Racing at Buttonwillow

I hate to admit it but I just don't drive my Pantera very much anymore. It takes too much planning...it can't be too hot, there can't be too much traffic, there's always something...(and it's just too easy to jump in my XKR convertible and still have a good time). Well this past weekend I went to Buttonwillow Raceway outside of Bakersfield with many of my friends in the Southern California Audi Club (I'm a member though I don't drive an Audi, I often drive my friend's S5-6spd). I hadn't been to any track events in the last couple of years, so I was a bit nervous about both my driving ability and my car's ability to stay running without any major problems. The only time I had driven the Pantera in the past year was to a Eurotopia drive in July when the temperature was 114 degrees outside. Needless to say, heading up into the Santa Monica mountains at fairly slow speeds in tremendous heat was not a great idea, and despite my fluidyne upgrade, the cooling system was overwhelmed, and I had to stop before the summit, let the car cool down, and limp home. So, I'm happy to report that the red cat performed flawlessly through every session, ran all day at about 180 degrees, and was a pleasure to have fun in, again. It was a blast, and while the first session was all about having to learn the track over again, the rest of the sessions were fun and very enjoyable. It seems that these cars are so much happier on the track than on the street. And even though there were probably a dozen Audi R-8's in the paddock, there was never a moment that someone new who hadn't seen the car before didn't take the time to come over admire and want to talk about Panteras. Great time! Photos to come soon.
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