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PIR Quattro Club Driving School!!!
I couldn't resist writing a quick note on the wonderful school and track
days at Portland International Raceway this last weekend. I traveled down
and roomed with an auto-x friend in the club named Bernie Strub. He has an
This is a bit long..... but cool!.....Really ;-)
The event was well attended by around 30+ quattros and their owners/drivers,
which was mostly males, but I would guess 4 ladies also. Ned Ritchie's
daughters and a couple of the guys wives, all took to the track with the
rest of us.
There were at least 8 Ur Qs in attendance along with a couple of newer coupe
q's, several 4kq's, 5kq's, V8's, and a few my favorite newer car, the S4.
Larry ? showed up with a beautiful Cosworth rally beast on Sat, and
returned Sun with his ~20K miles, it looks brand new, white Audi Sport
Quattro. This car was perfect, and still all stock.... If that car can be
considered as such ;-). I've always wanted to check one of those out.
The national office was well represented with both Kent Anderson and Karen
Chadwick running the show with there friendly expertise. Stan Sokol, Al
Swackhammer, and Alex Neckas of the NWR Audi Q club, ran a superb event,
with all participants grinning ear to ear, dispite the nasty weather,
especially Sat Morning.
The weather, as noted, was a bit wet, but Sunday brought lighter skies, and
around 1 or 2 the track actually had a pretty good dry line.
The event comprised of sat morning car control exercises, which composed of
a nice 60ft slalom, a threshold brake practice from about 65mph, and a lane
change reaction practice. Sat afternoon was the start of the track time.
The first round had an instructor taking each student out in there car.
The second round, they switched and the student drove. Sunday brought
another 4 sessions each, with lots of people jumping in and out of various
cars. WHAT A BLAST!
My Ur-Q managed to hold up to the 6 sessions, but as expected, brought the
4000 water temp gauge upto 7/8 or so in about 3 laps. I would then back way
off on the two striates to let the car cool, then hammer it again in the
turns. Seemed to work OK, for the temp would drop a bit. Got some good
leads on how to resolve the cooling problem.
PIR is simple the most awesome track I've ever been on. Granted, I haven't
been on that many, but the surface was very consistent and smooth, with
excellent components and seanery. World class. My auto-x experience really
helped in the car control area, for my Q needs some serious corrections in
the alignment and shock areas ;-)
The weekend went off without any major problems. A few cars would go off
from time to time, and Fast Eddie would spin every so often (Too bad he's
not on the list to rass ;-) ). The worst thing to happen was we had this
Beaver like creature wonder out onto the track, and got up against a long
wall right next to the back straight, so we had to shut down and remove him.
He was about 2 feet long, with big teeth and claws, and a rat type tail.
Nasty too. We'd try and shu him away with sticks, cones and such, and he
would turn and fight. Ned Ritchie even tried scarring him by kicking leaves
at him. This only made him show his teeth and growl more. Finally Bernie
trapped it in a large plastic box, and we let him go over the wall.
Finally got to meet Ned Ritchie. What a neet guy. Not at all what I
expected from the most famous Audi tuner and turbo expert around. He never
mined once answering questions, and there were a _lot_, or taking folks for
a ride in his totally tricked out 5kq. Speaking of..... After Pizza on Sat
night, he took 4 of us out for a ride in his car, and man..... That car was
incredible.... I mean beyond explaining.... There were 5 of us in this 87
5000q and this thing would just snap you back like nothing I've seen. I've
driven an 911 RS America in full ASP trim, and it didn't accelerate like
Neds 5000q with all five of us in it. Ned calculated it to be in the 400HP
range, but I think that's conservative. He would run out of tack so fast,
you'd swear it was only revving half way. The setup was a _stock_ 91 20v
turbo engine, with Neds trick computer, a cobalt exhaust manifold (would
glow RED after a few minutes of hammering) and a big a** turbo with who
knows how much boost. Man... What a ride.
Well... I'm still recovering from all the fun. Can't wait till the next one
in March, and I plan to have the old Ur-Q in much better form. ---JCG