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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I took my B5 out to the California Speedway (aka Fontana) for a NASA track event and wow-wow-wow, there is nothing like a track to become one with your car.



Anyway, the main straight is part of the 2 mile NASCAR course followed by a 14 degree banked 75 ft wide 180 deg turn, and I can tell you from experience that there is nothing quite like watching that turn loom up like the biggest freeway offramp ever going at 120 mph with the pedal to the metal!! I was at first tentative about that turn because the concrete wall is very threatening and my HR Sport, Bilstien Shocked, 28mm Nuespeed Rear Sway, 225-50/16, equipped B5 is NOT setup for NASCAR. But after a few laps (with an instructor) at 80 mph, 90, 100, 110, i was feeling confident AND (more importantly) I was racing with my buddy in his 2003 A4 3.0 6spd Quattro. Its amazing how well matched our cars were, with my neuspeed chipped 1.8T 5spd, holding, but not gaining in the straight away, I could out brake him and take some corners faster, but he could usually put power down earlier and we raced a good 3 laps of open racing at the end of the day, passing a 350z and a 944 on the straightaway (some people just aren't comfortable at 120mph), but neither B5 nor A4 could pull away.

As a side note, the A4 driver was complaining about his car (totally stock) pushing a lot and in the turns I found the recent addition of my rear sway bar (set to middle setting) to be very effective at removing understeer, and possibly at lifting the inner wheel from the tarmac. I was also impressed at how neutral the car felt from the 120 mph 14 deg banked turn to the 20 mph hairpin to the 50, 70, and 90 mph chicanes (to take those at full throttle requires full confidence in your car and the b5 did NOT disappoint). I did however turn my rotors a nice blue color when slowing from 120mph to 30mph at the end of the oval part, but i never noticed any fade.

So, in summary, I just wanted to say that all of the horsing around that I've done on city streets in ZILCH compared to the exhilaration of the open track, and the B5 did an excellent job of getting me there in safety and comfort and spiriting me around the track with agility, poise and speed. Job well done Volkswagen :thumbup: ...although you did need H&R, Bilstien and Neuspeed's help....not to mention Michellin...
And I think that I have come away from that experience a better driver, I definately know more about the dynamics of my car, and I am now looking for a proper race car, as the B5 can't compete in any racing league in NASA, and its my daily driver. But I would recommend the NASA High Performance Driving Event to everyone who has modified his/her car from stock, and don't let anyone tell you the passat cannot perform on a race track, its just all relative!
www.nasaproracing.com
I will post some pics when i get the film developed.
 

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:eek: That's awesome, i can't wait to bring my car to the track and see it's limits. I have a close set-up to you, i am running an FK cupkit springs/shocks, 28mm ABD Rear Sway Bar and Michelin Pilot Primacy 235/40r17's. My question for you is, what kind of brakes are you running? did you feel it is necessary replacing the pads after this joyus occasion?

.merk20vt' - going to be the first passat at LeMans... :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am still running the stock brakes...in fact, I've got over 75k miles on the stock rotors (replaced rear pads only at 65k miles) and even after the track day (an a handfull of autox's) i still have pad material left, keep in mind that I wasn't pushing the car 10/10 while braking, but I think I shall replace the stock pads and rotors with something a little "sportier". I did feel some interesting vibrations at the end of the day during hard braking, so maybe I warped a rotor or two!! But I don't care because I know I will be replacing them.
 

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Aha, I knew someone would finally post up.
Your called looked great out there. Nice to see some other VAG cars on the track. You and the A4 had a great battle going in your 2nd run out there, was fun to watch.

I was there, not running, just helping my buddies white E30M3 that was in the same run group with you.

Great to hear you enjoyed it!
 

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Excellent!

Greetings!

I agree, we need some pictures! Just our of curiosity, did you run the car with or without ESP? One thing I always liked doing when I was autorossing various cars is to run a couple of runs with TC on and a couple of runs with TC off to compare the difference. Having TC off was usually faster...

Abe
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Getting film developed (stupid non-digital cameras), I will post pics when I get them.

I actually ran the whole time with TC on, because with a front wheel drive car it just pushes so much when you mash the gas around a tight corner and I didn't need to eat any obstacles!! I don't know if I'd been any fast with TC off because it only activated regularly during the exit of 3 turns, the rest of the course is fast enough that I don't have the power to break em loose! Unlike autox where TC is a major hasle and i've always run with it off (help keep the revvs up!!).
 

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Info on TC!

Thanks for the info on running with ESP... yeah, eating a track-side "feature" would most definitely not be a good thing to do. Especially in your road car. Especially since insurance wouldn't cover it. Especially since, at those speeds, you probably wouldn't have felt too well afterwards. :p

Abe
 

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Re: Info on TC!

Good to see another track junkie out here. :thumbup: It sounded like a beautiful day, but as bad as running on the track in rain sounds, we actually have an advantage...I loved the look on the faces of BMW and 'Vette drivers as I passed them in the pouring rain at Watkins Glen. :lol:

abegetchell said:
Especially since insurance wouldn't cover it.
Well, I guess with NASA events, if they're timed, then he's screwed. But the events I run at are generally billed as "high performance driving events" (i.e., no sanctioned door-to-door racing or timing), and from what I've heard, most insurance companies will honor the first crash you have...if you prang it again, that's when they're like, "Hey, you're with stupid."

Andy
 

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Most insurance companies will cover autocross events, but nothing (wether not timed, timed, or door-to-door) that occurs at "high speeds". I've never heard of an insurance company covering the first crash during one of these types of events, but if yours does, then please give me the name of your insurance carrier 'cause I'd like to switch! :D

Oh, and GAP insurnace doesn't cover any of 'em, even if it's an autocross. Or if you're driving in Mexico... which I guess they feel is the same thing. :lol:

Abe
 

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abegetchell said:
Most insurance companies will cover autocross events, but nothing (wether not timed, timed, or door-to-door) that occurs at "high speeds". I've never heard of an insurance company covering the first crash during one of these types of events, but if yours does, then please give me the name of your insurance carrier 'cause I'd like to switch! :D
I've never pranged my car on the track, so couldn't tell ya for sure. ;) But the guy that runs the events I go to (Ian Prout of SCDA -- www.scda1.com) has mentioned that a couple of times publicly during the drivers' meetings.

As for me...I use GEICO. :weirdo:

Andy
 

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The reason why the insurance companies will let it go... its considered a drivers training or education course. The local organizations have gone to bat with insurance companies before to argue this point and 9 times out of 10 have won and the crashed car was honored by the insurance company as legal.

The organization you run with should know the details but you'd have to verify with each carrier about driving education events!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was a bit concerned about insurance at the track, but I was running an un-timed High Performance Driving Event (HPDE) and according to NASA there has NEVER been an unpaid insurance claim for accidents that happen during HPDE (see their website).

Coincidentally my boss wrecked his 993 :cry: at Buttonwillow last year during an HPDE event and it was a tense few days, but his insurance (with full disclosure from him) covered it!!
 

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Cool! Thanks for sharing your experience - this is what it's ALL about. There is nothing like being out on the track...
 

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Does anybody know of any good events like this in the Kentucky area (or surrounding states)? Reading about this kind of stuff makes me want to get back on the track again. Most of the usual events which I've participated in in the past are no longer active.

Abe
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry for the low zoom and grainy photos, I was using a slow speed film and cheap camera.











Straight Away = Best Feeling Ever!!! 8) 8)
 
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