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Jack Olsen 01-19-2018 09:45 PM

A little artful reflection on a track day morning
It's always different, but this time the perfect moment happens on the drive in. Iím awake at 5:00, a cold January morning, in the car and on my way by 5:30. Iíve been doing this so long that Iíve got the kinks worked out. Thereís hot coffee within easy reach. Good heat from the exchangers down on the carís headers. Noise canceling earbuds filter most of the engine sound, but not so much that I canít hear how well the thing is running. I have music coming in through the earbuds, as well as an audio feed from the radar detector, which means I can plant myself in the empty left lane and enjoy watching the sun slowly rise in the hour and a quarter that it takes to get over the San Gabriels and all the way out to the oldest and fastest road course in North America. Thereíll be a lot of adrenaline later, but this drive up out of the city, through the mountains and up to the high-altitude desert is a tremendously calm experience, every time I do it.

pwd72s 01-20-2018 12:08 AM

Good on ya, Jack. Have to confess, I wouldn't get up and on the road at 5:00 A.M. for anything.

recycled sixtie 01-20-2018 01:39 AM

Well done Jack and the music is great too.:):)

svandamme 01-20-2018 01:43 AM

So how far away from the Wilson's Springs are you?

svandamme 01-20-2018 01:44 AM

And were that 3 radical's you were chasing?? BB can keep up with those? Nice.

kach22i 01-20-2018 02:50 AM

One problem back in the day with driving that early in the morning was the preponderance of drunk drivers still out on the road. Also still a lot of nocturnal animals in a hurry to get back to the den.

Glad you made it safely to the track to chase those winged wonders in front of you.

KNS 01-20-2018 04:48 AM

Nicely done!

I absolutely love being on the road before sunrise before the world wakes up, especially on a Sat/Sun morning.

svandamme 01-20-2018 04:52 AM

it's the only time when i can get some clear roads for some fun driving around here.
Last Xmas evening, i went for a 650 km drive to the ardennes and back.. No family and tired of seeing reruns of Die Hard on TV..
Saw maybe 6 cars the entire drive.. it was brilliant Went off the HW in Bastogne and pushed through the little roads to Sankt Vith, turned back via Spa..
No traffic whatsoever between 20 and 23h.. everybody was busy stuffing their face,+8904+Ypres/Bastogne,+6600/50.2828155,6.10786/50.4903549,5.8484301/50.6710127,5.4882601/Molenstraat+21,+8904+Ieper,+Belgi%C3%AB/@50.4501647,5.9535073,14.04z/data=!4m23!4m22!1m5!1m1!1s0x47dcc8b4dfff706d:0x704 a32cafaeff7ae!2m2!1d2.8547932!2d50.8967457!1m5!1m1 !1s0x47c019892de7e789:0x40099ab2f4d6220!2m2!1d5.71 52802!2d50.0005062!1m0!1m0!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x47dcc8c e8fd8b0a3:0xd3ac7729c9b40f44!2m2!1d2.8661879!2d50. 8981607!3e0?hl=en

javadog 01-20-2018 04:57 AM

Nice video. You got a headlight out?

OldSpool87 01-20-2018 05:03 AM

The drive to my local track, Limerock, is one of my favorite parts of a track day. In November, I arrIved around 6:45am and the moon was rising. It was so peaceful in the paddock that I thought for a moment I had gotten there the wrong day.

Nickshu 01-20-2018 05:19 AM

Awesome Jack!

Sent from my Galaxy S7 using Tapatalk

petrolhead611 01-20-2018 05:29 AM

I will only get up early to drive to the track in time for scrutineering( one track that occurs at 7am, yes I know), or beat the traffic en route to Manchester airport( if I leave at 6.30 am during the week it becomes a 120-150 minute journey, whereas if I leave at 5.30am it is a 75 minute journey). surprising how many trucks on the motorway even from 5.30am on a Sunday

jwasbury 01-20-2018 05:32 AM

Nice looking vid


Originally Posted by svandamme (Post 9893261)
And were that 3 radical's you were chasing?? BB can keep up with those? Nice.

Would have to be very poorly driven radicals. Those are downforce cars and should be able to navigate a circuit faster than almost any ďdoor slammerĒ

astrochex 01-20-2018 06:24 AM

Sweet video. There is nothing quite as serene and majestic as the desert at sunrise.

How much does that hood weigh?

Bill Verburg 01-20-2018 08:10 AM

I've always enjoyed watching the sun come up over the Berkshires on the way to Limerock, helps a lot when the deer are rutting

bkreigsr 01-20-2018 08:20 AM

Your 1:49 min video made me realize how much I miss the track (and all the associated nuances of the trips) after DE retiring in 2015, after 41 years of track-trekking.

Bill K

rattlsnak 01-20-2018 08:22 AM


Originally Posted by javadog (Post 9893311)
Nice video. You got a headlight out?

I was thinking the same thing!

Jack Olsen 01-20-2018 08:41 PM


Originally Posted by rattlsnak (Post 9893512)
I was thinking the same thing!

Ha! I just checked. The left one is pointed too close to the car, the right one too far away. It's less noticeable in person, but I'll re-adjust it. They get shaken up because I take both headlight buckets out on hotter track days to improve airflow to the oil coolers.

DHE11 01-20-2018 10:57 PM

Nice Jack,
Makes me miss the track even more - i sold my road/track car in Australia back in June and currently building another in LA. Haven’t driven now for 6 mths!!!

Will be looking to come over to LA to give it a run and dial it in sometime in late February before bringing it back to Australia.
Willow looks to be one of the closest tracks to Burbank where its being built.

What advice do you have on getting access to the track for practice?
Do you need to be a local club member or do they do “open” private practice days during the week?


ted 01-21-2018 06:00 AM

My goal when heading north on the 5 through LA is about the same to be climbing the grapevine by 6am Friday morning.
Except we start 3 hours south in San Diego and keep going till we get to Laguna Seca at noon.

I know another racer with a short track commute.
He lives in Carmel Valley his commute to Laguna Seca is just 68 turns over Laureles Grade with no freeway.

The reality of race weekends for most of us is you arrive Friday a day early to pass tech and set up your pit.
Stay in a local hotel for 2 nights, race for 2 days and tow home Sunday night getting home around 11pm.

The drive to the track is a relief in a sense.
I go totally prepared.
You know from the pick up truck, trailer and race car prepped and detailed and also everything at home from cutting the lawn to whatever completed.
Just helps clear my mind for a weekend away at the track.

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