Hello Z car fans,
As ZCG gets ready to leave for the ZONC Hearst Castle Cruise, we have a Blog entry from Bill (a Z car fan and spirited driver). He gives us a full report from his last track day at Infineon Raceway. Have a great weekend and don’t forget your Valentine’s day card for your special someone.
Long live the Z
The photos and videos are from Hooked on Driving’s January 27th track day at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma.
This 2003 350Z Touring model has seen a handful of track days. It started going to the track on the stock 1-piston brakes and street tires with only a few upgrades: Stillen dual exhaust and AEM cold air intake. Recently added (from ZCG) were StopTech’s small front and rear brake kits with Performance Friction 97 pads. This was the car’s first event on track tires: 245/40-18 BF Goodrich g-Force R1s on the original 18″ wheels. Track tires with tire pressure monitors! The car is otherwise stock (with heated leather seats to take the chill out of winter track days). Despite the upgrades, this is not a track-only car. After swapping back to street tires, it handles the daily commute to and from work.
Infineon is a very technical track, which is challenging but makes for a lot of fun. It has elevation changes, two hairpin turns and the famous esses. The track was wet in the morning. There were a few spins and other incidents, including this car’s slide off the pavement at turn 3a (notice the mud on the left front tire). Nothing hurt but the driver’s pride. A wet track really helps a driver learn to be smooth, a very important part of going fast when the track is dry.
The sun came out in the afternoon and speeds went up. The driver reports that the tires are great, but the StopTech brakes are amazing! With the track pads and regular bleeding with high-performance fluid, they haul the car down from speed over and over without a hint of fade; a huge increase in braking performance over the stock brakes.
This video is from the last session of the day in the intermediate group. It starts out with a few laps of lead-follow with an Audi S4. This run group started out small and by this session, many drivers had packed up for the day, leaving very little traffic. Gotta love having room to roam!
Video Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv4Md5XmSpw
Video Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOXHgn8PCUs
Hooked on Driving, a longtime ZONC supporter, is well known for putting on quality track events. With a strong emphasis on education and safety, it’s a great place for beginners to get started. The event prices include a catered lunch and individual coaching for beginning through advanced drivers. At noon, the coaches fire up their own cars and give beginners hot laps around the track. Big fun! Their web site, www.hookedondriving.com, has lots of information and videos for first-timers.
Even though most of this blog’s track day posts feature modified cars, a stock Z33 is a great track car if properly prepped. Track prep is not complicated. It includes checking the wheel bearings, lug nut torque, belts and hoses. It might also include replacing old brake fluid to help the brakes handle the higher temperatures generated on the track. ZCG can take care of prepping your car for the track.
Please note that in addition to providing full-service maintenance and upgrades, ZCG can also supply parts for do-it-yoursefers. This car’s StopTech brakes were sourced from ZCG and installed by the owner.