Laguna Seca Track Day, Part 2 - 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Laguna Seca Track Day, Part 2

November 24, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

When we left off Laguna Seca Track Day, Part 1, I had arrived in my typical late fashion to the hotel the night before the two-day car/motorcycle track weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel had performed well on the drive to Monterey, hauling my sportbike in the bed while towing my turbo Miata on a trailer.

Early the next morning it was a quick drive to the track, and that's when things got interesting.

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Track Day
Photo by gotbluemilk.com

Why "interesting?" Because I'm involved. As well as a modified car. With me as its mechanic.

I needed to bed-in my track pads and install my track-day airdam, among other things, and the whole process of this plus registering/tech'ing two vehicles meant I missed the first two sessions out on track. Wasn't too thrilled about that. Once I finally did get out there the Miata ran pretty well, though the turbo application means the car still runs hotter than I'd like. At least my newly fabricated brake ducting seemed to work.

But it was the bike session that changed the course of the weekend for me. My previously dislocated left shoulder was acting up badly, so incredibly painful when riding the bike, that I had to just park the bike for the remainder of the weekend after one session. Even though surgery (to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff) was already scheduled for this coming week, it still surprised the heck out of me that the pain got so bad, because I've done moto track days since I dislocated it. And folks, I don't want you to feel obligated to send a bunch of "get well" cards, okay?

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Track Day
Photo by gotbluemilk.com

Although I was super bummed I couldn't do more moto sessions, and the shoulder continued to bother when driving the Miata (partially because I eliminated the power steering awhile back, maybe not my smartest move ever), it was still a good weekend of hard driving with friends.

One other interesting thing happened: In one of the car sessions, while following my buddy in his Mitsubishi Evolution and being trailed by the world-famous Eyesore Racing Frankenmiata, heading up to Laguna's Turn Six, a Nissan GT-R tried to make a boneheaded pass of another Miata...through Turn Six. Just ahead of us. Even in a real race, you don't pass there. But he did. Or at least tried. The GT-R gave the Miata a pretty big clout, (the photo here shows the aftermath), the GT-R sliding to the inside, the Miata spinning to the outside. Luckily, Mike, Ryan and I were all paying attention and were able to slow enough to avoid the spinning cars without hitting each other.

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Track Day
Photo by gotbluemilk.com

But back to the Ram EcoDiesel. It proved a super-comfortable place to nurse my wounds (both physical and mental) on the long drive back down to Orange County, and it towed like a champ. The only thing I noticed was what appears to be some extra sag from that coil-spring rear suspension.

Total trip length: 808.6 miles.

Average towing fuel mileage: 19.8 mpg, although the first 85 miles of the first tank of diesel was towing-free. The on-board computer registered 19.7 mpg for the Trip B mileage of 808.6 miles.

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Track Day
Photo by gotbluemilk.com

Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor @ 17,743 miles


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