One Day Fun Day
There's something about Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca that just gets the endorphins going. From the high speed crested corner that is Turn-1 to the exhilaration of nailing Turn-5 up the hill to the reward of getting your gut to feel right nailing the Corkscrew. This year, the Quattro de Seca HPDE event was limited to a one-day on Thursday, April 7th since this track is busier than ever and the schedule at hand meant ACGG had limited options. As a result, we had to limit it to advanced (solo) drivers to get the most out of the limited time there. A big bonus was this day being a rare 92db day, which meant even Joe Luccio's track beast didn't' get black flagged! (thank you Supertrapps!) As another big bonus, ACGG partner Hooked on Driving had Friday reserved so several members stuck around the Monterey Peninsula to hit the track on Friday (although it was limited to just 90db).
Above: proper car set up allowed this TT-RS to play with Porsches all day!
Proper Set Up
This was my fourth time at this track, and second time with my TT-RS. The first time was full of understeer and I was left bummed. Thanks to some key ACGG sponsors, I was able to enhance the use of my grinning muscles over 6 sessions. Guy Gamba at OnEdge Performance dialed in some Nitto NT01's for me, with monstrous 275/35R18's fitting under the tight TT's fenders sans rubbing! Guy was impressed that I was finally able to keep the Front/Rear tire-temp delta under 40-degrees! This was in no small part due to the new set up Christian and Adil at 034 Motorsports hooked me up with. This included their rear-sway bar and billet end-lines dialed to the max, Christian Miller spec alignment ("It might be squirly on the streets!" he warned"), and installation of some revised MSS-Kitts front adjustable springs and a raised ride height to what was a slammed car. Lastly, my OEM axle-back exhaust was installed so I wouldn't upset the locals and be black flagged due to sound. Over the two days, I was able to smooth out my sessions by 15 seconds! Though we not racing and not really timing, the fact that my smoothness improved this much was a testament to some good coaching and a superior set up on the car that resulted in an epic two days at the track.
Making a Wish Come True!
ACGG had a fantastic opportunity to be a part of making a young boy's dream come true thanks to being connected to the Make a Wish Foundation.
Above: Austin achieves every boy-hood dream, to wave the checkered flag at the "races!"
Austin got the chance to check out all of the fast cars on the paddock and in the garages, and loved the sounds. He also got to wave the checkered flag and even take several hot laps in Terry Unter's R8 with Gordon Sanderson egging him on.
Above: Austin's smile is worth a thousand words! He loved hearing the R8's V8 roar to redline!
Event Master Terry Unter and Co-Event-Master Matt Schaffer did an excellent job in making this rare one-day event seem long and well worth the trip. Special thanks to grid-master Andre, safety managers Terry G. and Andy for keeping the track safe and to all of the volunteers and sponsors that make it all possible. Lastly, thanks to the ACGG members that were safe and responsible!
Below: Gordon in his TT-RS chasing down the R8 V8 piloted by Terry and co-pilot Austin...is red really faster Gordon?
Thanks to Dito at www.gotbluemilk.com for shooting and donating the photos to Austin's family and the Make a Wish Foundation!