Chrysler 300C & SRT8 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 63 Posts

·
BLOODY ADMENSTRUATOR
Joined
·
7,554 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(please click on the links for more info and photos)

A month or so back, my buddy John decides to buy a 2003 Porsche 911 Cabriolet C4.



As we clean and apply Zaino to the lovely curves and lines of the 911, I suggest to John that a day at driving school wouldn’t be a bad idea, now that he owns one of the best performing cars around. John was hesitant, as he had never been out on a road track.



So, I say, “John, it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a road course. I would like to brush up my skills and see how my 300C will do under track conditions. I’ll go with you”



A couple of days later, we are signed up into a one day course designed for drivers of performance cars, at the Jim Russell Driving School . Our track date is set for June 7th.



The drive up to Le Circuit at Mount Tremblant takes about 90 minutes from Ottawa, if you keep your foot into it. John and I meet at a Tim Horton’s at 6:30 am yesterday before we take the bridge to Quebec. Over coffee, we discuss the day with excited anticipation. The day is beautiful and temperature expected to be in the low 80’s. Track elevation is about 600 above sea level.



Cruising along Quebec Auto route 50, before the climb up into the Laurentian Hills, my excitement starts to turn into trepidation and self-doubt. Why am I taking a 4 door family sedan to an on-track event with performance cars? . . . the Continental tires will be terrible on the track . . . I’ve kept my hand in rallying, but haven’t been on a track in years . . . am I getting too old for this . . . will the reflexes be there still . . . I just turned 61 on May 20th . . .



Then it’s off the expressway and into the twisty bits. I follow John so I can observe his driving. The self-doubt melts away as I settle the C into the rhythm of the road. John is driving tentatively, over-braking, over working gears and gas. I can tell he is nervous.



As we come in to St. Jovite, we head for a gas station to top up and put our tire pressures up 10 lbs., as instructed by the school. We come into the back entrance to the paddock area and line up with the other competitors. There are 8 other cars lined up. At the front - a new C6 Vette Coupe, fitted out with headers, competition exhaust, cold air intake; 18 lb 3 pce forged wheels; performance tires – and a very experienced driver, who instructs with the BMW club. Gulp! Next to him is a new 05 Viper, ragtop in black, lettered up with CASCAR decals. Yikes! A black Fiero GT – looking track prepped. A Porsche Boxster, A new Honda S2000, a red Miata with some track prep and a yellow Miata looking mean - brought in on a trailer, John’s very fast 911 (he put the removable hardtop on).



Then there is me. Blacked out grille; smoked taillights with spider lite LED’s; tinted windows; chrome rocker panels; walnut dash; chrome valve caps; self seal tires; Nokya fogs – and let’s not forget the BA sound; nav system and tilt wheel – oh yeah, baby -let’s go racin’. Cleverly hidden from the rest of the unsuspecting competitors are my aluminum Ultimate Pedals, my Hemi Orange engine cover with trailer trash flames, and – TaDah!!! – My Volant Cold Air Induction System. He,he.



This track has never seen a 300C on it before. My Brilliant Black Baby is polished to perfection and is receiving long, sideways glances from the other drivers and a couple of the instructors. There faces belie not admiration but a range of expression from disbelief to mild distain.



I am not deterred.



After a 45 minute classroom session and some last-minute track side instruction, we follow a minivan down to the south section of Le Circuit. We lap a closed twisty loop 3 times and then are brought together.



They send us out 15 seconds apart and we are to follow the classroom technique for corner approach, braking zone, transit to the apex and exit. So far, so good. Except for one thing – I keep catching up to the cars in front and am waved down to wait and keep lots of distance. At first, I chalk it up to Hemi acceleration by me and hesitant jitters by the others. I go slowly on the straights then tackle the corners. The Continentals squeal like a stuck pig but the car goes where I want it to. Same result – I bunch up on the car ahead. The realization hits me – I am getting through the corners quickly!



Next, it’s on to a slalom run on pylons. They look tight and everyone else has a short wheelbase. No way is a 120” wheelbase going through. I’m screwed! I follow the instructor’s teachings – steady speed, stay off brakes, and don’t slide. My first two runs are painfully slow. Next run, I go for rally style – right foot on gas – left foot modulating the brake – drift out the rear – snap left to right – contis set up their banshee howl – NR gets a good time through the slalom.



Back to the pits for a break. Have a look at some of the school open wheel cars. Our final session before lunch, is fast lapping on the north loop – cars well spaced out, no passing allowed.



This is what I have been waiting for. I position my start so I am ahead of the Miatas (the Fiero is already toast – overheated), and behind the Boxster. At the end of the pit straight is a sweeping, wide right hand corner. It looks fast – but – it plunges downhill and soon goes off camber. At the bottom of the hill the radius tightens up to a 40 mph corner followed immediately by another 40 mph sharp left. If you carry too much speed into the top part then try to brake, the off-camber and braking will create massive understeer that wants to pull you off the left side of the track. Most drivers were getting caught up in that and losing gobs of speed.



I tried moderate braking at the end of the straight followed by a sharp right transition (again breaking the rules) to set the rear wheels into a mild 15 degree drift to the left. By keeping a small amount of throttle on, the snout of the big C stayed pointed towards the apex. It worked! Only the ‘vette was carrying more speed through this section.

Just as I was really getting the transitions really hook up for each corner, they flagged us in.



Lunch.



John was having a blast. He was starting to push his Porsche and was grinning ear to ear. We took his car – found a little French restaurant in the village. 4 more of the class joined us. We ate talked cars. Everyone was really enjoying themselves.



After lunch, we lined up to go back out on the track.



Then the real fun began.



. . . to be continued. NR


EDIT: Scroll to post #18. The full story is there, spread over 3 posts.





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Don't stop I am ready to hear about a big ass four door car making a porsche boxster look like a fiero or a miata, both of which are great cars for a daughter in college.Fiero for the 80's and 90's, Miata for the new millenium.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
That sounds great so far...I can't wait to read more.

I don't want to put a emphasis on a very trivial part of your posting; but, I have to share this: I actually laughed out loud when I came to the trailer trash part. :silly:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Damn NR, where did you goooooo!!!!!! I was just into this completely, forgot all about the sandwhich half eaten sitting in my hand and then, ... "please stay turned, we are experiencing technical difficulties..." Static....

I NEED MORE!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I am also eagerly awaiting your conclusion.

Racing at a track is something that everyone should try at least once in their life.
Last time I was on a track was 3 years ago in Nordschleife, and I still remember every turn like it just happened yesterday. That was 130 Euros well spent.
And while formal instruction is expensive, it is definitely well worth it.
(German instructors have no problem with putting you in your place)
Can't wait to hear the rest of the story NR.
 

·
BLOODY ADMENSTRUATOR
Joined
·
7,554 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I'll have it up for everyone . . .

oops that didn't sound right!!!

- i mean the post, before 9 am Eastern tomorrow. Had a busy day at work after playing hooky and just coming down off the adrenalin high from yesterday . . . NR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
NR....as promised, thanks for the writeup! Kind of makes me wish I was there. Anyways, it sounds like you had a blast, and thats all that really matters.
I too laughed outloud when you mentioned your 'trailor trash' flames (lil inside joke around here for those of you that dont know).

Great stuff. You had to leave us in suspense with the too be continued.....

Same bat time, same bat C, same bat forum? I cant wait for the conclusion, lol.

(just curious why you posted this in pics? The pics in your gallery are great but I think general discussion would be more appriopriate, and more people would probably read about your great experience!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Need more..NR...hurry post the ending.
:banana:
 

·
BLOODY ADMENSTRUATOR
Joined
·
7,554 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
300C Devastates Competition at the Track – Almost!

(I've reposted the entire story - just click on the links - be sure to play the video- enjoy!)

A month or so back, my buddy John decides to buy a 2003 Porsche 911 Cabriolet C4.

As we clean and apply Zaino to the lovely curves and lines of the 911, I suggest to John that a day at driving school wouldn’t be a bad idea, now that he owns one of the best performing cars around. John was hesitant, as he had never been out on a road track.

So, I say, “John, it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a road course. I would like to brush up my skills and see how my 300C will do under track conditions. I’ll go with you”

A couple of days later, we are signed up into a one day course designed for drivers of performance cars, at the Jim Russell Driving School . Our track date is set for June 7th.

The drive up to Le Circuit at Mount Tremblant takes about 90 minutes from Ottawa, if you keep your foot into it. John and I meet at a Tim Horton’s at 6:30 am yesterday before we take the bridge to Quebec. Over coffee, we discuss the day with excited anticipation. The day is beautiful and temperature expected to be in the low 80’s. Track elevation is about 600 above sea level.

Cruising along Quebec Auto route 50, before the climb up into the Laurentian Hills, my excitement starts to turn into trepidation and self-doubt. Why am I taking a 4 door family sedan to an on-track event with performance cars? . . . the Continental tires will be terrible on the track . . . I’ve kept my hand in rallying, but haven’t been on a track in years . . . am I getting too old for this . . . will the reflexes be there still . . . I just turned 61 on May 20th . . .
Then it’s off the expressway and into the twisty bits. I follow John so I can observe his driving. The self-doubt melts away as I settle the C into the rhythm of the road. John is driving tentatively, over-braking, over working gears and gas. I can tell he is nervous.

As we come in to St. Jovite, we head for a gas station to top up and put our tire pressures up 10 lbs., as instructed by the school. We come into the back entrance to the paddock area and line up with the other competitors. There are 8 other cars lined up. At the front - a new C6 Vette Coupe, fitted out with headers, competition exhaust, cold air intake; 18 lb 3 pce forged wheels; performance tires – and a very experienced driver, who instructs with the BMW club. Gulp! Next to him is a new 05 Viper, ragtop in black, lettered up with CASCAR decals. Yikes! A black Fiero GT – looking track prepped. A Porsche Boxster, A new Honda S2000, a red Miata with some track prep and a yellow Miata looking mean - brought in on a trailer, John’s very fast 911 (he put the removable hardtop on).

Then there is me. Blacked out grille; smoked taillights with spider lite LED’s; tinted windows; chrome rocker panels; walnut dash; chrome valve caps; self seal tires; Nokya fogs – and let’s not forget the BA sound; nav system and tilt wheel – oh yeah, baby -let’s go racin’. Cleverly hidden from the rest of the unsuspecting competitors are my aluminum Ultimate Pedals, my Hemi Orange engine cover with trailer trash flames, and – TaDah!!! – My Volant Cold Air Induction System. He,he.


This track has never seen a 300C on it before. My Brilliant Black Baby is polished to perfection and is receiving long, sideways glances from the other drivers and a couple of the instructors. Their faces belie not admiration but a range of expression from disbelief to mild distain.

I am not deterred.

After a 45 minute classroom session and some last-minute track side instruction, we follow a minivan down to the south section of Le Circuit. We lap a closed twisty loop 3 times and then are brought together.

They send us out 15 seconds apart and we are to follow the classroom technique for corner approach, braking zone, transit to the apex and exit. So far, so good. Except for one thing – I keep catching up to the cars in front and am waved down to wait and keep lots of distance. At first, I chalk it up to Hemi acceleration by me and hesitant jitters by the others. I go slowly on the straights then tackle the corners. The Continentals squeal like a stuck pig but the car goes where I want it to. Same result – I bunch up on the car ahead. The realization hits me – I am getting through the corners quickly!

Next, it’s on to a slalom run on pylons. They look tight and everyone else has a short wheelbase. No way is a 120” wheelbase going through. I’m screwed! I follow the instructor’s teachings – steady speed, stay off brakes, and don’t slide. My first two runs are painfully slow. Next run, I go for rally style – right foot on gas – left foot modulating the brake – drift out the rear – snap left to right – contis set up their banshee howl – NR gets a good time through the slalom.


Back to the pits for a break. Have a look at some of the school open wheel cars. Our final session before lunch, is fast lapping on the north loop – cars well spaced out, no passing allowed.

This is what I have been waiting for. I position my start so I am ahead of the Miatas (the Fiero is already toast – overheated), and behind the Boxster. At the end of the pit straight is a sweeping, wide right hand corner. It looks fast – but – it plunges downhill and soon goes off camber. At the bottom of the hill the radius tightens up to a 40 mph corner followed immediately by another 40 mph sharp left. If you carry too much speed into the top part then try to brake, the off-camber and braking will create massive understeer that wants to pull you off the left side of the track. Most drivers were getting caught up in that and losing gobs of speed.

I tried moderate braking at the end of the straight followed by a sharp right transition (again breaking the rules) to set the rear wheels into a mild 15 degree drift to the left. By keeping a small amount of throttle on, the snout of the big C stayed pointed towards the apex. It worked! Only the ‘vette was carrying more speed through this section.

Just as I was really getting the transitions really hook up for each corner, they flagged us in.

Lunch.

John was having a blast. He was starting to push his Porsche and was grinning ear to ear. We took his car – found a little French restaurant in the village. 4 more of the class joined us. We ate talked cars. Everyone was really enjoying themselves.

After lunch, we lined up to go back out on the track.

Then the real fun began.

After a short classroom session, we are issued helmuts (some brought their own) and driving position in the car is reviewed. Off to the track, where we are introduced to the entire circuit All 2.65 miles of it!
This is a must see video of the full track, shot from inside a Ferrari. Go to >>> Click Here to Play Video <<<. Enjoy!

We spend 40 minutes doing some orientation lapping. This included 3 laps where an instructor drove my car and I sat as a passenger. He had just been around in the Honda S2000 and found my car a big adjustment. As he looked at the wood dash and adjusted seat controls he commented that the car had a great engine. He asked about the transmission – couldn’t believe it was an automatic. I pointed out the autostick, and said there is so much torque, you can leave it in drive if you like. He did.

After 3 laps, his parting words were, “what did you do to the suspension?”. I grinned. As we all know, it’s dead stock.

The instructors made a decision. It came as a complete surprise to all of us students. They were going to let us race!!! The rules were simple: passing only in 3 designated straight areas; pass to the right only; no blocking; 3 heats; do a cool down lap after the chequered flag; come into the pits slowly.

The full race helmet covered my silly grin as we waited to be flagged out of the pits, 5 seconds apart. We were in a random start order. I was second last – and very happy to be in this position. It meant I got to try passing!

A yellow Miata was first. Stayed with her through every corner – then passed on the second straight of the first lap.

Next was my buddy, John. Once caught up, I hung back a discreet distance from the 911’s bumper. I wanted to see how he was doing. His driving was improving steadily – he was nailing most of the apexes – but still braking too early for the corners.

After 2 laps – we were both catching up to the Viper – I tucked up under his tail about 3 feet back – then passed him coming out of the Gulch. Late brake going under the Bridge, then a hard left – power back on.

At the end of the pit straight, Jean Guy’s ‘vette is up my ass. I power drift through Diablo – full threshold brake – set up for the Esses – He’s on me and looking for the pass coming out of 6. Hemi power holds him back – but he nails me on the long back straight going up the hill. I’ve been lapped!

On to the Viper. Ah, the Viper! - Potentially the fastest car here. Owned by DCX Canada, driven by an insurance broker who underwrote most of the track events. It was his first time on a track – he was wary of the Viper’s bite – rightly so. Another early braker – I passed him coming out of 6.

Checkered flag – first of 3 heats over.

I’m sitting in 5th behind the Vette (1), Honda S2000, Boxster, and red Miata, as we start the second heat. Right off the pit exit, the Miata goes into Diablo drifting wide. Would have been an easy pass. I am right up his tail through the Esses. Pull around coming out of 6 and late brake coming into 7. Pass completed.

So far, so good. But the others well ahead of me, nowhere to be seen. It takes 2 laps of concentration, before I can close in. On the back straight, my cell phone rings – it’s on a hands free set, auto answer setup – damn, in all the excitement, I forgot to turn it off.

“Hi Pat, this is John from ******* Ford. That Mustang convertible you were looking at for your wife just came in.”

“Uh, I’m kind of busy right now, John!”

“Oh, did I catch you at a bad time?”

“Uh, yeah . . . I’m turning laps at Mont Tremblant in my C”

Confused, the salesman says, “Can I call you, tomorrow?”

Long pause while I set up for the Bridge Turn – screeching of tires, followed by the roar of the Volant – salesman, “Oh, - - - you really are on a track!”


“Yeah, bye John”, as I barrel into Namerow.

Drifting down Diablo, The Boxster and the S2000 are having a close, tight race – the Honda is in the lead. I join them coming out of the Esses and announce my presence by sticking my nose up a bit on the right coming into the hairpin at 8.

Ist Gear – full power on 20 feet past the apex and the Boxster succumbs. I’m up to 140 km as the S2000 and the C go up the hill. I stay to the right, expecting a pass. He is staying about 15 feet ahead of me. I think of out braking – but 4200 lbs against 2500 lbs – I tuck in behind.

His car is quick! His brakes are good. NR’s got a race!

I follow him for 2 more laps. He has good top speed, good handling and great brakes. His weakness is low end torque. I’ve got the bridge turn down, so I try for a pass going down the short straight into the real tight hairpin at Namerow.

Here’s the scenario: I’m on his ass along the entire back straight. I have to stay close braking from 195 km/hr down to 70 km/hr for the sharp right at 10. I pray the big ceramic pads on the C will not fade and take me into his trunk.

We hit 10 together – I don’t touch the brakes for the Gulch at 11 – full power on up the steep climb to the bridge – my car over to the right – inches from the concrete and inches from the white Honda. I throw the C to the left and count on the IRS to grab full power out of the turn. I’m beside him at 13 and ahead before Namerow – and completely out of shape for the hairpin. My ESP has been turned off but it kicks in as I slide into the corner too hot and slew out of control. Saved by the Mercedes engineers.

No time to savour my victory! Out of nowhere, the surgeon from Sherbrooke, fills my mirror as I power down the pit straight. I move to the right and the black Vette coasts by.

Next lap sees the checkered flag.

We have a long rest as the open wheel class takes to the track. Those little cars hit 150 mph! The Honda pilot and I have a good chat. The Boxster driver ignores me. The Miata twosome are having a ball and learning a lot. Then there’s my buddy John. He just can’t stop from grinning. One of the instructors asks to see the engine.

Don’t need to ask me twice! An instructor tells me that the sound of the Volant is awesome when I open the throttle down the front straight. My secret weapon.

Third and final heat. We are all running on adrenalin. I’m in second, behind the ‘vette. We helmet up, ready to rumble. I know I won’t beat Jean Guy. My strategy is to keep from being lapped. I pull out all the stops. I even turn off the A/C and plan to close the windows!

The Marshall flags the ‘vette to roll out. Suddenly, Jean Guy’s arm shoots up out of his window – the universal signal for trouble. For a brief second a thin smile appears as I greedily think of first place.

The Marshall yells. “He’s almost out of gas!” I glance at my gauge. It too, is on empty. They wave us off – then decide to wait while the 2 of us go into the village for fuel. Imagine – we have full race helmets, driving gloves on as we pull into pumps outside a little store. They must be used to this – they came running out – Jean guy took a 94 octane pump and I grabbed 91. I fumbled for cash – no time for a card – and we raced back up to the track. We rejoined the group at the head of the line – much to the mirth of the others.
(con't in next post)
 

·
BLOODY ADMENSTRUATOR
Joined
·
7,554 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Last Heat

The last heat was great. Really got to appreciate just how well balanced the C is. How great the motor and tranny work together. Brakes held up but did fade when too hot.

I’m thinking that an SRT-8 would give that ‘vette a good run for the money. But I am more determined than ever to stick with my C. Maybe even do club racing or solo 1.

My thoughts turn to more mods – How about some fuzzy dice with LED’s for dots? Psychological warfare?


Maybe Zoomer’s Exhaust? Maybe they want to sponsor my ride?


How about some Dynatech Headers? Hey, another good sponsor for NR Racing Inc.

A chip tuner – for sure – if it ever comes out.

And – most importantly – light forged 20” racing wheels and good performance tires. Sponsors are you listening? Just PM me!!!

My daydreams are interrupted by - you guessed it – a black ‘vette coupe. I move over to the left – Jean Guy gives the thumbs up. Last lap, checkered flag.

We pose for a group photo, and our course certificates are handed out.


We leave the track, elated. Everyone agreed it was the best $400.00 they ever spent.


I follow John back through the twisty bits, down to Ottawa. His driving has improved tenfold! Smooth through the corners, right approach speed, hardly any braking. A joy to watch. We stop for a great meal and are back in the City by 7:30 pm.


And me?

Well, my objective was to burn the Contis down to the wear marks.

Mission accomplished! Now, all you performance manufacturers – no need to fight for sponsorship space – just put your bids in – and we’ll draw lots to select the winners.



Seriously, I think we’ve proved that the C is more than just a pretty face. I think we’re going to see this LX platform showing up at more and more motorsports events. On a personal note, the day was very gratifying and I am glad to share it with all my fellow forum members.

The car’s the star!
 
1 - 20 of 63 Posts
Top