|Mazda RX-7:1993 Import Car of the Year.
"The only cars that get around Sears Point International Raceway hill loop much faster have numbers on their doors. [...] The RX-7 may be a performance high-water mark for years to come. [...] The RX-7's performance is awe-inspiring: it's within 1 foot of being the shortest stopping street car we've ever tested; [...] and grips the road harder than the best race cars of only a few years ago. [...] This is the best hard core sports car in its price range, maybe in any price range. [...] The RX-7 redefines road manners for its class; the handling feels nimble and natural [...] No sports car in its price range delivers the same level of sensory gratification for the enthusiast driver." - MotorTrend 2/93
|"The RX-7 can do almost anything the best sports cars can do, but better--it accelerates quicker, stops shorter, corners harder, and is faster around a racetrack than almost anything this side of $50,000, and a whole lot of things on the far side of that. As one tester put it, "It sticks to the road like tar on a rocker panel." - MotorTrend 8/92|
Prices for track days
range from $150 per day to in excess of $300/day depending on the venue.
Most tracks will get you out for 4 20 minute sessions in one day.
20 minutes is usually good for 10-15 laps of a 2 mile circuit - but you have to be fast!
Some of our more avid drivers have gone so far as to participate in Friday At The Track (FATT) at Summit Point with a eye toward getting qualified for doing some Seat Time. Unfortunately our last two outings have been rained on - an educational if not unpleasant experience. Although the more sadistic of our bunch actually enjoy slipping and sliding around the track.
The faster drivers in our group can manage to lap Summit Point in the low 1:30's in mildly modified cars with an FTD of 1:29 and the Jefferson Circuit in a tad over 1:00 with an FTD of 0:59. Dare to dispute our claims, we have hours of footage from in-car video which clearly depicts lap times and the numerous "prey" that fall victim to our 7's. The camera mounted in-car provides the invaluable ability to re-evaluate performance (and the performance of others) and we have found this, not only entertaining, but extremely helpful. What we can say is that all our cars are street legal and DRIVEN to the track - we have no trailer queens here! The hard part is getting all our gear to the track. This is what Chris Regan typically takes to the track: Track List. And YES, it will all fit in an RX-7!
Our sights, however, are set on possibly Rousch Creek, Carolina Motorsports
Park (CMP), Mid-Ohio, Road America, and even Road Atlanta.
Well we finally had our opportunities to try our hand
at Watkins Glen
in NY which was aweinspiring and we have now been to Virginia
International Raceway (VIR) quite a few times. This is one of the best tracks in the region.
Clean smooth, fast, and challenging. We have attacked the VIR North Course, a 2.26
mile course with close to a dozen corners and over 120 feet in elevation change.
The faster of our crew were lapping in the 1:54's with an FTD of 1:50. Not bad for
our lowly street cars. Full course times in the 2:30's with an FTD of 2:21 for the
3.2 mile full course. A few pics below of the attendees.
For example witnessed the results of this roll at Summit Point Raceway in turn 5 at my first ever track event. The driver was unhurt and unbelievably the airbags never deployed.
After 2 years of "track-time" we had all been relatively lucky with
only a few non damaging forays into the grass. However, recently the perilous
nature of our hobby has been characterized by an incidents involving Mr.
Ober and Mr. Hahn. Although, neither was physically hurt, their cars were
not so lucky. But all things have a silver lining. Mr. Ober's car has made
a full recovery and will undoubtedly be faster than ever. Especially now
that MazdaComp triple core radiator has been installed! And Mr. Hahn has
a surprise in store for us when he unveils his new color scheme. [CLICK
HERE for details.]