Speed Ventures @ Auto Club Speedway 050612

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…


















Cool to see the late model GTO out on the track…I barely see these on the street anymore, haha…




This guy was in my run group. He lapped me twice in the first session…

Me cruising around the track like James May in an old Merc…


This Mustang broke the back end loose a couple times.

The stunning new 3 series. I just love this car. The side profile reveals how low the headlights and grille are compared to previous generations; it just makes the car that much more aggressive.

Though it is a general consensus that the hood line is awful…and I would have to agree. Everything else is just brilliant.



I believe this was sitting over in the autocross lot…




























My starting grid…

This crazy raced-out ‘Vette shook the ground around us…







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

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