Started off the LAPS, Inc. season in style this year with several track sessions with my old friend Ron, otherwise known as "Buey". For years we always would seem to find each other on the track during a session and have some fun... it is now to the point we just meet in the pits and go out together on the track. We are driving the full circuit Autobahn CC course, he'll be using the horsepower of his Corvette to his advantage, I'll be using the outstanding brakes in my Porsche... so much fun.
I got a chance to go back and drive Roebling Road race course in Savannah, Georgia. This was the very first race course I drove, where I took my driving school with Z06's. This time I was driving my GT3, what a fun track. Not really the way I remembered it, but I know a bit more about driving then I did back then. Every corner there is late apex, you just have to get into a "southern' rhythm" and be patient on corner entry. The track has a nice flow turn 2 through 7, some really fast sweepers in there. And then there is that 160 mph straight to collect yourself, get some passing done, and row through some gears.
A track session at Homestead - Miami Speedway, my first time driving on this track.
Camera is a Sony HDR-CX12 with a Sony 0.7x wide angle lens. The camera is mounted on an I/O Port racing supplies camera mount attached to the roll cage between the two front seats. I was using an 8gb chip and one battery charge per day. This is by far the best video camera setup I have used in a car yet.
Well the day started off with a light dusting of snow, and since I worked today I didn't head out to the track. I did hear there was one brave soul out driving today, I hope to get out there this weekend. I am really anxious to drive the track, it's been a long winter. By the way, the Autobahn CC has updated their web site for 2008. http://www.drivefastbesafe.com/
The first time I ever drove on a race track my instructor was Shane Lewis, Daytona Prototype pro-driver. I first met Shane April 20, 2005 in Savannah, Georgia at a High Performance Driving School named Sports Car Driving Experience. The entire experience of high performance driving on a road course changed my life, I have since driven on race tracks hundreds of times and become a very confident track driver, in fact I do some instruction myself.
I had the opportunity to get some private instruction with Shane again two years later, it was fun to get to drive again with my first instructor. After my first session with him not saying much, the first thing he said to me was "Wow, I can't say to much, you were always looking where you should be, your hand position on the wheel was good, your line was good, your braking was good." I said there is always more to learn, I am sure you can give me some hints. We had a great time during the day, he pushed me hard around the track (I need that) and we had this little moment which I caught on video... enjoy!
This is a video of a test drive on the full circuit at the Autobahn Country Club with Mike Davero in the right seat. This is just after I got my L.G. Motorsports C5 Z06 back from their shop in Texas. Mike is a good friend who also owned a C5 Z06 at the time, we have driven together many times. The car as stock was impressive, with all these modifications it's absolutely hard core!
Saturday was a washout for me, Sunday appeared a little bit better weather wise, so I ventured out to the Autobahn Country Club's opening weekend. The Audi club was there running on the South circuit, it looked like there were a lot of people having fun. My only goal was to bed the brakes, scuff the tires a bit and get used to the new setup on my Z06.
My first session was uneventful, I bedded the brakes and cooled it down and brought it in. I snapped a few pictures and had some lunch with some of the guys.
Lotus Cup Car
"Autobahn Racer's" C5 FRC race car
"Short-Throw's" C6 Z06
Rudy's C5 Z06
Here's some track video from the North circuit in a session with two of the vettes pictured above. This is some pretty conservative driving by all, it was the opening weekend, my car had a bunch of new modifications so I wanted to take some time and enjoy re-learning my car on the track. jimbacus.mylaps.com
Anthony left the final dynosheet on my dash, it was better than the numbers he had told me over the phone. 484.3HP and 435.3TQ at the rear wheel on a naturally aspirated LS6, just excellent! (You can calculate about a 16% drivetrain loss on those numbers)
This is the way to end the week, with the L.G. Motorsports rig in front of your house bright and early. It looked as it was about to rain any minute, so Mike unloaded my Z06 off the trailer, and I drove it into the garage and let it idle. It sounds amazing...
A local boy checks out the remains from a Chicago Crew burnout
Catch of the day, the guts of someone's back tires
The second annual Airport Cruise In is an event where the Chicago Crew Corvette enthusiasts caravan out to the New Lennox airport and basically use the airstrips for Autocross, Drag Racing and burnout contests with a nice BBQ thrown in so no one goes hungry. This was my first time to the event, and I can't believe the crazy time we had.
The morning consisted of runs on the autocross track, which is basically a course setup with safety cones. I think everyone was getting a laugh out of either trying it out for themselves or just watching others try. The certainly were a variety of techniques, from cautious to letting it hang out large. Simon Stern, spinning your Z16 1.5 times through the finish line, killing the engine and coasting back into the owners pickup truck was the best I saw! No damage done.
After the autocross session we went back to the hangar and I grabbed a quick bite to eat with Jimmy P. He didn't autocross but was real excited to go drag racing. I had never done any drag racing with a full tree light system, and doing it on a airstrip was even cooler in my mind. So we went out first and started taking runs for fun. I could quickly see Jimmy was right at home on the drag strip as he schooled me on each run, but I was still giggling like a 16 year old boy with a new drivers license. Soon others belted down their BBQ and started joining us, we were just calling out each other and lining up, it was a blast. When everyone was out they setup the single elimination drag racing contest and we started for real. I made it through two cars before I was eliminated, better than I thought I would do. Most of these guys are much better on the drag strip than they are on the autocross course, and their cars are setup for drag racing. I thought the best part was just the informal call out drag racing we did before, but it was all good.
A brief shower cooled down the temperatures after the drag racing
We got a bit of rain as we finished drag racing, most of these cars never see rain but that didn't seem to bother many. It was so hot out all day (well over 105) that the rain felt good. We let things dry out a bit and went into a burnout session/contest. Tommy trailered in a vette just to do this, guys in the Chicago Crew do things as big and large as they can, I am always amazed. Starting things off was Randy, who spun the tires off of his wifes vette.
The Autobahn Country Club temporary members club house
This was my second weekend at the Autobahn Country Club race track, and I was feeling better prepared this time. This would be an High Performance Drivers Education (HPDE) session for both days this weekend, held by NASA. This means I had an instructor in the car with me, and I am sure I will pick up a few more tips.
My Z06 sporting a new set of Nitto R2's ready for the track
We were going to run the South track on Saturday, and the North track on Sunday. My instructor also drove a C5 vette, and was the guy that seemed to be responsible for running the show there on both days. He was busy beyond belief, but when he got in the car 100% of his attention was on me. The first session was just a shake down cruise that was cut short due to another car putting 4 wheels off and getting stuck. I could really tell the difference with the new tires, I was pushing harder than I ever could the last time I was here, and I wasn't close to the limits. Impressive, this was money well spent.
The pits were busy during the day
In the second session my instructor showed me a great line in turn one, to really set up two and three. And he also showed me that I could full pedal it through the kink in the back straight. I was starting to find the limits of my new tires in this session as well, I can't believe how good they are once they warm up.
The third session was very comfortable, I was getting used to the new tires and the South track. We were passing everyone in the session. I could tell my instuctor was liking what I was doing, heck he was encouraging me. I was really pushing the short straight into four and I felt the car drift a bit, my instructor was yelling "GAS GAS GAS", but my years of bad street driving instincts made my foot let off and we went for a 360 spin down the straight after turn four. And then went four wheels off and two more 360 spins in the grass, they aren't kidding when they say it feels like it accelerates when you get in the grass. I didn't panic, kept the car running and moving, regained control and watched the corner workers and made sure I re-entered the track safely. We have had incredible heat and drought in Chicago and the grass was very dry making for dusty conditions, I looked over at my instructor and he smiled at me as he patted his chest to knock all the dust off himself. My windows were down on both sides, and every inch of my car was covered with thick dust, including the interior, driver and passenger. Four wheels off means back to the pits for a mandatory inspection, so that's what we did. I was a little upset for not giving it gas, I knew I should have done it but didn't. My instructor said I handled myself well after the spin and not to worry about it. That was my first "four off", I guess I found the limits of my tires.
I had one more uneventful session on Saturday, and I was signed off to NASA level two. This would allow me to drive solo on Sunday on the North track. A bunch of us hung around for a BBQ, and then got a good nights sleep.
A double row of Chicago Crew vettes cruise to Bloomington Gold
Another busy but good week at work, and I am home this weekend. That will be nice, but there is still so much to do in June. Saturday morning the Chicago Crew is meeting and going to cruise in together to Bloomington Gold. The pace was regulated, the LEO is always out in force on this weekend. We got a special reserved parking spot for the forum members that worked out real well, so we all got to enter through a special entrance, and park as a group together. What a way to make an entrance, there are some special cars in this group for sure.
The new C6 Z06 in orange
I wanted to go see the new C6 Z06, one was supposed to be here. And I wasn't disappointed, they had an orange one on display. It looked like it had been driven, it wasn't that clean but it sure was impressive. This is the second time I have seen one in person, it sure is growing on me.
I like the flaired fenders on the new Z06
Sneidley and I walked around and hunted deals, but not before we stopped at the food court and had lunch before the crowds all decided to do the same. Last year I found a custom mount for my G-Tech Pro that replaced the ashtray, and we both ended up going to a high performance driving school (www.corvetteschool.net) that we met the owners of last year. The spread is huge here, you can literally spend all day walking around seeing and buying Corvette stuff. This year I was looking for a good deal on a set of long tube headers. Sneidley is a good guy to go shopping with, we narrowed my deal down to a set of SuperMAXX headers, and a call to my vette tech. Rick, (www.rickanthonymotorsports.net) to make sure it was compatible and that would install it, and struck a deal. Sneidley was easily finding all the stuff he wanted, and I could see him wondering if he should buy some headers too. It was really hot out today, well over 100 so we decided we would head out before the mass exit of cars and crank up that air conditioning and enjoy the drive home.
Here is a photo gallery of some of the shots I took today at Bloomington Gold.
I was able to get home and relax for a bit before Rae and I got in the vette and headed down to Big Fish's annual Bloomington Gold BBQ. This was the first time we went, but I heard it was not to be missed. We followed his excellent online map from the forum, found it easily, and were guided into the parking spot, the neighbor yard across the street! Apparently he was car crazy as us, as you can see by the size of his garage in the background of the picture below.
My Z06 parked at the Big Fish BBQ
This was one of the best BBQ's of the summer for sure. The food was excellent, as well as the company. Big Fish's son was over, and asked his Dad which vette he should go in for a fast ride. I was his first choice... heh heh heh, it was a compliment with all the vehicles in attendance, but he knows I drive mine like it should. It turns out he was a motorcycle racer, so it was pretty cool little cruise, he knew of the local roads where we could wind up the car a bit.
Chicago Crew vettes at the Big Fish BBQ
I got back to the BBQ, found Rae and we had some dessert and socialized with the crew some more. We finished the day by taking a nice route home, it was just a beautiful clear summer evening.
Here is a small photo gallery of shots at the BBQ. I shot more, but many didn't turn out because it was dark out. I need to work on getting better at night shots.
Great Lakes High Speed Series 2005 - Autobahn Country Club
Back again after a fantastic day on Saturday. Today we get to drive on the South track at www.autobahncountryclub.com I am much more relaxed today, and after the drivers meeting I went out on the track with Jimmy and Johnny and started to learn the line. The south track is longer at just over two miles, and with several nice straights the speeds are faster.
Johnny checking out the Red Bull machines at the track, you know I like this!
We took a break and let the vettes cool down, I had a Red Bull and we discussed the lines we were trying and driving. Johnny wasn't with us on Saturday, so he's even more amp'ed up than we are. Our group is announced and we go out for another 20 minute session. This is even better, the track is flowing and my Z06 is feeling at home, this car is so comfortable on the track at speed. I got to running with a Grand Sport in this session, he was running race tires and I wasn't. Eventually he ran me down in the curves so I waved him by but stuck with him and watch his line. When we hit the straights I could make everything back up and also easily out brake him. A few laps of that and I think he overheated his brakes (they were smoking like crazy at the end of the long straights, there's nothing like that smell), he waved me by and I easily walked away. Maybe I was just learning the track a little better. We got the checkered flag and took a cool down lap, and drove back into the pits.
I was inspecting my car after the session, and noticed both of my front tires were corded on the inside tread. I still needed to drive home, so that was the end of my day. Rene did offer me a set scuff Hoosiers to finish the day off, but I forgot my safety key for the lugs so I really was finished. I really did appreciate the offer, very friendly people in the Corvette community at the track. Jimmy ran the time trials and I helped work the corners and shot pictures.
Jimmy braking his Z06 hard into the corner
Working the corners gave me a chance to watch everyones lines and take a bunch of pictures. Here is a link to picture gallery of the shots I took today. I did make it home on my worn out tires, and I am ready to get a new set of Nitto R2's, they sure seem to be working for Jimmy.
Great Lakes High Speed Series 2005 - Autobahn Country Club
Here it is three weeks after my first driving school and I am on the track again. But this time it's in my own Z06 and on a track closer to home. In fact it is a brand new track built out by the NASCAR track in Joliet, actually two tracks that can be combined into one track. www.autobahncountryclub.com
I've done what preparation I could in that time. I've purchased a helmet with the correct rating. I asked Rick at www.RickAnthonyMotorSports.net to do a thorough once over on my Z06, and do one of his famous $50 oil changes (plus he overfilled it a quart in preparation for the track). He also completely bled my brake system and replaced the fluid with some high performance, high temperature fluid.
I went out with a few www.CorvetteForum.com Chicago Crew friends and we joined the Great Lakes High Speed Series. My car passed tech inspection easily but my car was modified so I could not run in the stock class. I wasn't worried about lap times, I just wanted to get some track time in.
When we got there, we were surprised to see a new C6 Z06 mule pull into the parking lot at the track. It was driven down from Michigan for the day, but it was not going on the track. What a sharp looking car, and what a lucky chance to see this car in the flesh far before it being released.
"MTI 427" Jimmy was there with his Electron Blue '02 Z06, his car looks very similar to mine, although he has a Kooks header system and some different cat backs, and some Nitto RII's for tires. His car is also much louder than mine! We figured we would continue with that being similar scheme, so he was number 17 for the weekend, while I took number 71. We went out together for the first test and tune session, he wanted to follow me to learn the line. I told I have never been here before, but he was convinced I would find it faster because I just got back from driving school. I figured it's good to have a friend on your six, so out we went on the North track for the first time. You could tell the track was new, the surface of the track was so smooth. We took a warm up lap and then started picking it up lap by lap. Next thing we knew the 20 minute session was over and took a cool down lap and back into the pits. It was all smiles for sure, this track is a blast!
We enjoyed another 20 minute test and tune, where I worked on going faster and smoother. I find turn 1 sort of awkward on this track as it is just a little bend before a very tight over 90 degree turn 2 after the fastest straight on the track. I watch good guys take 1 without apparent braking and late break hard into 2, I just cant find the right line or cajones for that move. The rest of the track is a spirited drive in third, with a shift to forth on the straight which I was regularly seeing well over 110 mph.
Next it was into the timed sessions. We left the pit backwards, took a U turn onto the track and took a flying start through the start / finish line. One hot lap and then take another U turn on the track and exit, it sounds weird but it worked with the layout of this track.
We got three timed runs in, Jimmy and I compared times and managed to out do each others time on each consecutive run. I found it fun to be out on the track by myself, trying to go as fast as I can and make as little mistakes as possible. They had a score board up after each session so you could see how you were doing as well as others. I thought we did OK for our first outing at the Autobahn Country Club.
The Michigan club that was sponsoring this event had a BBQ and Sam "the Kid" and I hung around for some burgers and chili, all the food was good. Jimmy had to run to take car of some business obligations. Someone said the track was going to be open for one more 20 minute test and tune session, and Sam and I looked at each other, smiled and said lets go! This was a very enjoyable session for me, I was comfortable with the track by now, it wasn't crowded, and I was letting the car hang out a bit. The Z06 feels in its element on the track, the car is meant to be driven like this. The session ended and we took a cool down lap and exited to the pits.
Jimmy called on the way home and said I-55 was a parking lot and we would do good to avoid it. I mentioned this to Sam, and he followed me out of there on backroads after we stopped for some gas. I went through most of a full tank of gas on the track in a few hours. I need to get home and relax a bit, and then give the car a good once over, as we have another day at the track tomorrow!
But for now, here are some more pictures that I took today.
My friend Steve "Sneidley" whom flies R/C sailplanes with me also has an interest in Corvettes. Last year we both decided that it would be fun to take a high performance driving school to learn how to drive our Corvettes better, and to learn the limits safely on a road race course. It was something we both have been wanting to do for some time. So we scheduled last weekend in Savannah, Georgia, the 18th and 19th and took our class at Sports Car Driving Experience located at Roebling Road Race Track.
I'll start off by saying I should have done this right after I bought my first vette, these cars have so much untapped performance that never gets appreciated on the street it is amazing. And I rapidly learned how much I didn't know how to drive, and I have some very bad habits to untrain myself of in the future.
Each day started with breakfast made to order in the classroom, and then a classroom session mainly instructed by Peter Argetsinger. I really enjoyed the physics lessons in high performance driving, weight transfer, driving the correct line, into corners slow and out fast, and how much that affects the top speed on the straights. But it never got overwhelming, it was always down to earth with plenty of question and answer time.
The next thing I know I am getting help getting into and getting strapped tight into a race prepared Z06. This is a race prepped version of the car I drive now, strip out all the interior, full roll cage, race seats and 6 point harness, race tires, fire extinguisher system, race prepped 460hp engine, and really LOUD and MEAN sounding. My instructor straps in next to me, and our helmets have an intercom system so we can communicate over the lope of the small block nervously idling. The first lesson is an autocross course setup on the main straight. The race Z06 is amazing, anywhere I point it, it just sticks and goes. I am sure I was slow and wide, but I completed the course without knocking down a cone. It is really informative and comforting to have an instructor in the car in communication with you the entire time, this makes the learning process happen so quickly. And the instructors at this school are top notch, every one of these guys went out of their way to make sure you understand the lesson, in a very positive and fun way. It felt like we were all family in a very short period of time.
The days were split with an awesome BBQ lunch each day (lots of food southern style, you wont go hungry here!) And then after lunch another short classroom session, and back in the cars to apply the classroom lesson on the track. On Saturday this was going to be a lead - follow exercise where each driver will get a chance to follow John Sturm in his Porsche 996 for a lap to learn the line, and then slide to the back of the line of vettes on the track. I wasn't in the first group, and as I was gawking at John's Porsche in the pits and he asked me if I wanted to come out and drive with him. I instantly said yes and strapped in. Now this is the first time I am seeing the entire Roebling Road race course from inside a car, and John is telling me the story of how he bought this car out of state over the Internet with a robotic web cam after I told him about my business in virtual microscopy. Mind you he is negotiating this course as smooth as silk as he talks to me, and I quickly realized the deal about heal toe shifting. Eventually I get my turn in the lead-follow exercise and that ended the first day. We went back to the hotel for a swim and Jacuzzi and then out to a very nice restaurant in downtown Savannah.
The next morning it was the same routine, a nice breakfast made to order, some interesting classroom time, and then out to the track. We are divided into three groups so there are not a lot of cars on the track at once, and so I happen to be in the third group so I initially find a little time on my hands. As I wandered through the pits taking pictures I notice that Henry Gilbert is setting up his race prepared Z06 and looks like he is going to drive it. Henry Gilbert of Gilbert Racing is a very cool guy, fun to talk to with lots of knowledge and stories. Henry was talking about doing stunt driving for the new Miami Vice movie, and working on past movies such as Transporter 2, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and being a driving instructor for the Fast and Furious movie. I asked him if he was going to take the Z out, and he said he was setting it up for a race next weekend. I said "Cool!", and he said, "Wanna ride along?".
I don't think I even replied, it was just a big smile as I went and grabbed a helmet. We get helped climbing through the cage and into the race seats, and I get strapped in TIGHT, the guy just pulled the harness in about as hard as he could. OK, now I understand what strap in tight means, I am not going anywhere in this seat. Henry gives me this smile before starting the engine, I know this smile. I have had pilots give me this smile before riding in their planes for the first time, with skiers about ready to show you their favorite local run on a mountain that you have never skied before, the smile guys show you when you are about ready to do your first F3J tow launch in soaring... it's a rite of passage, I am going to change your world kinda smile.
I notice Henry doesn't have an Instructors helmet on, he has a full face with a HANS device and a A/C tube, and we don't have an Intercom. The Z comes to life and sounds mean, nasty, ah, the smell of racing gas... this is going to be good.
Henry takes a warm up lap that was just a little faster than the lead and follow exercise we were doing yesterday, and then the second lap he just hits it. I have never been full out on race track before, and let me tell you Henry is getting it on. OK, I never knew this car had so much in it, the G's are incredible in braking and cornering. Henry is taking the race slicks to the limit and on one corner all the tires break loose and he does a full drift, never backs out of it, right to the limit, this is just unbelievable to me. I looked at him and this huge smile (SEG), and he briefly looked at me and I think he was smiling too. A few more hot laps, then a cool down lap and back into the pits so Henry could have a few more adjustments made. That was it, I was hooked, I want to learn how to drive like that.
I eventually got my first time on the course, and although I didn't push it very hard, it was considerably faster than what you would drive on the street. It's nice having an instructor sitting next to you on a intercom system so you get live feedback on what you are doing, and guidance for the correct line, etc. Just like in flying sailplanes, being smooth is important. And there are subtle correct ways of doing things, as compared to forcing them or doing them incorrectly. Not only do you have an instructor by your side, but they also shoot in car video so you can check out how you did.
Here is a video of me taking a few laps around Roebling Road.
Gradually you get used to the track and are able to push it harder and harder, but everything is at your own pace at this school. I really didn't want to go off course, and I didn't know how far to push it, but I did take it to the tires squealing around most of the corners and braking to the threshold of the ABS system off the straights.
At the end of the second day we did the autocross course again, but this time they brought in a fire truck and they hosed down the course to make it nice and wet. Everyone completed the course in less time then they did they day before, in worse conditions. That goes to show how much we accomplished in that short period of time. The first woman that ever attended this school drove the fastest time through the autocross course, although she had a bit of experience doing this as she was the current SCCA national champion in autocross. I was quite pleased with my close second place, I don't think this will be the last time I drive on a race course.
If you drive a Corvette and have never been to a high performance driving school, I highly recommend you check this school out and find out what your vette will really do on the track. If you have ever wanted to know what it was like to drive on a race course, or just understand how to drive better, I highly recommend a high performance driving school. I should have done this years ago. Check out Sports Car Driving Experience located at Roebling Road Race Track in Savannah, GA., John Sturm, Henry Gilbert and their crew will take care of you in top notch fashion.
(Special thanks to my friend Sneidley for taking most of the above pictures)
The first event of the season with the "Chicago Crew". It was a long winter, and I think a lot of people were ready to get out and blow the carbon out of their vettes. We met up at one of our meeting points for the cruise to Hooters. Pretty good turnout, there is a lot of horsepower sitting in this parking lot!
Speaking about blowing out the carbon, in fact I caught Sam's supercharged Z06 belching flames during the cruise on my miniDV dash cam!
Yes, I made another "Hooters Run" video, email me if you would like the link to see it. I also put some of my best still shots into an online photo gallery, enjoy.
This was one heck of a week for new products. Chevrolet officially announced the C6 Z06, yes we have seen the pictures floating around the net, but the embargo is over now and the pictures turned out to be real. Here is a gallery of the new Z06 pictures. Could this be my next car? I guess it depends on the price which has not been announced yet. I like my '02 Z06 quite a bit, I hope Chevy can hold on to a similar price performance ratio.
Apple was at it as well, announcing a variety of new hardware and software products. Some of their products were also prereleased on the net, and the rumors of a headless Mac turned out to be true. The new products that caught my eye were iLife '05 because I use that software often, the new flash based iPod shuffle, and the new Mac mini.
I have a first generation 20gb iPod, that I use all the time. I have a mount for it in my Z06, but I could see buying an iPod shuffle, loading it up and leaving it in the car. I will buy iLife, I use that software all the time and I want the upgrade. The Mac mini is cute, I want a reason to buy one (and may find one) but I already have a pretty good G4 based iMac. My next Mac should be dual G5 based, ready for all the 64 bit goodness of Tiger, the new Mac OS.
As many of you know, I use a Mac side by side with my Windows computer, developing software applications. Any of my friends looking to try out a Mac, the mini looks to be a great deal. This looks like it's going to be a great way to try that out for yourself, it's better than you think.
A beautiful fall day, perfect day to take the vette out in the crisp air. And that is just what I had planned to do today, the Chicago Crew was going to meet at Dave & Busters and cruise to Hooters for some lunch. Everytime I see these guys cars I am amazed, these are some of the nicest Corvettes you might ever see, and they are not garage queens, these guys drive them hard. Modern American muscle cars. A nice group of guys, and Sniedley was there too, we share both the vette/soaring interests.
Here are a few pictures I shot during the day.
Hooter girls posing on my Z06.
A very fast convertible, slammed, heads and cams and more...
A 383 twin turbo Z06 with custom targa top, tiger shark front end and interior, not slow...
Chicago Crew Corvettes
Chicago Crew Corvettes
As usual, you can click on any of the pictures above to enlarge them. I have also been learning more about digital video editing on both my iMac and Windows, and getting a bit more creative with my Sony miniDV camera. Check out My Corvette web page and scroll down to the Video links to see some of my car videos.
Like many of the suburbs around Chicagoland, during the summer months Friday night is cruise night, and today it was Corvette night in the town where I live. The weather was beautiful, perfect evening to take the Z06 for a spin and meet some of the people from CorvetteForum.com.
We cruised the main strip, then double backed and cruised down the Corvette strip where I was waved into a reserved Corvette parking place, a great spot. I popped the hood, we sat down and talked to people for a bit. Then we walked around town checking out all the nice rides, just as many cruising through as there were parked.
Stopped at the Irish pub and had some good beer, (I wish I could remember the name but I had never had it before), and dinner. Then continued on checking out cars back to our original parking spot. We decided to cruise the strip again and found all the CorvetteForum.com guys parked down by the railroad tracks so we parked down there and checked out an entire new set of rides.
Here are a few pictures from this evening...
My Z06 on the main Corvette strip
An import model revving his engine behind my Z
Rides parked along the main Corvette strip
I spotted my neighbors car parked on main street
Jason's highly modified 1998 Coupe
Tommy and Jason's rides
CorvetteForum.com parking down by the railroad tracks
I had to remove the center console to do this mod.
I removed the ashtray and installed a custom mount for a G-Tech Pro performance meter and a serial I/O port so I could hook up my laptop to it. I really like logging devices like these, I've already improved my 0-60ft and 0-60mph times by looking at the graphs after the runs, slightly changing my technique, and inspecting the graphs again.
I have to say the install looks good, and the backlit blue LCD display on the G-Tech Pro goes well with all the other blue lighting going on inside my blue Z06.
That's me between my Electron Blue Z06 and Sneidley's Black on Black M6 Coupe parked at Bloomington Gold - GoldField
Sneidley and I met for a breakfast last Saturday morning and then we drove our Vettes to Bloomington Gold and parked on the GoldField. Basically Corvette drivers could drive onto the golf course and display their car on the grass of the golf course. I have never seen so many Vettes in my life, so many nice people and cars on a gorgeous day, it was overwhelming.
Several weekends ago I participated in a CorvetteForum.com Hooters run. Basically a group of Corvette enthusiasts meet up and drive to a Hooters restaurant to have some wings and show off their cars. We had a good time, here is a little in car video, I've been doing more video than photography lately.
I was talking to Bob Hunt, the editor of Model Aviation, confirming that I will be covering the R/C Soaring National Championships again this year. This will be my third year of doing photojournalism for them on this event, last year you might recall I was on the cover of the magazine! Bob and I got talking about his other hobby, high performance sport bikes. One of the bikes Bob owns and rides is a Suzuki Hayabusa, probably the fastest production bike ever made. I mentioned I rode for many years, but now do it with 4 wheels instead of two with my Z06. Bob also is a Vette fan and has owned several, so then I mentioned I saw this video of a Vette pulling a 'busa. I could tell by the tone of his voice he thought I was full of it, he was quick to reply "that is a 9 second bike." I know, I said it was from a roll. He said, "that bike has a top end of 184", and I mentioned that some Vettes could top that. The subject switched around, and he got another call, but Bob, this video is for you...
Here is a video of a Corvette running a Hayabusa and taking it.
I've had Corvette videos for the last couple of Fridays, how about some Ferrari action today. In the first video four Ferraris play on the streets of Italy. I don't know what the speed limit is there, but I am sure these cars are up to it. The camera car is a 355, a F50, 358 and a Testarossa all are playing, wow, would that be a sight to see live. In the second video this guy has the bling bling red ride, and takes it to the local spot to show it off. Spinning the tires is easy with this much horsepower, especially when it is a little wet out. Apparently keeping it on the road is not as easy... nor is stopping...
How about some more in car footage... a supercharged Corvette running with a Yamaha R1 motorcycle. There is a point in this video where the R1 is wide open, and the Vette is right with him. Very fast, on rough roads, hang on! Click Here
Car videos are like eating potato chips, one is never enough. Here is some Corvette street racing footage. Click Here
This video was filmed from the cockpit of a GT spec Lotus Elise Exige on the Nurburgring Nordschleife. The guy in front is in a
stock looking Euro Corvette (different tail light arrangement). About half way through the video the Lotus driver catches the Corvette driver and they drive side by side for an instant braking into a corner and exchange smiles. At this point the race track opens to a long straight and the Corvette just vanishes, he pulls the Lotus at speed in an amazing blast. The Lotus driver looks down to his computer to see if his car is OK, and then the next expression and hand gesture is just priceless... he catches a few more slower cars, but that Corvette is never to be seen again.
I planned to go soaring this morning, but 23mph winds from the north made that option not viable. So I decided to spend a little time with my Corvette, and add another "mod" that was waiting to be installed. I recently acquired a Halltech Tunnel Ram Air Bridge in carbon candy pomegranate, not an easy thing to find. Thanks to Jon at ls1speed.com and Debbie Hall at Halltech, Inc. for locating one for me.
I really wasn't in a hurry, but hour and half and a large cup of coffee and I was finished. Wasn't that difficult at all, and I like the new look.
The Z06 is a monster in stock form, one can drive it to the race track, stomp on it hard all day, and then drive it home afterwards. There is a group of people out there on the Internet that use the Z06 as a starting point, and "mod" (modify) it to higher levels of extreme.
Hint: If you are at a stop light and you hear a Z06 that sounds like THIS sitting next to you, take a closer look.
Have you noticed all the new American Muscle Cars that are either updated versions of classic legends such as the Corvette C6 and the Viper SRT-10, or all new cars like the Ford GT or Mustang, and the upcoming Shelby. Cadillac has the new XLR, and Pontiac has brought back the GTO.
And for you Ferrari guys, here is an old but good video. (Turn up the volume to listen to that nice Ferrari engine sound).
I have found some web sites that have some incredible video of driving I don't think I would ever publish online, but these young guys do. Armed with muscle cars and digital video recorders, these short clips capture some things you might not normally see.
Below is a link to an in cockpit video of a guy out in the Nevada desert doing a 0 - 186mph run in a modified C5 Corvette. (He bangs into the rev-limiter a few times, still a very fast run!)
I've added a page to my site dedicated to some of my interests. Corvette enthusiasts that are online all seem to have a page that has pictures, and descriptions of the "mods" they have made to their car. Here is the start of my page, the car is basically stock at this point, and the page is very simple, watch it grow this year as I mod my Vette. I also placed a permanent link on the left side of the page so I don't have to blog about it, any updates I make on that page will displayed with your aggregator as the RSS feed updates.