Racing At The Streets Of Willow Springs

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Open Track Day April 6th 2014 and February 8th 2015

I am normally a Canyon Blaster most of the time. Southern California has some of the most amazing canyon and mountain roads in the world. Not as pretty or smooth as some other states/countries, but the 1000's of miles of curves to choose from make for an incredible Porsche playground. 

Some Of my Favorite roads are Mulholland Highway, Angeles Crest, Little Tujunga, Bouquet Canyon and Lake Huges Road. Most are within 10-20 minutes of my house. 

I also love me some racing every so often at an open track day where you run what you brung! 

Lately I have been in to rotax go-Karting because it is a huge adrenaline rush and on the cheaper side then racing your own car. But this weekend I got to take the 911 Carrera 4S to Willow Springs Raceway. Willow Springs has 2 main race tracks. A large and very fast track known as Big Willow and then there is also the Streets of Willow track. Streets of Willow is the smaller track, but it is still very challenging and has been used many times in magazines videos to test cars. 

Finally got to push the Carrera 4S to 10/10th's and wow... I learned so much about pushing the car to it's limits and how to let the car move around the track in a safe environment. I would rarely push the car this hard on a canyon road for fear of dying! Really got a feel for how the weight transfers and the all wheel drive system kicks in to pull you out of tight corners and slippery situations. Got to feel how the tires get greasy from overheating and how to compensate and trust the grip while drifting. Got to use the brakes to their full potential and realize these brakes never fade.... IT WAS AWESOME!!! Can't wait to do it again... but wow, the tires and brakes take a serious beating! For my 1st time to this track in the 911 I did really well. Out of about 10 other Porsche's I was the fastest Porsche on street tires for the day. :^) 

**2/08/2015 GoPro footage of a couple of laps Laughing 

Fun.. GoPro footage of chase cam from a 2000 lbs Honda with larger vtec engine and race tires. 

**1/10/2015 Speed Ventures Autocross Auto Club Speedway, Fontana

 **1/30/2016 First time at Buttonwillow. 1st session in purple group was super crowded and chaos with a horrible lap time of 2:25! 2nd session I got an opening towards the front and broke away. Posted a 2:05 on my 2nd time out on track. Was fastest time of the group that day. Could have done better as I was still learning the track, but session 3 and 4 got rained out :^(

 1st time at Buttonwillow, 2nd Session Purple group, full 10 laps. 2:05 hot lap. Passing lots of cars ;^)


**3/05/2016 2nd time out at Buttonwillow. 2:02 Hot Lap! This track is super fun, but not having any luck with the weather. My 1st time at this track it rained as well

1st and 2nd session in Black (advanced drivers) group was raining, but wild crazy fun. Really got to feel the all wheel drive advantages and Porsche stability management kicking in. Love this car!. 2nd session I was fastest in the rain so I got to start in 1st place 3rd session and finally get a chance at some clean laps. 3rd session the track dried out a bit and I posted a lap. I could have been a bit faster, but as you will see I slowed down to let a car fly by and then ran in to a lot of traffic. So hot laps for this session were done. Hopefully next time the weather will be sunny and a dry track. I am confident I can knock a couple seconds off and see a sub 2 minute lap !

Just for reference a 2:02 Hot Lap is very fast for Stock Street car on Street Tires.  My 2nd time on this track and I am already running top 3 fastest guys in the advanced drivers group for street cars.  I am seriously considering adding Michelin Pilot Cup 2 Tires. This will put me in the sub 2 minute lap time which is very fast territory. 

2:02 Hot Lap at Buttonwillow. Recorded with GoPro camera mounted on rear window.


*****10/08/2016 Another session out at Buttonwillow.  Weather was finally good, but very hot.  High temperatures were near 100 degrees and you could feel it affecting the power and the tires. Due to heat and traffic chaos I was not able to beat my 2:02 fast lap on this day, but still had a great time posting 2:03!. 

Cayman GT4 learning all my good lines ;^)  Made some new friends.  Was surprised to see in video 8:57 - 9:10 that on the front straight my car is as fast as the Cayman GT4 ! ;^)  There were several yellow or black flags during these sessions, so you will see us slowing down when we should be full throttle due to warning flags. 

Part 2 Cayman GT4 Chasing me down ;^)

Above...Buttonwilow front straight

Above... Buttonwillow Raceway

Above... Streets of Willow

Above... Buttonwillow Raceway

Below...Buttonwillow "On ramp" corner

Above / Below... Buttonwillow Raceway

On this particular day, February 8th 2015,  with Speed Ventures I was one of the fastest guys in the Advanced Intermediate Orange group. Which is like the fastest street car group before advanced racing groups red and green. 

Fastest lap time of the day Using GPS TrackMaster 1:28.98
Speed Ventures Transponder showed a fastest lap of 1:29.13

Orange Group 2nd Session times. GPS Trackmaster times
1st lap -- 1:29.30
2nd lap -- 1:28.98
3rd lap -- 1:29.63
4th lap -- 1:29.59
5th lap -- 1:29.76
6th lap -- 1:29.84
7th lap -- 1:30.13
8th lap -- 1:30.38

This is a mostly stock 2006 Carrera 4S with a K&N Intake and IPD Plenum.  Michelin Super Sport tires.  On this track day my front tires were already shot and down to 2/32 and hitting the wear bars. By lap 7 or 8 my front end grip was really struggling, I was under steering every where and it was causing my PSM stability control to kick in and kill my power. I will run with PSM/Traction Control off next time. So I called it an early day after 3rd session. My front tires took their last breaths of life at the track, which is a good way to go out,  and I got new front tires the very next day. So I am confident I could better my times by a 1 or 2 seconds with more confidence running new front tires.  Regardless, I had an awesome time and Porsche's have a really unique driving style that really rewards hard braking before the tight corners, settle in to the turns and wait just a bit to pull the trigger and fire out of the corners full throttle with lots of grip from the rear tires and engine weight.  So much Fun!   Can't wait to get back and race again.