Track Days

This section outlines my track experiences.

 

Oulton Park : November 2012 (Full day open pit lane)

Organised by Track Action Online

Just before this track day had the geometry setup checked and done, see here.

I hired Gareth Lloyd for the day for some serious and focused instruction. Gareth was the 2010 TimeAttack pro champion and won regular pro events during 2011 and 2012 with recurring car problems, he recently returned from Australia after participating in the world TimeAttack championship.
Gareth has a history of fast pace\circuit driving with saloon cars and first entered TimeAttack in 2005 with his own Escort Cosworth.

Morning Session
Weather in the morning was dry but cold which meant we had to deal with a very greasy surface which resulted in several red flags as people
struggled with the conditions. We decided to keep things steady during the morning and concentrate on the lines which we had pretty much
sorted by lunchtime, concentrating on Shell->Brittens and then knickerbrook->Clay hill->Druids->Lodge.

Afternon Session
Surface conditions improved though the day and the surface was mostly dry during the afternoon.
As we concentrated on the fast lines during the morning we put these into practice and over the afternoon and made good progress in
picking up the pace.

Gareth drove for a session and after some allegedly warm up laps (they were fast) he did two fast laps which were very entertaining
and were great in understadning why we were taking the lines we were taking. This made me appreciate how fast the Skyline is capable of going and gave me a good appreciation of how far I have left to develop my circuit driving skills to a competitive level.

After Gareths session, my pace continued to improve during the afternoon and a few niggles with my driving were identified and ironed out as well.

James who setup the geometry for me also came down for the afternoon to check over the setup, monitoring tyre pressure, heat and observed the
car on circuit to observe body roll etc. Both James and Gareth agreed to keep the setup unchanged, seemed James got it right first time, and after a
few more track days and I put into practive what I've learnt I will invite James to another track day to check things over as I begin to start to drive more on the limit. Gareth also advised to keep the 2 way diff for now as it was doing its job nicely.

In conclusion I consider my day with Gareth as my first focused day on circuit with the previous track days allowing me to get comfortable with being on circuit and with the skyline and finding the skylines weaknesses and sorting them, such as the brakes. My approach to subsequent track days will be a lot more focused.

Anglesea : Full Day Open Pitlane : International Circuit : August 2012

Organised by MLR Club

I booked myself into the MLR track day which was on the Friday before the TimeAttack weekend at Anglesea in the hope that I would be out on track with some of the TimeAttack cars.

The day didn't disappoint, there was a noticable lack of your normal\typical track cars on the day pretty much every car on track was a Civic Cup or TimeAttack car.

I was a bit apprehensive of the 2 way diff but jeez it does a job and does it well, I could push into and out of corners I struggled with earlier on in the year at Anglesea and when the backend did step out it was easily and quickly rectified, I'm sure the slicks and polybusing that have been fitted since my last visit to Anglesea has helped as well.

Last time at Anglesea I went for a fast lap and recorded an unofficially 1m 56s, today I managed 1m 48s.

The EBC Blue Stuff NDX pads I fitted to replace my worn Ferodo DS2500 are really impressive, I was literally stamping on the middle peddle very late all day with no problems they just got better the hotter they got and their a lot cheaper as well so will stick with these from now on and there is a fair amount of meat still left on them after the day. All in all did 115 miles on track which is around 50 laps or so and went out on the first session at 9 and was literally the last car in at 5 in the afternoon

Noticed that the oil pressure was lower than usual after my sessions - in fact the oil presure gauge wasn't happy once I pulled up and idled - so in the later sessions stayed out more to let the oil cool down further and the pressure was higher onced I'd parked up. Hopefully this is all to do with just pushing the car more and the oil heating up more and becoming a little thinner, while out on circuit the oil pressure stayed in a good place.

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Videos:
Car drive past with flamage 1
Car drive past with flamage 2
In car footage

 

Anglesea : Full Day Open Pitlane : April 2012

Organised by Javelin Track Days

First time on Anglesea Circuit, been there before to a TimeAttack round so was lookings forwards to this as the surrounding scenery is amazing as are the roads. Managed to find a local car friendly B&B (3 mins from the circuit) which was great. After a week of constant downpour we got a cloudy, windy but totally dry day.

After the usual briefing I setup the harnesses and adjusted the TEIN dampers (2 on the front and 4 on the backs) and set off. First few sessions were good - got a good feel for the circuit and the scenery can be off putting as its awesome - coming out of Peel you get to look directly into the Irish Sea with rolling hills in the background...

One of the guys off the forum came along in his mint red R34 GTR - had a passenger ride and what a totally different ride to a GTST it gave. Tonnes more grip and came onto boost nice n quick and went through the revs rapidly (is tuned to 600+bhp) - felt planted on the corners. In comparision my GTST feels lighter and more nimble (less planted lol) and with it only running 400bhp felt like it came onto boost quicker but it held onto the boost all the way to the redline

In the morning the cicuit was the full GP circuit - in the afternoon it changed to the Coastal circuit - I actually liked the Coastal circuit more - its shorter but with the introduction of the corkscrew offered a different challenge and you we're able to pick up speed a lot quicker for turn 1 and then into the next corner

Each time I came in I was back out within 10 mins all day - great circuit and as it wasn't booked up it wasn't busy - had the circuit to myself a few times. By 16:00 most had headed off home so did a few more sessions before I did the same to use the last of the fuel in the jerry cans.

What I took away from the day was that my GTST with around 400bhp is plenty, as I started to take corners in a lower gear than I was earlier in the day but I need to sort out getting all the power to the tarmac so the NISMO diff I have will get fitted soon and I'm now looking into getting some track day\road semi-slick tyres.

As a closing statement .... prefer Anglsea over Oulton Park and wil be going back when I can.



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Videos:
In car

 

Oulton Park : Full Day Open Pitlane : March 2012

Organised by Track Action Online

Completed a full day session this time. No brake issues after fitting the R33 GTR V-SPEC brembos and sloted discs and Motul 600 brake fluid. Also booked some instruction time and afterwards enabled me to flow around the circuit a lot better and take the challenging corners a lot better. Setup the coilover dampers to 4 at the front and 2 at the rear and this made for a far more better handling ride. Water temps remained in check after the fitment of the 52mm racing alloy rad and NISMO thermostat. Car didn't miss a beat all day.

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Videos:
In car
Drive past 1
Drive past 2
slow down lap @ 4:35
@ 11:02

 

Oulton Park : Full Day Open Pitlane : March 2011

Organised by Focused Events

Well organised day with a lengthly informative briefing given with a very large range of vehicles on the day.

After 2 sessions felt comfortable with the cars handling after fitting ant-roll bars and having a full geometry setup done

Unfortunately during the 3rd session I suffered brake failure (brake pedal went to the floor) while approaching Shell corner so came off and after 10 mins the brakes cooled down and the pedal came back. Decide to head home and look to source a large brake kit setup and bought some R33 GTR V-SPEC brembos and slotted discs in the hope that this will irradicate my ongoing braking issues.

 

Oulton Park : Novice PM Sessioned : Oct 2010

Consisted of 3x30 min sessions (Novice)

The drivers were split into 3 groups each running for 20 mins with a 40 min break. Cars were a good range from rollcaged minis to Audi RS8s and GTS3s

Did my first 2 sessions without issues and had a passenger along with me who was really useful for giving feedback as my lines were not too great even with cones out on the corners to mark the apex. With his feedback and guideance on track I could feel my laps becoming faster and more smooth.

On the 2nd lap of the third session I started to experience what I thought was brakedisc warping and under heavy breaking the car was juddering and vibrating quite hard. I had a chat with other trackday drivers and we think I experienced pad heat cycling as they were never bedded in properly. So the plan is now to replace the yellow stuff pads on the front with Ferodo DS2500 pads and bed \ heat cycle them in properly.

 

Kemble Airfield : Skyline Owners Day : Oct 2009

First track day after the stage 1 remap, was a full day.

Day was staggered with different events happending at the same time. One was a top speed and timed lap which took up most of the airfield space. Followed by a smaller course layed out with cones which was very tight and twisty, good fun. There was also the 0-60 timed run which I didnt do as going fast in a straight line isnt my thing and didnt want to stress the clutch doing launches.

Had a good day, began to get a real feel for the handling of the skyline when being pushed and getting the backend out. With it being open space I guess it made you a little more adventourous than you would otherwise be when on a narrow circuit so will look to do an airfield track session in 2010, probably Elvington Airfield near York.

 

Oulton Park : Novice Taster Session : Sept 2009

Was horrendously wet and had been raining hard for the previous 2 days and the rain continued throughout the session. Backend came out a few times on some of the tighter corners which was fun but made it through the session in one piece, unfortunately an MGF didn't and a few other cars pulled in early.

No briefing was given and seemeed badly organised considering the bad weather conditions and that it was a novice sesison.

Will be back at Oulton Park in 2010 as its the nearest circuit apart from Aintree in Liverpool for me.

 

Oulton Park : Drifting Taster Session : Aug 2009

Went out in a Nissan 200sx as it was the closest car they had availbale to the Skyline. The 200sx was stage 1 modified with a welded diff and running with a Power FC, was fully stripped inside as well.

Went on the smaller of the 2 drift tracks at Oulton Park, had a bit of a laugh but it was over too quickly as it only lasted for around 6 laps. At the end swapped over and had a hot lap with the instructor driving which was ok.

Bit dissapointed as the course although slippy is quite narrow and short so no real chance to pick up any speed, seems more suited for slow speed controlled drifing.