Targa Miata
April 2, 2009 - Zandr Milewski - a big supporter of our Targa effort - was one of the instructors at the Laguna Seca event.
After reading what I wrote a couple of days ago, he sent me this note:
I followed Janel on that last session in AHHRRR. (an R package Miata with Toyo RA1s and suspension work - Keith). Until she figured out turn 2, I could reel them in every lap. Once she got 2 figured out, it was over. She was decisively walking away from me on all the straights, and I don't think I had much on her in the corners.
When you were headed north on 880 up to Rick's shop on Monday afternoon, I spotted the Targa very clearly from the other side of the freeway. That car can certainly be seen at a distance!

Thanks Zandr!
entry 665 - tags: Janel, Laguna
April 14, 2010 - Welcome to California!
Three days of track time with two drivers, mixing it up with faster cars. It's a good thing this little car is tough.
The first day was sunny and beautiful. The track day was run by the Checkered Flag Racing Association, which is basically a grown-up version of the Red Rock Racers I run in Grand Junction. Sessions were 30 minutes long and full of some very serious machinery. Even the novice group had a Porsche GT3, a fast little Caterham and a couple of Nissan GT-Rs. The Nissans were being driven extremely quickly, and were really in the wrong group. Overall, a very experienced bunch that were good to share the track with.
The goal for the Friday session was for it all to be about Janel. She's spent so long hanging around as I run around at the track it only seemed fair for her to have her own track day. So our friend Rick Weldon offered to give her personal instruction, and I was pit crew.
We started off doing a sound check. The limit was 92 dB, and we went by the meter at 93.3 dB. After a certain amount of chaos on the part of the organizers who all told us different things, we found that by holding 4th gear through turn 5 we tripped the meter at 88 dB. So there's that solved then.
Rick was running behind, so I went out with Janel for the first three sessions. We had a good time and everything seemed to be working fairly well other than a car that was very grouchy when cold. The biggest problem was dealing with the traffic.
Rick showed up just as we left for the third session, so he only got to ride with Janel for a couple of sessions. She was all warmed up and ready to go, though. He's a fantastic instructor and not only helped her with her lines, but also with how to deal with traffic. She's a great learner, and if you tell her to go full throttle through a certain corner without lifting, she'll do it!
I was running a stopwatch, and we saw her times drop by about 12 seconds per lap - partly due to the way that she dealt with faster cars passing her. The big grin is from her last session, when she spent two or three laps holding off a 911 GT3 (really!) before the monster power on the straight finally proved to be too much for the little Miata. She was putting down consistent 2:00 laps with only a few tenths of a second of variation, plus one solid 1:59.28. You can see her session on the video page. After seeing the times, Rick commented that she'd be a great endurance driver. On the way to dinner a couple of nights later, she asked me how you get involved in endurance racing...
Does she look happy to you?
entry 748 - tags: janel, laguna seca, track