The final Tesla Corsa event that marks the 26th in our ongoing series was held on December 17th, right smack in the middle of the Holiday madness season. Still, a full grid of 40 cars and owners, even many guests, showed up to take a bite of the fun we always have at these events.
The morning started off very cold, near freezing 34 degrees Fahrenheit, and in extremely thick fog, reducing visibility to 25 yards or less, for participants even getting to the Buttonwillow Raceway.
Incidentally, many were late to arrive, but that almost did not matter as the raceway itself had to be delayed for 90 minutes longer than usual for the same reason.
As soon as we had flag-station to-flag-station visibility of about 150 yards, the sessions with Speed Ventures started, and cars were on their way. Buttonwillow raceway is a fairly high-speed venue in terms of having a couple of large sweeping corners, so it’s critical that on some of these sections, we have very predictable, heated tires. This was a challenge; however, all day, as temps never got above 45. All the Tesla folks were watching how the previous session team reacted to the cold tires attentively.
Despite the tricky nature of the track, some drivers loved the change. With California raceways, it is almost a given that we get a warm sunny day, so occasional bad weather is “interesting” for those who take it as a precision driving experience. For the first timers, though, it was a nervous session, as tires struggled to heat for those who didn’t load the cars hard. The experienced regulars sought to set personal records in the ideal mechanically-friendly cooler air.
But despite their best, the patchy mud and moist zebra zone berms just prevented perfect laps from materializing.
The usual chat and gossip huddles that usually occur at Telsa Superchargers post-run were non-existent, as most people just needed to stay inside the car to stay warm. Despite the chill and challenge, drivers seemed to have learned something, in the atypical conditions. And even with the less-than-neat track surface, nobody had a bad excursion into the mud traps bad enough for tow service.
Slipping and sliding a bit, everyone learned a few new tricks, stayed on course, and, most importantly, went home in the same car they came with.
Thanks for another memorable event. See you all in 2023!