Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome once again to today’s edition of Track Day Recollection! Saturday March 16th we found ourselves running yet again with NASA Nor Cal at Sonoma Raceway, our home. However this time was different because we were running HPDE Group 4 and man what a nerve racking week it was leading up to this track day!
We have over 6 years of driving in the Mare from bone stock street car to baby racecar in training, and about 25+ combined events of experience between Autocross, track days and go-karting that has lead us to that Friday in preparation for running Group 4, but we were still totally nervous and intimidated. These are the big dogs! The cream of the crop! The highest, most advanced, and fastest group you can run before actual competition in TT or a race group with NASA! That was plenty enough reason to be intimidated, and to feel like we weren’t good enough or haven’t earned being in that group. Sure we have competed in the CAM-C class in SCCA Solo Nationals and with American AutoX Series – shoot we’ve even ran in the advanced group in track days! – but this was something different… We knew that this was big because NASA has been the goal since we started running with them back in 2017, and all this work has led to running with people who have many more years of experience than us.
Our first session was the most intimidating for us because we ran with the TT guys. Again this was our first time running in 4 and now this first time running 4… we were running with TT too? Yea, ultimate intimidation! We had a couple of conversations with Steve and Sal about the event and how we were nervous, but both Steve and Sal gave us that extra boost of confidence and support that we needed. Needless to say, this first session out we bested our previous PB by .296 seconds with a 2:08.478, but we knew there was a lot left on the table since the group was pretty packed. Our handy-dandy Track Addicts app told us we had a theoretical 2:04.379 lap during that session.
Second out and not a TT’er in sight, it was game time. We got in a groove and figured out the pace of the guys and gals we ran with and set another PB of 2:04.258 with a theoretical of 2:00.405. We were pushing the car hard and loved every second of it! Of course there was traffic we caught up to and there were offs, but that session was great and got us rolling into the 3rd session and aiming to break the 2 minute mark.
Our 3rd and final session we went out and, again, set another PB of 2:02.142! Just a couple seconds faster and we will be breaking the 2 minute mark! Before the session was out we noticed as we were reeling in a C7 corvette that the amount of fuel left in the tank was, well, nowhere near enough to pass the guy, but luckily coming around turns 11 and 12 we saw the checkered, and we felt extremely relieved so we let off and enjoyed having a cool down lap. By the end of the 3rd session we were dead tired and exhausted; It was a long and eventful day that we started at 440 in the morning. Although we had a 4th session on the board, but we took this win and headed home after hanging around with some buddies.
Now onto the actual cars performance
IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE
The Mare handled perfectly out there at Sonoma this past weekend, and we cant wait to be back with some fresh pads and rotors so we can break the 2s! In addition to fresh brakes we are going to try and solidify the cage, harness and seat setup for the car. The upgrades we have done recently are huge advantages now, but we need to adjust to a slightly new learning curve. Things like turn in, breaking points, shifting points, etc.
Below are some photos by Kai Roberston Photography, and we may be getting some additional photos from other photographers at the track, but until then please enjoy these!
Here are some EXQUISITE shots from West Boundary Photography
here is the entire 2nd and 3rd session (forgive the phone recording as it was all we had for the 3rd session)
pulled from session 3, here is our fastest lap