As the geese touched down on its still water, the pond by the paddock's entrance glistened in the morning's sunrise.
My first track weekend at VIR. How idyllic.
Gorgeous weather, perfect conditions, and a whole bag of brake parts and consumables. What more could a Fiesta owner wish for?
NASA put on a great event. We got two 25-minute and two 20-minute sessions each day. Well run, nearly always on-schedule, and lots of track time. My third track event ever, I had done an SCCA PDX weekend at Summit Point (Main), West Virginia, and, of course, ST Octane Academy.
I had fun learning the track, and once I had found the line and the gears and the places to work on, I worked on them. It was fun catching up to cars.. WRX's, BMW's, and a 911.
I know, not everyone out there is or aspires to be an F1 driver, but it was a bit of a guilty pleasure to get a point-by from a Porsche 911 Carrera S.
The car performed beautifully. The Konis with full-stiff on bump and rebound up front, half-stiff on rebound in the rears delivered a stable, composed ride.
Now, I'm 6'-3" or so, and weigh 260 pounds. My instructor was about my height and had maybe 50 or more pounds on me. So together, we really tested the power, brakes, , tires, and suspension of the car. And even with all that, people were coming up to me and saying "wow, that Fiesta is FAST!"
That disadvantage may have been good for my driving, because I got used to going WOT all over the track, and so on Sunday, when my instructor blessed me to go solo, it was a completely different car when using the pedal like that. Entering the climbing esses at 100mph and keeping the pedal down all the way through meant I came out the top WAY faster than I was used to, meaning I had to blip the brakes a little harder to prepare for South Bend. On the back straight I was reaching a little over 110mph with my instructor, but solo I reached 120.
I brought him back into the car for my last session so we could work on some more things. Each session, we got faster and faster, entering corners at the right speed and exiting corners on throttle earlier and earlier.
Between my 2nd and 3rd session on Sunday, I decided the front brakes wouldn't make it through my first solo session, so I changed them out for a fresh set of OEM pads. The rears survived. I was always full OFF on the EBS, and I never saw the issues others have been having with the rear brakes wearing prematurely. Those rear brakes are still on their the original pads, but I am going to go ahead and change them prior to any future track events.
So as far as brakes are concerned, the OEM's never faded much. I never boiled the fluid, which was fresh Valvoline Dot-3/Dot-4 that I had put in a few days ago. I had Motul RBF 600 on hand, but never needed it. The front caliper boots looked fine. And the red paint (just at the leading edge end) of the calipers has discolored a bit, to a purple/brown. With our combined weight, those brakes were working extra hard.
It was fun when I did some sequence on track particularly well, come out onto a straight at a good clip, and my instructor would say "Yesssss".
Anyway, if you have a FiST, go buy some nice new front brake pads, freshen your fluid, and take that bad boy out for a PDX/HDPE/Track day. You won't regret it.