Speed Ventures @ Auto Club Speedway 081212

Words by Matt Willis

Last Sunday, I made another trip out to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for another track day hosted by Speed Ventures (my second time here with them). Aaron and the whole crew at Speed Ventures do an awesome job of hosting track days; keeping everyone safe, helping drivers out and staying in an organized format. Fontana is one my favorite tracks to run at, mainly because it’s the closest to home, but also because you can really go all out and there’s always a slew of high-powered cars to see (most of them as they are passing me). With the amount open track days coming to close in a few months, I really just wanted to get seat time in and see if I could improve on my times.

For those that weren’t in attendance, I will report that it was quite toasty out there (105° F to be exact) so oil/water/brake temperatures were a definite factor. The only thing that the heat helped with was overall grip. I couldn’t break traction at all — the biggest difference being in turns 5/6 and 13/14,  where I previously had trouble trying to get bite. After a foiled attempt to rush home from Nisei (thanks to traffic), I somehow managed to get a couple of gauges the night before to monitor my oil and water temperatures closely. Luckily the oil stayed tame, but the water was screaming in the 230-240 range just before I would get back onto the front stretch to get steady air. As I’m preparing for another day out at Streets of Willow towards the end of the month, I’m skeptical that I’m going to have to back off due to the lack of a 110+ mph front straightaway. I guess it depends on the ambient temperature; hopefully it’s cooler than 105°.

Other than the heat, it was a really fun day. Like I said, the Speed Ventures crew put on a great event and I felt like all the drivers (at least in my group) were being respectful and decisive out on the track – which is important for me, being that I’m usually one of the slower cars out there. My lap times improved since last time and I felt like I was definitely able to push the car harder than before. I can’t wait to go out again.

Anyways, while I was out getting my runs in, Tim was out braving the heat and getting some great shots…










There was a CTS challenge series going on, so there were quite a few of them out there…







I was hoping Tim would grab a shot of the thunderclouds beyond the San Bernardino mountains. There were really striking that day…












Brandon Watson’s E36 tearing it up…







This was snapped while I was waiting on the grid. Apparently one of the CTS competition cars caught fire…








…Back in the pits…





Ariel Atom…everyone’s dream track car…


Old VW Scirocco…



























Waiting on the grid…





New sticker, thanks to Danny at JDM Tip Ties…

My tire of choice…Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec in 205/50…




That’s it. Hope to get out there again real soon. I want to give special thanks to Aaron and Speed Ventures for their help and for putting on another awesome event.

Just a reminder for everyone — the KROPS Track Day at Streets of Willow is approaching fast (August 31st). More info here…

For more photos, please check out our Facebook page.

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