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  1. #1
    da battery guy dbg's Avatar
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    Default Area 27 First Drive

    Some friends moved to the Okanagan Valley in BC a few years ago. They've been trying to get us to go for a visit for a while, but we're super busy. So they sweetened the deal recently by inviting me to the Area 27 Grand Opening, which was last weekend.

    Peter always wanted a C3, and finally got his dream car. Debra wasn't to be outdone though, and got herself a C7. They became Area 27 members over the winter, and went to their first driving school in late April. Peter's engine promptly blew up, completely obliterating one of the pistons... nothing of it was found but bits of metal. He decided to not drive the C3 on track anymore, and searched for a track car. He asked me what I thought of a C5 Z06, and I gave it a huge thumbs up. He bought it a week before the grand opening. Meanwhile the C3 was finally fixed.

    So we attended various events, but for me the most fun was going out to drive on the track itself.

    So here's the "fleet", a C3, C5, and C7. (By the way, they blame me for all of this. Peter always wanted a C3, but I'm the one who got Debra to take her old Genesis to MCO Autocross a few years back.)

    2.JPG

    So I was to drive the C5. The car was bought literally a week before I arrived. It was as promised in truly excellent condition, and almost track-ready, but...

    Before coming I decided I would donate a set of Hawk DTC60 pads I had left over from when I had the C6. The day after I arrived we went shopping for DOT4 brake fluid. Good thing too, the stuff in the car looked like Coca-Cola. Peter helped me swap the pads and then flush the dead brake fluid.

    The one thing we couldn't fix right away was the tires. The previous owners were nice people (I actually met them), but they got some poor advice when they bought tires. Not only were they cheap Nexens, but they were the wrong tires! They were much narrower than stock (theory is that the shop chose C5 tires instead of C5 Z06), and they were actually stretched to fit on the rims! New tires are on order but obviously couldn't be bought in time. So off to the track with crap tires!

    1.JPG

    There were tons of beautiful cars at the track opening. I could post several dozen pictures. Here's a small sample.

    3.JPG

    4.JPG

    Apparently wing also dropped in, though I didn't see him. (They had two helicopters, actually, which appeared to be giving some people tours of the track from the air.)

    5.JPG

    In my first session I ended up fairly trapped in traffic. That was okay because I was really just out to learn the track. I was going to follow Debra in her C7 for a couple of laps, but one of the track founders was at track out, and he didn't know me so he lectured me on the blind corners etc. Sheesh, it took me a lap to catch up to Debra, by which point following her was pretty pointless. Fortunately I'd gone over some videos beforehand so I knew the layout pretty well.

    7.JPG

    There's a couple on the right side of this photo... that's the original owners of the C5, watching their baby run the track!

    6.JPG

    In the next post I'll put up a video of a few laps on Area 27.

  2. #2
    da battery guy dbg's Avatar
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    So here's some lapping of Area 27. It's quite a good track. One of the first things you notice is there aren't many trees, and you can actually see a lot of the track from several vantage points.

    There are 16 corners, and the track is just shy of 5 km. So fairly comparable to Calabogie. There are some elevation changes here and there, including a couple of really fun elements. At the end of the front straight there is a short but sharp downhill, which makes the entry to Corner 1 momentarily blind. You can see all of corner 4/5 as you approach, but once you are between the two you can't see the second apex. Corner 7 is a roller coaster; the crazy elevation changes made me think of the corkscrew. Corner 9 is a surprise 90 degree left-hander right at the crest of a hill - that one is totally blind until you're right on top of it (and a few people have gone off straight already lol). Corner 11 is interesting; it looks like a sharp left-hander but isn't! You have to go straight at the crest of the hill. That Villeneuve guy is sneaky!

    Anyway here are a few laps. Not super fast because of the utterly crap tires, but that didn't stop me from having good fun!


  3. #3
    Member inverted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    So here's the "fleet", a C3, C5, and C7.
    2.JPG
    That's an odd looking fleet... (get it!?)

    I'm pretty jealous you got to drive that track already. Are you adopting?
    Last edited by inverted; June 7th, 2017 at 10:08am.

    Mike S #89
    97 Miata // 14 Accord // 98 Forester

  4. #4
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    Great read Doug!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Legacy's Avatar
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    Looks like a great track . Is it affordable to the average mortal or an elite club thing ?

  6. #6
    Senior Member raggedrabbit's Avatar
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    161 - The Nefarious Rabbit
    86' MR2 - The Dirty Deuce
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    76' CT90 - an heirloom

  7. #7
    #firstworldproblems Gojira's Avatar
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    Awesome write up Doug. I'm good friends with one of the owners, Ben Hsu. He added me to his FB Area 27 group last winter and I had no idea what the hell Area 27 was, now here we are in spring and I'm reading a post from a local track guy who drove it. <6 degrees of separation coolness.


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  8. #8
    I brake for baguettes and taco blankets mightymousetech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
    Looks like a great track . Is it affordable to the average mortal or an elite club thing ?

    • One time joining fee of $45,000
    • Yearly membership dues; Phase 1 $3,000 Phase 2 with clubhouse $4,000
    • 15 or more full circuit track days per month, with at least two weekends per month
    • Membership includes immediate family including members between the ages 16 to 27
    • Karting membership available for all family members age 8 and up
    • After a period of five (5) years membership becomes transferable subject to SOMC management approval and a $1,000 administration fee
    • Regular members can bring up to 15 guests per month, 3 guests per Regular Membership may drive 1 time per year, providing all driver eligibility requirements are met.
    • Guests who will be driving on the track will pay a daily use fee of $100


    Membership < Area 27: Discover Your Life On Track
    Christopher "Mighty Mouse" C.

    Quote Originally Posted by GIF-PWR View Post
    I was wrong about this one; enjoy this moment.
    Quote Originally Posted by GIF-PWR View Post
    turns out for the second time in my life, I was wrong.


    But there's a bigger point here. The 1-series is the last car that BMW engineered before the Germans, as a car-making culture, fell out of love with driving.
    R&T April 2013.

  9. #9
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    Looks awesome Doug!

  10. #10
    da battery guy dbg's Avatar
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    My friends paid the old price of $35,000. They were among the last to do so. I heard that they have 250 members now, and the limit is 350. They plan to build clubhouse, garages, condos, etc. in the coming years.

  11. #11
    I brake for baguettes and taco blankets mightymousetech's Avatar
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    Price is surprisingly reasonable.
    Christopher "Mighty Mouse" C.

    Quote Originally Posted by GIF-PWR View Post
    I was wrong about this one; enjoy this moment.
    Quote Originally Posted by GIF-PWR View Post
    turns out for the second time in my life, I was wrong.


    But there's a bigger point here. The 1-series is the last car that BMW engineered before the Germans, as a car-making culture, fell out of love with driving.
    R&T April 2013.

  12. #12
    CHAMP 1Morelap's Avatar
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    Good job DBG. Site looks like early bogie with the construction trailer setup.
    Calabogie GT1 Champion 2012 and 2013. Calabogie Cup Challenge Champion 2012 www.1morelap.ca

  13. #13
    da battery guy dbg's Avatar
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    You do get a shit ton of track time. Enough that you can just drop in for a few laps between errands, which is literally what they do. Quite the lifestyle!

  14. #14
    I brake for baguettes and taco blankets mightymousetech's Avatar
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    It's like a golf country club, except it doesn't suck.
    Christopher "Mighty Mouse" C.

    Quote Originally Posted by GIF-PWR View Post
    I was wrong about this one; enjoy this moment.
    Quote Originally Posted by GIF-PWR View Post
    turns out for the second time in my life, I was wrong.


    But there's a bigger point here. The 1-series is the last car that BMW engineered before the Germans, as a car-making culture, fell out of love with driving.
    R&T April 2013.

  15. #15
    Learning how to internet mphysk's Avatar
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    Wow. Awesome concept. Thanks for the write up Doug!

  16. #16
    Mike ManBeef mikeman's Avatar
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    nice! looks like a fun place to spend a few weeks

  17. #17
    Contributing Member Mario's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mphysk View Post
    Wow. Awesome concept. Thanks for the write up Doug!
    :Like:


    All I care about is my Porsche... and like maybe 3 people. —Unknown

  18. #18
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    Sort of reminds me of Anglesey or whatever that track is in Wales. Must be the lack of trees, and the good elevation.

    That C3 does not look stock?

  19. #19
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    MR road trip?

  20. #20
    Contributing Member Mario's Avatar
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    Something tells me it would be a good investment too. If they sell only 350 spots.


    All I care about is my Porsche... and like maybe 3 people. —Unknown

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