2010-08-28 Driver’s Log

Location: Motorsports Ranch – Cresson, TX,

Track Configuration: 1.7CCW

Vehicle: 1992, 1.6L Miata, rented from Shannon Mcmasters (Team MER)

School: Apex Driving School

Run Group: Novice

First day on a track ever.  What a cool day!  We had 6 sessions on the track, 20 minutes each.  Basic format of the day was:

Session 1: Full Course Yellow, skill drills:  Slalom course, and a threshold braking J-turn.  Each drill was setup with cones on one straight.

Session 2: Full Course yellow, drive the line (slow, no passing).

Session 3: Full Course Green, Instructor ride-along (3 laps), student drive remaining time.

Sessions 4,5,6: Full-course green.  Student drive.

First off, the car:

This was standard Spec Miata race car.   It was very affordable to rent.  Nice car.  Had more “pep” than you might think from 1.6L.

Driving Notes:

Session 1: Not much to say about this.  We drove the loop about 6 times.  Never did lockup the brakes on the J-turn, but since I’d been warned that if I flat-spotted the tires I owned them…I wasn’t eager to go over the limit in the brake test.

Session 2: My instructor is a current Spec Miata race driver.  That was good because we could discuss Spec Miata specifics, and he was familiar with driving these tiny wheelbase, low, light cars.  In this session he showed me the driving line.  Even though it was technically full-course yellow, he had me driving pretty quick…we caught quite a few cars, and had to pull into the pits to get some space.

Session 3: First green session.  In class we discussed passing etiquette.  Only on the long straights, after signal from driver in front.  Also, only two cars can pass the same car at a time.  The instructor drove the first three laps.  Man the car has some grip!  Since it was the first time “at speed” it was good to feel what the car was capable of.  It was hard to focus on the line he was driving during the first lap.  After the excitement of the first lap, it was time to settle down and pay attention!  So, here goes:

Motor Sports Ranch – Cresson, TX, 1.7CCW

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