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First Track Day for the Bug: 05/07

Exit of Corner #3, Moroso Motorsports Park

One Happy Man, Moroso Motorsports Park

Unimpressive Track Side Video

The 911 did not get finished in time to take it to 2 days of HPDE at Moroso Motorsports Park organized under the Porsche Club of America. The VW Bug was left to cary the flag. Given Porsche's gradual acquisition of more VW stock and the Porsche Boxster S Brakes the VW felt right at home.

The weather was glorious if not a little hot for both days at the track. Having never driven Moroso before it was surprising how narrow some of the track was, especially the front straight and exit of corner #10. A 993 made a critical error here early on the first day and took a flat bed home.

The track is in fair condition. Which has some benefits like having lots of little marks that a driver can use to identify points on the track to brake, turn in, apex, and track out. This car has some serious brakes with the Boxster calipers on the front wheels. There was not enough courage to find the limit of these brakes, though later in the days the braking zone began to get much shorter allowing most other cars to be pulled in. Here, there is a BMW 325 teed up to be passed in the straights between corner #6 and #7A.

The Beetle performed very well. Braking was amazing... provided it was done in a straight line. Consistently in turn #5 the back end of the car wanted to step out if the line was not exactly straight. This was solved by being light at the beginning of the brake zone then heavy on the later part. Turn in was good even with the occasional under steering. Mid corner control of the car was very easy. A slight lift on the throttle would rotate the car predictably. This was especially useful in corners 2A-2B and 3-4 (really one big corner). The electronic skid protection did rear its ugly head, but was not intrusive or really noticeable except for corner #7B. Corner #7 was in a bad gearing zone. Enough speed could not be carried through to make 3rd gear on exit a good choice. Pulling down to 2nd activated the skid protection on exit until the car was straight. This meant the car effectively coasted out of 7B under little to neutral throttle.

During lunch on the second day the president of Moroso came by to tell us about the plans for the track. Moroso does not have all the permits in order to begin renovations this summer. However, everything will be in place to get it done next summer. You can see what the results look like: Moroso Motorsports Park

There is no in-car camera for the Beetle, but there was some small track side video captured. The beginning sees the Beetle in the distance braking from 110/115 to about 50 mph as it enters turn #2A. From there to the end of the video segment speeds range from 40-60 mph at various points in the corners.

Track Preparation: 05/07

Preparing for the race track requires several things be accomplished prior to track day:

  • Clean out the entire car including mats and all loose items
  • Bleed the brakes and the clutch master cylinder
  • Check brake pads, tires, and general underbody for issues
  • Make sure all fluids are full
  • Clean all the glass
  • Get a large rubbermaid and fill it with helmet, change of clothes, rain gear, trash bags, hand wipes, grease pencil, snacks, glass cleaner, paper towels, etc...
  • Put fold up chair in car
  • Clean the numbers off front and back sides
  • anything else you can think of

New Shoes: 05/07

The current tires on the bug were about done. There is a track day in about a week and it is good to put about 500 miles on new tires before going to the race track so 4 new 235/40/18 Nitto Neogen tires were delivered by Discount Tire Direct. The tires were mounted and high speed balanced by Tire Kingdom. Tire Kingdom was more expensive than the local race shop. Discount Tire Direct

Welded Exhaust: 03/07

A new, used, MIG welder was useful for welding the new exhaust together just behind the CAT. Basically, There is a clamp and sleeve style of connection just after the CAT that, if not tight, will allow the exhaust to rotate about 45 degrees. This would not be an issue if it were a single pipe circular exhaust tip. Since the Ansa is a dual tip it looks horrible. Straighten out the tip and a few spot welds later fixing is complete.

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© 2006 RHO Design