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Discussion Starter #1
The GGLC would like to invite all new Elise owners to join.

The GGLC (Golden Gate Lotus Club) was formed in 1973 and has been supporting the Lotus enthusiast. We have monthly meetings, events, track days (we have 5 track days this year!), autocrosses, tours and more. This year we are hosting the West Coast Lotus Meet (WCLM) in Lake Tahoe, May 20-23. We are expecting 200 Lotus enthusiasts and will have a few Elises there for demo ride & drives.

In 1995 the GGLC hosted an international Lotus Meet in conjunciton with with the Monterey Historics. Lotus displayed a fantastic collection of Lotus F1 and Indy cars. The Meet had over 700 participants and 500 Lotus were gathered at Laguna Seca in the largest Lotus fest to take place outside of the UK. We were honored by special guests Clive Chapman (Colin's son) and Hazel Chapman (Colin's wife) along with Sir Sterling Moss.

If you would like to learn more about the GGLC visit our web site at www.gglotus.org or write our membership chairman, [email protected] or me at [email protected]. We look forward to welcoming you as a member!

Kiyoshi Hamai
GGLC Webmaster
www.gglotus.org
 

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Will definitely join -- once i've ordered!
 

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HI Kiyoshi,
Don't forget Parnelli Jones was there with his Indy Lotus, a cool guy!

That was a great event, enjoyed being there!!
Chris
 

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It just struck me: Lotus clubs accross America will probably double in size this year. And again the next year... Is the club infrastructure ready?:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
JonM3Coupe said:
It just struck me: Lotus clubs accross America will probably double in size this year. And again the next year... Is the club infrastructure ready?:eek:
Good point... Most clubs including the GGLC haven't grown appreciably in the last 10 years.

The clubs are all run by volunteers, so the hope is that as the clubs grow it will attract new volunteers. The stress points will be processing the new members and having to process more newsletters. I think both of those can be dealt with with a few more volunteers. On the flip side, more members will bring new excitement and more events.

For the GGLC, the Track Days are currently about 25-40% Lotus, so we if get new members attending we can bump the non-Lotus drivers.
 

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khamai said:
For the GGLC, the Track Days are currently about 25-40% Lotus, so we if get new members attending we can bump the non-Lotus drivers.
That's great! I definitely will join GGLC once I got my car. I already have my member application form filled out. ;)

Are all the track day events on weekdays?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
stuttgart said:
That's great! I definitely will join GGLC once I got my car. I already have my member application form filled out. ;)

Are all the track day events on weekdays?
Fantastic! I look forward to meeting you!

As for Track Days... Each year John Zender, GGLC Track Day Chair works with the tracks - Laguna, Sears, Thunderhill, Buttonwillow, Reno-Fernley, on dates. He ALWAYS requests weekend dates, but given the limited inventory of these dates they first go to race dates and then to clubs based upon seniority. There are a number of clubs - Shelby, Porsche, etc, that have been doing track days for decades. But, the good news is that the GGLC has been active for some time (for over 15 years & very active the last 5) so we've built up seniority.

Of the 5 dates we have this year (might have 1 additional), we were able to get 1 weekend date. Next year we'll work on getting 2 or more! :)
 

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Let's talk a second about track days. I am a beginner. I have done two track schools with BMW Golden Gate Chapter, and one with Russel Racing (five days total with my own car). I am still a D student, though hoped to be signed off for C during my next school.

The BMW schools are incredibly, well, "careful"... It takes a LOT to get signed off to drive solo... And it seems that all C students have instructors in the passenger seat... and open top cars must have SCCA-caliber rollbars... And the tech inspects must be done by professionals.

Now, glancing at the school info on the GGLC website, the track day rules seem, well, "looser."

So... Do you think the overall pace of your GGLC events is slower and more oriented to "fun"? Or are the BMW folks too anal?

How many offs do your GGLC newbies experience? For that matter, how much tolerance does the GGLC have for newbies?

Personally, having done a total of five track days at Sears Point, and none at any other track, I would definitely need some help learning the line if I started with my Elise at Thunderhill.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
JonM3Coupe said:
Let's talk a second about track days. I am a beginner. I have done two track schools with BMW Golden Gate Chapter, and one with Russel Racing (five days total with my own car). I am still a D student, though hoped to be signed off for C during my next school.

The BMW schools are incredibly, well, "careful"... It takes a LOT to get signed off to drive solo... And it seems that all C students have instructors in the passenger seat... and open top cars must have SCCA-caliber rollbars... And the tech inspects must be done by professionals.

Now, glancing at the school info on the GGLC website, the track day rules seem, well, "looser."

So... Do you think the overall pace of your GGLC events is slower and more oriented to "fun"? Or are the BMW folks too anal?

How many offs do your GGLC newbies experience? For that matter, how much tolerance does the GGLC have for newbies?

Personally, having done a total of five track days at Sears Point, and none at any other track, I would definitely need some help learning the line if I started with my Elise at Thunderhill.
The GGLC track days are set-up to maximize track time. Because of insurance we do not say that are Track Day events are "Schools". We also believe that the traditional driving schools like Barber, Russell, Bondurant, etc are far more qualified to teach. They have years of experience, thus we recommended that for "real" training a professional school is the safest and best way to learn.

The current format to drivers who want to get lots of track time. We anticipate that new Elise owners will start joining and we have enough flexibility in our format to create an Elise only group or a "novice" group. Additionally, there are any number of experienced drivers at our events who can "coach" newbies. This is not a substitute for a professional school, but it helps the newbie learn a new track or work/review on specific corners or techniques.

As for the speed of our events, I would not say they are faster. Currently we have two groups - "Fast" and "Not-so-Fast", but could add a 3rd as mentioned above. Additionally we limit the number of participants so cars can get spread out.

We are pleased that we've only had 2 incidents that have resulted in body damage in the 15 years we've been doing track days. In both cases the drivers were "experienced".

As for safety rules, most tracks and insurance policies require SCCA or better roll bars on open cars.

Comparing the GGLC events to BMW, Porsche events is best to say they serve a different driver and audience. GGLC events are similar in "sytle" & feel to Shelby Club events.

Kiyoshi
 

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I joined GGLC a few years ago when I got my Sunspeed Elise. The first thing I did with my Elise when barely run in was a GGLC track day at Laguna Seca. I've done two GGLC track days so far (both at Laguna Seca), plus track days with other clubs at Buttonwillow and Willow Springs.

The GGLC is friendly, helpful and I learned a lot. New drivers usually start off in a convoy behind someone who knows the track, so you can get to know the corners. There are also experienced drivers who will ride with you, since they run in the "fast" group, and I've always run in the "less fast" group where there is no overtaking on corners and a "point by" rule on the straights.

Compared to other track days, GGLC is relatively informal, assumes that most people know what they are doing, but is just as helpful for newcomers.

I wish I'd been able to do more track days, I've been too busy....

We just spent the weekend driving around with the roof off, nice to have some warm weather!

See you in Tahoe
 

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How many cars per group in a typical GGLC event?

Also, FWIW, I'm not averse to "informal." I'm just trying to get an idea for how the GGLC operates. Based on the description here, I will propbably do a SCCA school at Thunderhill before driving that track in my future Elise.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We don't publicize a limit, but we do try to keep the numbers down so that everyone gets lots of track time (as in by the end of the day your tongue is hanging out...) and not too much traffic. Typically we see between 30-50 drivers that are broken into 2 groups. That means there's only about 20-25 cars on track at any one time! Compare that to many track day events where there's 50 in a group!

We are prepared to go to 3 groups (as we've had in the past) to accomodate a larger group of novices/newbie drivers.

To say "Informal" does not mean "unsafe". We do take all the precautions required. "Informal" just means fewer operational rules that get in the way of having fun. It also requires that the drivers have to be more responsible.

It's my opinion that a newbie considers investing in a good professional school first (before you form bad habits). Get a good foundation at the basics and then start enjoying your car at track days. However, newbies do come to the GGLC track days and they are welcomed and offered assistance - there are other drivers to help them, ride with them, show the line, discuss driving techniques. A real school would work through excercises that emphasize individual skills and you are constantly observed by instructors.
 

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Some examples:

GGLC - Informal meaning you have to ask around to find someone to ride with you - this is not a problem even for a first timer. I got some very good coaching, and lots of track time.

Tracknutz at Buttonwillow - formal setup meaning everyone was paired with a coach, first you got driven in the coach's car, then the coach drove you in your car, then the coach rode with you and showed you the line etc. Then you tried it on your own. A bit more time spent waiting around.

I learned a lot from both events.
 
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