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The last TDE event at MSR CW (Nov 13-14) was pretty much run all in the rain, and it was a blast. Granted I was in my AUDI S4 MaD wAgOn, but there was still much I learned. I've already signed up for the Feb event myself, the only wagon in red:)...

I am hoping to place an order for an Elise eventually, but since I have a deposit at Overseas, not overly confident about that happening (may have to talk to Star in Houston). So if you hear of a Magnetic or Laser Blue, hardtop, and LSS looking for an owner, I'm right here... Be great to see some Elises at MSR, because that's why I am wanting one...
 

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Just got my Elise [VIN394]. By Feb. it should be properly broken in, and I will have its alignment checked, corner weighted and balanced. I look forward to seeing other Elises there, also.
 

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Overseas should have a Magnetic Blue availble soon, call Kass.

Likely to be a best offer thing, but a green did not go too much over MSRP.

Greg
 

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If you have any questions about The Drivers Edge, feel free to ask. I've been an instructor with them for 4 years. We especially want to see more Elises (Elisi?) out there with us!

Our events fill up quick (we keep the total count of cars on track lower than that snotty german car club, we dont' want to crown the place)... so you shoudl register for the event early. I would imagine that the registration for the Feb event at MSR will fill up now that folks are focused on 2005.

And, don't forget TWS in March. That's my favorite track in texas - it's as fast as you likely want to go, whereas MSR is a lot slower, more like a fast autocross for some cars.
 

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TTP said:
Anyone planning to go to this track day in Feb at MSR? I'll more than likely go but not sure yet. http://www.thedriversedge.net/events.html

Jefferson,

Do you guys still run if it rains? Is registration refundable in case of rain out?

Thanks

Is a hardtop required to run TWS? My car won't be broken in by then, but want to know for future events since I didn't get the hardtop.
 

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Drivers Edge does **not** require a hardtop.

Also, if we have a bunch of people going, either Bill Kim of SouSpeed or myself can do the inspection. In the past, we've done it en masse one evening, followed by a round of bench racing and review of each turn on the track... just an idea to give you a head start...!
 

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Good - we need some serious Elises at these events!

Since you've got some time, you should think about prepping the car and yourself for the event. It takes some time to accumulate all t his stuff, so here goes:

Car:
- track alignment. There's only 1 place in town run by an experienced track driver/instructor, and thats SoulSpeed.
- pads. Most of the time, "pedestrian" pads lead to dull pedal feel and reduced stopping capabilities as the weekend progresses. You don't need race pads for just starting out (and they will quickly eat your rotors anyway), but there are a number of good dual-purpose pads that will work great. Having brakes is not a thing to have to be concerned with over the weekend, it will take a serious chunk out of the fun if they don't work.
- tire pressure gauge: a good mechanical gauge, not an electronic one (which are inaccurate). Look for a race style gauge, with a mechanism to release air and a large round dial.
- tire pump. You won't change tire pressures wildly (like you might in an autocross), but you will need to put in a few pounds and make adjustments ince you start to get the hang of it. I have an electric pump - with both it's own battery, a line to go to the cars power source, and an AC adapter. I don't recommend large tanks, you don't have the room in your cars to carry it, and their pressure just goes down anyway.
- consumable supplies: just in case. Brake fluid, oil. You should't be going thru any of this, but all cars are a but different and if you are eating any then you'll need to top it off during the weekend.
- small floor jack. As you gain experience with the car, you'll become familiar with the rate it uses up brake pads, tires, etc. To get familiar, you may want to take a look at the car over the source of the weekend. A small aluminum jack would be best (you have limited room anyway). Note that you can usually borrow a jack from somebody.

What you don't need:
- gas can. Popular with drag racers, certainly not needed here. Dangerous to carry anyway. MSR has a gas station next door, right outside the entrance. TWS has several up the highway, and sells gas onsite too (including race gas, whic you don't need and won't make any benefit from).
- race gloves, suit. Forget the fancy gloves for now, they will IMHO just bind you up. I have a set for myself, and dont' always use them. You don't need a suit, and will see very very few people bothering with them. Remember that this is Drivers Education, not a race.

What you'll need at a later point as you develop:
- torque wrench. Assuming you are goiung to get one of these anyway as you develop your tool sets.
- tire temp tool. Contact or infrared, for measuring tire temps to fine tuning your alignment.
- Serious brake fluid.

What you'll need at a much later point:
- race tires. These are inevitable for many drivers.. and it's a whoile new car once you get them.
- tool set. Things wil start to go wrong, or you may want to start making adjustments yourself.
- $$$$$ this hobby can get as expensive as you want. As you get further and further into it, there is never enough time, cash, or available parts to do what you want. Or, since you have a reasonably well designed car anyway, you can enjoy the car very nearly stock and just have fun.

I'm assuming the car is in great shape, since it's nearly brand new. A lot of the older cars that show up may be deficient in brakes, tires, etc. Don't want to loose out on the weekend just because some maintenance item got missed. The inspection should catch these things, but you shoudl have a handle on them regardless since these are serious cars.

Yourself:
- serious helmet (not a motorcylce helmet, but one with the latest Snell rating). You'll want a full-face helmet (we're not dale earnhartds here) witih a visor that goes down. I recommend the largest visor you can find for the widest field of vision. Try the helmet on ahead of time - fit is *crucial*.
- good driving shoes, or race shoes. An extremely narrow sole is critical for narrow-footwell cars like the elise. I use race driving shows, where the sole (what ther eis on it) is considerably narrower than the widest part of the shoe.
- Cooler. There are drinks at the track (lunch at MSR, and a lunch stand at TWS open form bfast to late afternoon) but you'll want your own. I recommend you skip the caffeine, especially once it starts to get hot. You will sweat a lot and need replenishment with the right stuff.
- books/videos: get a head start on the classroom. I'd recommend Bondurant's book. The Drivers Edge also has a CD available with some good stuff on it.

There are a bunch of sites with videos of laps at TWS - most of them bad/wrong to varying degrees. It will always look different when you are there in person, in the drivers seat (not = to the camera angle), making it happen yourself. Also of course different cars have different lines... for example one reason not to go to the master race driving events (oops, I mean PCA) is that they insist on teaching the 911 line and only the 911 line - which for cars with engines in the right place is the dead wrong line. So, any videos shot form that perspective are also wrong for instructional purposes.

This is not a definitive note... just some quick ideas over bfast. The first events are going to be slow anyway - driving sklills are far more important than having a fast car or driving it fast. It's more important to have the car in perfect shape than it is to show up with every possible tool and item. Fortunately, since it's all but a brand new car, you basically don't need very much for your first event. Check the car carefully in advance, get yourself there on time, get some serious sleep the night before.
 

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jwfisher,

If you aren't already booked up, I'd like to catch a ride along in your Elise sometime that weekend. To really get my mouth watering about getting one. Not sure if we have met before at Rick's events, but looking forward to see you all and Elisi at this weekends festivaties:D...

-Frankie-
'02 S4 MaD wAgOn
 

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YAUDI said:
jwfisher,

If you aren't already booked up, I'd like to catch a ride along in your Elise sometime that weekend. To really get my mouth watering about getting one.
Per earlier post, I can't make it this weekend, prior committment. This will be one of the first ones I've missed for a couple of years. :-(

And, I'm not an Elise owner, not yet anyway. Watching to see what happens in late 2005/early 2006 with them... when the car is a little more baked...

However, I'm already signed up for TWS in March.

While we're on the topic, after 20 years of these events I can definitively say that there is enormous advantage to having an instructor with experience in many *different* cars - a broad range of awd, fwd, rwd, etc. That's the kind of instructor who can explain the whys and not just the wheres - about the track, about any car, about teaching anything and any circumstances. I personally would not want an instructor whose main attribute is that he/she owns the same car as I. I'd rather have somebody with a lot more and broader experience.

I call this "multi-denominational", and it's what I look for in an instructor when I take instruction myself (as everybody should). It's also why I absolutely shy away from "xxxx-only" events - aka events set up for and by a particular brand. As an example, I once spent 4 years instructing for a certain well-known bunch in the state who were under the banner of their own brand. Never mind that they were the snottiest bunch I've ever seen in the span of my hobby (of course there were some fabulously great ones, but the majority and the leadership are the worst I've ever seen) - all they'd teach (by policy) was the line that was perfect for their car (and not even all of their cars, just the master race model with the engine all the way in the back - a godawful unnatural position), and the great majority of their instructors knew only this one thing. And many of them were instructors solely because of ownership, many because of their senior number of years in the club (manyh having owned the same thing and only the same thing for 20 years). This type of situation should raise a lot of alarms. Track driving is serious business and it needs to be approached seriously. Take a look at NASA or SCCA instruction and you'll see a very regimented program that turns out very mature and knowledgable drivers: absolutely not a bunch of yahoos just going around the track - emabrrassing themselves with their lack of true knowledge and sloppy lines.

So, this is why I heartedly recommend TDE - they have the right mindset, the right experience, the right record. This is the best way to get to know your car, or to take it further and become knowledgable in this hobby.
 

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jwfisher said:
Per earlier post, I can't make it this weekend, prior committment. This will be one of the first ones I've missed for a couple of years. :-(

And, I'm not an Elise owner, not yet anyway. Watching to see what happens in late 2005 with them... when the car is a little more baked...

However, I'm already signed up for TWS in March.
Opps, I got wind that there were two instructor bringing Elises, and arbitrarily assumed incorrectly... Yeah, I'd like to see how they hold up to, whole point of buying the Elise is to use as a track toy...

I'm planning for TWS in Mar, hope to see you there...

To add to jwfisher comments. After a few events under my belt with TDE initially, I went around and tried other events, but nothing compared to the great experiences I have had with TDE. The variety of cars, the great mix of instructors, the excellent environment that they try their best to present, I wouldn't take back any of it. I've started back in Sept. of '03, and I've sparingly missed running with these guys. Man, now I gotta find a way to make this weekend get here faster:D...
 

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YAUDI said:
Opps, I got wind that there were two instructor bringing Elises, and arbitrarily assumed incorrectly... Yeah, I'd like to see how they hold up to, whole point of buying the Elise is to use as a track toy...
I'll be there this weekend. I won't be giving rides until Sunday though. I need some time to learn the new car before I take passengers. Just come by and find me. Yellow Elise with LSS and I'll be paddocked up on the skidpad.
 

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JeffersonRaley said:
I'll be there this weekend. I won't be giving rides until Sunday though. I need some time to learn the new car before I take passengers. Just come by and find me. Yellow Elise with LSS and I'll be paddocked up on the skidpad.
Be looking for you on Sunday Jefferson, TIA:)...
 

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JeffersonRaley said:
I'll be there this weekend. I won't be giving rides until Sunday though. I need some time to learn the new car before I take passengers. Just come by and find me. Yellow Elise with LSS and I'll be paddocked up on the skidpad.
Jefferson - you can't take passengers unless you are an instructor... sometimes red folks can too.
 
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