I have returned from a successful trackday at Llandow, organised by the same Supra-driving friend who organised the Ring Trip. Very good of him 🙂
There was much debate in the preceeding week about the likely weather, and I was pondering whether to put on my more worn SO3 tyres or stick with the RE050A that are on the car.
On Friday I got 1/2 the car swapped to the S03s when it started raining on me… I went inside, checked the weather, and the Met Office said it would rain all day. I then decided to switch back to the RE050A tyres since they had more tread, and the last thing I would want was a change of tyres in the rain down there. Also made my life easier since I had to take less stuff in the car.
Early start on Saturday – Google maps reckoned 1:55 to drive there, but took about 1:40 and was very easy. Passed a highly modified MR2 on the M4, driver wearing earplugs, and guessed that was probably going to the track (I was right).
Arrived early so the gates weren’t opened, but didn’t have to wait long, and soon got on with the business of getting cold and meeting lots of the people we knew from the Ring trip, and plenty of new faces.
Lots of Supras, but a few others such as MR2s, a Subaru, BMW, Couple of 300ZXs, a Zeus single-seater and my Saab – the only FWD car.
Usual kind of briefing, split into 4 groups chosen roughly on likely speed (was in 2nd fastest… that’s hopeful). First few laps were done under yellows, then free session. Sadly my group’s first session was entirely under yellows as one of the MR2s had issues on about the 3rd lap and spent the whole session on the side of the back straight before being towed off backwards…
Following Steve (under yellows).
The fastest group had the quickest cars and craziest drivers in. Despite it being the initial “take it easy” session, they didn’t hold back, and it wasn’t long before there were some spins, and long black lines on the track in the big braking zones, accompanied by much smoke. Most of these drivers seemed to start off too quick and then get control during the later sessions, rather than build up to it…
Some interesting cars:
The RX-7 which left a lot of rubber in the braking zone
The track has some tricky bits, the bus-stop chicane at the end of the paddock straight was very tight, required major braking from nearly 100 down to very slow, and it was hard to figure out a good line. This was used by some of the drivers for “drifting” type driving, with the inevitable spins…
Some of the guys from the Ring trip enjoyed driving round in close convoy pushing their cars hard
Jon in his MR2 turbo was really pushing hard and passed me a couple of times. I could stay with him on the straights, but struggled to keep up in the twisty stuff.
Sadly another friend from the Ring trip had car issues on the drive to the track and stayed as a spectator while her car was taken home on a breakdown truck 🙁
No problems for the Saab, I took it for a cool-down drive after each session, the brakes kept working, albeit with a little more pedal travel, but always plenty of power to get the ABS to kick-in. It never rained other than a few drops, so the S03s would have been more than fine, but the RE050s held on ok, and didn’t seem to be too worn…
Only needed to change gear twice/lap. 2nd gear for the bus-stop chicane and the twisty bits after that. 2nd to 3rd at 65 ish before the back straight, up to nearly 100, down for the little chicane, big bend at the end, nearly 100 again down the paddock straight and back to 2nd gear where we started.
On the track the Saab behaved well during the day, sometimes difficult to get the power down, but holding its own and passing a few cars which should have been quicker…
Unsuprisingly I was still much slower than Si, who had about 15 mph more on the straights, and a well-sorted single-turbo Supra running on 888s. Very quick indeed. Pic below is of me pushing hard, but being reeled in very quickly.
As it got later in the day, all those who had been at the Ring stayed to the end, perhaps a mixture of being more keen and having better sorted cars?
The day finished with no major incidents, a few cars were a bit battered from running over kerbs etc. after spinning, but the Saab was going strong. The drive home was easy, and I still had just under 1/4 of a tank of fuel left, and an average mpg of 23 for the trip…
Car needs a wash now, and probably a pre-winter oil-change, but is in the garage resting.