Private VIR Track Time – May 18, 2016

A total of 35 cars participated and were broken into two groups based on track experience. There was a novice/beginner group and an experienced group. Club member Duane Barlow was in the experienced group.

The day started with a half hour driver meeting. The four instructors reviewed the rules of the day. Discussion centered on being safe on the track paying particular attention to how and when it’s acceptable to pass another vehicle. A driver must signal you that it is ok to pass called a “point by”. This is where the driver sticks his/her arm out the window and points, signaling it is ok to pass. Another topic covered by the instructors was that if your car leaves the track and goes onto the dew covered grass, be aware that your car will continue to gain speed even if your brakes are applied. The first lap on the track is to be a warm up lap where you are running at 75% to 80% of full performance.

The novice group were the first on the track. An instructor led the pack with about four novice drivers following. Then another instructor in his car with another group of 4 drivers in their personal vehicles. The instructors led each of their groups along the track demonstrating the proper line to take around the track, the position your car should be in on various turns and to get the beginners accustomed to track conditions. The first run session was done at slow speeds (nothing in excess of 60 to 70 mph).

Then the experienced group had their turn. Their rules were simple: pass only when the driver ahead gives you the “point by”. But, for the experienced group it was open passing – even on turns so long as the driver you were overtaking gave you the “point by”. The first lap was the warm up lap – again only running at 75% to 80% of full performance. After that, some drivers in the experienced group were running as high as 160 to 165 mph. Glenn Causway timed some of Duane’s laps. His best lap time was 2 minutes, 17 78/100 seconds – a full 15 seconds faster than his previous best. If Duane’s math is correct, he averaged a little over 80 mph on this lap.

The private track day cost $425 and had 35 drivers. Yes, it’s expensive, but you get a lot of track time. Duane got in around 7 run sessions with probably 8 to 10 laps per session. There were times while on the track that Duane couldn’t see a car in front of or behind him. You also had the advantage of professional instructors at no additional charge. And, lunch was included.

If you want to experience a private track day, just contact Duane Barlow.

\RTP Corvettes promotes safe motoring. This experience was on a professional track and done under the supervision of professional instructors.