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Author Topic: Willow Springs - tips for an SM?
dtfastbear Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
faster than the average bear...

Region: SFR / NorCal
Car #: 72
Year : 93
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I'll be co-driving a spec miata in an upcoming day-night enduro and have never been to Willow Springs before.

Anyone have "track notes" to share or at the very least, some ideas about which gear to be in where on the track?

Also, if you can point me to any good in-car video footage, I'd greatly appreciate it. I found some from other high-power cars, but no SM's that look like they're going fast... [Smile]

Cheers,

Dean

--------------------
NASA Nor Cal SM series Director
www.molaps.com

Winner - Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Driver Shootout

Evil Genius Racing / Race Engineering / Stewart Development

John Mueller Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Okay, not the slowest anymore...

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Year : 1992
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Dean;
I'm still cutting my video but the below link was shot May 5th by John Gibson.

J. Gibson's May 5th Big Willow Vid

I'm in the Tiger Miata with the poor line coming down the hill (T-4 & T5) and really poor through T9. Johns line around seems good for a 1.8 SM.

Also, Sean Douglass from O.C. gave me this advice: Turn 9

quote:
Lift and no brake at the end of 8, get set up, (stop screaming like a schoolgirl, check your underwear) turn the car and get on the gas. The car will stick. Note:if you lift off of the gas, after you commit to 9, you will spin. Been there, done that!
Good luck, hope you do better than I've been doin'.

--------------------
Thanks,
John Mueller
NASA SM National Director
http://www.Weekend-Racer.com
#13 "Tiger Miata" - 2009 SoCal SSM Champion

Robert Edmison Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
"Bring out zee gimp!"     - Max Mosley

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Hi Dean,

The entire track is 4th gear with the exception of a downshift into 3rd going into turn 3 and an upshift back to 4th coming out of turn 5.

With a good draft you can hit 5th in turn 8. If so, you'll want to remember to drop back down to 4th BEFORE turn 9 rather than dropping to 2nd AFTER turn 9. Please don't ask me how I know this.

It's a fun track. Especially turn 9. Have a blast!


Robert Edmison

Jonathan Christian Verified Driver
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its a very easy track to be honest, just hit your marks, the only difficult turn is 9, just go through a couple times and find the apex once you find it look for it, breath the throttle a bit to rotate the car and get back on it, you may have to feather it going through 9 a bit but you should feel the car doing a 4 wheel drift with a nice smell of tire rubber if your going fast enough

Eric Richter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Fight the urge to turn into 9 early and you will be much better off. T2 is flat in 4th, it may not seem possible at first, but you scrub alot of speed at the exit because it is slightly uphill. Have fun

--------------------
2009 SoCal SCCA SM Champion
"Only boring people get bored"

dtfastbear Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
faster than the average bear...

Region: SFR / NorCal
Car #: 72
Year : 93
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Thanks, guys. This is exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for. Any of you going to be racing the weekend of July 7th either in SM or the enduro?

Cheers,

Dean

--------------------
NASA Nor Cal SM series Director
www.molaps.com

Winner - Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Driver Shootout

Evil Genius Racing / Race Engineering / Stewart Development

tgibson
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quote:
Originally posted by Eric Richter:
T2 is flat in 4th, it may not seem possible at first, but you scrub alot of speed at the exit because it is slightly uphill. Have fun

Stay on the inside on T2 or you will get called out in the driver's meeting.

RJ Racing will be there for the sprints and the enduro.

Have you run an Enduro before? If not, make sure to read the rules carefully.
Last time at Buttonwillow we ran with insufficient lights. At least upgrade the stock headlamps to H4 85w/80w.

Here's a couple videos from specmiatavideos.com:
http://www.specmiatavideos.com/Race%20Videos/jchristian_ws_2_05.wmv
http://www.specmiatavideos.com/Race%20Videos/05212005%20Willow%20Race%20only.wmv

Gibscreen Verified Driver Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by tgibson:
Have you run an Enduro before? If not, make sure to read the rules carefully.
Last time at Buttonwillow we ran with insufficient lights. At least upgrade the stock headlamps to H4 85w/80w.

That's not to say our lights were illegal--just not powerful enough. And the 85W/80W are Hyper bulbs by Osram, which kick out 2400 lumens on high and 1750 lumens on low, whereas stock halogen lights only do maybe 1500 lumens on high and 1000 on low.

Then there is the aux light bracket that we're still working on, which will have lights pointed at the apexes.

Finally, remember that for WERC, SM is in a different class. We're E2, not SM. Which puts us in the same group as some Honda Challenge guys.

But it sounds like you're getting your ride from someone, so they're probably already hooked up. So most importantly, just have fun. Come by and say hi--we're the #23 Montego Blue SM. See you there.

dtfastbear Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
faster than the average bear...

Region: SFR / NorCal
Car #: 72
Year : 93
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I've run in the WERC series before, so I know what I'm in for. But, I really do appreciate the heads up! I remember the first enduro I did - scampering for kitty litter and 5 gallons of water at the last minute wasn't fun... oh, and a gas catch pan [Smile]

Good tip on the headlight bulbs, as I think we're going to be looking for a quick solution. Not sure we'll have time to get a whole second set of "apex lights" on the car before the event. I think there is also a super-cheap HID kit available that fits the stock miata headlight position. Might go that route.

I'll definitely come around and find you guys. I appreciate all the advice! We're running the silver #68 and red #02 E2 SM's sponsored by Kumho Tires USA.

Cheers,

Dean

--------------------
NASA Nor Cal SM series Director
www.molaps.com

Winner - Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Driver Shootout

Evil Genius Racing / Race Engineering / Stewart Development

dtfastbear Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
faster than the average bear...

Region: SFR / NorCal
Car #: 72
Year : 93
Posts: 1276
Status: Offline
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Thanks, everyone! The advice was all good and resulted in me having a great time on Saturday. it was nice meeting the Gibson guys after the race.

I've heard that it isn't ALWAYS 105 degrees with sustained 20mph winds and gusts to 30 and that this was just a special treat to welcome me! At one point the folks in my pit were "rooting on" the giant brush fire just south of the track, hoping that it would generate enough smoke to black out the sun and provide some relief...

I was driving the red #02 miata in the enduro. The track seemed incredibly foreign to me compared to the tracks around here. Turning in at well over 100mph, having to do only two gear changes in a lap, incredibly "rough" runoff - I felt a bit like a pig on rollerskates at first.

Driving this high speed track at night with questionable lighting made for the longest period of sustained fear (about an hour and 20 minutes) for me that I can recall. About halfway through the stint I started to make peace with my fear and actually started to "embrace" it... I was still scared sh*tless, though.

There were a couple surprises during the enduro:

About half way through my stint, I had my steering wheel pop off in my hands 2/3 way down the front straight. I kept my calm and put the wheel back on without lifting. I kept pressure on it to keep it on the shaft through turn 1, then I was able to pull the collar and seat it back on the shaft.

At about the 2 hour 30 minute mark, I came through T2 to find the second half of the turn COMPLETELY covered in gravel. I can't begin to imagine the off that brought so much dirt and rocks on the track. It looked like an entire dump truck backed up and unloaded. 2 laps later a groove developed, but that made T2 a one-line turn and eliminated it as a passing spot for lapped traffic.

Very late in the race I came through T1 and was met by a wall of dust. I could only think of Days of Thunder... but instead of upshifting and flooring it like Cole Trickle, I braked like a little girl and crept through in case there were cars littering the track. Luckily, the cars around me did the same and we all got through unscathed.

I really enjoyed T2 and T9, but never felt like I got T1 (kept over braking) or T5 (inconsistent - either too early or too late) right. The #42 car would always be on my ass from T2 to T5, the I could pull out a bit of a lead. I don't know if the driver of #42 is on this forum - if so, I hope I wasn't holding you up. At one point I just pointed you by, but then it felt like I was being held up. I guess being in the draft is a HUGE advantage at this track!

I look forward to running at WS again in the futuer. I'll definitely bring my own car and do the sprint races, as it looked like fun with a couple of cars together on the track.

Cheers,

Dean

--------------------
NASA Nor Cal SM series Director
www.molaps.com

Winner - Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Driver Shootout

Evil Genius Racing / Race Engineering / Stewart Development

inflatable Series Champ
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Here's a video of a pretty fast lap at Willow Springs by John.

<a href="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7608700797164024626&hl=en" target="_blank" style="text-decoration: underline">http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7608700797164024626&hl=en</a>

[ 08-22-2007, 04:31 PM: Message edited by: inflatable ]

   

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