The next day after doing touristy things in LA, my brother and I woke up half awake and grudgingly prepared the truck and M3 for the 1hr and 30min drive to Buttonwillow Raceway. We actually missed the first session because two of the two straps came lose on the hilly roads of California! Thankfully nothing serious happened and we tighten up the straps up again.
When we got there, we only had 30 mins before my next session! Talk about last minute. Not wanting to waste my day, we unloaded the M3 from the trailer and I got ready to hit the track. I was placed in advance group with open passing. That was fun especially when it’s you first time at this track and knowing there are locals in less powerful cars will pass you. Thats a good thing, because I get behind them and learn the lines.
On my older post, I had taken a video with brother riding shot gun: https://natsukashigarage.com/2017/08/21/streets-of-willow-video/
Lets just say my brother didn’t want to ride along anymore. After my first session, we had some time to setup the canopy and unload some vital track tools from the Tundra.
It was a hot day in the desert but coming from Houston, it was business as usual. During the breaks my bother took some photos and mingled with the locals. I love the California track scene because a lot of the cars look like they could be in car show with legit parts but they choose to track their cars! I like all builds but whats the point of putting track oriented mods and not hit the track?
These group of Subaru owners was all Pinoy owned. I knew because all of them was speaking in Tagalog! California has a big Filipino community, from the early days of post world war 2 era having a large migration of Filipino families move to the States for a better life. I know because my grandparents and my parents moved from the the Philippines, and Im one the first generation American born Asians.
This Miata had a NASCAR style wing for aero. Miata’s are a go to choice for the track because its relatively cheap to maintain and parts are readily available.
This pair of RX7s was in my run group and both was blazing fast! The black FD was pushing 500hp on a rotary turbo!
They are a shop called Lucky 7 Racing that specializes in rotaries, and they actually track them too. Very nice group of people to talk to. If I had to build a rotary, I know where to go.
This Red FC with the Mag Blue TE37 is nice colorful combo. Sounded too nice when I passed me at the track on both days.
Too lit… and the motor blew (I think) because it was spewing coolant.
J swaps are becoming more popular, than the usual K swaps. I think J motors came from the Honda Odyssey and Acura TSX. I don’t think there I much weight penalty either since this one is tracked. Im thinking J motors are cheaper too?
Single OHC on this Honda Accord is out there getting track time… Whats your excuse? Just proves you don’t need a “track car” for the track.
The California scene is the king of the Honda game… Houston has some good looking Hondas but overall California has just a lot better looking Hondas. Thats just my opinion. Loving the old school Mugen wheels on this EF Hatch
A rare sight… 240sx made for grip.
Im telling ya, California has some of the best Hondas out there.
Clean looking 335i. I wonder how the driver is dealing with the heat because the N54 motors tend to heat soak if the climate isn’t cool.
This was my favorite Hondas out there. Its owned by Chris, who happens to be a nurse too. If I had a CRX, it would be built like this…. Stripped out interior only having the vitals for the track, with high quality parts that can take the track abuse. The motor is a Type R B18C stamp on the engine block (if I recall). His wife was driving at E90 M3 at the track.
Met the driver of this E92 M3 and was his first time out tracking. We have some similar mods. Like we both was sporting Fortune Auto 500 coilovers. While talking about cars, I gave him a spare rag for the power steering resevour since they spill out at the track. Looking at his height, I do need to raise my M3… its too low for the track.
A boosted FRS… I wonder how these boosted cars do in the desert heat. The power gains are massive but the heat produced is like a double edge sword.
Another E92 M3 with some BMW livery on the numbers.
This was funny “Taginamo,” the majority of the drivers out there where filipino. Its like I never left the Philippines.
Other Filipino origin is Team Emperor. I remember back in college, they had some of the most legit builds in the Philippines.
For those of y’all wandering, the orange box on the front the cars are transponders. Basically its a very accurate lap timer. They don’t measure data like g’s or monitor engine vitals. Transponders are mainly used for Time Trail races or any timed events. In some events it is required to have a transponder. There are other forms of lap timers that also measure vehicle data if you don’t want a transponder.
This Lotus made the drive from Nevada… I think I was the one that drove the furthest distance. Which I hope to make it a yearly thing.
86 coupe on TE37
Hondas where out in full force today…
Stripped Honda EP9 Si, and you don’t see too many at the track.
Nice… flared out front Interga Type R. Reverse staggered… reminded me of one the Best Motoring video that featured a K swapped EK9 lapping Tsukuba Circuit.
The office looks purposeful. I didn’t see this car in my run class but Im sure it posted impressive times. Or maybe it was in my run group and we just never saw each other.
Track days are too much fun. This only the safe way to enjoy your car at its potential because on the street you can’t enjoy them the same way.
Fiat 500s…. I wondered how they handle with the square wheel base.
This white Fiat was a interesting…. To be honest it didn’t look the greatest but looked purpose built of one thing. Totally stripped interior with more holes in the hood, bolt on fenders. I spoke to the driver and he said the wider stance he said it made the car more stable, but didn’t like his Falkens too much though. I also wondered why would anyone spray paint their numbers but I found out it was plasti dip. I guess if you are in a rush to put on numbers, then plasti dip works.
Fastest lap of the day 1:32.563. Not bad for my first time here and being too low which killed my fender liners and tires. Streets of Willow is a slower track compared to other tracks I’ve been to. Mainly using 2nd and 3rd gear with occaional 4th on the main straight. I can tell the corners are rhythmic and if you mess up one corner then your lap times are killed. It definitely a track, to visit at least once! Motor Trend test their cars, so that is saying something.
Here’s a fun fact, Willow Springs International Raceway has serval race tracks…. some for dirt, some autocross, and others for drifting. Pretty cool to have a one stop venue. The next day I’ll be at Big Willow “The Fastest Track in the West.” Stay tuned for that!