Another day, more progress. I didn't have a coach but I slowly got better in enough places to work my way down reliable 3:20's until I got a fresh set of tires and got down all the way to a single 3:14 lap, my best ever on that configuration. Sadly I didn't repeat it (the other ones were 3:16 and 3:17 due to traffic), but one is enough to count :)
Going to Dirtfish had been on my todo list for quite a while, and my upcoming trip to seattle was a good excuse to make it happen. The Dirtfish staff was great all around, starting by making me a spot for a private class when they were otherwise already booked out for the dates that worked for me.
I showed up bright and early the first morning to get a quick tour of the premises and start with my classroom session:
my car for the day was waiting when I arrived, a nice rally prepped WRX STI
great collection of rally memorabilia
the car I got to drive
No lift brake turn here :)
The first day didn't have rain, so they made their own :)
On the first day, I learned the very basics, including trying to stop myself from the urge to countersteer when I was sideways (essential for RWD, but counter productive for AWD).
On day #2, we made a lot more progress with my new instructor for the day:
I got the car suitably dirty :)
During a bit of downtime, I got a quick tour around the grounds that are famous because they were used for the show Twin Peaks, as well as the garage where they work on cars:
They even threw in professional pictures, very nice of them:
Needless to say that I had a hell of a lot of fun. I sure didn't turn into a rally expert in 2 days, but I improved a lot from the total rookie level I was at when I started. It'll definitely be fun to go back.
Here's a video of one of my last laps on the mixed course I was running in the rain and on a mix of gravel and tarmac. It even included a hand brake turn :)