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Viper Days at VIR this Past Weekend

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Viper Days at VIR this Past Weekend
Old June 10th, 2015, 01:07 PM   #1
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Viper Days at VIR this Past Weekend

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.

http://youtu.be/ODmsfxtdgHY

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NsYkONrzr4

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZFzf5vEB-4

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.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1gTu6B5et4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O042k1UDDUc

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I9Ui6FSr20

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.
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Old June 10th, 2015, 01:10 PM   #2
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Good write up. I learned how to drive on a track with those guys, and it brings back good times. What have they done on Oak Tree corner now the oak tree is gone?

My daughter just went through it with Skip out here a few months back.
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Old June 10th, 2015, 01:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sundiego View Post
What have they done on Oak Tree corner now the oak tree is gone?

My daughter just went through it with Skip out here a few months back.
Actually, that's one of the things Skip mentioned. He said there used to be a big oak tree that he used as a reference point and it threw him off after it was gone. I can definitely see what he was saying about reference points; especially on the back straight away.

One of the members actually brought his daughter and had her drive her STI around the track. That must have been an awesome experience for her.
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Old June 10th, 2015, 02:50 PM   #4
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Huh didn't realize viper days training school stuff was still going on. I always liked the look on Skips face when I would mention " laid down the wood on that second lap of the day for my fastest time" He would cringe and say work up to it slowly, patience.
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Old June 10th, 2015, 02:57 PM   #5
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Nice write-up and sure sounds like you had a great time!

It's great to see Skip at viper events again, he was out here in January as Sundiego mentioned.

Lot's of folks started tracking w/Skip, hope he continues. Great to have JonB's support too
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:49 AM   #6
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The Oak Tree
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:55 AM   #7
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VIR's famed Oak Tree falls
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Old June 11th, 2015, 03:28 AM   #8
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The Oak Tree
That is real cool ! Sucks they cut it down..
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