Targa Miata
September 11, 2010 - Track day at High Plains Raceway!
To celebrate scrutineering and odometer check day for Targa Newfoundland 2010, we headed to a new track near Denver to try it out. HPR is a 2+ mile track with a surprising amount of elevation, and I'd heard quite a few good things about it. Not a quick drive from Grand Junction, but not far off Pueblo where I did a lot of the original development of the car.
The day was put on by the Z Car Club of Colorado, and I think they only do a couple of days a year. There was a very complex and ambitious schedule that was broken by the time the driver's meeting started 40 minutes late, but that happens. They were quite safety conscious, so no complaints there.
It took a bit of time to become familiar with the track - there are two sections that look fairly similar, and a number of blind spots. But after a couple of sessions, I was up to speed pretty well. The sessions got longer and longer as the day went on, and my last time out was a full 30 minutes. I was only going to do a portion of it, but I got chasing other cars. You know how it is. The best was a new 370Z which was a bit of a chase - great fun.
Janel also spent some time in the driver's seat, of course. She started off a bit tentative, but got faster and faster as the day went on. On her last session, she pointed by a couple of cars and then proceeded to reel them right back in again. It really got her competitive juices going and all three drivers had a fantastic time.
The car felt good, but not perfect. The right front shock felt low on fluid again, so I'd get some shaking through the wheel on hard right turns when it was unloaded. It didn't affect grip at all and it worked fine when the wheel was heavily loaded on lefts, so I just dealt with it. Otherwise, the car rotated nicely with a good high speed balance, and the new diff worked well to pull the car out of corners very strongly. The tires were working well, even though I have a pair on the front that I used to set the car up for the Targa more than two years ago! They're pretty well worn as you might imagine. A few other drivers commented on how quick the car was for a naturally aspirated Miata! Part of that was the car's ability to hold speed through the corners, it really reeled in other cars on the fast corners. Both Janel and I found it comfortable to really smear around the track at high speed, forgiving but agile. Like a Miata is supposed to be.
The car spent between three and four hours on track today, and was as reliable as an anvil. We just kept pounding around and around and around the track, with Janel and I doing back-to-back sessions so the car would usually run for a full hour at a time without a real break. A really fun day.
Video will come later, as will some reports on Targa 2010.
entry 763 - tags: track, testing, HPR
September 14, 2010 - More video!
Again at High Plains Raceway, but this time there are other cars to play with. I'm still learning the track and not running as fast as the other video at the same track, but it's fun to see where the Targa car gains on the high power turbo car.
entry 765 - tags: video, HPR, GTR, turbo
September 16, 2013 - Track time!
I was back at High Plains Raceway. I've come to enjoy this track more than I did initially, it's actually pretty fun. The best corner is a long uphill sweeper that has a fairly quick entry. If you do it right, you can keep full throttle most of the way through as you climb to a blind exit with nothing but sky to see.
The car went pretty well. It took me a couple of sessions to work out some little bugs and dial in the handling for the track, then it all came together. I spent some time playing with two CMC-class cars, Camaro/Firebirds with V8 engines. For the first session, I was about the same speed. Then I got faster and started hunting down the Viper that was sharing the track with us. Overall, a pretty good day at the track.
For fun, I attached the GoPro to the front splitter to get some super-low camera angles. A bonus was the sound - it's directly below the intake. This is fun to watch with the sound turned way up. You'll meet the CMC cars in the second lap.

entry 1096 - tags: track, hpr, video