RSR Rendez-vous May 2000
An Exciting Summer:
As Mike Delaney wrote last month, we are going to have a very different program this year. It’ll be fun to learn new tracks like Sanair and Ste-Eustache, not to mention the newly renovated Mosport.
Learning different circuits makes everyone a better driver. Probably like skiing, going to different mountains seems to improve skills by some magical process I’ve never figured out.
Sanair (to the south of Montreal off highway 15) is a relatively short track compared to Tremblant. It’s very technical and the odd concrete wall adds zest.
Ste Eustache (Northwest of Montreal) is also a smaller track and like Sanair it gives car and driver a real workout. Turns come at you quickly with hardly a moment to catch your breath.
The good news is that neither track will eat our tires the way Tremblant does. Brake pads are another matter of course and I bet Mr. Delaney goes back to twenty minute sessions to give us a chance to cool things down.
I’m pretty familiar with Ste-Eustache (Circuit Deux Montagnes is the official name I think) as on Monday evenings during the summer, quite a few Rennsport Trackies gather there to test setups and generally have fun. Unlike
DE, we have to pay by the minute, twenty bucks, twenty minutes. DE is a better deal financially.
There is a real benefit to Ste Eustache though, it has real bathrooms and a restaurant. The place is jam packed with stock car fans most weekends watching huge cars race nose to tail and door to door around a 1/4 mile oval.
There will be special drivers meeting for Ste Eustache. The proper line coming off the north end of the track will take you right across the area where dragsters do burn outs. You’ll see the thick black patches of rubber. In the
wet, they are a lot like ice and we avoid ’em. One other warning, is that loud cars will be black flagged. The management has had problems with folks who built homes kinda near the track. Loud cars annoy them and to avoid irritating them more, the track uses a dB level meter. My car with the Fabiani Supercup exhaust does not pass even with the muffler cores installed. Ron Whitehead beware <grin>.
There’ll be an Autocross at PMG Blainville ground school weekend and another on the Ste Eustache DE weekend. By the way, to get to PMG Blainville follow Mike Delaney’s directions but it will help you to know that when you exit the Laurentian Autoroute (exit 25) follow the main road heading East and cross Route 117 which is the main North South road.
Because I know how to get to PMG, Mike’s instructions confused me. My fault, his way is best. I didn’t realize that you can get there more easily by NOT turning left onto 117. This will spoil my fun though. It is sooooh enjoyable
navigating a Porsche through heavy traffic, rich in minivans and suv’s trying to find the teensey little PMG sign on 117. I eventually see it after three tries. This
give me lots of opportunities to wait at interminable traffic lights to make a left turn onto some street, make a U turn and wait at the same forever-long light to get going in the opposite direction. Michael’s shortcut avoids all that. Sad huh?
I get “conefused” at Autocross. Hint, it really pays to volunteer for gatekeeper duty before your runs. After you’ve spent a half hour watching everyone else get lost, you’ll have no problem “seeing” the layout and you’ll know which way to turn. Delaney may take pity on us (me!) and trace a chalk line showing the route.
Forty Centimeters of Snow! Are you guilty too?
OK, as I write this, about a foot and a half of snow is piling up outside the house. Earlier this week we had days of teeming rain. Why this freak of nature you ask? Well, Louise and I did our part. We picked up our 911’s from Strasse after their spring inspections. Worse, the cars were polished and detailled. Some years ago I figured out that I “didn’t need no stinkin lawn sprinkler” system. Wash a Porsche and it rains within 12 hours.
What’s the penalty for taking two freshly polished Porsches out of winter hibernation? We figure maybe two inches of snow. To achieve 18 inches, we’re positive we had help. How many of you picked last weekend or the week of April 3rd to bring out your babies? Maybe we should test this theory, if we all put them away again, will the week of April 17th be 75 degrees and sunny? It’s
probably not worth the test, because I have a sneaking feeling that a bunch of lawyers and doctors contributed to our misery by rolling out their Harleys.
Rennsport is grooming a whole new crop of Instructors to keep up with our growth. Did I mention that Auto Strasse has gifted us with another 58 new members just recently? John Raymond buys them memberships and we give them a free DE weekend. Everybody wins!
Our Instructor Training program (that’s the new guys as well as the retreads like me) is made a lot easier this year. Rob Martin (he’s the one who slaps) and Marc Belanger (who doesn’t) have written a comprehensive driving and teaching manual. This is a serious piece of work. I can only speculate about how many hundreds of man-hours went into it. We’ll be using it as the cornerstone of our program starting now.
You’ll be seeing part of it at Groundschool (about the time you get this). Mike Delaney is using segments for the Theory session and, you’ll get to practice it in the afternoon on the skidpads. By the way, this year we promise to run the sessions in parallel with no waiting. Last year we were caught off guard by the very high attendance. We’ll be using the big (really big) pad this year and there’s room to safely run multiple exercises in parallel.
Chris Kirby Comes Home:
If you read the “Who’s Who” part of Auspuff (yeah sure) you’ll have noticed that Chris is on the board and responsible for driving events. Recent members may ask “Who’s Chris Kirby?”. He’s one of the founders of Rennsport and for many years, a prime “mover and shaker” at Zone One where he is among other things, Chief Instructor.
Since “the Zone” accounts for a large percentage of PCA members in North America (maybe the largest single percentage) it made sense that Chris should devote his time to it. That’s why you didn’t see such much of him in
Rennsport. The good news is that Chris is active in our Region again, and this is a “very good thing”.
This is going to be a weird time for me. I’m taking my company public; something called an IPO which stands for “Intensely Painful Operation”. The process is complicated and demands completion of major projects with ridiculous time tables. The whole accompanied by stupendous legal and accounting fees. These, designed to keep the underwriters out of jail and (I hope) the principals of the company as well.
All this to say that as of now, things are really busy and will remain this way for a couple of months. I’ll try and keep up with RSR Rendezvous, but if I have to miss the odd one, I apologize and hope you’ll bear with me.