Monday, June 16, 2008

Ron Tonkin Track Day

My brain is mush. Somewhere, at some point today I processed too much information and am now done. I feel tipsy and giddy a result of too much gas fumes, sun, brake and clutch fumes, and Ferraris. I can still smell that overheated brake smell in my hair. What a day.

Today was Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo’s track day. Absolutely, positively a blast. The Ron Tonkin Track Day followed the same format as a ProDrive day but with better food and fancier cars. I am not going to try to list the cars that where there. There was a sufficient density of Ferraris to cause an unbalance in the universe which will result in storms and a small but noticeable increase in the price of a barrel of oil. Seeing and hearing an F50 or a 430 Scuderia go by on a race track is a thrilling experience.

I felt more comfortable this time on. Not intimidated even when surrounded by 360s, 430s and a Ford GT. Well, maybe the Ford was a bit intimidating. Anyway I decided to work on being smooth and paying attention to Tony’s advice. I went faster this time. I passed other cars. I passed other Ferraris. I did not pass the Ford. The Ford passed me. Quickly. During our first session he passed me toward the end and I tried to keep up. Bad idea. Braked too late, got the car looser than I liked thought the chicane. Again, a lesson learned cheaply. During my first too sessions I went quickly. I will venture to say at times I went fast. For brief moments I explored the limits of grip with the car but only for brief moments. It was like being on a flat roof and walking slowly to the edge then slowly away. For my last three I focused on slowing down and working on technique. When and how to brake. Still don’t have that anywhere near right but I was doing better. Shifting into second in the chicane, and balancing the car on the right line coming into turn four. If you get the car set and turned properly you barely have to adjust the wheel thorough a series of turns.

I will say it again. If you like to drive get to the track and take a class.

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