Words by Matt Willis
Last month, I went out to Fontana to check out the track day hosted by Speed Ventures. The main reason I went was because of how close the track was, versus going to one of the more remote tracks. My car was having a couple erratic issues, so if something were to happen I didn’t want to be all the way out in the middle of nowhere. Anyways, the Auto Club Speedway outfield/infield course, aka the “Roval”, is a high-speed and high-horsepower track, so my little Civic stood out like a sore thumb on the roster. I was alongside several M3s/M5s, a few Mercs, Porsches and an Aston Martin – none of which I was able to keep up with. However after a few runs I started to find where the “pushing” points were and started to be a bit more aggressive; overall I improved my times throughout the day so I can’t complain. Its also a lengthy course (2.8 mi) which means there a lot of room to spread out without worrying about passing. On the straights and banks, I was going about 120-130 by day end (my long GSR gears still didn’t top out). However my 20-year-old steering rack was struggling on the bank so I had to back off a little. The Direzza Z1 tires were great; I liked them better than the RT-615Ks, though they are two different breeds entirely.
Overall, I had a blast and hope to go out again in late Summer. In my opinion, Speed Ventures was a lot more organized than Raceline (the last event I went to) and thus it resulted in a much better experience for both myself (the driver) and everyone else. Being at a well-facilitated track was a big factor, too.
Anyway…while I was getting ready to run the car, Tim was out doing his thing…
At the end of my last session, Tim and I packed up and left for the SCCMxKROPS meet in Ontario. I think its safe to say that everyone had a great time, driving or not. And props to Speed Ventures for hosting a well-organized and fun track day. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back out there in mid-August, pending other events and some necessary repairs to the car. Until then…keep on driving… – Matt