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Pocono North (Del Valley BMW CCA) Recap

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Pocono North (Del Valley BMW CCA) Recap

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Old 10-13-2008, 08:30 AM
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OPTIMO
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Default Pocono North (Del Valley BMW CCA) Recap

Pocono North Course Recap:

I got back yesterday evening from a Delaware Valley BMW CCA event at Ponoco running the North Course configuration.



Impressions of the Circuit

Following clockwise with the picture above, the long straight, a/k/a "the bowl", isn't as banked as I anticipated, but it's still a very scary feeling to be flat out in that sucker doing 115+mph. It wasn't until the second session of the second day that I was full throttle through the bowl.

Turn 1 is a right hander that really isn't that sharp. Stab the brakes, drop 30mph in a very short period of time, then dive into the infield. Once the apex is reached back on full throttle (also took me until Day 2 to get to this point) for a second, then HARD on the brakes.

Turn 2 is another right hander, late apex, and was my favorite turn of the course. I consistently made up ground here and was putting my rear left wheel into the dirt often.

Turn 3 is the slow left hander. My buddy Paul (Yellow WRX) showed me how I was braking much too early. Once I watched him close up a few car lengths in that turn I started braking much later.

Turn 4, often referred to as the "Karousel" was a lot of fun. I think had I been running RComps, this would have been a lot less squeel-tastic.

Turn 5 was a bumpy downhill where I tried to keep the wheel at a specific angle and let the car come back around to the left for entrance into the final turn, turn 6.

Turn 6 brings you onto the bowl; I would shoot for the drainage grate to the inside. Surprised I didn't spin here.

Day 1

My instructor really had me doing some things with the line that had me scratching my head. Nevertheless, I did as told and was signed off for the afternoon. I showed up to the event with 50% left on my Carbotech pads and kept an eye on them all weekend.

In session 3 I had a moment of brake fade, but it was a one-off. Nevertheless, it had me spooked the rest of the season. Pads appeared fine.

What I did notice, is that according to Paul's pyro gun, my front rotors were 510 degrees after my cool down lap and coming to a stop. He had the great idea of driving around the venue to cool them off more, which dropped another 130 degrees.

Still, my gold painted Brembos have forever been altered to a very deep bronze. Apparently a sign on the Z forums that your car has been properly "de-cherried."



I felt good but not great. It was also my first time in Yellow and I was doing a lot of point bys. Plenty of prepped E36 M3s, a new M6, 996 Turbo and a mix of older BMWs.

Day 2

For my first session I had a new instructor, a veteran club racer who gave me VERY different advice. His words made a lot more sense (or maybe he spoke "my" language better) and I was immediately a lot quicker. Very different turn in points, very different methods of attacking the corner and much ballsier into 1 and 2.

For session 2 on Day 3 I really had the hammer down, passing many prepped cars. I would wager that at least 50% of the cars in Yellow were also on R Compounds where I was still on street Bridgestones. Nevertheless, the car was just working well and I managed to turn some really nice laps and get some stout point bys.

Session 3 would be my last session of the event so I could get home at a reasonable time. My Bridgestones started to get quite greasy in the afternoon, but I continued to push. 20 minutes into the 25 minute session I had extreme brake fade. I'm running Carbotech XP10s front and rear and fresh Ate Super Blue. There was enough pad left for it to not be a concern and the ambient temps were 70 degrees.

Thoughts? My buddy Paul is running a home-fabricated brake duct cooling kit. I ran a warm lap after I realized I had no brakes (realized it at turn 1 in an ***-puckering moment). A second stab at the brakes brought them back enough, but I was prepared to take the evacuation route.

After a warm lap the brakes still didn't feel solid and the pedal still went to the floor so I pitted. After they cooled down they were back to normal. There aren't any brake duct kits for the 350Z that I'm aware of, but my guess is that this would have helped a lot.

I'm running Bridgestone RE050As front (245 r18) and rear (265 r19). When I make the switch to R Compounds these temps would likely be even higher I'm thinking.

A great event and a very fun circuit with short (1.5mile) laps. I had a great time and the Delaware Vallyer BMW CCA chapter had a fantastic run group. No trains, very courteous point bys - excellent event.

Here's footage from the aforementioned session 2 on day 2 (you might want to click on "Watch the high res version" - sorry for the rattling noise. My camera cracked and will be going into some fab'd up solution for next season (might mount it in my grill and get a new camera for incar):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ_Pd7O-2Bo
[dohtml]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/GZ_Pd7O-2Bo&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/GZ_Pd7O-2Bo&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/dohtml]

Last edited by OPTIMO; 10-14-2008 at 04:25 AM.
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