rico750sxi_2
rico750sxi_2 New Reader
1/26/19 2:42 p.m.

So, I'm sitting here watching the 24hours of Daytona and figured I'd share my adventure into starting to do HPDE's with my car and how I got there. The beginning of this whole story will be a little long winded but as I mentioned, I'm watching the beginning of the 24@Daytona and I've got a lot of time on my hands.

The beginning and how I got the fast car I'm attending track days with:

My wife came home from work one day and announced that she wants a pick up truck. She would like something with 4WD and need to be a crew cab for the kids. That leads us to shopping around and us ordering a 2016 Colorado Crew Cab which we trade her 2012 Accord in on. 7 weeks later we pick this up:

This meant that we now had two pickups in the house as I had a Silverado Crew Cab at the time. She did not want to DD mine though due to the size and 6.2L fuel economy she would have to deal with. At the time of delivery of her pick up our salesmen inquired what we were going to do with 2 pickups (I've purchased several vehicles from him) to which I turned around and gave a glance to the ZO6 sitting on the showroom floor. He immediately laughs and then quickly notices my wife is not laughing in the least. When he asks her why she didn't find it funny her response was something along the lines of "he'll be back within two weeks to order something"...

She was right, I ordered a white ZO6, MN7 with some other options and traded my pickup truck and my 2002 ZO6 in for the new ZO6. Eight weeks later I was back at the same dealer dropping these two off and picking up this one:

A year passes with the new car with me saying multiple times that I want to get it to a track but never following through with it. That is until July of 2017 when I attended my first track day at New York Safety Track. I cannot say enough about my instructor who was awesome all day long and helped me make huge gains all day long. Holy cow was I nervous at first but he made me feel a lot better right in the first session. It was a blast and I was hooked. 

And here is a video from my best lap from that day, as you can hear from the instructors comments he was just the right amount of encouraging, forceful, and funny. 

One more trip to New York Safety Track in September of 2017 was all the events I did for that year. 

What I realized though was that I was going to chew through tires (and other items) quickly with this car. My solution? Another set of wheels and tires, one set for the track, one set for the street.

Have I mentioned that my wife is a saint?? Oh and what happens if I damage the car in any way at one of the events? So... next came this:

Of course, then I asked whether the Colorado would tow the car and trailer okay even though it tows our 5200lb. boat just fine. Couldn't chance it though so that led to this:

Which means my wife is back to driving a car and hating it. Let me say though that she was quite happy getting rid of her truck payment. We weighed the pros and cons of this swap greatly and her keeping money in her wallet was a big factor. Plus she switched jobs and her commute went from 18 miles one way to 4 miles one way. When it snows she now takes the full size truck and if you ask me I think she likes driving it more than she leads on to. 

For 2018 I had May and June events planned for Pocono and NJMP but an unfortunate meeting with a tree on my dirt bike in April forced me to postpone those. I did make it to Pocono in July to drive on the Mega course. For one session...

A little too aggressive at corner entry and clipped the beginning of the corner curbing... Boy, good thing I have that trailer now.

Some other pics from that day:

The tire splitting along with the stock wheels being easily bent ( four repaired so far)  and the expense of replacing the stock size tires led me to look for 18" wheels that I can mount Pirelli scrubs on. 

After my ill fated trip to Pocono I made it to NYST in September and a great event at NJMP in October with NASA. My good buddy and I shared my car with him being in novice and me being in level 2. We each had a blast and it was a great day. 

A couple things I'll get out of the way: Yes, I should've started with a lower powered car, I know that but I didn't buy the car planning to track it. I planned to attend track days because I have the car and it begs to be on the track. Yes, the car's nannies are saving me and are preventing me from learning all I need to about car control. As I get better and more comfortable I dial them back. Finally, yes, I'm slow. Again, I'm learning and I'm having a blast. I'd rather be slow than be a guy who drives over his head and is a danger out on the track. 

I will continue to update this as I go to more days.

Various event pics:

 

LanEvo
LanEvo HalfDork
1/26/19 8:48 p.m.

Looks like you’re having fun out there. And your wife seems quite a bit more accommodating than mine!

rico750sxi_2
rico750sxi_2 New Reader
1/26/19 11:00 p.m.

She is accommodating to say the least, she awesome and amazing and always tries to take an interest in things I enjoy doing. She rides a four wheeler now even though she never had even thought of it before we were together. I also try to do things she likes which are a lot of day trips to interesting sites. I always map out a good route of winding roads though to get us there. I don’t do much otherwise, never out with my buddies at the bar for football or anything like that. For me it’s my family, things with engines, and work, many hours at work. Here’s my wife, daughter, and me on a recent ride.

rico750sxi_2
rico750sxi_2 New Reader
3/16/19 12:38 p.m.

First track day of 2019 scheduled, New York Safety Track, April 28th. Track prep post to come in a few weeks. Oil change, brake pad change, rear diff fluid change, brake fluid flush, and track wheel install. I think I enjoy the prep about as much as the track day, except maybe the rear diff fluid change. Tight access usually means I wear some gear oil and I hate smelling it for the next three days. 

kernymi
kernymi New Reader
4/12/19 11:57 a.m.

Awesome cars and awesome family, what more can you ask for? You made great choices with these cars. In case you will decide to swipe with a new car in the future, you'll likely make another great choices! I wish you more fun and hope you'll continue to share your adventures here in GMS.

rico750sxi_2
rico750sxi_2 New Reader
4/20/19 4:29 p.m.

Thanks, my family is amazing and very supportive.

So, before this season I decided to add the GM secondary radiator that comes on '17 and up cars. I have never had temperature issue in the car on track but I did it to see if I could source the parts for the kit GM sells separately and save some money. I started gathering parts and in two weeks (and with the help of a member of the CorvetteForum) I had everything I needed. Best part, the kit costs anywhere from $750-950 depending on the source and I was able to buy the parts and do the install for $410. I didn't buy the rubber coolant lines that come with the kit because I made my own and I didn't by the bolts and reinforcements (plate steel with two nuts welded on) because I sourced stainless nuts, bolts, and washers from my local hardware store. I didn't take too many pictures of the installation but here are a few:

I could've done a better job cutting out where the radiator goes but it turned out okay. The GM kit comes with a template for the cut and that would have helped I'm sure. It didn't help that I cut it out the opposite way where the fittings go and had to correct that by making two BIG openings. 

 

rico750sxi_2
rico750sxi_2 New Reader
4/20/19 6:53 p.m.

Fluid changes have started for the new track season. 

I figured I'd get the one I hate the most out of the way first, the rear differential. I hate it mostly because the smell but also because of the tight access on this car. I always struggle to get the fill plug back in afterwards.

A lift sure would be nice. I wrap the rear subframe crossmember in aluminum foil to try to direct the fluid down right into the drain pan instead of all over the crossmember and then spilling out of it's various holes.

Magnetic drain plug doing it's job.

This is the fluid after 5 track days, about 25 sessions. 

Engine oil was next, even fewer pictures of this because, well, it's an oil change. The worst part is dumping the 5W30 Mobil 1 that has very little mileage on it (due to car being away for the winter) to put the 15W50 in. I used a brand new tub to drain it into so I could save the oil to use for my work car. 

I had some other things to get done so that is as far as I went. Next is brake fluid flush, brake pad swap, and then swapping onto the Pirelli DH slicks. The wheels and tires aren't until the day before the event though so I can still drive it on the street until then.

 

 

rico750sxi_2
rico750sxi_2 New Reader
4/23/19 7:17 p.m.

I think my buddy that went to NJMP in the fall caught the bug that day( although he’s always wanted to be on track), he just picked this up and plans to join me at more track days this season. New 2018 1LE 2SS Hyper Blue Camaro, it’s so sharp!! 

rico750sxi_2
rico750sxi_2 New Reader
4/26/19 10:50 a.m.

With being on vacation it has made it very easy to pick and choose when I knock out tasks for prepping the car for the track. A couple days ago I chose to continue (and complete) track prep by swapping brake pads, changing the brake fluid, and putting the 18" wheels and Pirelli scrubs on. 

I've acquired a couple of tools over the last few years to make all of these steps easier, one of which is the RaceLogic lug extenders, they make it a lot easier sliding the wheels on and off. 

For now I am still using the stock brake pads for track days as they are still plenty strong enough for me. However, due to the amount of dust they create I don't run them all the time thus the need to do the pad change. Pad changes are so easy on this car having to just drive out the retainer pins in the rear and having to unbolt the caliper stiffening stud (I'm sure it has an actual name... but that works) and drive out the pins. 

I love my Power Bleeder, all of the work I do is always by myself so any tool or device I can use to make things easier is worth it for me. I just empty the master cylinder or the old fluid, add new fluid to the master and power bleeder, pump it up, and work my way around to each side. 

After all four sides are bled the Pirellis go on and the TPMS relearn is done. 

And my reward for another job completed!!

A couple random pictures comparing tires:

rear stock Michelin vs. Pirelli scrub:

front Michelin vs. Pirelli scrub:

Current street tires vs. my first set after 3 track days, thus the reason for much cheaper 18" Pirelli scrubs.

rico750sxi_2
rico750sxi_2 New Reader
4/26/19 10:19 p.m.

Yesterday’s project, I added some posts to the front of my trailer to carry a set of wheels on so I could free up bed space in the truck:

rico750sxi_2
rico750sxi_2 New Reader
4/26/19 10:23 p.m.

Eventually this thread will turn back into adventures at the track but it won’t be this weekend. My track day for Sunday was rescheduled due to the forecast calling nag for 1-3” of snow Sunday. So my next scheduled day is May 19th at Pocono With Hooked On Driving. It’s the Mega course which is 3.51 miles. I’m looking forward to it a lot. 

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