NASA-Mid South Foolish Pleasure @ TGPR 4/2011


Figured I would make a thread. I had a great time and it is by far the most laps and most time on track I have ever had for a NASA weekend. We had no red flags and no real cautions. Might be because the most cars I had on track with me were 3, haha. Saturday started out great. I was on Ranger’s old 14" RA1s and I put down a 1:13.7 in my first session. I tried some other lines in session 2 and 3 but never improved my time. I went out for session 4 and noticed that every lap my brakes seemed to be getting worse. So instead of coming in like I should have I just kept moving my braking point back. Well I go into braking for turn 4 on around lap 10 and my pedal goes to the floor. Luckily the brakes had killed enough speed that I just barely went off track in the grass and the pit in was right at turn 5.

At this point all my RA1s are corded at least somewhat, and I am hoping I just overheated my brakes as I know I came with over half pad life in my Hawk HP+ pads. I put the car up on jackstands and pull the wheels to find that I am out of brake pad at every corner. I also realized that the 14" basket weaves make it VERY hard to check your outer pad for wear compared to my 15" Kosei K1s. In the process of that last session I had been running metal to metal contact with the rear brake pad backing plates that the piston in the caliper has melted the backing plate and welded itself to it. The heat was of course enough to destroy the piston dust boots and apparantly my ebrake material. The melting of the backing plate allowed the piston to come far enough out of the bore that I lost brake fluid which is why I lost the brake pedal.

So I paniced and thought I don’t want to throw away Sunday. I called all the local parts stores and Advance Auto Parts assured me if I got there by 7 they could order a set of rear calipers and I’d have them at 9am on Sunday. I then happened to ask Ron if he stocked E30 pads, and he had a full set of HT10s that I bought. I had brought a new set of rotors, and had ordered PFC06s, but they didn’t ship till Wednesday and I won’t have them till tomorrow. So I got in my truck and headed to Advance only to be told that Sunday had become Monday. So I headed back to the track and made it in time to get the last double burger from the cookout. It was now 5:45 pm and time to try and salvage the car. I worked for 3 hours and got all four rotors and pads changed out along with cleaning and hammering the rear pistons as best I could and pressing them back in their bores. Tim came over and helped me bleed the rear calipers with his Motive which was great. Luckily the seals in the bores were in perfect condition I guess they were far enough from the heat. Since the RA1s were done I threw my Kumho XSs back on the car looked at my watch and said, “Gee I wonder if I can still get out of here.” After a call to the owner of the track, he graciously came and opened the railroad crossing and gates to let me out to head to my hotel.

Sunday morning came and I got the car off the jack stands, torqued the wheels and went out for my first session with a nice firm pedal. I took it real easy and broke really early to bed in the pads and ensure nothing was wrong. Got back in the pits and the wear on the rotors looked good, and I hadn’t lost any fluid so I figured I was good for the day. The rest of the day went flawless and after working on trail braking and turning turn 3 into a single apex, I got down to a 1:12.5 lap time. I improved 1.2 seconds and was not on RA1s anymore so I was really happy. In the second to last session, Tim rode with me for a couple laps till he got queasy and I let him out then waited for Levie. He followed me for a couple laps, then I gave him the point bye and I got to follow him for a couple laps. It was great.

Probably the worst part of the weekend was the fact my camera only ever stayed on for 5 minutes of a session. I contacted Aiptek about this and am hoping for a solution. The best part and the way I got my lap times was the freeware called RaceChrono that I installed on my old Windows Mobile 6.1 phone with GPS capability. I ran my first session with it and then put in the start/finish line and two split lines. I used that to determine I ran 102 hot laps during the weekend. In the last session on Sunday I managed to run 10 consecutive laps within 5 tenths of a second and 5 consecutive laps within 2 tenths so I was real happy with my consistency.

I also got a checked off to do time trials, so I will be running TTE at 2760 lbs at the May TGPR event. Here is the longest video and a couple laps of the track for those that haven’t seen it. I know I looked for videos of the track before going, and I didn’t find many as it is primarily a motorcycle track. Any comments or questions are welcome.


good report Chris and congrats on the sign off.


[quote=“King Tut” post=56015]…I put down a 01:31.7 in my first session.[/quote] You mean 1:13.7?

[quote]Any comments or questions are welcome.[/quote]Looked smooth, good lines. Nice work.

For those who haven’t been, TGPR is a really fun track for testing. Two long, steady-state turns and one fun hairpin (the right hander) make for good suspension tuning opportunities. Several of the turns require you to look well ahead to hit your marks, which I find a lot of fun as an instructor.

I’d love to see them put a gravel trap at the end of the long straight. The railroad tracks there are closer than you might think. :blink:


Yep, I meant 1:13.7. I will edit it. I agree that the ends of the straight aways are daunting along with turn 1. Also Jim ran a much quicker lap on the weekend than I did so I have a ton of room for improvement.