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Brainerd Quattro Club event report(long)

The 9th Annual Quattro Club Safety Seminar and Autocross at Brainerd, MN 
closed out the quattro club events for this year and it was a blast! I had a 

I had wanted to go to this event for many years, but just couldn't get it 
together. After talking to others about events, the consensus was if you are 
going to travel to any event, go to the year end one at Brainerd. This year 
I got the OK signal from the gracious wife and the plans were made. I 
borrowed a trailer from a friend, loaded the TQC onto it, loaded the 
family(wife, 2 kids and the dog) into the van and drove 24 hours. While 
driving there, I could only think 'this was one of the craziest things I 
have ever done'. But driving home, those thoughts turned to 'I had a blast, 
lets go again next year'. Its amazing how 3 days on a race track can effect 

Around 70 people and 60 cars showed up for the event. People came from all 
over. There were a few S4s, a couple V8s, a bunch of 5000/200 TQs, some of 
which were really prepared, a few 90 20V sedans, 1 new style coupe quattro, 
a couple 4000 quattros, 12 ur-quattros, 2 sport quattros and a few 
porsches(a 3.8 RS) thrown in for good measure. Most people came from 
Minnesota, a few from Illinois. Colorado was well represented with 5 
ur-quattros and 1 90 20V sedan in attendance.While most of the people were 
out to have loads of fun, some people were quite serious. A few TQCs had 
over 300hp, a couple had full roll cages installed.

The event started with a drivers school on Friday. We went through a slalom 
excercise, a lane toss excercise, a threshold braking excercise and a 
cornering excersise. Later in the afternoon there was lapping the track in 
20 min sessions. Safety and car control are the number one priority. Even 
with all the lecturing and reminding, there was a mishap over the weekend. 
Saturday and Sunday were track lapping sessions most of the day, with timed 
laps in the late afternoon.

I quickly learned that Brainerd Raceway is a real racetrack. I had only 
driven on a local road coarse in Colorado, and Brainerd is the real thing. 
The track is 3 miles long and there are 10 turns on the coarse, some big and 
banked, some big and flat, some real tight, but all the corners have plenty 
of runoff room. The front straightaway is 1 mile long and goes into a big 
banked corner, turn 1. You carry some serious speed going into turn 1.  A 
radar gun was set up at the entry to this corner with a big display which 
the driver could read. The highest speed I saw entering this corner was 110. 
My car had more, but I wasn't comfortable above that. Maybe next year. 
Others were routinely entering this corner at 125 and above. It really takes 
some practice to enter a corner at this speed without braking and to stay on 
the gas. You really have to trust yourself and your car.

The only mishap of the weekend happened on saturday afternoon during one of 
the sessions. The driver came into corner 10, which exits onto the front 
straight, with too much speed, didn't apex the corner correctly and went 
wide into a gravel pit. Instead of riding it out, he tried to save it and 
came back across the track and hit a concrete wall head on, breaking a 2 
foot section of the wall away and knocking the entire 30ft wall over and 
came to rest on top of the wall. He was driving an 86 5000 TQ, he unbuckled 
and walked away, totally unhurt. Once his wife realized that he was unhurt, 
she proceeded to take about 100 photos for posterity. I guess this is 
another example of the safety design of Audi automobiles. I can't express 
how sobering this accident was. It really made an impression on me to stay 
in control and not to overdrive my car or myself. The car didn't look that 
bad afterward, the front valence broke off, the front grill work broke apart 
and the front fenders got bent. But the engine took the brunt of the hit, 
the crankshaft pulley hit the wall and broke the wall section away. Who 
knows what happened internally to the engine. It looks like the car will be 
parted out.

One of the highlights of the weekend for me was getting a ride with Steve 
Beddor in his sport quattro. This is way better than any amusement park 
ride. It was awsome. The white sport quattro now has a 600hp engine in it 
and he sures know how to use it. After getting sinched down into the race 
seat with the five point harness, we were off. The acceleration is simply 
amazing, when the boost came on, the car was a rocket. The brakes were 
unbelievable, the car would go from 140 to 60 in an amazingly short 
distance. Even while being held back into the seat with the harness, I 
thought my face would make contact with the windshield under heavy breaking. 
The G forces were great. The traction this car has is amazing. He entered 
turn 1 at 145 on slicks in the rain. The car never slipped. I was amazed at 
what a quattro can do.  Steve sure knows how to drive that car, he would go 
into a corner right foot hard on the accelerator to keep the engine revs and 
boost up and left foot braking, once the braking had been completed, the car 
would just rocket through the corner under full acceleration. I had a grin 
for hours after that ride.

Some other interesting facts I learned at the event
 - there are only 93 1993 S4s in the US that are black with a black interior 
with the carbon fiber trim
 - that there is a 2 piece turbo exhaust manifold available from Audi
 - there are solid motor mounts available from Audi for TQCs
 - I met two owners of turbcharged 4000 quattros, one performed the 
conversion himself, the other was imported from Germany and was converted by 
the factory
 - I had a very long discussion with Ned Ritchey of Intended Acceleration and 
one of the topics was Superchips. If anyone is interested, I can post some 
of Neds thoughts.

Sorry for the long report, but it sure was fun. If you can make an event, go 
for it. The first event next year will be the ice driving school in 
Steamboat Springs, Colorado some time in February. Mark your calenders.
Dave Lawson  dlawson@ball.com