It’s amazing, but yesterday I nearly got my fill of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. After two days of continuous track time with Your Private Track Day, I actually went home saying I got enough laps. Phillip Holmes runs a great trackday club, and instructing with his club is a good time. The schedule ran with three groups – Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced/Instructors, and they rotated on the track every twenty minutes from 9am until 4:30pm each day. Instructors gave ‘stationwagon rides’ or rode shotgun with students in group one, and then could drive their own cars in group three, I think I drove/rode fifteen sessions.
YPTD is truly a first class club. This might sound like an ad, and I guess it kind of is. Phillip provided coffee and pastries each morning, lunch for all, track prepped Miatas available for rent, in-car video cameras available for rent, a track photographer, a vinyl car-wrap demo, and a racing simulator company offering demos and sales. Laguna Seca is California’s most expensive track to rent, so fees for races and track days there can be a bit steep, but nobody complains about the cost after a day of playing there…
Laguna Seca is an easy track to learn with only eleven turns in 2.2 miles and long sight lines, but it is a difficult track to master, with its 5th gear blind rise Turn 1, a 4th gear downhill decreasing banking Turn 9, and of course the leap-of-faith called the Corkscrew. Luckily I learn a little bit more every time I go there, whether I’m in the left seat or right. This time I found a new line to carry a little more speed through T9 than I have in the past, a good faith gesture from the racing gods for sitting through so many missed apexes over the years 😉 Unfortunately on one of the last sessions of day two, my shift lever ended up loose in my hand as I upshifted down the front straight. Turns out the shift lever pivot pin flange on my forty year old comp gearbox finally gave way, go figure. But a buddy and I did a track walk after the day ended and found the broken flange, the pin, and even the shims, small miracle indeed. After a tranny r&r and a little TIG work, I’ll be back in business.
This week there were a plethora of Porsches, a bevy of Beamers, a few Ferraris, a trio of ol’ Datsuns, a couple LeMons, and even a lost Tundra out on the track.