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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.

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2007/04/23 First Thunderhill of the year
π 2007-04-23 21:50 by Merlin in Cars, Ncars

iI usually wait for the snow season to be over before going for the track. April 23rd sounded like late enough. Little did I know that I'd be snowboarding in more than one foot of fresh powder the previous day.
Luckily, the weather was ok the next day. Since Thunderhill was a mere few miles from the Willows general aviation airport, I took the opportunity to fly there. It was about 55mn in the air when flying by Mt Diablo (to avoid crowded San Francisco airspace), and close to 2H if you factor in going to/from the airport, getting the plane ready, tied down, and so forth... That said, it was both more scenic and peaceful than driving there, and I didn't have to worry about cops while doing close to 200mph :)

I was a bit sluggish on my first session, but started getting a bit more awake and precise on my next session and getting more comfortable with the amount of brakes and traction I had, or didn't have. Unfortunately, that's around the time that my brake pads started going out (I knew they wouldn't last the day, and brought spares).
Changing the said brake pads ended up being much more work than expected however. The pin that needed to be slid out was wedged in there quite well, probably due to heat expansion. We did get it out eventually, but the next problem was that the new brake pads I had were too thick, and just wouldn't fit.
After more calls, the advise was to rub them down until they were thin enough to fit. Sure enough, I used some stone to rub them against, and they fit eventually.

After that I had 3 more sessions left (one lost to brake changing), but unfortunately, something wasn't quite right in the pad install, and my brake fluid would overheat and boil. It's scary to have your brake pedal go to the floor with no brakes when you're going over 100mph, and there is a turn coming :) (pumping helped a bit, but was barely enough).
We drained the fluid, which helped a bit, but I still had problem after a few laps each time. Ultimately, we now think that the pads were a bit too thick, and were rubbing on the rotors even when I wasn't braking, overheating the whole system. My car is now getting a full flush and brake check, which should take care of that.
Anyway, I was able to get a few laps that were a bit better (down to 2:11 or 2:10), but still very far from what the car could do. Not only do I still need to learn how to drive it, as it's nothing alike my old turbo miata, but I was also being very conservative on braking because I didn't want to lose my brakes at 120, right before a turn...
That said, despite the brake issues, it was still nice to have a little fun on the track, but I don't feel I got to learn a whole lot this time, especially on my later sessions where I was more awake, but just afraid of pushing it too much and losing my brakes in the wrong place. Unfortunately, I also didn't much time to socialize, or take other pictures. I was too busy changing the pads, and then trying to bleed out the boiled brake fluid... (that said the pictures I was able to get (including 2 not from me) are here )

The flight home was fine (55mn) and I got home in less than 2H door to door, which isn't bad :)

The funny part is how I was trying to shift my M5 with the windshield wipers, which my brain had decided had become paddle shifters :)
Oh, and thanks to Jason for the help :)

More pages: April 2023 January 2023 August 2022 August 2021 July 2021 April 2021 November 2020 August 2020 June 2020 March 2020 February 2020 December 2019 October 2019 September 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 March 2019 February 2019 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 December 2017 October 2017 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

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