I've got a spec miata, and hope one day to go racing, but I'm still working on skills. I've been to all sorts of HPDEs, track days, etc., but I seem to be at a bit of a plateau.
I was at T-hill last week with TEAM racing, and could manage laps at about 2:23 at best. I need help getting around faster; that would probably make me a speed bump in any race.
I tried to follow a couple of guys in fast miatas with lots of decals, and seemed to lose most speed in turns 2, 9 and 14-15. It always seemed like I exited those without much oomph, like I could have entered faster. On the tighter stuff I could hold my own, and it seemed like I was pushing the edge of traction more comfortably, probably since it's slower and less scary. The G's showing on my iPhone app were higher in 3 or off 5 and in 10 than in the other turns, so intuitively I think I could go faster and still stick, but I'm not sure that's actually true.
So I'd appreciate any tips on how a noob can work to gain speed. I'll try to get a driver coach next time I'm out, but at the events I've been at recently they've been in sort of short supply so it may be down to me and my cheapo data acquisition device (Harry's lap timer).
Region: SF Nor Cal
Car #: #39
Year : 1990 Posts: 457
Well most of us donít like to type out long explanations, so I will tackle a few of your concerns. If you are waiting to be a front runner before you join us, donít waist your time. @ 2:23 you would not be last. The turns you are referring to are common stumbling blocks for most of us, they can be mastered. A video would be the best way for us to evaluate you, just be warned that you open yourself the some of the worst comments. Been there done that. If you are going to be at T Hill on Oct. 22 I will be there. NCRC is putting on a $99 race. Im # 39, hit me up and I will see what I can do.
-------------------- Al Angulo Auto Instructor Ford Senior Master Tech ASE Master Tech
Maybe not the best video for instruction but this was taken at the beginning of 2009. It's on my old YouTube page which has a few other videos from NorCal on it as well. At least this shows you what gearing and relative brake markers we use.
Region: NASA MA
Car #: 50
Year : '96 Posts: 318
no track-specific comments i can make...but i will say that for me at least, i got faster once i started racing. being in a pack of cars with some slightly faster allows you (me) to see where folks are better than you/i am, and if you record video, you can go back and see why. are they braking later (or earlier!)? are they just flat out using more of the track (turn-in, apex, trackout)? getting back to gas faster?
you can't get enough seat time, but make sure you have goals when you go out; work on a particular turn or two per event. any more, and imo, you get overwhelmed. data acq is a big help, but only if you are consistent already. if you have a passenger seat, find either a fast guy to ride shotgun or hire a coach. a number of national front runners offer coaching.
Car #: 76
Year : "You Pick" Posts: 4422
Get off the brakes when uncomfortable and roll in
Get back to the throttle when uncomfortable and get hands straight asap
Think hands first and then feet for corrections
Be deliberate on turn in, should not need 10 course corrections down to apex
Think and really focus on slowing the car only enough to avoid the crash. FAR to many drivers are worried about throttle pick up points and not brake release points.
4th - 5th Gear Only: 50 laps, roll the apexes getting a feel for how much the tires slow you down. Best drill for learning to use lateral skid with brakes and not over braking.
G load acclimation: Run the car with a high grip tire (new slicks well worth the cost for the gain), 50+ laps. This will teach your butt what the G feels like less the side wall movement and rolling the street tire does. When you swap back, work up to the same feel in the turns, you will see a near instant MPH gain at the apexes.
Thanks for the tips. It's nice to be able to set some goals.
I'll try to get on the video. Watching some posted by others here helped, although most are racing and I could see that the line was often influenced by traffic, tactics and even the occasional kick in the rear
I'll try to do some video of my own to review, and maybe post some here for the amusement of others and hopefully the edification of myself.