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Old 09-30-2015, 01:08 PM   #1
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Location: Omaha
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Interesting 'Weekend' at Kansas Speedway

NASA was hosting an event at Kansas Speedway last weekend. Because of the great time I had there last yr, I was really looking forward to this yr's event. I was the only participant from OMA last yr but there were 5 others attending based on my encouragement. Last yr my brother and I ran in grp 2, which ran in combination with the novices in grp 1. This yr we decided to try grp 3, which would share the track with grp 4 drivers. The OMA crew was also signed up for grp 3. I hit a top speed of 135 last yr and after reviewing my videos, felt 140 was possible.

2 days before I leave I look at my tires and see the issues with the left frt. Not possible to get a new set of frts by mid-day Fri, so I do the next best thing: I pulled the wheels off of my LE which has 3 yr old tires in pretty good shape w/ ~20K mi.

Get down to KC late Fri afternoon and get teched. Get to the track early Sat and get a bit scared by the specific grp 3 & 4 driver's mtg. We would be doing open passing on straights and point-bys in any turn except T5 (fast right hand bend). Never done that before. They also said the 'bus stop' chicane had been redesigned from last yr and they had no idea what it looked like, so we were supposed to take it easy during the 1st session. Last yr's chicane was about 2/3 the way down the back straight and was a series of tire walls that were tight. It also made you make an abrupt shot back onto the banked back straight, which turned out to be tough on my suspension. Walking back to our cars from the mtg, I asked my brother if we should really be in grp 3. He wasn't sure either.

The 1st session starts and the chicane is about 1/3 the way down the back stretch and is much easier to work back onto the back straight. Since it's 8am, NASCAR T3 is in shade and can't be really grippy. Speaking of grippy, my tires aren't - it's like a knife edge. I show several of the OMA guys the proper lines. After the session, I feel much better about being in grp 3. One of the OMA guys says he was frightened on the NASCAR banked turns. Not sure if 140 is possible, but I do know I'm carrying more speed into NASCAR 3 because of the change in chicanes, which will produce more speed at the end of the main straight. I just need to work my way up as we click off more sessions.

There were some interesting passes in sessions 2 & 3. I passed a couple of cars thru the banked turns - that was intense but a rush afterwards. Had a GT-R pass me down the back straight but I caught him thru the banks and was drag racing him down the front straight. Finally realized I needed to back down and by now the brake markers were upon us. I zigged back onto the proper line between markers 3 and 2. I blame it on the red mist...

We were nearing the final session for the day but the track was eerily quiet. We found out why - NASA evidently had something scheduled called Taste of the Speedway from 5-7pm. This was after all the grps were done and it was supposed to be for ppl who had never been on the track before. The track didn't seem to know anything about this and said the corner workers and ambulance drivers were off at 5. No way NASA could send ppl on the track w/o them. So NASA said they'd push them out with the grp 1s and 2s in their final session. The track said no and everyone is done for the day. Then rumors start flying about Sun. By 7:30pm NASA posted on FB that Sun was cancelled. And the track said everyone had to be cleared off the track by 9pm Sat. Our fun came to an abrupt end and I only got to run 3 of the 8 scheduled sessions.

I can totally understand the track's stand on things - if someone had an accident during the Taste, no question lawyers would go for the deepest pockets (the France family who owns Kansas Speedway). I have no idea why NASA hadn't cleared it with the track, but somehow NASA had advertised it enough to have approx 20 participants. The sad part is NASA will probably never host an event at the track again, so I may not ever get to run there again.

So I only get 3 videos out of the weekend and they're not great, but here they are. Hopefully my techniques are better than last yr. There's still some corners I don't get right, but I was hoping by Sun I would do them better. Enjoy...

PCA National HPDE Instructor
2008 Boxster S Limited Edition #005
2007 Cayman S - SOLD on Valentine's Day 2013
2008 Cayman S Sport - Signal Green

Last edited by husker boxster; 09-30-2015 at 02:01 PM.
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