyond what they could do. The tires got too hot according to my tire pressure sensor, and as those things always go, I got serious understeer in turn 8 and was not able to complete the turn.
I went straight out to avoid problems, but sadly once out I chose to turn right a bit instead of turning left which had me go over some nasty bumps. I may have done this out of memory of the bad ditches that used to be just next to the track (and where people used to flip), but aren't there anymore.
The underside of the car suffered from jumping and landing over those bumps, although nothing major, but the shocks got a bit unhappy from landing while being on their harshes (least travel) setting, and all 4 accumulators need to be replaced (basically they got fluid pressure from the landing that wasn't dampened by the shocks since they were in race mode). The repair bill won't be too major though and thankfully no damage to the bodywork or front of the car.

Of course, I wanted to know how I managed to do this, and thanks to the video and the GPS track, I was able to determine that:

turnin point is almost the same with almost the same speed, and initial turn angle is the same
turnin point is almost the same with almost the same speed, and initial turn angle is the same


  • my entry speed was virtually the same as the previous lap
  • my braking point was almost the same.
  • my steering angle was about the same (I did have a slight twitch right, maybe due to a bump)
  • the GPS track overlay shows that I'm driving in the dirt, but the overlay is just wrong. I checked the rear video just in case and it shows no dirt being kicked.
  • my brakes were working fine, I was doing just 66 before going out instead of 90 on the previous lap.
  • the car is capable of modulating brakes if I overbrake to prevent understeer and allow turning where the wheel is pointing. Clearly that didn't happen there.
  • the tire doesn't look horrible, but I guess it was probably low(er?) on grip
    the tire doesn't look horrible, but I guess it was probably low(er?) on grip

    I also reviewed the tire temperatures, and that's probably a good clue of something wrong
    I also reviewed the tire temperatures, and that's probably a good clue of something wrong

    The video does show that I start turning left and just flinch the wheel to the right a tiny bit as a response to a bump probably, and then continue my left turn. However, by then even though I am slowing down still, I'm just getting understeer. I checked afterwards and my front outside tire was pretty worn (not bare, but worn) and apparently was low on grip.
    Nico told me that 233F is way too hot for a tire, especially a street tire, so that could explain how I ended up in an understeer situation that was non recoverable.

    The best view is this viewsync video showing front and rear at the same time (i.e. follow the link), or you can have just front and rear non synchronized (in 4K goodness should that be needed :) ):

    There is some damage to the underside of the car, but it may not be worse than what you'd get from hitting rocks and/or bottoming out on a bumpy road (which incidently happened to me just 10 days prior). I'll know for sure when I get the car back from service.

    Anyway, this is a bit vexing of course, but looking at it another way it's my first real out at thunderhill in 12 years or so, so it's not too bad looking at it that way.

    During lunch I swapped the front rear tire after removing the weeds and pebbles that were inside my car :) and when the track re-opened I got to do a few laps on the track with the cyclone, the real 3 mile track. Just before getting an error about shock failure, I got a 1:59 which definitely has sentimental value to me since I had never ever broken 2:00 on the original 3 mile track.
    So all in all, despite the off, it wasn't a bad day.

    I guess it could have been a lot worse
    I guess it could have been a lot worse

    After a few laps in the afternoon, I had to come out because a shock accumulator that popped and caused this fluid leak
    After a few laps in the afternoon, I had to come out because a shock accumulator that popped and caused this fluid leak

    A few pictures from others:

    Arnaud and his new car
    Arnaud and his new car


    plenty of colorful porches
    plenty of colorful porches






    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