Here is a list of my driving experience at autocross and track events:
Sears Point was a really fun but scarey track. It was my first time there. I had only heard that it has lots of walls, so I was a bit nervious at first. I took it slow and easy to try and learn the track. No instructors. At least not for free. So I was on my own. Fortunately, I came with a few friends who knew the track. They showed me the lines later on in the day. I was happy to have learned more than half the lines correctly on my own.
We got to run the full 12 turns track. I had watched a few videos of the track, so it wasn't completely new when I first ran on the track. But the elevation changes took some getting used to. I only had 3 incidents, all 3 of which were accidental oversteer. The first one was on turn 3, right after going over an elevation change. I started the turn-in on the peek of the elevation, where my rear-end was light, so I got into a cool drift. That was probably the longest drift I've ever held. It was fun, but really scarey since I'm not used to controlled oversteer. I had to counter steer twice, because my first counter steer was too strong, so I had to counter steer back again. Then it got straight. There was another car right behind me too. I wish I could've seen what s/he saw.
The second incident was on turn 10. This is a really fast turn, usually midrange in 4th gear (about 100mph). It was a very slight oversteer, probably because I let go of the throttle a bit too abruptly. That freaked me out, because of the speed, and because I was going towards a wall, which was why I had lifted off the throttle.
The third oversteer was at the end of the Carousel (turn 6). I must've floored it too suddenly and had the 2nd turbo kick in too harshly. But that was no big deal either. It was a minor drift that required just one counter steer to fix. I was getting a bit more confident, but I was still scared of oversteer.
There was one other minor incident, where I went too wide coming out of turn 3. I went to the very edge of the berms. I could've turned in, but that would've probably caused a spin out. So I let it go straight on the berms, and even off into the dirt slightly. I kept the wheels straight, so I didn't spin in the dirt, and smoothly came back on the road. I only had the 2 left wheels in the dirt. The hard part was that this was downhill, coming into turn 4, so I had to slow down. Hitting the brakes hard with 2 wheels in dirt would've definately spun the car.
All in all, I really enjoyed Sears Point. I'd have to say I still like Laguna Seca the best, between the tracks that I've been on: Sears Point, Laguna Seca, and Thunderhill. I love the variety of the turns on Sears Point, but the walls freak me out. Maybe if I had a cheaper car that I could afford to trash I'd find it more enjoyable.
I forgot to mention, there were a bunch of really cool cars there too. There was a Porsche GT2, a racing Ford Esperante, a bunch of racing Honda S2000s, Miatas, Infiniti G35s, Nissan 300Zs, and my Supra, of course. There was a really slick looking road going Porsche 928 GT/S. That car had the meanest stance. It had super wide tires. They must've been at least 315mm wide, since I was behind him at the gas pump, and I have 295mm wide rears. And his tires looked much wider. He also had the same wheels as me, the Kinesis K58s. But his super wide rears looked much meaner than mine.
This event was great, because they opened half the track just for fun during the first half of the day. So even if it wasn't our group's turn to run, we could go on track and have fun. It was wet in the morning, and this was a drift event, so they actually encouraged us to try drifting or car control in the free part of the track. I didn't push it, but I had some fun on one of the safer turns getting the rear to come out a bit. Some guys were really drifting. It was cool!
After giving a ride to Jim, I asked him for a ride in his MR-S turbo. He had a very clean setup, with a small turbo that had a heat-shielf. He had a nifty oil cooler too. His car was a world of difference as compared to mine. It was so light and tossable. I loved it. And, of course, he was a much better driver than me. He was doing some drifts too. It was so exciting. He had full control. I really loved how he could just toss his car from corner to corner, all with complete control. I realized I have so much more to learn...
Since my last track event, I had put on front and rear TRD sway bars, changed rear tires from 285/35/18 Michelin Pilot Sport to 295/30/18 Pirelli PZero, and gotten an alignment. My car felt so much more planted than before. It gave me a lot more confidence to go faster on turns.
We also had a skidpad. I did lots of donuts and spins on it. It was great fun. With the wet track, it wasn't too bad on the tires either. I also learned a bit how to control the car when spinning on the skidpad. I hope they always have a skidpad at track events.
Initially, the track was wet from the rain, so everyone was spinning out. I drove extra cautiously. But I could feel that the car was very susceptible to spinning. Besides the wet though, the car had a tendency to understeer. This was especially noticeable on the skidpad, where without throttle steer, the car would barely turn. Gotta fix that. Probably the thin tires in the front are a major cause of this.
Sadly, my track buddy, Sonny, wrecked his 93 Rx7 on turn #4. His tires touched the dirt, spun out the car, and hit a wall. It was a devastating day. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt at all. But the car was totalled.
We saw lots of cool cars though, including a few Shelbys, a Mustang Cobra R, Vipers, and a Lotus Elise racecar that was there for an event the following day.
Great event. Lots of fun and learning as usual.