The gingerman raceway track (michigan) – gridlife with a vw golf gti – team-bhp gas leak east los angeles

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It was the most memorable time of my life. I went there in 2017 and I sadly missed out this year. If you’re into cars, this is the place to be. It was a 3-day camping event. I had early access pass so it was 4-days for me. Everything was open almost 24/7. Everyone had to bring their own equipment from home. We had three tents, one canopy and one generator. Oh did I forget to mention we also had BBQ and a mini stove to make food? Now, I’m strictly against drinking and driving, and I know Alcohol discussion is not really allowed, but in this case, it was more along the lines of smoke and walk aimlessly while eating food and looking at cars. Since it was on a private property, and while there were police officers, we could do pretty much what we pleased. Don’t believe it takes a genius to realize this place would reek of weed and gas. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with either in my opinion.

3 PM – We reached the South Haven, MI to the camp site and to our surprise, while we were early, there were people who were there before us waiting in line to get in. We waited for some time, and they let us through to the campsite. It was a slow process going in, but once we were there, we were escorted to the campsite and had to drive through grass to get there while there were rocks flying into the cars. This was the only downside of the experience. A bit picky sure, but when your car is already low, even little bit of rock chips effects you . Below is a video taken by my friend of us waiting in line. You can see my White MK7 GTI and me in grey shirt. I was really fat back then.

3 PM – Around 3pm, we went back to the tent, had some food and decided to be not-sober again. You will hear about that a lot throughout the post. Since that is what we really did throughout our trip. Regardless, once that was done, we decided to play few games and take a dip in the pool. The pool was actually made on the bed of a pickup truck. You could see a simliar one in the opening video of the post @1:47. The one in the video was a small pickup truck. We did it in the F350. Sadly I don’t have many pictures left since my phone was formatted. Everything you see here is gathered from whatever is left. But it is safe to assume with the amount of heat above us, this was extremely refreshing.

7 PM – We were all hungry again, and decided to go out of the campsite and go to Taco Bell instead of cooking whatever we had. Because that’s what you do when high! Once we came back, it was time for the music festival. We spent the rest of the night dancing at the festival and enjoying the night. Here are some few videos. After 12, they shut down the music and had a smaller tent built for silent disco.

Today was final day for the event. I had signed up for track time with cars in my class. The last day was for mainly people who signed up for such events and have to drive on the track. I started the day by running through checks and making sure the car is in perfect condition and can perform on track without any issues. This was important as I had to drive back home today, with the same car. I checked my coolant level, oil level as well as my brake fluid. During this time, my car was fully stock. Including the tires. Once I had gone through the checklist, I removed everything from my car, including everything from the glove compartment (That is a requirement when driving on the track). I drove to the inspection site where they inspected my cars for any loose parts. I was notified that I had to remove the hub caps (which I forgot). Spent 20-minutes removing the hub caps. Sadly the way the stock GTI wheels are made, the hub caps have absolutely no gap for a screw driver or something along the lines to fit in and have it removed. I had to remove all 4-tires, and remove the hub cap that way.

Usually I’m not a nervous Nancy, but since my friends were watching me compete, and having one friend in the car with me, it was a bit nerve racking for me and I was mortified. I kept my mind on trying to get the fastest lap time for a FWD Hatchback, and just decided to gun it. Below is a picture they took of me and video I took from my GoPro.

Please note, my experience is subjective and may not reflect everyone’s experience. First let me start by saying I had a wonderful time driving at this track. I’ve driven at different tracks before, however, the cars were made for the track. In this case, I took my daily driver just for the sake of it.

However, this track was excellent to drive on. Had great curves, properly marked Apex, and since it was a relatively small track, it wasn’t hard to memorize. Within the first 5-minutes of the first session, I was able to drive at a good pace. There were a total of 4-sessions. 20-minute for each session. There were different category of cars, and I was in stock hatchback class (Only FWD).

However, it wasn’t all sunny and beautiful for me particularly. While I getting ready for my last sessions, I heard a noise coming from the passenger side rear tire. After careful inspection, I found a nail stuck inside that tire, which was extremely inconvenient. Sadly my session ended right there as I didn’t have any spares with me. Now, that wasn’t the worst bit. I had to drive 4-hours back from Michigan to Chicago the same day on the same tire. I could have bought a new one, but the track was in a remote location and the time was 7pm on a Sunday.

The only solution I could think about at the time was to repair the tire myself and drive home hoping nothing would happen. Oh did I mention, it started raining soon after? It just wasn’t my day to be honest. Regardless, I strapped on a Donut, and went to a local Automotive store with the speed of a Turtle. Once there, I bought a tire repair kit, removed the nail, patched the tire, removed the Donut, put the tire back on, and drove home. Yes it was as annoying and painful as one can imagine. Considering how tired I already was from racing and working on the car beforehand. All in all, I removed my tires in total of 3-times that day. One for removing the hub caps, once for putting on a Donut, and another for putting on the original and removing the Donut.

All in all, it was amazing 4-days I spent with people who love and have a passion for cars the same way I do. There are some days in your life that you will remember forever. These were my 4-days. I met some of the most wonderful people during the stay, as well as had a great practice run for my track driving. If anyone does go to United States or does live there, please do go to Gridlife once. They do the event twice in a year. Gridlife Midwest, which is in South Haven, MI, and Gridlife Road Atlanta, which is in Atlanta, Georgia. This is what heaven looks like if you’re into music festival, camping and waking up to burning rubber, loud V8’s, the Turbo whistle, Whining Supercharger or the sound of a Non-catted Exhaust. Since I’m in India due to business related issue, I wasn’t able to make it this year. But I will definitely be there for the next one.

On the second day, when the music festival was over, and the silent music was over, there were three of us who still wanted to party. Loud music on the stage was prohibited, however there were no restrictions on campsite music regardless of how loud it is. We decided to go around the campsite looking for people to party with when we ran into this lady who had a can of coke. She asked us if we wanted the can which contained Jack Daniels in it. We were skeptical and asked if there was anything else inside along with Jack Daniels. She innocently and while smirking relied with a resounding "No". We figured, "Hey! Free drink and coke!". Turns out, she wasn’t kidding. The can had absolutely no coke or anything else. She removed the coke from the can, and filled the can with Jack Daniels. Was it weird? Sure! But boy was I impressed!