Last summer we did a few road trips to track days, and this year we thought it would be fun to checkout one of the #Gridlife events! We chose a Chicago area event at Autobahn Country Club happening June 25-26.
Departure was early on Friday morning with a few stops on our way.
All loaded up! This is the first trip with the 'new-to-me' trailer! It was super handy to have the toolbox, extra tires and canopy tent on the trailer instead of in the car with me! We changed up the livery on the Miata, as well. Extra bonus: it left room for my oldest son, Felix, to ride with me!
It was a hot day (upper 90s) and the Miata had its AC removed before I got it. I crafted a homemade solution to get some extra fresh air into the car! I took a gas station coffee cup and cut a hole in it, it worked great.
WE MADE IT! And we found our pit spot with some of the local track pals, Peter, Damian and Kyle.
WE PASSED TECH! After getting all setup I brought the car through tech to get it inspected. The car passed just fine and we were all ready for Saturday and Sunday!
Saturday morning was a wet one! When we got to the pits, we walked around and checked out a bunch of the super cool cars like this S2000!
My Saturday run group consisted of four sessions. The two morning sessions were both wet; the first was just a little wet but got cut short due to lightning!! and the second was a straight up down pour! We were driving the Autobahn South Course and it has a "dry line" and a "wet line". When it's wet, if you try to corner fast it gets super slick causing some oversteer in the corners.
Happily, the afternoon got super nice out and made for some really fun sessions!
Between sessions we took the Subaru to the lookout hill to watch some of the Drifting, Time Attack and GLTC!
By the end of the day I was able to get some heat into the tires :)
I was definitely starting to feel more comfortable with the track and turn some faster lap times! The track is HUGE! I've spent a lot of time turning laps at my local track (DCTC) and drifting at USAIR, and this track is more than twice as wide in some areas! The car for sure had a lot more speed in it!
Sunday morning the plan was to do two sessions and then make the long drive from Chicago back to Minnesota. The weather was great for Sunday and track conditions were close to what they were on the prior days afternoon sessions.
Between the first and second session, Peter and I ran into an old friend who gave us a few tips on driving the track. Shout-out to Ben Mich! His input definitely helped me gain some time on track!
Above is one of my laps from the last session, my car was running around the 1:50 mark. I am sure if I went back I could go faster, but I had boatloads of fun and I was able to street drive the car back home with no issues!
More photos from Gridlife Chicago here.
Shout-out to my wife and kids for making the drive out, taking photos/videos, and being my pit crew for the weekend!