2007 was an “up and down” year of track days for Toby and Kenny. On the “Up” side, Toby made it on track for 33 days, while Kenny did 31, on the down side were a broken drive shift 450 miles from home and a blown engine on track.
Dirty Molly gained “GIVES YOU WINGS” rear wing decals and “DHL” hood decals, a nod to Red Bull F1 and Penske’s Porsche RS Spyder LeMans prototypes respectively. (RS Spyders are “Speed Yellow” also) She received many compliments on the in-jokes.
There are many highlights to the season. In additional to local events at Summit Point and VIR, Toby and Kenny also did “away events” at Mid-Ohio, Mont Tremblant (despite the long tow home…), and Watkins Glen.
Mont Tremblant hosted the 1968 and 1970 Canadian Formula 1 races while Watkins Glen was the home of the United States Grand Prix from 1961 and 1980. Like most “classic” Formula 1 tracks, they both featured long sweeping corners that gave a great sensation that you are “driving somewhere” rather than just pounding out laps on a narrow strip of tarmac.
Toby’s lap at Le Circuit Mont Tremblant:
Toby at Mid-Ohio
Kenny at Watkins Glen
Another highlight was Toby’s trip to Mid-Ohio to attend the Acura Advanced Two Day Racing School with his friends Chip and Justin. In addition to classroom and “learn the line” drills we got identically modified Acrua TSX for 8 hours (!) of open lapping.
Toby especially enjoyed taking turns running lead-follow at full racing speed with the instructors that gave him a close up view of handling limits from behind, and got great feedback of his driving. Toby also had a ride-along with another instructor during a heavy downpour and to experience great car control skills.
The track days took a toll on Dirty Molly. At the September VIR event the engine quit with check engine light blinking feverishly. Toby guided the car to a stop off the track (with no power, power steering nor power brake) to be towed back to the paddock.
Their OBD scan tool (and later the dealer) confirmed misfire in 2 cylinders. Toby and Kenny replaced ignition coils and plugs but the engine quit again at an autocross two weeks later. They got the dreaded confirmation from their mechanic that the engine suffered catastrophic failure and had to be replaced.
It was very painful to the wallet, but also thankfully Porsche had a new engine in stock in their Atlanta warehouse and the engine swap was completed in two weeks. Toby spend the next weekend driving two round trips to Gettysburg (~500 miles) and Dirty Molly was ready for more on track action at the November Summit Point event.