News

FDC-Buttonwillow raceway update

Discussion in 'California (Southern)' started by fatbillybob, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,541
    socal
    Wow! You guys missed out. The buttonwillow track is too fun. In attendance were 13 people associated with Bryon and FDC. Byron knows better but that is how many of us were there for dinner. There were only 3 Ferraris. Jet-x had a mondial cab and byron and I had 348C’s. There were as smattering of other cars like radical sr3, viper, porshes ,VW’s, audi, bmw and mini’s. We set-up camp in the paddock mostly by me. I have the trailer/suburban canopy bar-b-que etc... We get on the track by 9am . Within 2 laps full throttle over a rise and getting barely airborne the suspension sets and bang a huge blast of sparks out my back end can be seen in my peripheral vision in my mirrors. I run a challenge race exhaust I don’t here anything pop or feel suspension bottom. I’m on full throttle to the next turn and everything is O.K.. Into the third sweeper I’m feathering the throttle then back to full throttle into the essess before a short straight. BOG! If feels like 5th gear but I upshifted from 3rd to 4th. What the f*&k? Thankfully pit entrance is just ahead. Car sounds a bit ratty now. I get out look at the engine and my right cat is glowing cherry red hot. Arick part of our group is standing right behind my right exhaust pipe. Pink! Arrick get hits with something on his leg. “Hey”, “your catalytic converter is puking itself all over me”. I rev the motor and it looks like a 5 year old blowing cookie crumbs out of his mouth of a partly chewed cookie. So being the confident person I am that my bulletproof 348 will need nothing I have a 12 kinds of soda and 2 kinds of brautwurst for the bar-b-que I basically bring no tools. But I should have known better I’m traveling with byron. Borrowing tools from Arick who brought his entire garage since he was still changing pads and bolting in roll cage parts, I took the exhaust system down and the right cat out. With makeshift tools I proceed to pound the rest of the convert guts out. Ferrari holds the catalyst in with stainless steel wire mesh that looks just like their wiring...a bowl of pasta throw into your car. It took about 45 minutes to get this bird’s nest of stainless steel wool looking carp out of my cat. O.K. cat back in fire the car up perfect. It is even a bit louder on the right side the exhaust note has changed for the better. The challenge race exhaust is *****in! We may not have the skill to be the fastest on the track but we look and sound cool. We are the loudest on the track and full throttle Ferraris just make awesome noise. When Byron and I are nose to tail on the track people come out of the paddock with cameras to watch us go by. While I beating my cat Byron spins off the track and sinks in the mud up to the door sill on one side. He comes into the paddock with big ole clumps of mud spinning around on his tires flicking bits of mud up into the air. He gets cleaned up and I’m ready to go out with him next time. Later, I’m behind Byron and his car is all clean again from the track water hose. I have the video camera going and the starter waves us onto the track. We get to the first turn and B slams on the brakes I’m on his 6 and he cracks the turn up to the right. I follow close in tow and crap all that mud was now dry rocks and junk and the turn loosened it all up I’m getting sprayed. I back off and take a different line and B is machine gunning the track for the first few turns as I dodge the rocks and whatever. Things settle and we go around for a few laps. I get some good video and B waves me by. I have no one ahead of me and I’m running to catch the cars ahead. There is no one around and everything is quiet just me and the car. Let me tell you Rob Shermerhorn AKA rexrcr really knows how to do shocks and springs. My car was a pig until I had Rob revalve my shocks and set me up with a race spring set. Now the car is quiet at speed, handles flat and is effortless to drive. There is no twitch in the front end and even the braking has improved. The groove is happening as a pass a few cars. I get a bit cocky now. I chase a guy down deeper into a short straight because I CAN beat that guy to the corner. I get by him brake really late at threshold but I’m going too fast on my entry speed which will make it so I’m later on the throttle on the exit. Of course thinking too far ahead is just as bad as not thinking at all. O.K. this car is handling great lets see if I can make it. I’m coming off threshold braking on the straight and trail braking to the apex I’m on the gas now. I’m 3/4 ths the way through the turn at full throttle but I am running out of road. SNAP! wow dude nice 360. Well I learned that there is still physics. I made out better than Byron I had dirt no mud. I’m back into the pits and my suspension is off but I am driveable. Stay tuned for Sunday the adventure continues....
     
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 5, 2002
    8,061
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Dom V.
    Cool. I definately want to make one of these track events.

    Dom
     
  4. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    I had a BLAST this weekend, and while the track was fun, hanging out with Carl, Byron, Hubert, and everyone else. Definitely an adventure, especially watching Carl and his "magic juice" start Byron's car in the morning!

    Again, a complete blast, can't wait to hang with everyone again!
     
  5. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,541
    socal
    Dom you have to do it. Besides I need a new track buddy. Here we are in the paddock. Jet-x is the mondial, I'm #53 white 355C wheels and brake ducts, and That's Byron's with no numbers and more in street trim. He drives his car to the track.
     
  6. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,541
    socal
    In the paddock again
     
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,541
    socal
    here we are pushing Byron's car off the racetrack! There's a story as there always is. Gotta go so I'll post more later. Then at the end Byron's has the real story.
     
  9. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,541
    socal
    opps yeah that's right pushing
     
  10. gezuvor

    gezuvor Rookie

    Jan 19, 2004
    8
    Ladera Ranch, CA
    Full Name:
    Richard Barker
    Last I saw Byron, it was 6pm last night. He and Arick were waiting for AAA to arrive and darkness had pretty well settled in.

    Any update?

    - Rich Barker | RacerFactory.com
     
  11. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    ooooh ****..! I didn't know Byron was stuck? Man that bites. Byron, time to upgrade.
     
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. gezuvor

    gezuvor Rookie

    Jan 19, 2004
    8
    Ladera Ranch, CA
    Full Name:
    Richard Barker
    Even after letting it sit out on Lost Hill for a full session, we couldn't get it fired again (even w/the happy gas). I pulled it back in and Carl went to work on it. 30 minutes later, no luck. He had to call the cavalry... :(
     
  14. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,541
    socal
    Sunday morning we have a fabulous breakfast at the IHOP connected to the Shell gas station. Yup Buttonwillow is first class. Most of use are at the Chateau 6 for $29.99 a nite. I decide to splurge at La Best Western Resort and Day Spa for $75.00. Hey it was worth it I got HBO , shampoo, and full sized bath towels. La Best Western group is off to the track. Just as we get to the track Byron calls...”My car won’t start.” O.K., I’m almost at the track try push starting it. He tries it fails. I take my car off the trailer and head back down the freeway expecting to trailer Byron’s car back to the track and work on it there. I show up with my trailer and my secret sauce. Byron’s entourage looks anxious everyone wants to get to the track and make the “driver’s meeting.” A squirt of the magic juice and Byron’s car is running. We get to the track and have an uneventful morning of easy fun driving. Jet-x and Ray are the only cars that have not seen dirt. Both vow to keep the black side on the track. Jet-x has one off track excursion but is O.K. and back on the track. His yellow fleece is now brown and dusty but he came in with a smile on his face. His car is a Mondial-T and ran perfectly all weekend. No electrical issues in that car. He has a good one. He is a lucky guy. Ray has the silver 350Z in the photo he came to the track with less than 1000miles on the clock. He keep his Z on the track all weekend. He was complaining that the back was getting loose by the end of the weekend but I told him he was just driving more toward the limit and he needs to come with us next time to learn how to dal with that. Byron and I have an eneventful session until Bryon’s off the track on the short straight right on the edge of track and dirt. He is just sitting there. Something is wrong with the car but he is not in trouble. I make a few more laps getting closer and closer to Byron basically trying to bust his eardrums as I scream by full throttle and high revs casting some of my wind wake in his window. He said it was pretty cool when I blasted by him. I pull off the track to get the secret sauce so I could start him up again. As the session ends I run out to the stuck Ferrari where Byron says his throttle cable is stuck full throttle and he had to pull off , the car starts fine. “We” mostly Byron (it is his car and I’m weak) push his car about 1/10 mile off the track into the pits. His special challenge tow hook is on order from Italy. We get back to the pits and check the throttle and it’s fine. What stuck? Who knows. He tests the car is starts and works fine. Another session everything is fine. One more session We are about to get on the track. Rumor has it that a European dude in a BMW is hazing the track and scaring people. Darn The BMW is next to me with mud all over his car. I’m not in a mood to trade paint with someone who may be fast but questionable control. I am certainly no better and I'm not in the mood for a track fight unless I can have my 6000lb suburban against his 3000lb BMW. It is the last session of the day for us. Byron goes the flag man waves me on and I point to the BMW guy and the flagman wave’s him ahead of me. I’m entering the track easily building speed with each lap my standard MO. The BMW guy is off on Byron’s tail and they are out of site. Great I can drive in peace. A few laps goes by and Byron is in the dirt again. He is stuck. People around me are getting crazy. It is the last run of the day people are tired. I’m tired this is when bad things can happen. I’m cruising savoring and thinking back on a great weekend with friends doing what I love to do. I’m enjoying the track lapping Byron as he watches the action from a corner worker’s station. This is why we work so hard. I see a car who will remain nameless (not the BMW) coming up on my tail. O.K. I guess I’ll pick up the pace. No problem I can out gun him but he may be a better or braver shot. So the bozo decides to pass me at the worst possible spot on the track. Was he that good or that stupid? If I held my line at the least I would of had an expensive fender repair. At worst he would get to meet some corner workers face to face as I would have bounced him into the worker’s station. Anyway it was time to go in. No damage we all get off the track safely and end a great weekend. I enter the pits and I’m summoned to the corner station with the secret sauce to get Byron started. His car won’t start. Byron says the throttle stuck open again and he had to shut down. WE check the linkage it works fine. Byron gets towed back to the pits with a rigged tow rope because he has no tow hook. In the pits we try to push start and even the secret sauce won’t work. The car sounds funky and there is no spark. Sometimes there is an uncoordinated spark and a partial fire. It really sounds electrical or timing related. He could have even blown off his TDC sensor 4 wheel driving off the track. We have minimal tools, no test equipment, and it is getting dark. It is tow truck time... The adventure continues. Byron will have to take over the thread from here.
     
  15. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian


    I am soooooooooooooooooo not returning to Chateau 6. I'm shacking up with you guys at the day spa there.

    ****ers even had coffee makers in their rooms!
     
  16. acw

    acw Karting

    Nov 3, 2003
    122
    Where is the best western? I stayed at the 4 point sheraton in Bakersfield but that's about 30mn from the track.

    Nice to meet you guys.

    ACW

     
  17. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian

    It was definitely a pleasure watching you drive your Radical. Very, very cool. Bakersfield was large enough to have a 4 star hotel? The only restuarant we found nearby was an Outback Steakhouse with a 90 minute wait.
     
  18. gezuvor

    gezuvor Rookie

    Jan 19, 2004
    8
    Ladera Ranch, CA
    Full Name:
    Richard Barker
    Chateau 6? What a dive. I'm not booking anything there EVER again.... :(
     
  19. Verruckt

    Verruckt Rookie

    Jan 19, 2004
    4
    SoCal
    Full Name:
    Stephen Miller

    So did you have a blast getting black flagged? Hehehe ;)

    http://www.verruckt.com/car_gallery/buttonwillow_jan_2004/images/medium/039.jpg
     
  20. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    hi guys. nice seeing you all at the track. sorry about scaring you jet-x. and thanks to rich for allowing me to instruct! also, a special bow of thanks to arnaud for the ride in the sr3. thank you sir, that was an experience of a lifetime. byron, hope you get your car sorted out -- i think you should consider everyone's advice.
    regards,
    hubert
     
  21. Bmyth-FDC

    Bmyth-FDC F1 Rookie

    Oct 4, 2002
    2,742
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Byron
    Hey guys,
    Great pictures... great event, Rich! Thanks for being so patient with the high Italian technology...haha... never a dull moment!!
    Arnaud - I'm still shaken up by the ride in the Radical SR3...what an amazingly addicting rush!!

    Ok, Carl summed up the track experience pretty well, except for a few details... man, reading your excerpt made me feel like more of a gopher than a track junkie, carl! I DID spend some good sessions out there on the asphalt, you know!!! LOL :)

    Well, there IS a rest of the story, but sadly, I am going to keep everyone in suspense for just a day longer as I get things sorted out. I will start another thread with my story.

    I guarantee it will get your attention

    Hubert - yes, I will consider everyone's advice. I definitely will. If not Arnaud's Motorsport, I have my sights set on the Noble or the 355. The radical is...well, too radical for me right now. I need to grow into just one more car before graduating into the radical.

    It was great to see Brian's crew come out in full force. Quinn in her fully decked out Z3, Sam in his S2k, and Stuart in his brand new Lexus IS300... brave man! Brian - good driving out there. You really didn't need any coaching at all...smooth lines... just need to warm up to the track again, yah?

    Stay tuned...
     
  22. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    Okay, this thread is becoming the new blast!

    Black Flag? Yes, I actually liked it. In fact, I think I was black flag'd two or three times. The first time for waving people by in a no passing zone. The second time for one of my snaps coming loose on my tonneau cover. The last time, well, I wasn't black flagged, but only because it was obvious I needed to pit - I spun off the track with Hubert in my car. And on my first lap out, doing two stupid but painfully obvious things - taking a turn faster (I was slicing that turn up like butter both days) than I should have and on my first lap (cold tires). Rather than show Hubert what I could do, I showed him, well, what an idiot I was.

    Hubert, you didn't scare me. I scared myself. I had a come-to-Jesus session with myself, and now today, I don't think there will be a repeat of my freakin' out. SOMEONE ON F-CHAT SPONSER HUBERT! HE'S INCREDIBLE DRIVER AND INSTRUCTOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll chip in, it just ain't enough for him.

    Byron thanks for the compliments. Between you and Hubert, you guys both made me more confident and help me turn faster times. My hats off to both of you. And chugging some Sierra Nevada's the night before was fun as was our dinner. Glad I got to hang with you!

    The Shiny Crew (Stu, Stephen, Quinn, Sam) all had a blast and Stu and Quinn (she's not Shiny, but knows enough of us) are definitely back for another round. Sam will guard our cars with the shotgun. I thought Sam was the only, well, you know, redneck :) I would love to show the edited video, but it is a lot of inside jokes for the Shiny crew.

    Fatbillybob not only was a kickass driver, but a blast just to hang with. He and I went cruising the west side of Bakersfield in search of a less than 90 minute wait for dinner. Turns out Outback was the only restuarant to serve all of Bakersfield.

    I also want to again extend a huge thanks to Richard at www.racerfactory.com who not only put on a really kick ass event (with people who can actually drive, but with very good instructors). Richard kicks ass, and I would love to continue to come to events. As shocking as this might sound, I think I may have had more fun hanging with everyone than driving! Proof positive of great company and a great event.

    Everyone else I met there, if I forgot your name, I apologize, but had a blast hanging with you too.
     
  23. acw

    acw Karting

    Nov 3, 2003
    122
    Hubert, Byron,

    I'm glad you liked the ride. It was a lot of fun to share the adrenaline...

    I don't think you'll find a Noble which is street legal. I think it would be a great school to get an intertia car with a lot of grip but not a lot of torque (ex: Spec miata, S-2000, ...). As long as you get a roll cage, these cars are cheap and very safe.

    I have sold the Lotus today. While I'm happy to have closed a deal, I feel kind of bad to see it go. It was such a great car!

    Arnaud
     
  24. gezuvor

    gezuvor Rookie

    Jan 19, 2004
    8
    Ladera Ranch, CA
    Full Name:
    Richard Barker
    Brian,

    Thanks for the compliments and I'm relieved to hear that you and the rest of the group had a good weekend. I always worry about first-timers not liking the format, but am reassured to hear that you had fun!

    We're heading to the desert in March and I hope to see FDC there to share the fun with us!

    ~Rich | RacerFactory.com
     
  25. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    Really? What's not to like about it (format)? I got more track time (or at least opportunities) than I did with the Ferrari Club event (which was also only 1 day and cost more).

    You ran a great event, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. If anything, it showed just how inadequate my car is for the track thanks to all the track time.
     
  26. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    6,928
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Jordan
    Rich, any dates for the next event? Id love to come if I am free! Brian thinks his car is inadequate for the track, wait until I take mine out there :)
     
  27. Bmyth-FDC

    Bmyth-FDC F1 Rookie

    Oct 4, 2002
    2,742
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Byron

Share This Page