NASA AZ Trackday at Wild Horse Pass East - March 2016
With the ongoing efforts to rejuvenate my R32 I had to skip out on the first two NASA Arizona events of the year but I made it a point to not miss the third one at Wild Horse Pass East. WHP East is a pretty unremarkable track versus many others and if you try and compare it to famous venues I've been to like Mid-Ohio, Infineon Raceway, or Circuit of The Americas it may seem downright pathetic with its totally flat surface, short length, and dull desert surroundings but it's still a fun circuit to tool around on especially in a lower-spec car. It's also newbie-friendly with its relatively simple layout and large amount of runoff and this track was the one that baptized me into the world of trackdays ages ago when dinosaurs hadn't been turned into go juice yet and Donald Trump was still running a lemonade stand.
That first trackday I went to was held here where I rode a very unsexy lime-green Ninja 500 motorcycle so it seemed kind of fitting that this track would also see me graduate to the highest rank of NASA HPDE. I had been cleared last event to move up from HPDE 3 to the top group of 4 so now it was time to officially join them. HPDE 4 is only one rung away from actual competition in NASA and I was pleased as punch to finally earn the honor to join “the fast guys”. I don't think I embarrassed myself too much but maybe they just took pity on the poor noob.
Oh well, I made it home in one piece and that's the biggest factor to a good trackday in my book!
And so, pictures:
|I was driving my FR-S again at this event so I'll lead off with someone else's GT-R. My fellow NASA R35 drivers were absent for some reason but this nice Midnight Purple 2 R32 showed up to chat in the paddock.
|As I mentioned above I was driving my slow car that day and here's my traditional start of the event shot.
|Despite the absence of the R35 contingent there were plenty of other Nissans running this time like this Z32.
|Here's a Z33. Since NASA has had a Spec Z class since 2013, I'm thinking of building a dedicated Z33 track car after my R32 is done - if I'm still crazy enough to work on another car after my ordeal with my Nismo lol.
|I saw more Z32s that day than anywhere outside of a convention. Nice to see people running these pretty cars at the track.
|And then these two lovely classic Z's showed up later.
|Some Sentra owners were flying the flag too with these two SE-Rs of different generations.
|A nice, clean SR20.
|You see a lot of amusing random things at NASA events.
|Speaking of amusing random things - Luxury Restrooms? Really?
|Our HPDE 3 group leader Ravi runs this very nice NSX track car.
|Here's another NSX running some insane cornering speed.
|As usual the NASA paddock sees an eclectic mix of cars from this stock car...
|...to a Shelby Cobra...
|...to James Bond's preferred brand.
|Ze Germans were well-represented too.
|How about this very nice E90 M3?
|No, Minis are German now. I don't consider them British anymore and I don't think Colin Chapman would consider the "Maxi" British either lol.
|I'm not much of a fan of Porsches but here's one I definitely like and was glad to see being used for it's intended purpose.
|Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention this was on Ravi's NSX lol.
|I mentioned that NASA sees an eclectic mix of cars, well how about a Mustang, Bimmer, NSX, Lexus, and a Focus all in one shot lol?
|Just had to take a pic of that pretty Aston on track. Not a bad choice to end this set of pics.