I had the awesome opportunity to experience Viper Days at VIR with Skip Thomas over this past weekend.
We stayed on the track hotel named the "Lodge" which overlooked turn 7 on the track. Here's a Video from my balcony.
As I was waiting on line for inspections, Skip Thomas came over to my car and asked me to pop the hood. Immediately he spotted that one of my heater hoses was beginning to back off. I was able to address as soon as the car was cooled down.
My car went through inspection and passed. Afterwards we met in the class room with Skip and went over the agenda. On Saturday morning, we were slated to work on the Skid Pad. Skip taught us about learning the point of loosing traction and how to address. All 20+ plus cars took to the pad, some doing 180s and 360s. Jon B jumped in the ring after Skip and began to direct / teach the drivers as they snaked around him in circles. I have a Video below of my last run with JonB stuck in the ring.
After Lunch, we proceeded to have a Parade Lap lead by JonB in the Gen5 pace car. This was our first experience driving on the track. It was fun as hell just to get out on the track for the first time.
We then proceeded to have two classroom sessions and two track sessions doing lead and follows for the remainder of the afternoon. Skip and JonB offered all their insight and we learned to stay hydrated and to remain smooth and study on the track.
Unfortunately, I don't have any Videos for this afternoon; Camera was in picture burst mode instead of Video...Doh!
On Sunday, we started with more classroom time with Skip and went back on the track for more lead and follow. At noon we went on another parade lap which got much faster than the previous sessions.
Here are two short videos from my passenger during this lap.
The afternoon ended with some more classroom talk and track sessions.
Here is the last lead and follow session of the day with JonB leading in the Viper Pace car.
The program ended with final thoughts from Skip, Jon and the NARRA team and presentation of Certificates of Completion.
Some other notes...A few cars broke down, but luckily the Archer Racing Team was able to complete repairs. Also, Tom Sessions Trailer had a car to take back with him. Everyone helped each other out over the entire weekend.
There were other awesome races going on in between. MANY Viper comp cars were present. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to converse with the various drivers during the event.
My Toyo R888s are SUPER Sticky. I think I would have flown off the track a couple of times if I had the Michelin's on. They also wear extremely fast, which is expected due to the compound.
JonB can hear the click of an e-brake from several feet away on a loud track.
All in All, it was the coolest experience. I felt safe and gained a ton of confidence in my self. I cannot wait until the next track opportunity to push myself further.
The events were run like clockwork. The NARRA team was great and treated us like professionals.
I wish there was more time to actually speak to the comp drivers. Time just flew and we were pretty busy throughout the days.
I really wanted to take a few laps without lead and follow. I had plenty of more to push the car. Towards the end it would get a little awkward when you starting catching up to the car in front. At some points, I would just fall a little behind so I could play catch up. However, it was a great learning experience.
I'm sure there are a ton of things that I missed. Can't wait until the next opportunity.