Time To Go Racing…For Real!

As much time as I spent around cars, and as many high-performance cars as I’ve owned, my actual track driving experiences is very limited. Limited to zero. Tons of tours, a handful of Driver Skills events, countless cars and coffee events…no real track experience. It’s like the Fight Club line, “How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?”. How much can I know about myself as a driver if I’ve never driven at speed on a track? A big part of what has kept me away is fear. Fear of the expense. Fear of damaging my car. Fear of injury. Fear of getting addicted to it. After my first experience, I’m happy to report that only one of those fears came true…I’m hopelessly addicted.

I’ve gotten to know and admire a number of friends in the PCA/PNWR group that organize our Driver Education / High-Performance Driving events and I’ve met a lot of the instructors over the years. I finally completed my first DE event at Pacific Raceways and it was a total blast. Incredibly well run, fun, safe and I learned so much more about my car and myself as a driver.

The day starts early with a 7am arrival time at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA. It was a dark and rainy morning and the track was wet. Very wet…standing water in a number of areas. I was very happy that I had my Michelin PS4S tires. They are amazing street tires for the Northwest, but not ideal track tires. Unless of course it’s raining 🤣 Here’s a quick video and you can see how wet it was.

Thankfully the weather gods smiled down on us and the rain stopped, the sun came out and we had a beautiful 2nd half of the day. Dry track…race on! It made for the perfect first time out on the track. I had half the day to go slow in the rain, explore the track, learn some fundamentals and then I had half the day to also go slow on a dry track!

Pacific Raceways is an older track, and can be unforgiving, but we all escaped without incident. My instructor, John Silk, was a great teacher. He took me out in his car so I could experience faster laps than I was capable of putting down. He was patient and pushed me to improve with each session. Coming out of the long straight and setting up for turn 2 was my favorite part of the track. I was able to carry more and more speed into turn 2 as the day went on and my confidence increased. I hit a top speed of 131 mph on the straight, kicked the backend out a few times coming out of turn 3B (still working on that one) and had so much fun testing my limits and the limits of the car. I can’t wait for my next DE day at The Ridge, another local track that I’m excited to check out.

I’m thankful that a pro photographer, https://www.bouchezphotography.com, was there to capture some fantastic photos. These are all Christian’s photos:

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