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|22nd December 2005, 01:27||#1|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: BLR - chasing cars...
Thanked: 24 Times
Bangy boys on Sriperambadur track
Man, get ready for one long post!
It all starts with a post by Poncho announcing a track day. One that clashes with a drag in CBE. Well, to cut a long story short, both were postponed, and so we had a clear date. Once we got our finances in order, we sat down to decide which cars to take. Mclaren was all for taking his Zen, but we realised that it wouldn't be a good idea for the highways or the track, and two six-footers (Anush and his brother Suhas) wouldn't love the seating. We had settled on Anush's Esteem, and gone so far as to get the spacers removed, when it came up that the windscreen is so badly scratched that night driving is dangerous. So we traded in the Esteem for my Baleno, and set a date for 4.30 am with Poncho.
Mclaren and me set out, with 45 minutes of sleep between the both of us. Picked up Anush, Suhas, and a whole lot of food. Then we met Poncho at Diamond District. They decided to take the Krishnagiri route, while we took the Old Madras Road. We stopped back at Anush's to pick up a helmet, which was compulsory. Then we hit the road!
The drive started in darkness, with Mr Highway Driver Mclaren urging me not to slow down when I saw high-beams in my eyes. But I don't have what it takes to zoom past at 130, when there could well be a truck ahead and invisible. We almost crashed when Mcl shouted STOP, only to find he had discovered a beautiful locale for a shoot. We took a five min Frooti and Appy breather (drink and drive!!!), and got a few lovely pics.
Hit the road again, and soon enough the sun starts to rise. Mcl got a few nice shots of the sunrise, since we were travelling east.
What you see on the road
Photo op on the way to Chennai
We don't stop, except for a guard somewhere on the AP border, who wants baksheesh, and is obliged with Rs 30. Next stop is Chittoor, for coffee, and Anush wanted to contract cancer too.
From here, it's flat out till Vellore for breakfast. Then another flat out stretch till Sriperumbudur. Our total time: 4 hr 45 mins, brilliant considering we drove slow in the dark, and had total stop time of over 1 hour.
We reach the track, and are greeted by Poncho, and his friend Stan. Someone comes up to us and introduces himself as JD, and we realise we have him to thank for all this. We are introduced to Karun Chandok, and TBHPian Sideways is present too.
I've got to say this, guys. The organisers are the nicest guys we've met so far. No hassles or ego rides. Considering we are all novices, and a lot of these guys are professional, we were amazed at the response we got.
Track Day begins
First we were given an informal briefing. We signed our forms, and got into our cars. Then we hit the tarmac in a session of "Follow the leader" with n_aditya (TBHPian) in his Esteem followed Karun in an Optra. Tagging behind were me in the Baleno and a silver TN Mondeo.
Stuart Little prepping the Baleno for track use
Follow the leader: Karun in the Optra, n_aditya in the Esteem, v1p3r in the Baleno
n_aditya in his K&N'd Esteem
After 4 laps, Karun pulled in and we hit the track to sort ourselves out. Immediately, I spun off on the first 90 degree right. Braked in the turn, rookie mistake. Slapped myself into remembering all the theory I've known so well over the years, I set off. This time I kept the line steady until I knew the circuit. Then I started to gun it a bit. Came close to 130 on the straights, before I stopped for the session.
Sideways pointed out a few errors in my driving, to do with entry angles and speeds. I was coming into the first turn way too hot, so I absorbed his input.
Then Karun got behind the wheel of my Baleno to take a lap and show me how the pros do it. For all you guys fancying yourself as racecar drivers, don't. These guys are in a league of their own.
Next up was Mclaren, and man, he can drive! Stuart stuck to the perfect racing line, and even Sideways complimented him on his driving.
Mclaren1885 taking the track in style
All this while, Anush and Suhas are gearing up. They grabbed their chance when Mclaren pitted, and took the wheel and passenger seat. Swapping between them, they too pulled off some good laps. Then the bikers hit the track, with Poncho leading the way.
In the next session, I realised that empty winding roads don't come by very often. After a few experiments to see the absolute limits of grip that I was generating, I went drift or bust. To hell with racing line, I said to myself!!!Looking much like a Japanese underground movie, my blue Suzuki drifted through most of the circuit. This time Mclaren and me generated close to 150 kays on the straight. Pretty damn cool considering the SBK were doing 180-200.
Anush and Suhas were taking it slow and steady, building up speed on the laps. Suhas says "I felt sorry for your third gear da! So I ran it in 4th for a lap."
This goes to show, the Baleno is pretty sweet around the track. Torque means that you barely ever need 2nd gear. 3rd is enough for some great laps. For easy rides, 4th is good. I even did a lap in 5th for kicks, without any problems. But 2nd 3rd combo is the ideal drift setup!!!
In between, we got to drive the FISSMEs for a price cheaper than any karting track. I had some trouble with the gears, but Mclaren again took to it like a fish to water, setting some nice lap timings. Anush and Suhas decided against driving them, physical stature being a major problem!!!
We left the track, and followed Nitrous and his friend (now our friend!) Karthik back to Chennai. We were stuck in the worst traffic jam in the history of man, and I was almost dead from lack of sleep. Suhas took the wheel and we managed to wade through traffic, slush, and various other obstacles to dinner at Dhaba Express and Geoffrey's for a beer.
Day 2 arrived with a depression and the news that the track day was cancelled. This meant that officially there were no laps, but you could take your car onto track for a few laps. Standing water meant that we didn't pick up too much speed. The highlight was JD Madan taking us out in his Indian Evo VI for a "slow" spin. Man, the AWD drifts through corners at over 100kmph, and he apologizes for the slow laps because of rain! The guy can drive, and how!
Another MAD Mitsu...guess whose?!
We said our goodbyes and thank yous and headed back home, having picked up a passenger, Gulzar.
A little bit about Gulzar...in the middle of the SBK, you could hear the loud rat-tat-tat of an expansion chamber. Gulzar brought his stock-engined bike down from Bangalore, sleeping on a luggage rack. He was out on the track continuously putting down his laps and making the trip count. Considering his bike only put out 15bhp, it was pretty damn amazing that he was never lapped by the 150+bhp SBKs. Like JD said...hardcore. Bro, you have our respect.
Then we hit the road. A wrong turn somewhere and we came back via Hosur, prolonging our trip by 2 hours. Back home at last, so glad to be surrounded by KA plates...
The experience was amazing, and it beats the hell out of any drag. I'm grateful to the organisers for putting up such a great show. Like JD said, it's all about you guys having fun. And boy, did we!
The organisers were incredibly nice, approachable, down-to-earth guys. No hassles, no ego trips, nothing. And these are some of the fastest people in India, with the timing slips and records to prove it.
The VFM factor was pretty incredible. We paid Rs 900 for a day of driving, and we felt it was worth every penny. But I'm sure the organisers paid more to subsidise the event. It would be great if anyone on TBHP who is in a position to do so (corporate etc), got in on the sponsorship act.
A huge thank you to all the organisers, Nitrous for showing us around Chennai (except the beach ), Karthik for making sure we had a roof over our heads, and Aditya for the company and laughs!!!
We'll be back!
Like Poncho says, we're hooked for life...
|22nd December 2005, 02:40||#2|
hhmm..firstly like v1p3r said hats off to the organizing committe..JAYDEE MADAN (v1p3r remember its not JD),karun chandok,poncho,sideways were really sweet..such great names in indian automotive rather track/drag events these days and boy trust me the impression we had of them before meeting them was absolutely wrong..we thought they would be air-headed and egoistic and boy they turned out to be really really down to earth guys..that in itslef was a shocker..these guys have to be the sweetest guys i have met thus far..
secondly i really appreciate their initiative of hosting such an event for the benefit of all and in return an excellent oppurtunity to popularize the sport..we for sure loved every bit of it and vow that the four of us will and shall participate in further such events unless and until we have restrictions of some sort..it was a great experience for us and u guys shall be remembered everytime we think of this experience..well done guys..
btw v1p3r it was at palamner that we had coffee at and not chitoore..secondly as v1p3r mentioned i was scared as hell seeing him brake everytime he came close to a oncoming headlamp..as mentioned he hardly sleept and didnt have any night driving experience under his belt,so that did give me a few vibes and he was not willing to let go of the wheel either..maybe that adrenaline of driving to madras for a track event got into him..btw it wasnt me who yelled STOP for that wonderful place at the lake it was anush..that scared the hell outta the two of us sitting at the front..but it was worth the stop as we got hold of a few wonderful pics..if just we had rudra along..cha..
first it began with karun chandok showing us around the track in his spanking optra..dont know about the others but i learnt quite a lot from his briefing and tried to implement it..had to wait till the 3rd session of the day until i stepped into the baleno..and boy once i got used to track after the 1st lap i gunned it and was impressed that i hadnt yet lost touch with track events as i had vowed not to take part in further events as my mom was against it around 3-4yrs back..now that she had given the perm i wasnt going to let go of this oppurtunity..
was at ease with the track and the baleno was an excellent car to go around in..then we got a chance to take the FISSME(formula india single seater maruti engined) car out for a spin..if i thought the baleno was fun on track then trust me this rear-wheel drive trackster had its own story to tell..it was exciting to drive this piece of machinery,so exciting that i at one turn hit the kerbs and the next moment i realised was my BU#T bottoming out like hell..i could literally feel every bump,the car was that low..wanted to try it out for a longer time but as finances were at a all time low had to be contended with just 4 laps..one of the guys over there(who had seen the timings at the tower) told me that i had clocked 17 secs slower than the lap record set by jaydee i think..that on my 1st flying lap was quite commendable and i was immensely happy with my show(considering the fact that it was my first time in a FISSME and at the track)..could have bettered it by a huge margin in my 2nd flying lap but alas i spun it as i mentioned it earlier..was so impressed that i might want to participate in the next years championship if everything goes well..
then came the moment when it rained and just as when we thougt all was ruined we were asked to take the cars out onto track(the bikers session was cancelled)..i tried to gun the car as soon as i got out of the pits and within no time did i realise how difficult it was to drive on a wet track..i did spin off twice in the entire session but still did hit speeds of 120 kms on the straight easily..this particlular session thought me a lot i must say and the points that i picked up will be in handy for sure..
then we head out to chennai which turned out to be the worst traffic jam i have been till date..now who said the traffic in bangy is all that bad,u gotto visit chennai..after an entire day at the track we head to a tbhpians place to get some sleep..
the next day though disappointment hit us that the event was called off due to rain we still decided to head to the track as it was on our way to bangalore and didnt it PAY off..the track was open and so we did a few laps on the extrmely wet track..and to sum it all up Mr.Jaydee Madan took the 4 of us on a spin in his EVO 6(yes yes we got a ride in that one and only 12.47 sec car ) around the track in a what was it that he said "a slow lap''..slow is an understatement there,any quicker and we would have had v1p3r yelling so loudly that if any heart patients were around they would died just listening to him panic and all this while the rest of them are all buckled up and poor me had to get squashed between the bonds(read v1p3r and suhas) without any support and had to even video the entire run..now thats madness aint it..that car moves and this guy CAN DRIVE..
oooppss totally forgot to mention about the biker boys..poncho and stan u guys are good with ur machines..trust me it takes ba##s and much more to pull out what u guys did with those monsters on the track..would have joined u guys if i had better luck with bikes,but by the looks of it no bikes for me anymore and with that goes down the drain a dream of me owning a SBK..
then we headed back to bangalore and the rest has been told by v1p3r,so i would like to sign off saying that this event was worth every penny we paid for,was worth every km that we travelled to get to chennai from bangalore,and was worth every cm of rubber we burned on track..it gave us an insight into track racing and i once again thank these lovely guys for being host to such an exciting and a wonderful event..already we have talks about the next one..yaaay..
once again would like to thank jaydee madan,karun chandok,sideways,poncho,bikersg(though i never got to know ur id),nitrous,ralert and to all those who i might have missed out on..only thing dissappointing was not to get to see the madras tbhpians there in huge numbers ..it was a good platform to get to know u guys via this event...
PS: i have some wonderful pics of the entire run to and fro ( really scenic), on track events,and a few videos of the runs v1p3r and me did on track apart from the BIG ONE in the EVO 6..will post them up shortly..until then ur with this boring report of mine along with that of v1p3r's..
Last edited by mclaren1885 : 22nd December 2005 at 02:57.
|22nd December 2005, 06:40||#3|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Hubli - Karnata
Thanked: 81 Times
How about some lap times!!! We can compare them to the ones achieved by the OD crew.
That'l show us what the cars were capable of.... and how much you guys could xtract from them.
|22nd December 2005, 10:28||#4|
well shantanu the 1st few sessions werent timed,they were just to give us some time to get to know the circuit well..and in the later half when we were supposed to be running the timing transponders its started to rain and thus we called off timing..and the next day the event was called off..there was no way of knowing what timings we did..except that in 1 session the 2 FISSME's(v1p3r & mine) and Jaydee's evo 6 were running the transponders..so only the timings of these three were available..
|22nd December 2005, 12:05||#7|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nashua, NH
Thanked: 1,584 Times
Damn... you lucky buggers.
Great report by the way and nice pics too. Almost took me to the edge of the track.
I hope such events become a regular thing so that i can go to at least one of em!!
Last edited by amitoj : 22nd December 2005 at 12:12.
|22nd December 2005, 15:01||#10|
|22nd December 2005, 15:09||#12|
|22nd December 2005, 15:24||#13|
Join Date: Jul 2005
Mclaren and v1p3r... I envy u guys. I badly wanted to be there, in fact i made it to chennai too... but istead of being on the track, had to be with my colleagues at some vague crocodile bank in chennai. Count me in the for the next track day in chennai /cbe... if its happening at the Kari speedway, a few of u can crash in at my place there...its just abt 10 mins away from the track there. I know my alto will be quite silly on the track, so i guess i shall gear up my shogun... the least, i will be there as a spectator.
|22nd December 2005, 15:43||#14|
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Madras - India
Thanked: 18 Times
the alto will do just fine. Everyone needs to know that when the track firt came up the maruti 800's used to raced/ the maruti 1000 never made it to track. The esteems were introduced much later
|22nd December 2005, 16:04||#15|
Join Date: Jul 2005
If you still maintain yes, boy u made my day!! . Anyways, if i don't have an option, i will bring my alto. The objective is not just abt setting the fastest lap time and racing with someone else, so i guess a .8ltr would do for the moment... only for the moment.
Last edited by Joz : 22nd December 2005 at 16:05.
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