Thunderhill last weekend

Brandon Hull Hull at
Mon Jan 13 12:48:18 EST 2003

Doesn't anyone do trip reports anymore?  Just wanted to register my enthusiasm for the NorCal Audi Stalwarts who hosted this year's Q-oops-Audi-club event at Thunderhill racetrack in foggy Willows CA.  This was my third time at this event which tends to coincide with a conference I have in SF each year.  This year I rented a mini cooper for the week, my wife flew out Friday, and we did the event together.

It pretty much rained relentlessly all weekend, save for some dry-ish track on Saturday afternoon.  Unlike other wet tracks I've been on, Thunderhill isn't bad in the rain.  Good drainage, no icy concrete patches like Mid OH or rivers running across turns like the Glen.  Also not much to hit if you go off, which certainly happend during the weekend.   I was under strick orders from my spouse not to be among those slogging through the trackside mud, so managed to keep four wheels on.  The mini was a fantastic track car: perfect balance, skinny tires an asset in the rain, nice gearbox and controls and killer seat heaters.  I should've gotten a commission from bmw for all the demo rides I did over the two days.

The Bennets did their usual great organizational job in the typical laid back but serious manner.  There was no damaged sheet metal, and surprisingly few offs.  I witnessed one lurid spin as an S4 directly in front of me pinched the apex, must've lifted, and spun left, then right backwards off course just after turn 7.  There were a number of Bennet-breathed monster cars out there, blasting by half hidden by towering plumes of spray.

A final observation:  "turbo," the chief flagger, gave us strict imprecations against trying to extract cars from the mud after an off.  Wait for the tow truck he commanded, without spinning massive hole in our infield.  But all the quattros I saw in the mud, simply waited for an opening and serenely motored back on course, bringing out the debris flag, but not the black and the tow truck.  Pretty cool.

Hat's off to the Bennet's again, and it was great to see some of you listers out there.

Brandon H

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