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Old September 17th, 2002, 11:49 PM   #1
Ken R
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Still green on the track

I'm very seriously considering entering Tracquest's DE at Buttonwillow or Laguna Seca. I really like Thunderhill and I appreciate having loads of run off areas in case I blow it. Which track would you recommend for a beginner with 2 days track experience, Laguna or Buttonwillow. I sure do like Monterey over Bakersfield. Are any of the Babblers going to attend them?
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Old September 18th, 2002, 12:50 AM   #2
doug_d (Cameron Park, CA)
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both!

buttonwillow is a great track and also has loads of runoff area. but, it's near bakersfield!

laguna seca is magical. just a really really cool place. you have to be more careful, but nobody says you have to drive beyond your limits (or even past 80% of them).

just one...go to laguna seca and take it easy.
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Old September 18th, 2002, 07:18 AM   #3
Kevin C. (Saratoga, CA)
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I'm with Doug...

Laguna Seca is a great track. It has some walls, but in general it would take quite a bit of effort to reach them. Your instructor will point out the big things to watch out for (like not lifting in turn 6, and the blind entry into the cork-screw). And as you guys say, Monterey is a much nicer place to hang out than Buttonwillow/Bakersfield.
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Old September 18th, 2002, 08:13 AM   #4
Tom M (Sunol, CA)
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I had similar reservations when I first started doing DE's

I did Buttonwillow as my first track and had a good time. Learned a lot - including don't lift while in the Star Mazda turn if you early apex (took 3+ hours to clean the interior of the car )

I have also run Laguna Seca with one of TracQuest's 2 day events there and had a fabulous time. Since you have been on Thunderhill I wouldn't have any reservations about recommending LS over Buttonwillow. Just the thrill of being able to be on such a historic track is worth it. There are a couple of turns where you need to be wary but there are also some turns where you can really have a good time. Higly recommended!
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Old September 18th, 2002, 09:18 AM   #5
HP in SF
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Re: Still green on the track

If you have the chance to drive Laguna Seca, by all means. It's a great track and although there are less run off space than at Thunderhill and BUttonwillow, just be a little more conservative and pick slower turns with more run off to work on. As long as you don't drive over your head, you will be fine.

OTOH, it might be good to hone your skills more at Thunderhill or Buttonwillow and when you feel up to the level, you can have more fun at tracks like Sears Point and Laguna Seca.

BTW, UnlimitedLaps will be hosting two Laguna Seca track days - 11/01/02 and 02/28/03. Entry fee is $275, which will include lunch and a t-shirt. Signups will begin in a few days time.


UnlimitedLaps
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Old September 18th, 2002, 10:35 AM   #6
Suwipin
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Re: Still green on the track

Hi Ken,

Both tracks are fun tracks to go to.

Like Doug said, you probably don't want to drive beyond your limit on either tracks especially if you are new to those tracks. The 1st day, you'll spend learning the correct lines on the track and on the 2nd day you can start pushing a little harder. (You do need to go slow in order to be fast, being smooth is the key).

Even on the safest track, if you drive beyond your limit, something bad can happen.

If you can do both events, you should but if you have to choose one, I will choose Laguna Seca just because it's closer and it's quite an experience to drive on that track. Actually there's a ALMS race going on at that track this weekend, if you have time, you should check it out.

Since you've been to Thunderhill, (IMHO) Thunderhill is actually more technical than Laguna Seca.

Check out Rick's Laguna Seca video at Tracquest site to get a feel of that track:

http://www.tracquest.com/Videos/Tqvideos.htm

Have fun,
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