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Havnt been on AFM in some time, been spending most of my time in local and S197 related forums, i recently wen to Pocono Raceway, Enjoy the media guys… If you like it, bump it, this **** took a long ass time to put together.

I Got a bunch of pics and a few GO PRO vids, if you JUST want to see media scroll down.


This is a detailed account of my first track day:

I Went to Pocono Raceway this Sunday, a Local club called "Exotics Rally" got together with an Italian car enthusiast group and rented the track for the whole day. I rented a room at the Best Western 3 miles from the track, though i would get a good nights sleep but tons of traffic on the way there and partying teenagers next door kept my sleep to 2 - 3 hours max.

The BestWestern parking lot was like a car show! Noticed a couple cars in the lot that were familiar, guys i have met at local Autocross races over the years, met up with them in the morning, filled up at the gas station on the way and headed over to the track. When i got there i was in awe! the track is and its associated ground are expansive, built on flat ground and not many tall structures you can see open skies for miles and miles, its a beautiful sight.

We pulled into the area and parked in the lot and MAN! What a sight. Street cars and race cars, Classic and modern, as far as the eye can see super bad vehicles, Ferrari's, Lambos. Porsches, Maseratis, Vettes, only one of ther Mustang ('11 GT500) and the only Rice present was a bad ass NSX and 90's RX7. A bunch of nice rides showed up as spectators, ther was en Enzo, 458 Italia, classic Daytona, F40, classic Maseratis, it was simply incredible. The place was buzzing with excitement, eye candy everywhere, hundreds of true enthusiasts there to have a good time.

Pocono Raceway is used for Nascar races but for this event it was modified, using the inner Autocross style Road course instead of turn 3 on the speedway, it featured 6 tight turns with a gnarly 180 degree turn into the inner road course (see map). The track was 2.5 miles, turn 1 is 675 ft long and features 14 degree banks, turn 2 is 750 ft long with 8 degree banks, the main straight is 3,740 ft long!

They broke us up into 4 groups based on experience level (Green, White, Blue, Red) respectively, there were 8 heats scheduled for the day, each heat about 15-20 min depending on timing, generally you would just run with your color group but they did mix us up through the day to keep things interesting. Since this is a non-competitive event you are only allowed to pass on a straight and you must be given the go ahead by the person in front of you but generally once you are up their ass they are glad to give you the signal.

Since this was my first time out, I was in the green group and required to run with an instructor. Sometimes people feel like they are good driverz and dont need an instructor, that feeling quickly fades on your first lap when your doing 130+ mph and about to take a 14 degree bank turn, this speedway is NOT like Autocross, your are going FAST! Every little input you give the car will disrupt its balance if not done smoothly and with precision, 130mph is far less forgiving than 60 mph, even something as simple as letting of the throttle too fast will affect the cars balance.

The pedal is to the floor, the boost gauge is pegged and the car is screaming, muffled by the sound of winds but you can feel the speed, it’s a sensory overload and although you want to go faster, your almost afraid to be too hot into the upcoming turn. So there I am on the straight in 4th gear and 5800 RPM doing 135mph and I simply don’t have enough room for it to make sense shifting to 5th because I have to slow down for the turn shortly but the car had more speed in it, the shift light was priceless as you don’t want to be looking at your tach. There are boxes painted on the road to show you your best lines and a cone at the apex of each turn, the instructor helps guide you find your line and expose your bad street driving/Autocross habits, they are dangerous at those speeds.

After the first heat you are relieved and excited all at once, its an incredible feeling and you are much more confident for the next run. On the second heat you notice your interior getting very warm and by the third heat your floor pans are blazing hot and your seat feels as if it were sitting under a flame and simmering for a long while, I knew it would get warm in the car but it was HOT AS HELL!!!!

Luckily I installed the JPC Saleen intercooler res 2 weeks prior and had enough coolant to keep my AIT’s no higher than 150, many ppl have braking issues but with the Saleen/Stop Tech 14” 4 piston BBK’s, I did not feel any brake fade. You literally beat the piss out of the poor car, all pedals to the metal, breaking and accelerating as hard as you car will allow, it’s definitely not something you want to do regularly with your street car. I cant see how a street car would keep up with that type of abuse, as stiff as my suspension is, it was a sponge at this intensity. Although I felt very comfortable on the Road Course, I found the Speedway to be nerve racking, it’s just something that ive never experienced before and there is really nothing like it, wide open lanes and 14 degree banks and SPEED.

We were allotted a total of 8 heats in the day, after 3 heats I was mentally and physically drained from the intense concentration and physical demands of keeping in your seat from the G’s, I had to take a break for the 4 the heat, we then had a 1.5 hr lunch break, I did 2 more heats after lunch I was done, I noticed that on my 5th heat I was very jerky with all my inputs and my reaction times were just not the same as they were in the morning, so I decided take the rest of the day off rather than meet the wall. On the two hour drive home from PA to NYC I was nodding off, I had no idea how draining it could actually be. I have a new found respect for open track racers a, particularly those that race for extended periods; I can’t even imagine how the 24 hr of Leman racers get through it. The technique involved to do better than the next guy is tremendous.

It was a fantastic experience; I will do it again without a doubt, however the mental, physical. Mechanical and financial equipment will keep you from doing it every weekend. To those who havnt done it, IT IS A MUST! Enjoy the media guys… If you like it, bump it, this **** took a long ass time to put together.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Taking Down a couple Euro’s
Sights and sounds of the Pits
Taking it to the Red Line, 130+ MPH!

Exotics Fly by into the Straight
Quartet of Ferraris – Enzo & F40!
Exotics Fly by from the Pits
Classic Ferrari Race car
 

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That was totally sweet! I checked out the requirements for running at Pocono last year but decided to take a pass until I had more leniency with my financials. If you don't mind sharing, what did it run you to participate?
 

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That was totally sweet! I checked out the requirements for running at Pocono last year but decided to take a pass until I had more leniency with my financials. If you don't mind sharing, what did it run you to participate?
A local club rented the track out all day SUnday, cost us $500 each, we were given 8 heats in total, which is more than enough. ALl you needed was a Snell 2005+ helmet, car that will pass tech and long sleeves and pants, (Roll Bars for Verts).
 

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Awesome videos!!! You were screaming down the straights:bigthumbsup
 

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I enjoyed your writing and will watch the vids & pics at home. Congrats on putting the car to work as intended. You’re spot on with the comment below … shows you learned well. Sometimes I have to let a first timer embarrass themselves a bit (in a safe manner) before they realize this, are open to input.

“Since this was my first time out, I was in the green group and required to run with an instructor. Sometimes people feel like they are good driverz and dont need an instructor, that feeling quickly fades on your first lap when your doing 130+ mph and about to take a 14 degree bank turn, this speedway is NOT like Autocross, your are going FAST! Every little input you give the car will disrupt its balance if not done smoothly and with precision, 130mph is far less forgiving than 60 mph, even something as simple as letting of the throttle too fast will affect the cars balance.”
 

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It looks like you had a great time at Pocono! I've been up there 5 or so times for track days and unfortunately, I've only run a much tighter configuration with only a limited amount of time on the oval. Though you also pay for the priveledge! Not that I wouldn't if I had the opportunity however! :winks It's nice to see that you aren't limited to smaller courses/configurations at Pocono, as long as you have the money to afford it.

I'll be up there at the end of August for a track day--another small course (Pocono North, IIRC).
 

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Nice job Red Moses, even more so for your first time. Your inputs looked smooth and the car looked balanced ... no sudden hamfisted / throwing around stuff. Did I hear some rev matched downshifts from the straight into the infield entry ;-) ? Your Instructor was fully engaged ... I didn't see an intercom device, was one used? Couple things if interested, FWIW. By tracking out a bit more fully on exit, you can preserve & flow more momentum out of the turn ... exit speed is king. Also, and I need to remind myself this all the time, keeping your head on the level helps you judge geometry and sharpens your timing ... cocking your head to the side feels right, but throws your vision and equilibrium off a hair. Nice work. You'll be in the Intermediate group in no time. Thanks for posting. Good luck fighting the addiction!
 

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You look really comfortable out there which is great!:bigthumbsup

For most people, their first time on the track is very intimidating and they learn everything they ever knew about driving.

At first I thought you had a convertible(sky/clouds visible above the windshield in the first video) and was going to suggest you get a roll-bar but then I saw you had the panorama roof and started drooling!

Nice car! Glad you had fun out there!
 
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