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Old 06-11-2000, 09:38 AM   #1
ravent
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 500
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: fremont,ca,usa
Vehicle:
00/+ RS/OBS
white

Cool Buttonwillow

Did anyone go to buttonwillow besides Joe and Joel??? I was there and had to leave, but their was a very poor "MY" showing...I also met Chris and Chris in their new redwood city Sube but didin't get to talk to them. Joe took me out for the first session but that was my only track time...I got some video of all the Subes that came (sorry Joel,
I didnt get your GT runs:-(
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Old 06-11-2000, 09:56 AM   #2
RallyeX
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Thumbs down

Me and the wife where there.
White 99 rs.

Talked to you too.
Remember I was parked next to you.

Thanks,
RallyeX
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Old 06-11-2000, 11:49 AM   #3
ravent
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Member#: 500
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: fremont,ca,usa
Vehicle:
00/+ RS/OBS
white

Cool

I know you and Robin were there, I was referring to the "bay area" people that said they were coming. I see Jeff and Robin at most "Sube" events!
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Old 06-12-2000, 09:26 PM   #4
Joel Gat, 1.8L
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Join Date: Jun 1999
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Hello,

Based on the tone of this post, I'm guessing you have not heard the unfortunate news. The brand new Scooby rolled and was a complete wreck. Chris is very lucky to be alive as the roof crushed in far enough that rescuers said they saw his head looking crooked because it was against the folded roof. From the looks of it, had the roof crushed another inch, Chris would have been med-evac'd out of there. Thankfully, no one was injured.

The scooby is a total, but at least it started up immediately and drove itself off the track (track director did the driving). However, there's enough body damage that I doubt the insurance would want to fix it - if the insurance counts. The event was teaching oriented and is a performance driving school, so it should qualify for coverage according to John (one of the guys running the show who happens also to be an attorney).

There were about 6 scoobies, I believe, including Ryan from Flatline with his turbo 1.8L (now "just about as fast as a stock RS") .

Joel - btw, there was a wreck the second day, as well. It was a honda s2k and it suffered some 7-10k in damage by my guess.
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Old 06-12-2000, 09:48 PM   #5
delectron
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Location: Pleasant Hill, CA, USA
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How did the car roll?
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Old 06-12-2000, 10:04 PM   #6
Joel Gat, 1.8L
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Here's what I posted on the STi_Mlist - it's close to answering the question and answers some other questions that Glenn and others had asked:

Hello,

Sad sight at the track this weekend. After the RS roll incident, we had another incident on Sunday. A Honda S2k attempted to recover from an off-road excursion by jerking the wheel back towards the track. He spun around once and while driving backwards, crossed the track to the other dirt side. When his wheels hit the dirt, he flung across into the wall. That was pretty much the only place in all of buttonwillow where you can hit a wall... He hit it at about 25 mph and the entire impact was pretty much absorbed by the driver's side rear wheel. The wheel tore right off and took with it exactly 1 half of the suspension system - ie, lots of sheered metal parts, like half a control arm, etc. My guess is at least 7-10k in damage.

The RS, IMHO, is a total by any means of looking at it. The only reusable body panel is probably the passenger door panel However, it would make a great doner car for a rally build-up.

Glenn, the track conditions were - a fairly wide tarmac track with sand or dirt on both sides of the track, everywhere. Whenever someone took an offroad excursion, there was some dirt on the track, which made for a yellow-flag caution until the end of the session, when it could be swept clean. If too much dirt got on the track, they blackflagged everyone and stopped the session for cleanup. The particular corner where the RS rolled was a decreasing radius turn that I don't think I saw anyone take
"correctly" since everyone had a different opinion of how to take it and everyone's execution resulted in what seemed like a much slower exit speed than should have been.

Unfortunately, that corner, being so tough to master, lended itself to creative solutions. I don't know if that was specifically what Chris was trying, but several people, myself included, came to the conclusion that attempting the proper line resulted in at most 1 mph more on the exit (for those of us who just didn't have the skill to completely pull it off - which
was 99% of the field) than doing a more agressive, but probably less efficient turn. I usually ended up hitting the brakes way too late and hard and long enough to get the car sliding sideways in a massively counter-steered manouver where the rear kept swinging out further even though I was countersteered. Then, as we came flying past the last apex, I would throttle on and unwind the wheel. Worked nicely, looked cool, was slower than dirt probably.

The danger was that such antics, if not pulled off correctly, would result in an excursion off road. I had a passenger read my speeds and entering the turn, I was at about 70 mph before the slide started. By the time I was sideways, the car showed 55 mph. By the time I finished, I was at 35 mph (see, probably not the best technique since if I entered at 35, I probably
could have exited at 50 or more - but like I said, I never found a way of doing that...). All those speeds are pretty damn fast for a decreasing radius turn that ends about 225 degrees later into a fast 135 degree turn the other way. The dirt outside this area was about 4 inches deep and somewhat soft.

My guess as to what happened to Chris after he began his spin (in the first half of the decreasing radius portion) is that when he hit the dirt, he was traveling backwards (from the spin) and sideways. When he hit the dirt, it pulled the tire off the rim. The rim then dug in and provided the yank that flipped the car. From the skid marks and the dirt marks, I think (and so did the instructors) the car flipped in the air 180 degrees, landing on its roof. That crushed the roof in. Then the momentum rolled the car onto the driver's side where it came to a rest. The drivers side and the roof are completely mangled. The passenger side looks almost untouched and definately shows no sign of sand even.

For anyone that has rally crossed even, you've probably seen how easily tires get ripped off rims in the dirt. To compensate, most rally-x folks recomend that beginers, in stock tires, inflate the tires at least to the max pressure if not higher. I personally, for track or rally (in my now
infamous rental-class cars), bump the pressures to 45 psi cold and then down to about 55 hot if they go over that. I noticed at buttonwillow, I went from a cold 50 psi to a hot 30 psi after one particularly agreesive session and I think the cause was a brief unseating of the bead during a really hard cornering manouver on "magic mountain". That's about the opposite side of the track from the fatal decreasing radius turn.

If Chris thought something felt funny about the tires for half the track, I'd bet that he deflated a tire on Magic Mountain. I'm also pretty sure that Chris was at a too-low pressure to begin with, which made Magic
Mountain that much more likely to unseat the tire, which as a result, made the dirt much more likely to pull the tire off...

And if anyone is still reading, especially Glenn, then here's my suggestion. Going off track means you were driving too hard. Everyone makes mistakes, so one off-track excursion should be free. After that, an
off road excursion should result in you being sent off the track for the rest of that group session. A third off-road adventure should end your day. That way people take their limits more seriously. I'm not saying this has anything to do with the RS or the S2k, but in general, at this buttonwillow event, we had too many off-roaders. Their rule was 2 free off-roads PER SESSION. That invites too much ego-driving instead of using your head. Some people went off every sinlge session. They should not be on the track with me!

Anyway, no one reads this much

Joel

[This message has been edited by Joel Gat, 1.8L (edited June 12, 2000).]
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Old 06-13-2000, 10:50 AM   #7
jk
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Location: los altos, ca
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Joel, great post about off road excursions. I drive an M5 and was there Monday for an event and saw the remains of both cars. I talked with an instructor that worked your school and he was quite taken aback by the lack of skill of some of the drivers and more so by the very fast cars they drove. He said it was very hard to get them to slow down and drive the line. He said the driver of the car that rolled was not getting good reports from the instructors that rode with him (wouldn't listen). He also said that the amount of times drivers braked or lifted mid-corner was scary.

I have never been close to going off but having a 3800 lb car helps in keeping you conservative.

NASA is a bit too loose on off track incidents. The standard you argue for is the one employed at BMWCCA schools. You go off once, out of the session, you go off twice you are done for the day--period. Obviously you are really bad or reckless--either way not safe. Also, if you are a newbie, you go in group D and your instructor will simply not let you go fast until he has some confidence. As a club, I think they have a few cars sustain damage a season, not per event.

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Old 06-13-2000, 01:13 PM   #8
Joe Longworth
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Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: King County, WA
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99 Impreza 2.5RS
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I wasn't trying to accuse the BMWCCA of snobbery. A friend of mine left the PCA for the POC becuase the PCA wouldn't allow non porsches on the track.

The Audi club is pretty cool about the scoobies (we're infiltrarting their ranks). I was hoping the BMWCCA was just as cool. Though I didn't know that they were being overrun with entrants. Worth noting.
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Old 06-13-2000, 04:05 PM   #9
jk
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The Audi guys are cool and typcially have space in their schools. I also know that the Shelby Club and Miata guys will let cars in if they have room.
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Old 06-14-2000, 12:11 AM   #10
Joe Longworth
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Location: King County, WA
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99 Impreza 2.5RS
Silverthorne

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Last time I was with NASA they gave you a total of three off tracks. This included two tires off - but not one. First occurance would get you a black flag and a talk - if your head was in the right place you'd go back out. Second was about the same thing, but you'd really have to convince them it was minor. In either case, a spin, or four off black flagged you for the session. Third time would get you a trip home.

So does the BMWCCA allow non bmw's, provided you're a member of the BMWCCA? I believe the Porsche Owner's Club will, but not the Porsche Club of America - I was curious about the snobbery of the BMWCCA these days..

For what it's worth, Open Track ran the event well, and I was very impressed that John (one of the organizers) wandered the pits between his races to talk to people. The track was tricky in the configuration run. The fact that some drivers were driving with their ego, or letting other cars drive them (getting pushed by the car behind, or following someone elses line) didnt help.
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Old 06-14-2000, 12:30 AM   #11
jk
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BMW clubs do allow non BMW's if they don't fill up with BMW's. However, in Northern Calif. the demand is so great that they actually have a lottery for the driving schools. You send in your money by a certain date and then they have a drawing. If you were wait listed before you get priority for the next school. So, other makes aren't banned or anything there just isn't room.

The snobbery is a perception that isn't true of the enthusiast group that runs on the track. As you are aware, after a few events with other makes you become pretty respectful of drivers and worry far less about what they are driving. In my book, anyone out on a roadcourse has got be pretty cool---even in a Sub...,just kidding.

I have learned that drivers are fast, not their cars.

I am starting to run the NASA events simply because it is easy to get in and get track time. Plus I do like comparing my car to other stuff besides new M3's, old M3's and generally lots of M3's.

jk
91 M5

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