Monthly Archives: March 2005

Track Day

Went to the track yesterday. My co-worker Jesse is a member of the local BMW car club, and they were having a track day at Portland International Raceway (PIR). I was just going to go and see the cool cars go fast but a guy there had an extra helmet (I need a big helmet) and so I was able to ride along in Jesse’s ’87 Mazda RX7 with him. Jesse had taken his 328 to the track on many occasions, but this was the first time with the RX7, which I understand can hold its own at the track, and that he had acquired solely for use on the track.

I don’t have any pics from in the car, since I was holding on with both hands. 🙂 I think all of us have gone fast in our car on the highway, but it is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT going around a track’s curves in a car.

Jesse was still getting used to his new track car so we weren’t going that fast. However, on lap 3, the brakes faded, and that led to a sequence of events that ended with us leaving the track in a great cloud of smoke and bounding across the grass infield! The car suffered only some minor damage to the undercarriage and little bits of grass were sprinkled about the interior. Due to the dodgy brakes we took it in for evaluation anyways. Apparently such occurances are not rare but was still quite something to experience.

The consensus of the gathered crowd of auto enthusiasts was that the brake lines needed to be bled. I was unfamiliar with this procedure, but it turned out to be pretty easy. We added new brake fluid (under the hood) and then worked the brake pedal to move it thorough the brake lines until the bypass valves at the wheels no longer contained any air or squirted out old fluid.

By then it was getting past the time I needed to leave, so I took off. But I took some good pics of the assembled cars. There were a HELL of a lot of Porches, as well as BMW M3s, and a smattering of other street cars. Some notable cars were three Lotus Elises, very nice, as well as a Noble kit car and a new Porche GT3. This is Jesse’s car. Here’s a shot of some cars on the track.