05-08-2010 St. Louis PDX at Gateway International Raceway

By May 10, 2010Automotive, Neil, Racing

This is my 5th track day and my 3rd year of doing these after about 4 years of autocross.

These are just a few photos of the day. I suggest you check out the rest of the photos too.

My cousin took these. He is only 14 years old and takes amazing shots, you really should check out his other photos in his albums.

Here are my photos, we really don’t spend much time on photos because I am so busy with racing that there is little time for other mental thought.

I really encourage any one who is interested in these events to watch the videos! Yeah, they may be long, but they all give a real candid insight to the track and how a typical session goes. I warm up, I make mistakes at times, but in the end I get faster and faster. You will too if you do these events.

Write up of the day.

To sum up the day is to say that I love how my car is set up, and I love how much I am progressing with it. The day was a good day.

The morning started out COLD. Getting up at 4:00AM and to the track by 6:00AM is certainly not easy. The brisk morning wind reminded you of the first laps you would take under a lot of tension with the Hoosiers cold and traction limited. Nevertheless, after a safety tech inspection, and you more cars arrived you begin to feel the excitement grow.

The day starts and I take it slow. If you have raced on Hoosiers you know that its do or die when it comes to cold Hoosiers. After warming them up I eased back in to the familiar groove of the track and my line.

So, in all my videos the first lap will be slow and mostly a warm up lap for the tires and my mental readiness.

Second Session

Below is my second run since I did not record the first, but in this run was pretty no drama. While I was still getting in my groove as far as speed, I kept ahead of the pack with no one in sight and then caught up to a Volskwagen R32 GTI that was fairly modified and eventually passed him and a Pontiac Solstice.

05-08-2010 STL PDX 2nd Session from Neil Kohler on Vimeo.

Third Session

Below is my third run and perhaps the most exciting from a viewer’s standpoint. Behind an Austin Healey kit car, around 2:45 in the video he goes off the track. I check my mirrors and since there was no one behind me I slow to see if he comes back on the track or not. He does not and I move on.

I finally caught up to my friend James in the black Supra. Slowly gaining on him we were both pushing it pretty hard. I was loving the excuse to focus and execute on the track but unfortunately at about 10:00 and shortly after my friend James brakes too late on the end straight and has to bail out on turn 1. Turn 1 is a pretty scary turn as you are coming down it at typically over 120mph and your brakes are put to the test. Thankfully he had no damage and no problems and did what was right in that situation and took the safe route.

05-08-2010 STL PDX 3rd Session from Neil Kohler on Vimeo.

4th Session

Below was my 4th Session and it was a short one due to lunch crunch. However I did pass a chevy colbolt SS and a honda s2000 CR. I was moving pretty well through my lines and this session felt good, but short.

05-08-2010 STL PDX 4th Session from Neil Kohler on Vimeo.

5th Session

Below was the 5th session and starting out I always allow the tires to heat up. But after the second lap it was apparent that the R32 Golf was moving a lot faster than I was comfy with at that time so I pointed him by. Eventually a new Subaru STI came up on me and I decided to point him by as well and I would chase him the rest of the time. He would certainly take me through some turns that the AWD and superior power he had allowed, but I would catch him decidedly in some turns and really well in the hard braking areas. It was a LOT of fun having him challenge me.

05-08-2010 STL PDX 5th Session from Neil Kohler on Vimeo.

6th Session

Below was the 6th session of the day and I was rolling pretty quick through this since through the day I had been perfecting my line and driving. Unfortunately this run was cut way short because a Colbolt SS went off the track and into the wall and then resulted was a black flag to end the session. I am proud of this session as I feel that this session and perhaps the 5th session I was really getting into my fastest laps.

05-08-2010 STL PDX 6th Session from Neil Kohler on Vimeo.

I hope this was enjoyable to those who watched the vids and looked at the pictures and read the thoughts.

-Neil