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Old 11-16-2005, 08:08 PM   #1
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Hey 'kids'!

I know this thread has the possibility of migration (or degradation as it might be!), but I gotta tell ya about our experience two weeks ago...which was between the Rasor Road trip and our 6-day PIR trip we just got back from and I know a few of you wanted to know the details...

Did the Rookie Experience @ Fontana on Nov 5th...Moski bought it for my B-Day back in August, and I can't believe how quick November came. Eight laps, preceeded with a very good idea- 3 lap Ride-a-Long @ 165mph in the turns and 180mph in the straights to get you acculamated to how fast those boogers are...if you even have half an inckling to do it, it'll be the best money you'll ever spend ($399 for the Rookie Experience, $99 for the Ride-a-Long). All 6 of my friends who did it with me got the maximum 142mph top speed, and we were wishin' we could go faster (well...one of us got to do 146, and we saw the main coordinator @ Phoenix who told us the instructor who led him was reprimanded for it- max time around California isn't supposed to be under a 0:55 second lap- period).

Here's how it goes- there's lots that I wished I knew before hand just to keep the rumors at bay...you first check in and suit up. The first meeting is with all the participants in an intro mode with a video and the do's and dont's. Then they divide the group into about 8 people each, and then you take a 100mph, 3 lap trip around the track in a 3/4Ton Chevy Van (which you think is going to tip over at any moment with as top heavy as they are with 8 people in them) with the instructor that shows you the 'lines' (which are painted as 3 lane markers on each set of turns). If you still got "stomach", then you get a brief intro for the car features, additional instruction on how and when to shift coming out of pit road, instruction on the what all the flags & pace car signals are, then the wait for your ride. As I said, we all opted for the ride-a-long, which they highly suggested (I think mor ethan the $99 they got), which really was a good idea and gave you a mind-tingling experience in, and of, itself.

Next, (and I got to go straight from the ride-a-long to my car), you get in the car and get buckled up by one of the pitcrew, and when your 'pacecar' get in front of you, you start the engine and get going. First is quick, second is quicker, third gear is when you get to the end of pit road, then around turns 1 & 2 until you hit the dotted line coming out of turn 2 where you shift into 4th and get onto the track. You have been instructed to follow him religiously, and that if you are going over the max speed you should expect to get waved off by him/her at least twice, but no more (3rd time is the yellow flag to get you back to the 3-5 car distance behind him). I got waived off 3 times: son-of-a-gun wouldn't get outta my way coming out of turn 2 (thought about diving down to pass, but then wanted to come back someday!).

You finish it off with a graduation ceremony with all your classmates, and are given a package that includes documentation of your lap times and top speed. The picture below is a plaque that you can buy for, I believe, $45.



Again, I can't stress enough that if you've ever thought about doing this, DO IT. RPDE puts on a very professional, yet very pleasing experience, and they're really sincere about how satisfied you are (except for the going faster part which is the hook to get you to come back- which in the spring, all of us are going to do the 80 lapper experience- can hardly wait)!

Be forwarned, though- you have to bring your own celebratory beer for after the ride with you!!

Gawd! What an Experience!!
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:08 PM   #2
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Hey 'kids'!

I know this thread has the possibility of migration (or degradation as it might be!), but I gotta tell ya about our experience two weeks ago...which was between the Rasor Road trip and our 6-day PIR trip we just got back from and I know a few of you wanted to know the details...

Did the Rookie Experience @ Fontana on Nov 5th...Moski bought it for my B-Day back in August, and I can't believe how quick November came. Eight laps, preceeded with a very good idea- 3 lap Ride-a-Long @ 165mph in the turns and 180mph in the straights to get you acculamated to how fast those boogers are...if you even have half an inckling to do it, it'll be the best money you'll ever spend ($399 for the Rookie Experience, $99 for the Ride-a-Long). All 6 of my friends who did it with me got the maximum 142mph top speed, and we were wishin' we could go faster (well...one of us got to do 146, and we saw the main coordinator @ Phoenix who told us the instructor who led him was reprimanded for it- max time around California isn't supposed to be under a 0:55 second lap- period).

Here's how it goes- there's lots that I wished I knew before hand just to keep the rumors at bay...you first check in and suit up. The first meeting is with all the participants in an intro mode with a video and the do's and dont's. Then they divide the group into about 8 people each, and then you take a 100mph, 3 lap trip around the track in a 3/4Ton Chevy Van (which you think is going to tip over at any moment with as top heavy as they are with 8 people in them) with the instructor that shows you the 'lines' (which are painted as 3 lane markers on each set of turns). If you still got "stomach", then you get a brief intro for the car features, additional instruction on how and when to shift coming out of pit road, instruction on the what all the flags & pace car signals are, then the wait for your ride. As I said, we all opted for the ride-a-long, which they highly suggested (I think mor ethan the $99 they got), which really was a good idea and gave you a mind-tingling experience in, and of, itself.

Next, (and I got to go straight from the ride-a-long to my car), you get in the car and get buckled up by one of the pitcrew, and when your 'pacecar' get in front of you, you start the engine and get going. First is quick, second is quicker, third gear is when you get to the end of pit road, then around turns 1 & 2 until you hit the dotted line coming out of turn 2 where you shift into 4th and get onto the track. You have been instructed to follow him religiously, and that if you are going over the max speed you should expect to get waved off by him/her at least twice, but no more (3rd time is the yellow flag to get you back to the 3-5 car distance behind him). I got waived off 3 times: son-of-a-gun wouldn't get outta my way coming out of turn 2 (thought about diving down to pass, but then wanted to come back someday!).

You finish it off with a graduation ceremony with all your classmates, and are given a package that includes documentation of your lap times and top speed. The picture below is a plaque that you can buy for, I believe, $45.



Again, I can't stress enough that if you've ever thought about doing this, DO IT. RPDE puts on a very professional, yet very pleasing experience, and they're really sincere about how satisfied you are (except for the going faster part which is the hook to get you to come back- which in the spring, all of us are going to do the 80 lapper experience- can hardly wait)!

Be forwarned, though- you have to bring your own celebratory beer for after the ride with you!!

Gawd! What an Experience!!
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:53 AM   #3
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Hey, good to see you back on again.

I KNEW you would enjoy this! The experience is one that just can't be beat and congrats on the completion of it. You'll be ready to go out and get your own car and go compete, now where's those sponsors!

Glad you had a good time. Thought about you while watching the races at PIR but didn't see your rig on the TV screen.

On edit, I forgot to mention, YOU LOOK QUITE SPIFFY THERE IN YOUR DRIVING SUIT, and I love your Plaque. I'm jealous!
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:21 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Glad you had a good time. Thought about you while watching the races at PIR but didn't see your rig on the TV screen. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

We were still pretty far out in the Coyote 2 lot- there had to be 20,000 to 30,000 RVs there, so getting a camera shot of even the beast would be daunting! Don't ever look for us in the infield- at a mile track, there's not much room there after the car haulers take up the space!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">On edit, I forgot to mention, YOU LOOK QUITE SPIFFY THERE IN YOUR DRIVING SUIT, and I love your Plaque. I'm jealous! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Tom:

Thanks buddy! Believe me- that's one of my better pictures...Phatty's avatar is ONE OF MY WORST! (He's goading me...and is enjoying every minute of it). I can't even think of doing all of that day and not having more than a piece of paper with lap times on it to show for it- I only wished I had got two of them- one for the garage and one for the office!

Sean
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:31 PM   #5
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Sean, everybody, I'm back from the kitchen from ****. Looks like you had quite a ride. NICE!

What's been going on!

Griz
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:20 PM   #6
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Donno!

Did they make you do kitchen duty on your excursion also? MAN...those Marines sure are ruthless! Hope it turned out as nice as the one you did at home!!

HEy...you need to read up Shriner...won't take too long, but it'll give you some ideas...I'm expecting to see ya @ Dumont on New Years, OK? Maybe sooner?

Yeah...it was a sweet ride- so much fun- gotta do it again- just a bit longer than 8 laps!

Glad to see ya back...you'll have to tell us about the 'trip'.

Sean
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:58 AM   #7
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Hey Griz, WELCOME HOME!
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Old 11-19-2005, 01:27 PM   #8
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Hey got some good news while I was away. Seems the powers to be decided to select me on this year's promotion board. I got promoted! You can call me MGySgt Griz now. That's Master Gunnery Sergeant. E-9 for you civilians.

"Life is good so don't blow it"

Griz
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Old 11-19-2005, 02:40 PM   #9
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Congrats Don!! A well deserved Army HOOAAH!

Great work on your kitchen too by the way. It looks great!
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Old 11-19-2005, 02:51 PM   #10
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Thanks HB. How are you? The weather up your way should be just about perfect this time of the year. Bet you can see for miles... a privilege we down south don't get that often.

Don
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Old 11-20-2005, 08:27 AM   #11
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Life <span class="ev_code_BLUE">is</span> good Griz! And you're right, autumn is nice in the high desert. Daily temps hovering around 60, asure skies and visibility it to the horizon. Mt. Shasta(75 miles away) looks like it's in our back yard. Very glad to hear of your promotion. More cash for retirement doncha know! Have a great holiday; and lets all remember our troops in harms way. Happy Trails!!
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Old 11-27-2005, 05:24 PM   #12
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Hey Guys:

Found another pic that 'splains how much fun I had that weekend...



...also found out that the instructor that let our friend go 146 go severely reprimanded for it- he turned a 54.71 second lap which was under the 55 that he was supposed to adhere to.

We saw the guy who oversaw the driving school @ Fontana at the Phoenix Race...he says if we can get our original 6 to sign up, they'll hold a special 80 lap session @ Fontana for us (they normally don't offer that there). And he definitely said to do it there- more mileage for your buck (2 mile track).

Wow...what a trip...again- if you've got ANY fever to do this, you just gotta!

Sean
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Old 11-27-2005, 05:47 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">... I got waived off 3 times: son-of-a-gun wouldn't get outta my way coming out of turn 2 ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
that is funny , could you maybe tap him a little bit??? push him up a little towards the wall?? ehhhh ..No ehhhhh???

That just sounds too fun!
It sounds like they are regulating your overall lap speed by using a pacecar? They can't really have a governor on the engine otherwise you wouldn't get any decent speeds on the straights. But what i can't imagine is, those pacecar drivers must be really good if they in theory can keep your overall lap time at .55 or above, and that if they let it dip to even .5471 that they would be in trouble. They must really have an eye for driving those things.

Thats a great write-up. I am going to have to hear more about that.
Mike
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Old 11-27-2005, 06:49 PM   #14
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Mikey:

I would've, but I didn't see any bodywork guys at the track- just this bubba kinda guy changing tires and checking oil, and then they'd toss me out of the speedway and blacklist me on RPDE!! (They did that to one of the guys who took it upon himself to unclutch the car in the front straightaway and rev the engine- he was toast as we found out from Scott in Phoenix). But don't think for a moment that I didn't think about it! But I gotta admit it was pretty nice having that guy in front of me- I have yet to have an accident, let alone into a white wall on a speedway. And another good thing- the instructors that drive the pace cars are current/past pros, so you're definetely not following grandma.

You're right on with the regulation- that's how they get you to come back for the longer runs- supposedly, the 80 lapper will get you up to about 165-170mphs- incremental, of course. And it is explained on their website that ALL sessions have a a pace car that you follow, but the 80 lapper is where you eventually get to pass, pit, and do some extra stuff. It's only $2499, (yeap...pricey, but you can't take it with ya, right?), a day and a half, and the experience is just excruciatingly difficult to explain in words. Serious. Next to getting my pilot's license, it's about the most fun you could ever imagine having (well...that trip to the moon could be an imaginary heaven, but so is first having the millions to be able to do it and STILL have some left over for a house, Ferrari/Mazzarati (hey..maybe both), babe(s) with big chest(s) skinny legs, small feet...errr...ehh...you get the idea). I just gotta deal with the weekends that I DON'T get to it now. Maybe a BarStool Racer will keep me busy enough, eh? May need some help though, buddy, so get yours done so you can come up and help me build mine, OK? Then I'd get to learn of all the things you shouldda/wanted-da do on yours!

Sean
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