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RE: Thunderhill

A day late here, but I figured I'd chime in with another 'thumbs up'
for this weekends' first Audi track event here in California (through
QCUSA). It was tremendous fun, and a valuable experience for all
involved. No serious incidents, and everyone left a little wiser for the
rain.  Aside from Farmer Duane's tending to the winter wheat crop
(joined later by his neighbor, Mr. Tillerman, uhh that's Timmerman), no
one had serious need for the power washer, and no one left with anyone
else's paint.

I mention this not only in fun but because attendance at such events
should merit consideration for those with more sedate driving
aspirations ('operators', I suppose, a la Unka Unowho), as well as the
more 'enthusiastic' among us. The on-track experience is just as, if not
*more* valuable for those who have no 'race-car driver' aspirations. The
result of spending two days pushing your car to the limit is a
familiarization with the thin line between control and the sometimes
inevitable alternative. For those who think they know what they are
doing already - unless you've *recently* had significant amounts of
track time, where you can *safely* push your car to the limit, you will
walk away with a new realization - there's much room for improvement.  I
know I did. I have not been on a track in several years, and the time
away was telling. The refresher was great fun, and I am better aquainted
with my car as a result.

Particularly fun was Sunday, as we had torrential downpours providing
interesting lessons in hydroplaning. I, and many others, have spent many
years playing around with four wheel drifts in snow and gravel, playing
catch with the rear end, smiles all the while. Hydroplaning is
*different*. One moment you've got control and traction, then, with no
inputs from the pedals or wheel - WHOOP - around comes the tail. Nothing
gradual or predictable about it. One second you have traction at all
wheels, the next second you do NOT. Sliding on rain soaked roads is one
thing - sliding as a result of the front or rear wheels hydroplaning is
quite another - less traction than on ice! That's the kind of education
the track experience *safely* brings, which cannot or should not be
_willfully_ duplicated on public roads. 110 MPH in the straight, hard
brakes, zig-zag through the chicane, then a few choice thoughts about
about quarters for the aforementioned powerwasher - as the tail snaps
sideways at 70 MPH in a fast left-hander. This is an education. :-)

Anyway, enough preaching to the choir, I just hope that a few of the
'operators and 'disinterested spouses' start making it out to these
track events to *participate*; it will make life safer for all

Overall, it was a great event: Interesting track, nice accomodations,
and a truly great bunch of folks. Special thanks to Ken and Andrew
Bennett, who dedicated a large amount of time to pull this off
successfully. I sincerely hope to see more of you all in the future!



91 200q TAP, Bilstein/Eibach, 16" ACT LS, Stebro exhaust coming soon,
86 5ktq 4S IA, BBS, Borla rear, 128k miles

And I gotta give a final tip o' the hat to Gross Scruggs, who has one of
the nicest, most classic/y examples of a 5ktq I've seen to date. Very
nice car, Gross!