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Old 09-24-2012, 01:46 PM   #1
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First PCA DE

So I just took my first hit off the track pipe this past weekend at Brainerd International Raceway with Nord Stern PCA. We did the long course all weekend. Friday consisted of my Driver Training (slalom exercises, braking exercises, low speed drive through of the course with an instructor, 3 laps of instructor driving your car at speed, and then 4-5 sessions of you in the driver seat at speed!), and then the regular DE event Saturday and Sunday.

I ran with the novice group, of course. Although on Sunday afternoon they combined the novice and intermediate groups together. Not really my cup of tea, I guess, the intermediate guys seemed to be a bunch of cowboys. One guy passing me at the VERY end of the main straight without me indicating him to pass (a big no-no, according to the organizers, apparently), and second, a guy in an RX-7 who indicated me to pass him, but then didn't lift off the throttle to allow me to. Nice.

Anyway, all in all, it was a COMPLETE blast. I will definitely do it again. Even if I run with the novice group for the rest of the time I own a Porsche (or Porsches in the future), I'm pretty sure I'd be happy, and wouldn't have to deal with the cowboys.

Here's some video I shot during my 6th session of the weekend.

Part 1:

PCA Last fling 2012 Session 6 part 1 HD - YouTube

Part 2:

PCA Last fling 2012 Session 6 part 2 - YouTube

And no… the car doesn’t shake nearly as much as it appears to in the video on the straights… I think that’s due to some vibration correction in my video camera, or it might be due to just how freakin' tall the GoPro rollbar mount is. The video should be available in HD.

Cheers,
Jason
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
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Good driving. Your steering inputs were smooth, you got back on the gas early in the corners, nice and clean.

Looks like its a fast track. One question. When you were on the long straight you got up to 5th, did you downshift for the sweepers at the end of the straight?
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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Thanks. Yeah, BIR is a very fast track, from what I understand. Turn 1 after the long straight is banked, and is *meant* to be taken flat out. My instructor said that I could take turn 1 at 120 mph, but I just don't have the guts to do it yet. Turn 2 is also meant to be taken very fast, but isn't banked, and could probably be taken at 20+ mph faster than I currently do.

Oh well... I think it just means I need more seat time.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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Yes, seat time, seat time, seat time. That is what makes all of the difference in the world.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pharaohjb View Post
Thanks. Yeah, BIR is a very fast track, from what I understand. Turn 1 after the long straight is banked, and is *meant* to be taken flat out. My instructor said that I could take turn 1 at 120 mph, but I just don't have the guts to do it yet. Turn 2 is also meant to be taken very fast, but isn't banked, and could probably be taken at 20+ mph faster than I currently do.

Oh well... I think it just means I need more seat time.
Hello Jason. Nice driving!

I've done BIR short track (2.5 miles) twice and was going to do the big 3.1 course in September but work got in the way. I agree that you can take the banked turn 1 at 120 but I'd hesitate taking turn two at 120mph without race tires. In August, we witnessed a BMW M3 take that corner around 125 mph. He got wide. Went into the grass. He over corrected. He spun across the track through the grass and smacked into the wall. The car was toast. The driver and passenger were fine. It was driver error but that accident really kept me in check the rest of the day.

I'm looking forward to next year. I was hoping to come close to 130 mph on that long straight but after watching your video, I'm thinking 125 mph is more realistic.

Hope to run into you at BIR next year.
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:49 AM   #6
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Boxster586-

Thanks! Yeah, I hit 124 mph at the end of the straight once (according to my GPS), my speedo indicated 130. It's all about how fast you come out of Turn 10, and for me, there's just something psychological about Turn 10 in that it's not quite apparent where the entrance to the straight is. As you turn in to 10, you're staring at the tower and concrete barriers ahead of you, and you've just got to get back on the power and trust that the straight is somewhere over there to your right, so it was a little daunting to carry a lot of speed through that corner for a novice like me. It doesn't come across very well in the video, but there is quite a dip down towards the apex of 10, so it's even a bit of a blind corner in the exit as you climb back out of it on to the straight, making it even more psychologically difficult to just get back on the throttle and trust that you're going to make it.

You should sign up for a Nord Stern event - for about the same price as the BIR-sponsored events, you get two full days, 6+ sessions per day. Even more if you attend the Friday Driver's Training. This was my first one - the people are great, and they really know their stuff about driving Porsches. And you get to drool over the GT3s and Cayman Rs that blast around the track in some of the different run groups. There was even a Noble M400 there - what a work of art that thing is. Doesn't sound like anything else on the track.

Cheers,
Jason
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pharaohjb View Post
Boxster586-


You should sign up for a Nord Stern event - for about the same price as the BIR-sponsored events, you get two full days, 6+ sessions per day. Even more if you attend the Friday Driver's Training. This was my first one - the people are great, and they really know their stuff about driving Porsches. And you get to drool over the GT3s and Cayman Rs that blast around the track in some of the different run groups. There was even a Noble M400 there - what a work of art that thing is. Doesn't sound like anything else on the track.

Cheers,
Jason

Hey Jason-

Knowing our climate and how fast the weather can change, I'm guessing that was the last Nord Stern PCA event for the year? It's a definite yes for next year. It's gonna be a long long winter thinking about that long course!

I'll try to look you up via pm on this board next year when it's time to sign up.
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:43 PM   #8
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Yep... the "Last Fling" was the last DE event of the year for the club. The "First Fling" next year is, I think, in early- to mid-May. All in all, Nord Stern does 3 events per year at BIR, and also make a trip to Road America each year. I'll try to remember to ping you when registration for the First Fling opens next year, too.

Cheers,
Jason
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