klharper
klharper New Reader
9/21/16 10:42 p.m.

Hello Our Local Fiat and Alfa club is looking at going back to doing some speed events. Our first venture is going to be an autocross, and it is being planned for March 2017, and will most likely be held in the Winston Salem, NC area. It is of course being targeted for the Fiat and Alfa group and we are hoping for a good mixture of both, so far we have everything from a new 4C to a 1961 Giulietta TI running. We have not decided to open this one up to more cars, but I would guess that something like a spitfire would probably be welcome, while a new Corvette or Cayman wouldn't.

If this is successful we are planning on going back to the track for a track day. The 3 tracks we are looking at, are NCCAR, VIR or CMP. We are looking at having a vintage class and a more modern class(There will be a total of 4 classes). We will very likely limit engine capacity to 3 liters. While preference would be given to Italian cars first we don't think we have enough cars to do this so we would like to have other vintage drivers join us. Our target would be the LBC's, Datsun's, BMW '02's, corvair, VW GTI's and similar cars. So the big question is there enough interest in doing this. And would you drive to one of the tracks that we are looking at. Let me know.

Target for the track day is Fall of 2017

KL Harper

Cactus
Cactus Reader
9/22/16 8:44 p.m.

I've been thinking lately that track days are getting a little out of hand. When you see an AE86 Corolla on the track in the same run group as an ACR Viper and an 800 horsepower GTR, the mis-match is crazy. I'd love to take part in a vintage-only track day. I (sadly) don't have anything Italian, but I'd gladly join in with an old BMW.

Tom1200
Tom1200 HalfDork
9/23/16 12:40 a.m.

I think lots of people with older cars would be interested but there may be issues with it as well.

I'm running my vintage Datsun 1200 race car in the intermediate group along with Z06 Vettes, Porsche 911s, Boxsters, Caymans, Evos, Mustangs and Subaru STIs and I'm faster than half the group. Now I am instructing so I do have more experience than most of these drivers. The fastest cars in the group are spec miatas.

Running Vipers and a Corolla GTS together isn't an issue as track days have designated passing zones and very often the lower powered cars are turning faster laps. Here is the rub; many drivers are not comfortable with this mix (fair enough).

You may also have the flip side of the coin; the guys in moderns don't really like getting past by an old car. If I'm catching and passing someone in a Cayman S how is someone in a 68 Alfa street car going to feel about some vintage race car going 10-15 seconds a lap faster.

My thought is this; I'm not sure there are enough people willing to track their old cars so you'll likely need some moderns to make it work financially. If you break out the vintage sessions by lap times that would help. You could go with students/novices( any car) vintage slow, vintage fast, then moderns as your 4 groups that would keep like minded drivers together. You might need to mix the faster vintage cars with intermediate level moderns. As long as you reinforce that the event is to have fun and overly aggressive/obnoxious driving is unwelcome you should attract enough entries.

My .02 naturally.

gjz30075
gjz30075 HalfDork
9/24/16 6:56 a.m.
Tom1200 wrote: You may also have the flip side of the coin; the guys in moderns don't really like getting past by an old car. If I'm catching and passing someone in a Cayman S how is someone in a 68 Alfa street car going to feel about some vintage race car going 10-15 seconds a lap faster.

Actually sounds like a personal problem for the 'newer' crowd. If the vintage guys are running race cars, then the guys in the Caymans need to accept that. If not, then the guys in the Caymans need to hone their driving skills.

Tom1200
Tom1200 HalfDork
9/25/16 12:50 a.m.

It is and isn't a personal issue for drivers in modern cars; for the most part it's folks who are somewhat new to track days. Secondly they will have spent some time in the novice group where they don't encounter people in under powered wonders going fast. Now jump into a group where myself along with a coupe of the Spec Miata guys may be going 8-10 miles an hour faster mid corner. This can be discouraging and as an organizer you want folks to enjoy themselves. More than once I've had people in newer cars really taken aback by the glaring difference in driving styles; I'm pretty much driving in the same manner you see at events like Goodwood, the car is rotating in a very noticeable way on corner entrance and then skating all the way through the corners and out to the exit curbing. In a modern car on radials you're doing this but not in a such a noticable way and so people are half think you're going spin. My favorite dead pan remark is "I wish I was more comfortable with oversteer" Same deal with nicely restored vintage street cars, the owners are probably not going to be slamming over the curbs in the chicane without regard to what that may be doing to the car. Again these folks may not want to be in the same session with some guy sliding his car everywhere and curb hopping like a fiend. So as mentioned in my other post; to make a vintage /classic track day viable I do think you'll need to allow some modern cars to get the number of entries needed. Finally as an aside yes the modern drivers mentioned do need to keep honing their skills. The one plus of running a 100hp wonder is that when you catch someone in a modded STI is that they are really open to taking advice and very often come over and ask for pointers before you've even gotten out of the car. The reason I instruct is I hate to see people struggle, at club races you'd see them working themselves like dogs and getting no result. A few simple pointers can take someone from driving like a hack to going really well. Driving well feels great and that keeps people coming back. Win win, the event stays in the black and I get to keep having fun.

Tom

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
9/25/16 8:36 a.m.

Sounds like a good place for us to gather some stories. Please keep us in the loop, as this materializes.

Our Preferred Partners
n8mu0U35FB1fQDYa6W6Nw6VSr8SnlXdf8TCh0xryAJs2wvkX5o4sraImDZP0DJDC