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Posted by Zauskycop (Member # 19955) on :
 
Had an interesting time at Road America this past weekend, but I will spare you the detail. Ended up finishing 9th and 11th in class (of 25) in the two races. Big HUGE thanks goes out to Jerret Gerber for helping me get up to speed out there...but not without a few lumps along the way..

So, without further adieu, a lighthearted look at:

Road America...through a rookie's eyes
 
Posted by Kyle Burkhardt (Member # 26745) on :
 
Great vid. Never seen so many offs at RA without body damage.
 
Posted by trimless1 (Member # 2624) on :
 
Tracy, the object is to stay on the track. Hope they gave you a discount on your entry fee cause you spent more time imitating a John Deere Zero Turn than racing [Smile]

Sorry, could not resist... Seriously, was your car not set up well for the track? You seem to have had a lot of difficulty keep the car on the track at corner exit?
 
Posted by Zauskycop (Member # 19955) on :
 
Car was set up fine(I think). My problem was that I was pushing the limit too much, and trying to find what that limit was. This is event number 5 for me in the Miata, and my first time at Road America. Most of that video is from qualifying where I was really trying to learn. I come from autocross where you always have to push the limit...perhaps I should dial that down a bit ;-).

Eventually, when I wasn't pushing too hard, I was running pretty solid times. (I think haha)
 
Posted by Gibscreen (Member # 2390) on :
 
Seemed really twitchy for you to drive. After you had taken a set in a corner, it would start oversteering, and pretty quickly. It didn't sound like you were lifting mid-corner to cause this either.
 
Posted by Kyle Burkhardt (Member # 26745) on :
 
Car did appear to be a handful, but also looked to me like many of the apexes were early resulting in you running out of track on the exit.
 
Posted by wheel (Member # 3072) on :
 
Love it. You know how the data systems will allow you to put together the ultimate lap, with the best segment times compiled into one lap? I think you could put all this together, with the data system, to give the ultimate bad lap. Imagine all those offs on one lap.
wheel
 
Posted by Casey Z (Member # 3575) on :
 
Very funny and very lucky! Several walls missed by the skin of your teeth. Looks like you were getting it down by the end of the race. Most of your moments looked to be caused by early apex's and lifting in the middle of some of the corners.

Good luck and keep having fun...
 
Posted by Zauskycop (Member # 19955) on :
 
Yes, early apexes were the theme of the day with my first qualifying, but I definitely got a dose of reality and dialed things in, and down. By the end I was turning 2:50's and a few 49's.

I keep looking at it and seeing how lucky I was, and rest assured...I have re assessed how much I will be pushing that luck anymore...
 
Posted by Kyle Burkhardt (Member # 26745) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zauskycop:
I keep looking at it and seeing how lucky I was, and rest assured...I have re assessed how much I will be pushing that luck anymore...

Call me a wuss, but that's why I avoid RA. No margin for error and big consequences for a mistake.
 
Posted by Drago (Member # 1406) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kyle Burkhardt:
quote:
Originally posted by Zauskycop:
I keep looking at it and seeing how lucky I was, and rest assured...I have re assessed how much I will be pushing that luck anymore...

Call me a wuss, but that's why I avoid RA. No margin for error and big consequences for a mistake.
You should try Gateway
Jim
 
Posted by Gatoratty (Member # 15983) on :
 
Hope you had a change of underwear with you! Hell I almost had to change mine just watching how close you came to the walls, tires, etc.
 
Posted by Steve D. (Member # 2351) on :
 
OK - I'll be the a-hole. How about 'both feet in'? You got away with one when you spun back out on track. That could have been ugly.

When you miscalculate in road racing, more gets hurt than some cones...
 
Posted by Lance Snyder (Member # 2111) on :
 
That looks like my iRacing video!
 
Posted by Juan Pineda (Member # 1581) on :
 
Tracy,

Seems like too nice car to wad up so quickly. Not to mention that nice new suit. And your fellow racers. Take care, man.

-Juan
 
Posted by Kyle Burkhardt (Member # 26745) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Drago:
quote:
Originally posted by Kyle Burkhardt:
quote:
Originally posted by Zauskycop:
I keep looking at it and seeing how lucky I was, and rest assured...I have re assessed how much I will be pushing that luck anymore...

Call me a wuss, but that's why I avoid RA. No margin for error and big consequences for a mistake.
You should try Gateway
Jim

Been there! I liked the track. Not bad for a roval. T1 is a little spooky. Ran Iowa a couple of years ago. More banking seemed to make it scarier (and the infield suuuuuccccks).
 
Posted by Zauskycop (Member # 19955) on :
 
Yeah, as I said before, I got lucky, and the more I watch it, the more I realize it. I DID tone it back quite a bit, and (not surprisingly) got faster.

Lesson learned.

Really guys...I'm not trying to show off, I'm not trying to show some immense skill. I see my mistakes (actually saw them after that first session) and mostly just posted this for racers to look at, cringe a bit, laugh a bit, and talk about it a bit. I'm sorry if anyone got the idea that I think that this is a perfectly acceptable way of learning a track..NO, it isn't. But every driver has their "stupid" moments, I guess this was mine (hopefully!). Sorry if this offended anyone by posting it.

If I showed you the videos from the other times out on the track, you would see a different driver who DID learn his lesson, and had no problem with any traffic, or any "offs" the rest of the time. And even managed to put down some okay lap times...
 
Posted by Jerret Gerber (Member # 17077) on :
 
Great vids. Great job at the races. You improved everytime and are a great driver. Look forward to racing again.
 
Posted by Nigel Stu (Member # 5001) on :
 
I'm gonna hang on both sides of the fence here...

Et all - Yes, some risks taken. Perhaps some dillusionally large cajones for first time at a tough/dangerous track in some dangerous spots with cars a bit close for comfort. BUT, what would your video look like from a new track as a rookie if you took each 'worst' corner and spliced them all together? Aside from the near hits and big offs, probably similar with timid but early corner entry, missing apexes, tracking out at the wrong spots, etc. Take a look at that end of that video - last lap of the weekend. Sure, there are more improvements to be made, but that was some really nice driving for a rookie with I'm guessing only about 2 hours of track time!

Tracey - Nice improvements, nice finishes, nice driving in your last lap, nice video and man am I glad you had some lady luck on your side! I'd recommend staying away from casino's for the near future, I think a few leaves fell off your clover and you got a ringer with your horse shoe! Sounds to me like you did 90% the right stuff: video collection, reviewing with other racers, paying attention to advice at the track, learning the line, eventually driving with a safety margin. The other 10%, well.... new track, unknown lines AND unknowns with how car will react... best to keep it down a notch. I'd be curious to see video of first few laps at other tracks. If you have a tendency to early apex everywhere until you know the line, make note of that and find a way to correct it and/or keep first session effort down to 8/10ths until you get a feel for the proper turn-in point. Better yet, watch lots of others videos AND keep first session a little low key. Then compare videos and move forward and pick up speed and start pushing the limit.

Only perfect practice makes perfect!


You've got it. Keep it going and keep it safe (at least enough to race again)
 
Posted by Motor City Hamilton (Member # 13046) on :
 
You posted that your car is set up fine, yet three posts from experienced racers saying your car looked twitchy. I will be the fourth. I started my first season with the JD Setup guide, measuring the ride height at the body pinch welds. Turns out my pinch welds are not even close to even on all four corners. A bad place to measure from, in my opinion. My car did exacly what yours is doing - snapping loose at mid corner when the weight loads and the car hits the bump stop. In your video, it looked to be worse in right handers, leading me to believe that the driver's rear corner is too low???

Just a thoery, so check it out yourself. How much actual shock travel do you have on each corner? I think you are too low in the left rear and possibly both rear sides? I found that 3/4" front shock travel kept me off the bump stops most places I go. I started with 1" of travel in the rear. As I got smoother with my steering input, I was able to lower the rear 1/8" and am now playing with going a little lower.

Just something to think about. Those spins may not have been all you... well, mostly you... but you might be able to make the car a bit more stable.
 
Posted by Eric Barbaric (Member # 1939) on :
 
Tracy, glad you are having fun.

You and the car seemed fine when you were following someone.

It was when you were alone that it seemed like you didn't know where to go. Early apexing, as others noted, was the biggest contributor to your offs.

But I also noticed that you were very content and quick to steer into the grass. When it is unavoidable, I think that's the correct thing to do, to avoid a spin. And, in most cases that worked for you.

I think some of those offs were avoidable had you kept your focus on the track, further down the track. Don't look at "track out" when exiting. You have to look farther down track.

My dad, an old road racer, grilled into me a couple maxims that are worth sharing here - "Look where you want to go" and "Off track excursions get expensive".

Keep it on the track.

Those offs will force you to spend an undue amount of time re-doing your set up and pose a great risk to you and other drivers.

Thanks for posting your video. The feedback you get is invaluable. We ALL learn from your video and the feedback.
 
Posted by jim kettelkamp (Member # 22610) on :
 
I think part of the problem is with the SCCA format. You get thrown on track to qualify the first time you've ever seen the track. That's pretty tough at a place like RA. At least with Midwest Council you get a practice session before the qualifier.
I have many laps at RA in the Skippy car but next weekend will be my first time in the Miata. Kinda nervous about it, gonna grid up towards the back for the qualifier and point some of you dudes by for the first couple laps... [Big Grin]
 
Posted by TJAndriesen (Member # 16701) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jim kettelkamp:
I think part of the problem is with the SCCA format. You get thrown on track to qualify the first time you've ever seen the track. That's pretty tough at a place like RA. At least with Midwest Council you get a practice session before the qualifier.

The next week at RA MC combined practice and qualifying in one 15 min session. I wasn't so happy with that as it was my first time at RA as well. I was in a new car (my VH 240Z) as well so I was a lot more conservative than Tracy. I also found the rumble strip on 5 in a stiffer and too low car and ripped my exhaust open.

See you at BHF next weekend Tracy. Still haven't seen the blender in action.
 
Posted by Zauskycop (Member # 19955) on :
 
I saw that you bought that and I'm anxious to see it! Jason will be running the car on Saturday, so a nice relaxing day for me.

Just got back from Solo Nationals (trophied in DP)and time to get cranking on the Miata and get it ready.

Definitely see you next weekend! Parking in the same place??
 
Posted by TJAndriesen (Member # 16701) on :
 
Running SM & ITA. The Z needs a winter's work to be ready.
 
Posted by Colin MacLean (Member # 1411) on :
 
I suggest you get that car up on a lift and go through it with a fine tooth comb. I've never seen a Miata handle like that unless there is something seriously amiss. Seriously, early apexes or not, no Miata I've ever driven has behaved like that. That was some scary stuff!!! The whole, get off the gas and it drives straight off the track ignoring your steering input deal is NOT normal.
 
Posted by -Bob- (Member # 4063) on :
 
Colin,

Put 1/2 inch of toe out on the front and that is how your car will drive.