SEFAC Track Day - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-20-2014, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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SEFAC Track Day

Hi All


I hope all is well.


On Saturday it was the annual SEFAC track day. I haven't been to one of these days for a few years but given that Kyalami is going on auction this week and its days as a racetrack are likely numbered (it is in the middle of a residential area nowadays), I didn't want to miss out on one last opportunity to drive this spectacular ribbon of tarmac.


The 308 went absolutely beautifully, oil and water temperatures were rock steady and the brakes didn't cook. The only issue was that my oil pressure gauge stopped working during my one run. I stopped and we checked that the oil level was fine and the oil was still circulating so I got back onto the circuit shortly after that. The 308 is a fine track car with very neutral handling such that I could take liberties that would not be indulged in an early 911. I managed to carry a fair amount of speed so that I was able to keep up with much more modern cars but unfortunately with so little relative power, I couldn't get past cars once onto the straights.


The day overall was very well attended - I didn't count but it seemed like well over 150 cars. During my one stint however a brand new 458 Speciale had a pretty big contact with the wall. The front airbags deployed and the whole front section was wrecked. The crash happened at turn 13 which has recently been taken back to its original layout. It had a chicane for a while but is now a very fast, tricky cambered right-hander. I was chatting to friends about 30 minutes earlier and we were in agreement that this was a really scary corner with very little margin for error. It is a chilling reminder that racetracks need to be respected as well as that a car like a 458 Speciale needs skill to operate properly.


Overall I had an absolute blast and really want to get out onto the circuit again as soon as possible.


On another note, I added another toy to the collection on Friday. My first foray into a water-cooled Porsche - a 2000 GT3 Mk1. I didn't really get to drive much this weekend but in the short blast I had yesterday I can see that it is a really serious car with tons of feel - even relative to the "real" air-cooled Porsches.


Take care and warm regards


Mike
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-22-2014, 10:51 PM
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Great report and pics, thanks Mike, love the sepia tinged ones, looks like they were taken in the 1980s! Lines of the 308 just get better and better with time Wish I could have been there, I have so many happy memories of driving at Kyalami from my first time in 1994 in my first Porsche, a 911T 2.4. I managed to spin then, the first of many!

Very sorry to hear that Kyalami is about to go. Watched my first GP there in 1976. Also watched Jody Scheckter win the Wynns 1000 endurance race in a black BMW 30CSL that year. Was also at the last GP, 1993 I think, when Mansell won if I remember correctly. Lots and lots of happy memories.

Congratulations on the GT3! The trackday weapon of choice in Europe! Wish you well to drive her far and fast in good health.

David

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post #3 of 13 Old 07-22-2014, 11:18 PM
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What a shame about the 458 Speciale. My personal experience with the 458 Italia on track is that it is very, very predictable. Even on the bumpy Nordschleife the car has never surprised me in its reactions. I could only speculate about what happened here, but I just wanted to say that for a 600bhp, rearengined car, it is very forgiving, as long as you are mindful of the quick steering and sensitive throttle. In fast corners like the sweeping Pouhon double-left at Spa (similar to what you describe, with hardly any run-off at the second part of the corner), I drive the 458 with my finger tips and manage the throttle with very light increments. Brutish actions are definitely punished.

Also a big shame about Kyalami. I lived close by it for a while and I've never driven it. Opportunity wasted! It is a great track and good on you to take the opportunity to drive it again.

Congrats on the GT3! She looks very special!

Onno



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post #4 of 13 Old 07-23-2014, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Guys


The potential loss of Kyalami is very very sad. The auction is tomorrow so let's hold thumbs that the buyer is an automotive sympathiser.


I chatted to a friend of mine this morning. He heard that the driver had all the electronics turned off!!!! The crash makes sense....


The photos from the day have been put up on
http://www.racepics.co.za/sefac-ferrari-track-day-2014/




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post #5 of 13 Old 07-23-2014, 08:42 AM
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Dear Mike

Congratulations to your new aquisition! Impressive stable you have by now...WOW!!

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post #6 of 13 Old 07-23-2014, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schumacher View Post
I chatted to a friend of mine this morning. He heard that the driver had all the electronics turned off!!!! The crash makes sense....
You hear that so many times. It is funny that people in 1988 were terrified of the F40 and hardly anyone ever dared to get close to the limit. Now, with 130 bhp more, people think they are Alonso and switch off the aids that are there to protect them from themselves....

Personally, I have not yet driven the 458 with everything turned off. I don't need to. In Race mode she still needs correcting for slides and she still has a sensitive throttle but at least you have some safety built in. So far, I have not yet been able to feel the electronic nanny helping me out. It's very subtle, unlike earlier systems. Switching it off is either about ego, or about being truly talented.


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post #7 of 13 Old 07-24-2014, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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I think it may because of Top Gear. People watch the Clarkson, Hammond and May turn off everything and drift with white smoke pouring off the rear wheels. Somehow they feel that seeing this done on a very wide and forgiving unused runway translates into their ability to do it on an unforgiving track.


Certainly not clever...

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post #8 of 13 Old 07-24-2014, 09:30 AM
 
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Hi Mike,

It was a great event indeed, pitty I never got the chance to take you up on your offer for a ride in the 308 - next time though!

Very unfortunate about the Speciale. Below are some pics I have of the damage.

A Challenge Stradale also went off the track but the damage is not as hectic as the Speciale but still not nice to see.

Good news about Kyalami - today was the auction and it was bought by Toby Venter from Porsche South Africa for R205 million (roughly $20million or Euro 14 million), so with Toby owning the track it will definitely remain as a race track and not torn down to build housing and shopping complexes as what was expected. Kyalami has been saved!

Congrats on the purchase of the GT3! All the best
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-25-2014, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Mike


Sorry we didn't get a chance to get some laps in together. Next time for sure!


The 458 certainly was a mess!


Unbelievable news about Kyalami!!!


Warm regards

Current: '81 308 GTSi; '81 Porsche 911 Turbo, '70 Porsche 911E, '94 Lamborghini Diablo VT; '00 Porsche 996 GT3; '07 Aston Martin Vantage
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-27-2014, 02:27 AM
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Hey Guys, I was there and it was one of the best track days ever, I have not met either of you
" Mikes " - maby we should make a point of that next time...

I'm so happy Kyalami remains !!!!

I've made really cool Full- HD movies of all the cars coming in and out of the track and also some of my LAPS in a funky 308 GTSi

here some pics, I can put more if you like..

cheers
Johnny
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-27-2014, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Johnny


Really poorly arranged on our side!!!


Clynton was there in his 550 as well...


Regards


Mike

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post #12 of 13 Old 07-27-2014, 11:28 PM
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Great news on Kyalami!

Sad to see the pics of the Speciale, that is a total write-off.


Onno



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post #13 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 09:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzyO View Post
Great news on Kyalami!

Sad to see the pics of the Speciale, that is a total write-off.


Onno
I don't think its a write off, we have an official approved Ferrari body shop here which can seemingly perform miracles, they have fixed far more badly damaged cars before. At least the damage on this Speciale is limited to the front of the car only.
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