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Nice July 4 track day at Pacific Raceways

meFiSTo

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#1
Hey fellow moderators and staff!

Hah.

Had a really fun day interleaving sessions with test-and-tune folks on July 4 at Pacific Raceways at the ProFormance Racing crew July 4 event. This car is so stable, easy, and fun to drive. Running on 235/40-18 RE-71Rs on 18x8s now. Car is nimble. Feels MUCH lighter on its feet that with the stock wheels.

Comments about Pacific Raceways:

This was my first time back in several years. I'd been driving down the Shelton and Portland instead. Pacific Raceways is MUCH closer. I might doing more events there. We'll see. There are two spots on this track where I am a little wary and will probably never go flat out with this car:

- Turn-in at Turn 1 heading down into Turn 2
- Coming up the hill to Turn 7, heading to Turn 8

I've seen some real issues when cars do not make Turn 1 correctly (go wide) and when people are surprised by something (a mechanical failure, wreck, or oil) coming up the back side heading to Turn 8. I also am wary of the lack of runoff at Pacific Raceways. It's a beautiful setting for driving, but I'd be more comfortable with gravel traps, long runoff zones, etc. Lots of concrete walls, berms, trees, and ditches at PR.

Having said all that, this was a GREAT event. The track is in much better condition than it was the last time I was there (years ago). I quit that track after some 30 events mainly because it was in terrible shape. Broken pavement, etc. The work that they've done recently has made it a much more pleasant experience.

I snapped some photos of the vintage cars on track and in the paddock. Such a fun bunch of cars to see and hear.

Here's a few:





















It's been awhile since I snapped any action shots at the track. It took a little while to sort out distance, lens, shutter speed, panning process, etc. I need to work on pre-setting the target focus range when panning. AF was better at capturing approaching and retreating images. At the instance of fly by was tricky to get sharp with AF. I had not used this camera for this purpose before (well, I did shoot some local rally cross a couple of years ago, but that was much slower panning), so there is going to be a little learning curve.

I also captured one video. I was hoping to capture video all day with lap timing included, but my Waylens camera's remote GPS seemed to be acting up, initially connecting, then dropping while I waited in the staging queue (surrounded by trees and trucks). The only video that worked was the last session and the camera did not know where it was (on track), so no mapping, just camera capture. There was oil on the track (that had been treated with some oil-absorbing powder, not sure what). But it made me a little careful. Best time for that session was 1:48.6. Top speed for that session was 126, but I was definitely laying off before making the T1 turn in, then back to throttle heading down. I'm pretty sure I was making better lap times in earlier sessions, but Waylens bleh.

I think this event will become one of my annual track days. It reminded me very much of the *best* of the Club Lotus Northwest events at Portland. Those are also tied to vintage races. Great paddocks full of interesting cars and nice folks.
 
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#2
This event was a ton of fun and, boy howdy, did we get a lot of on-track time in. I just finished getting all my in-car lap-timer videos processed and counted a total of 59 laps turned last Thursday. That’s like running an F1 race! (albeit one with lots of snack and bathroom breaks)

Would definitely recommend to anyone in the area if they do it again!
 
OP
meFiSTo

meFiSTo

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Thread Starter #5
Kim, curious how your like the RS compared to the ST on the tracks?
Hi Zach!

I'm assuming you mean the Fiesta ST vs. the Focus RS (I actually drove the Focus ST at the Adrenaline Academy back in 2015).

Fiesta ST: Very entertaining, but better (in my opinion) for canyon carving (that's speculation by me) and perhaps autocross (more speculation). The car, again in my view, is a little more of handful with the added mountune HP/TQ in it at speed.

Focus RS: Very stable and quite entertaining with the lighter wheels/tires -- it is very nimble. On the other RS site, a lapper had some guidance about Turn 1 at Pacific Raceways. This car is faster than I'm used to, so getting set for certain high speed turns takes some practice. I'm still not comfortable going all out. It is tricky in that turn (it's a very high speed bend, no braking) carrying all that speed that the RS can generate. If you stay on throttle to the bitter end, you are easily doing over 130 I'm sure. I hit 126 like 100+ yards before the turn. I'm thinking I need to go to steady throttle sooner, then WOT to the floor as I make the bend. The car will be more planted. With my lift at 100+ yards, then back to throttle at turn in, the car did seem to float a little bit. As long you make no sudden motions, it's fine to ride the turn out like that, but I'm coming in a little more to the left than I'd like. I'll post the crappy video to YouTube and link to it. It was not a pretty session due to the oil on the backside of the track (you'll notice the absorption material from Turn 3B all the way to Turn 8). It was not pleasant. I did not lose traction, but cars were not driving quite normal (except Alex, who passed me as I started thinking about an early cool-down and session exit).

Summary: The RS is a wonderfully safe and fun HPDE/open lapping car. The Fiesta ST is also fun, but I've felt the Focus platform to be more planted at speed since driving it at the Adrenaline Academy. That was kind of the start for me in thinking about replacing the Fiesta with a Focus. When the RS was announced, well, the die was cast.

Aside: The RS feels more nimble than my old Audi S4 wagon. The dimensions of the two cars were pretty similar, but the S4 was considerably heavier (despite the similar power ratings). V8 and all the luxury makes a difference. I never drove the S4 at the track, but had some ridealongs with a buddy. It was a little bit feeling like being on a train.
 
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