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Old 06-02-2014, 10:57 AM   #1
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Anybody ever go to the Florida International Rally Motorsports park, aka "The Firm"?

The Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park

I thought I was going to a DE at RRR this weekend but I fiddled around and now they are full for the Novice group and have a ton of folks on waitlist.

The Firm has open track days every month, where you drive as much as you want for $250 if you pay in advance, or $300 if you pay the day of.

Open Track Days

Instructors are available for hire, or if you have previous track experience, you can drive solo.

It seems like a good deal for experienced solo drivers, but maybe not the best choice for novices. For example I was going to take my son this weekend and he was going to drive his Miata at RRR. Were going to do the 1 day option so for $125 he would get 4 20 minute instructed sessions. I think that is great for a beginner. If we were to go to the Firm this weekend he would have to pay the open track day fee, and then purchase instructed sessions at $75 per 20 minute session (this does highlight what a great deal PCA DE is especially for novices)

Now that I identified the plastic piece that I thought was from within the car (it turned out to be a piece of debris from when I cut open my oil filter) I am hankering to do some driving I was thinking of going there this weekend...

Has anyone ever been there before?

Thanks

Steve

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Old 06-13-2014, 10:38 AM   #2
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I am writing to follow up to this, I went to one of their open track days on June 7th. It was pretty cool. They ran the full circuit clockwise, without the shoebox, which is 1.5 miles. During the day I ran probably 8 or 9 sessions with a total of around 75 laps (I don't have an exact count because my phone got full so I wasn't able to record metrics for all of the sessions).

Because I have had other track experience, I wasn't required to buy any coaching sessions, but I went ahead and got one anyway with Bryn Walters, the chief driving instructor there. He took me out in one of their cars for a few laps to show me the line and let me feel what it was like to go at speed, and then we went around in my car for a session. Later in the day we went for another session in my car, a quick session in their car, and then back to my car to finish the session. I learned a lot.

There were around 9 cars registered, including a Lotus Brunton Stalker, a BMW 335i, 2 Caterham Super 7s, an Acura type R, a Corvette, a Subaru WRX, and a big Chrysler 300 SRT8. Additionally the lead instructor Bryn has a Lotus 7 (or something, it looked a lot like the caterhams). There was also a Mazdaspeed Miata turbo there.

Because it was open track, and folks ran at different times, there were often only 3 or 4 cars on the track at a time. Later in the day I ran a couple sessions either by myself or with only 1 other car on the track that I never saw.

Here is one of my best laps:

1:37

The green is where I was accelerating, yellow is steady speed, and red is decelerating. Since this app just uses the GPS in the phone it only gets an update around once a second so it is not ultra precise.

Here is a lap where the back end kicked out a little at turn 4, about 20 seconds into the lap:

Back end out at turn 4 20 seconds into the lap

That happened to me twice that day, but I don't have the other one recorded. I am hoping the video will be useful for me to try and figure out what I did wrong. (If anybody can tell please chime in ) I don't think my speed was too high (the next day I found a video of a Scion FRS going through that same turn at 70+ mph although who knows what his setup is) so maybe it was the balance of the car or maybe my steering wasn't smooth? My setup is stock M030 sport suspension, with Hankook RS3s. Pressures were right at 40 PSI hot all around (too high or low? The scrub marks on the tires looked good and came right down to just above the tops of the little triangles) At the end of my longest session I checked pressures and they were 44.

It was a fun day, cost was $250, but because it is only an hour from my house I didn't have to get a hotel or anything so this was actually my cheapest track day so far.

Pros:
  • Cheapest track day so far with the most track time
  • Lots of track time, and at the end of the day when everybody had had enough I had the track practically to myself
  • Great people

Cons:
  • For beginners, (like my son who I didn't take), it is not the best format. PCA Instructed sessions at a DE is better in my opinion
  • I wish they had a $125 1/2 day option or something. I bet they would get a lot more drivers. But I think it may be an insurance issue.
  • They were very reluctant to let me run my Boxster there because they are unsure that it has enough roll over protection (I have the B-K extender bar installed as well). They need to do more research to determine whether I can come back.

I think I will go back once I have more experience and can get more out of it, but I will wait until I do a couple more PCA HPDE events with instruction first.

For advanced folks, I think it is a great deal, tons of track time with relatively few cars. Holy right turns batman!

Steve

Edit: any instructors or anyone with feedback on my driving, please don't hold back, I welcome the feedback so I can get better


Last edited by steved0x; 06-13-2014 at 01:37 PM.
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