After completing High Performance Driving School Saturday (at PIR through NASA) I AM ADDICTED! I've been wanting to take various driving/racing classes for some time and can say it was everything I'd expected and more.<br>It was a one-day course with instruction divided between classroom time and five 20 minute track sessions - two limited strictly to students, two where students "move up" to a novice group with other drivers in street cars, and one free-for-all with all but open wheels allowed on the track.<br>My little 2.8qMS did great, although a few laps on the track - especially with much faster cars - leaves me longing for more power and a finer tuned suspension.<br>The only Audis in our group besides mine was a '98 Sable Brown 1.8T FWD (stock), and a '99 A8 4.2q brought by the AoA Western Region Division Manager. Scottsdale Audi had tricked out Laser Red '98 1.8T - complete with 18" wheels, Sparco racing seats, Neuspeed chip (stage 1), springs (stock Sport shocks), and solid swaybars, catback ehxaust, Audi rings graphics (ala BTCC), and a DTM rear wing. It looked sweet, and is for sale at like $34k. They said they plan to add a K04 turbo, big brakes, and some other mods and still cover it under Audi Advantage. ...and who says there aren't chip friendly dealers out there! : )<br>The rest of the group was made up of Boxsters (3), 540i Sports (2), a 996, a few 911s including a Cabrio, a couple 944 Turbos, a C5 Vette, an Integra Type R, an older MR2, a Miata, and some others I can't remember off hand. There was even a bone-stock automatic Jetta GLS!<br>I got a lot of valuable instruction from the course and the track time was invaluable.<br>While the class was a High Performance Driving Class, not a racing class, you can't help but feel competitive. After getting comfortable, I just wanted to *go*! At the risk of sounding immodest, and knowing that driver skill & experience have as much to do (if not more) with on-track performance as the car, I passed every car I encountered; 9 of the 20 or so in our class - including all the Boxsters, the Vette, and the other Audis - and 3 of the Novice Group drivers - a Subaru SVX, a 944 Turbo, and an M3 (although he blew my doors off on the next straight and I never saw him again!). I also had an event free day with no spin outs or anything.<br>All I can say is what a rush.<br>Thanks to all that responded last week with advice. I look forward to getting on the track again and hope to participate with others on the board in future events!<p>Rob O<br>--now officially trained on how to drive fast--
12-07-1998, 02:59 PM
12-07-1998, 03:55 PM
Not to be a party pooper but you've only taken you're first step in being "officially trained to drive fast" Sounds like you got some good instruction and track time, but one event does not a (put your favorite driver's name here) make. Sounds like you'll be doing more events though, more seat time the best time!<p>Out of curiosity, what sort of speeds were you getting up too?<p>Enzo<p>PS: If ya cook the rotors so bad that you warp the front rotors (and I was careful to "cool down" on the cool down lap) Your dealer will replace them under warranty, but if they notice the 4 point harness stashed under the seat (like my dealer did) they might tell you (like my dealer did) this is the LAST pair of rotors to be replaced under warranty. DOH!
12-07-1998, 05:44 PM
... but I can't help to think it's one of those cars where everyone has, at one time in their life, muttered, "Boy, if that SVX said 'BMW' on the front instead of 'Subaru', it'd go down in history as the best four-wheel-drive sporting coupe for the money in the 1990's..."<p>Cameron<br>
12-07-1998, 05:50 PM
I'm a manual shift devotee, myself.
12-07-1998, 05:56 PM
If I'd designed the car, I'd have marketed it to people like you and me, who would have seen it more as a sports coupe than a hatchback that happened to handle snow well. And would have asked for a 5spd transmission. Because the sporting image was lost after the first year of production, the design center of the car shifted, and the sporting aftermarket all but died... along with sales. But, it wasn't considered innovative enough to go on struggling. By contrast, the other struggling radical idea (aka the Acura NSX) continues to labor on ever since losing money for Honda and not meeting projected production figures even in its introduction edition in 1991. Still, it continues to fly around racetracks on the semipro and weekend circuit as a symbol of engineering at its best. Oddly, aluminum cars are one category where I can think of exactly one model from Japan (Acura NSX), America (Plymouth Prowler), and Germany (Audi A8). But the SVX also can be seen going around the track every now and then. Usually with adapted Subaru rally vendor modifications, usually with plenty of noise, plenty of slide, and plenty of power to all four wheels.<p>Cameron
12-07-1998, 06:50 PM
Time to start getting into AutoX too! But they are 2 different type of events and take different styles of driving, though both ARE a big help in perfecting your skills. Also, AutoX is cheaper and happens more frequently, is at slower speeds, and much safer. The REAL problem is, . . . once you've had a taste of a road course, a parking lot event just don't seem to have enough anymore. :)<p>Now, if only I could get my settlement, . . . . and IF only I could go back home to Chicago! Look out Road America and Blackhawk Farms!!!!!!
12-07-1998, 08:13 PM
I agree, there's no substitute for experience and more track time is required before I can really pipe off. My "officially trained" statement was sarcasm. : )<p>The track has 9 turns, and one wide-open NASCAR oval turn. Two of the turns were 2nd gear-ers, the others were pretty quick. On the straight, which was a long straight into the NASCAR oval opening into another long straight I was getting to about 110. The track isn't especially fast, but definitely fun.<p>Brakes weren't a real concern at PIR, and were used more to direct the car than to slow down. In fact, my wheels were clean prior to starting and didn't even look like I had made my normal daily commute by the end of our session. Engine braking and throttle steering were much more important.<p>Rob O
12-07-1998, 08:16 PM
12-07-1998, 08:18 PM
12-07-1998, 09:42 PM
Almost impossible...they are a very strange size. Donnie would understand...he is an ex-SVXer...<p>Steve S.<br>97 2.8QM
12-08-1998, 08:58 AM
This was a very intersting car for sube. But a sports sedan it never was. Super heavy, bad gearing, auto. This car was a great all-season highway cruiser for two, but that is about it IMHO.
12-18-1998, 12:18 PM
The next event is on January 9th. The K04 Turbo is being installed in the "Track Car" as we speak and representatives from a major tire company are planning to attend.