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:

More pages: 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



2015/11/27 Tesla Model S 90D delivery
π 2015-11-27 00:00 in Cars
My BMW M5 was still a great car, but it was almost 15 years old, and missing the new technology that's been around for several years. I was personally interested in self driving features as well as safety features (auto braking, lane departure warning, not hitting the car in your blind spot if you missed it, etc...).
But more recently I had been waiting for a car that could drive itself in a freeway lane (if you think about it, it's not that hard a problem compared to driving on city streets). Mercedes kind of that had, but it failed when I tried it during a test drive. Tesla had been promising this for almost a year, but I was a bit dubious that they could deliver with the limited sensors on the current model S. They however proved me wrong, and that was great because I did prefer the idea of having an electric car to another gasoline car anyway.

Those who know me are probably wondering why I didn't get the P90D, the faster one with beefier rear motors, or even the ludicrous speed version (a mere $15,000 extra to shave off 0.3 seconds on 0-60), and there are a few answers:

  • I already have a Mclaren which is really faster than even the ludicrous P90D, especially when accelerating from higher speeds
  • I optimized the 90D for more range and usability over raw performance. It can go to tahoe and take chains if needed, although its all season tires are ok for snow, and the 19" wheels offer more range, as well as the 90D being more efficient and going farther on the same batteries than a P90D.
  • The 90D is not slow, people report about 4 seconds 0-60. However, my impression so far is that it does feel slower than both the Mclaren and the M5 from 60 to 90. That said, maybe I don't really need faster acceleration towards speeds that aren't legal anyway :) (for a car that will never go on the track)
  • So, here is what I got:


    We went to the Fremont Numi plant on black friday (the roads were empty), to pick up the car and get a factory tour:

    The Fremont Numi Factory is huge
    The Fremont Numi Factory is huge


    before driving it off
    before driving it off

    happily home
    happily home

    Nice 2 tone interior
    Nice 2 tone interior

    I had it drive itself using autopilot back from 680 to 1mn from my house on hwy 85 and only had to take the wheel twice to switch freeways. That's a huge plus in my book :)

    See more images for Tesla Model S 90D delivery
    2015/11/01 Unlimited Sounds at Laguna Seca with Trackmasters
    π 2015-11-01 00:00 in Cars
    This year has been good. After 6 years of not having gone to Laguna due to their sound rules, I got 2 unlimited sound track days this year.

    Lots of fun and different cars. I only got down to a 1:41 this time (a bit slower than last time), but it was still fun. It probably was a combination of my definitely worn tires, and lack of skill :)



    drivers' meeting
    drivers' meeting







    Session #4 on viewsync

    :
    -

    By the end of the day, I climbed up the hill to fly my RC plane as the sun was setting, go see RC Flying over Laguna Seca, 6 years later:




    Again, more pictures from the sky on my RC Flying over Laguna Seca, 6 years later page.

    2015/11/01 RC Flying over Laguna Seca, 6 years later
    π 2015-11-01 00:00 in Cars, Rc
    It also had been ages since I took some RC shots from Laguna Seca in 2009. Back then, I took my small minimag with a heavy gopro hanging from it, and flew it line of sight from a few corners of the track. As a result, it was impossible to fly the whole track.
    I was back for an Unlimited sound day with Trackmasters, so I figured I'd do a nice overflight with my big powered glider. Sadly, because we still think that not having daylight savings time all year is a good idea, we had just switched back to the time where it gets dark way too early for no good reason, and I was only able to start flying when driving was over and the sun was already setting, first giving me sun glare, and then flying in dusk where lighting was questionable.
    Due to the conditions which included heavy winds and poor lighting, I put a fairly high altitude floor on my autopilot, and as a result all the shots are from a bit higher than they should have been for better views, so sorry about that.

    Little climb up
    Little climb up

    My gear, ready to go
    My gear, ready to go

    rear cam on 1st flight takeoff
    rear cam on 1st flight takeoff

    climbing up the hill, gave me a reasonable vantage point on the entire track
    climbing up the hill, gave me a reasonable vantage point on the entire track

    By the time I started, everyone had driven out or was driving out already. As a result, the paddocks were a bit bare already:




    And here is a list of Laguna Seca's turns from a few different angles:

    T1
    T1

    T1-T2-T3-T4
    T1-T2-T3-T4

    T2-T3
    T2-T3

    T4-T5
    T4-T5

    T4 seen from the rear
    T4 seen from the rear

    T5
    T5

    T5 from the rear
    T5 from the rear

    T6
    T6

    T6
    T6

    T7
    T7

    nice little hill on the side of T7
    nice little hill on the side of T7

    T8-T9-T10-T11
    T8-T9-T10-T11

    T8
    T8

    T8-T9
    T8-T9

    Cool to see where the bridge before T9, goes
    Cool to see where the bridge before T9, goes

    T9 from the rear
    T9 from the rear

    T10 from the rear
    T10 from the rear

    T10-T11
    T10-T11

    T11, definitely sharp... Never noticed you could drive off the track to an access road on the right
    T11, definitely sharp... Never noticed you could drive off the track to an access road on the right

    I then went flying a bit away from the track towards the fog that was rolling in. That was my first time flying VFR on top without actually being very high. I'm glad I was flying with instruments (IFR-like) though.



    The flight videos aren't great due to video quality, and my rear camera that was acting up (I replaced the mobius with another one since then), but here they are if you'd like them. The viewsync composite (front/rear) are a bit more interesting:

  • Flight 1: You can try the Viewsync Flight #1 with both front/rear views. Sadly the rear video was skipping due to a camera problem. Otherwise, you can try the front camera only below:
  • The 2nd flight had both cameras work better, here is the viewsync front/rear version:
  • :
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    More pages: 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