May 18-19, 2002
On May 18-19, 2002, John Eagle Honda of Houston, TX once
again sponsored a driver's education event at Texas World Speedway in College
Station, TX. This was the fourth time
the dealer has held this event, and it continues to become more streamlined
with each instance. Certainly not
limited to Hondas and Acuras, there were numerous makes and models
participating in the event, with many different skill levels ranging from
novice (never driven at a track) to advanced (a veteran).
For a $200 entry fee, the driver receives instruction from a
skilled driver riding shotgun, and 2 days of track time, totaling about 160
minutes, or roughly 200 miles. With the
instruction, track time, BBQ dinner, opportunity to ride in instructor
vehicles, and interaction with other friendly folks, this works out to be one
heck of a deal! Many of the instructors
were from the driving school The Driver's Edge. All are quite skilled and very friendly, with a willingness to
help each driver with whatever skills they would like to work on.
There were 4 groups of cars, ranked in order of ability:
green (novice), blue, yellow, and red (advanced). Overall, there were a good number of cars in each group, which
prevented any large amount of traffic from building up. Compared to previous iterations of this
event, it seemed as though there were less participants. This is certainly a good thing, as it lets
one concentrate on driving rather than getting angry with the person holding up
All drivers drove on the 2.9 mile road course at TWS. This course has a good mix of low- and
high-speed corners, surface changes, elevation changes, and straight-aways to
give the driver a good mix of different aspects of track driving. S2000 drivers were reporting speeds of just
over 130 MPH (indicated) at the end of the long front straight! The recent maintenance of the track makes it
even more of a pleasure to drive. A few
areas have been repaved to make things a bit smoother, as well as some other
minor, yet very noticeable, changes.
The weather for the weekend could not have been nicer. Most of the morning session on Saturday
remained cool and overcast, leaving the track a bit slick. However, for the afternoon on Saturday and
for all of Sunday, the skies were clear as can be with temperatures in the mid
to upper 70s. With low humidity, the
track was just the right temperature and everyone's cars were running strongly.
There weren't too many incidents during the weekend. Obviously, there were a few spins into the
grass; this is bound to happen when you're pushing the limits of your car. A few more notable incidents were a Prelude,
WRX, and Miata spec racer all spinning backwards into the same sand/dirt dune
on different occasions, as well as an Integra Type R nosing into a wall at low
speed and getting some minor left front damage. Each of these cars were in different ability groups, which just
goes to show that even advanced drivers can have mishaps.
The ConeCam was in heavy circulation this weekend. It spent a good deal of time on my RSX-S in
various positions, as well as occupying the bodywork of several S2000s. Between the sturdy suction cup and clamp
mounts, the ConeCam can be mounted just about anywhere to obtain almost any
angle. There should be some excellent
video footage compiled from this weekend. The videos will be released in the coming weeks after Tuan finishes with all the SEMA footage first.
Anyone with most any car should attend an event like this
one if you have the opportunity. Not
only is it some of the most fun you will ever have, but you will become a
better driver in daily life. You will
learn how to "see" turns properly, look farther down the road, better
understand what your car is doing on the road, and become more aware of your
surroundings. Plus, the people you meet
provide you with a wealth of knowledge you will not find anywhere else; you can
learn more in one weekend at such an event than in one week of surfing the
Internet. I enjoyed seeing some TOV
readers at this event, and I hope to see more readers there in the fall!
Here is a link to the TOV News article that has a link to music videos compiled of video footage from this event.
Copyright 2002, Temple of VTEC.