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Thread: My Track Day Experience

  1. #1
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    My Track Day Experience

    Just wanted to share my experience doing a "High Performance Driving Course" at Portland International Raceway yesterday. The short version is that it was a ton of fun and the car did great with one minor exception at the end of the day.

    The long version: this was my second track day ever, and first time in the RS6. My first track day was about 9 years ago in an STi, so I still feel very much a novice. The STi was a more nimble car, but similar in a lot of ways. The RS6 is definitely more powerful, however. For reference, my car is largely stock with a few key changes. First, it's a six-speed conversion, and noteworthy is the 4:1 bias center diff installed with the swap. Suspension is stock DRC that seems to be working well. Brakes are stock with EBC "blue stuff" pads and fluid is ATE TYP 200 Dot 4. Tires were Toyo R888R. Engine is stock with gutted pre-cats and a tune courtesy of Nubcake.

    Overall I was really happy with the cars performance, she felt balanced and solid throughout the day. I was getting increasingly fast as I started to get comfortable on the "line", and the instructor started pushing me to brake later and get into throttle earlier and harder on exit. It was really fun to feel the car take a "set" in the corner, then start rolling on the gas and just feel the car rocket out of corner on the edge of grip. Don't get me wrong, I missed plenty of apexes throughout the day, but when you manage to put together a "clean" series of corners, and really carry a lot of speed out onto the back straight, it's pure heaven!

    I have to say that I continue to be impressed with the DRC system. The car may not be razor sharp, but it certainly was handling the corners fine, and it always felt stable and planted. Brakes also did great, only one time I felt a bit of ABS kick in when coming off the back straight, but very manageable. I'm sure I was not pushing the brakes as hard as they could be pushed, but for a big, heavy street car, they held up admirably.

    The only issue cropped up toward the end of the last run session. I was passing a Porsche on the back straight, and felt the car lose some power. It was sporadic and not a huge loss, but it was definitely there. It felt similar to experiences I've had on over cars where the plug gap is too big and you "blow out the spark". As soon as I lifted a bit, the car seemed to return to normal. I made another lap and it happened again when hitting full throttle on the straight, so I pitted to check things out. The car revved fine in the pits, and I shut it off and restarted to see if a quick ECU reset might help, then went back out. It happened again, so I came in and called it a day. Fortunately, I only lost about 5 minutes of track time.

    Heading home I had to jump on the freeway, and while running up in 3rd, I heard a "whoosh" sound under the hood. Stopped as soon as I lifted, then happened again as soon as I got back in any boost. Very likely a boost leak somewhere. Car made it home fine, but it seemed to be getting worse, and I could start to hear the leak even under fairly low boost. Maybe a split hose or clamp worked loose. Overall, probably one of the better "problems" to have, should be any easy fix.

    One final note, it was HOT. Temp at midday was 95 on the dash, but the car showed no signs of overheating. Gauge temp was stuck straight up, and oil temps never got out of line. I'm running without aux radiators, btw.

    Sorry I don't have any video, just a picture of me in the staging area:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Very cool

    i have run that course years ago. Was the front straight open or did they have the switch back in? Wwhat was your top speed on the front and back stretch?

    as to power loss, could've been some heat soak or the beginning of your boost leak. The fact that it had more power if you let up with leads me towards the heat soak

  3. #3
    Registered User MaxRS6's Avatar
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    Welcome to the "Taken my RS6 to the track" Club! Thx for sharing
    210K miles rolled

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHall1 View Post
    Very cool

    i have run that course years ago. Was the front straight open or did they have the switch back in? Wwhat was your top speed on the front and back stretch?

    as to power loss, could've been some heat soak or the beginning of your boost leak. The fact that it had more power if you let up with leads me towards the heat soak
    We were running with the chicane on the front straight, so that slowed me down, although I really enjoyed learning how to manage the hard-brake then quick-turn-in and quick transition back series. It's one of those sections that feels really good when you put it together smooth and fast. I think I was hitting about 110 on the back stretch, but I honestly was not looking at the speedo much at the end of the straight. Too much focus on the upcoming corner!

    I'm pretty sure i've got a boost leak, mainly because of the "whoosh" noise it started making on the way home. I still haven't had a chance to poke around under the car yet, but should get a chance this weekend. Also, Nubcake and I have been running logs over the past few weeks, and my high-rpm boost was reading a bit low. I suspected the intercoolers, since they are original, but it might be a hose or clamp coming loose as well.

    Gregg

  5. #5
    Registered User Aronis's Avatar
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    :That's great! Thank you for sharing. Great to see a 14 year old car still has what it takes!

    I never took mine to a track. Don't have time for that kind of stuff. But drive it daily! LOL

    Mike
    '18 BMW M5, '19 Porsche Boxster GTS
    (prior '94 325is, '97 M3, '00 A6 4.2,'03 RS6,'08 A4 Cab,'13 A8L,'15 Q7,'16 BMW M2,

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