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Author Topic: Road America with/without the Kink
Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Since this was on the post Runoffs questionare, I was wonering what SM drivers feel on teh subject.

Here is a quote From Peter De Lorenzo that I tend to agree with...
The SCCAís premier event was moved to Road America for a very good reason, and that is to pit the best drivers in the club against each other on this countryís greatest natural-terrain road-racing circuit for all the marbles.

Itís hard and itís tough and itís fast because it has to be. And it should be.

Thatís why they call it the National Championships.

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Would this change have any impact(positive or negative) on the SM parity at the Runoffs?

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I've run road america at DE events through the motorcycle chicane. While I pucker everytime through the kink, the chicane layout sucks. It was hard on the brakes, took away the chance for better handling around the carosel to play itself out, and, in the DE scenario was a little dangerous. There wasn't another flag stand added, and the flagger at the exit of the carosel can't see down around the chicane. When someone spins in there, you come up on them blind.

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Mike Backus
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I am with Mike. The chicane would introduce other issues. Adding the chicane removes some of the allure of RA as Peter was alluding to.

Unfortunaly, since Road America cannot change the path of the rail road they are unable to aquire any more land to the west allowing for the F1 style paved run off.

One idea is to move the hill back on the inside allowing for more visibility down track allowing for the drivers to see if someone has gone off in the kink. Certainly safer barrier is an option, not sure if it is something that would help in this situation or not.

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Dave Cox

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Dave
I don't think you touch the track... I think a three foot grass strip, then pave right to the wall.

Well looked at video and probably not enough room to pave?
Jim

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At the Great Lakes Division Roundtable this past weekend SCCA President Jeff Dahnert asked this question to several of us privately. I hope they leave it as is, but I like that the powers that be are going out and seeking opinions with the survey as well as asking people flat out. This new more user friendly SCCA thing is kind of nice.

db

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"The Kink" is the pucker factor at Road America. I'm in 100% agreement with Dave C. clear out the inside (right side) so one can see an issue before being on the issue. The path traveled by the Beaver at the Runoffs is not the normal path for an issue at "The Kink."

--------------------
Have Fun [Wink]

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Jim

I believe you are correct in there isn't enough room. There is only about 6 - 8 feet driver's left. Seems like more, bubt when you are working the corner you realize it's not as big.

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Dave Cox

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Leave it alone. It has only been that way since 1955. You can always lift, if you don't like the looks of the corner. Why should they change the corner to make it more comfortable for the drivers.

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Leave it alone!!

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JIM DANIELS
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Hard not to be bias personally, $60k write off and the arm still tingles. But, SM is so slow there not really an issue as is. Its the fast cars to consider.

I'm neutral.


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quote:
Originally posted by wheel:
Leave it alone. It has only been that way since 1955. You can always lift, if you don't like the looks of the corner. Why should they change the corner to make it more comfortable for the drivers.

Lift? At the kink? Never a good idea. The brake markers to the left before the kink are there for a reason. In a sedan, brake at the markers to the left so you are on the throttle "at" the kink. True, the kink is blind, but so is 6 just after the Toyota bridge. What make the kink dangerous is the wall to the left entering Kettle Bottoms. And those walls are so close through Kettle Bottoms so the ALMS cars don't hit at a weird angle. I say leave it. Yet if safety is the concern then you can either add a sand pit or pavement runout past the exit rumble strips to the left. But, I say leave it.

Regarding DeLorenzo, the guy wanders in his posts and is a blow hard. And his ideas for "open" rules is ridiculaous. Then only guys with money will be on the podium. I agree with Brian Cates on this issue. What makes for a successful series, like SCCA or NASA, is to keep it affordable so the average Joe can compete.

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Who said anything about lifting "at" the kink? You put "" marks around something that isn't a quote.

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quote:
Originally posted by wheel:
Who said anything about lifting "at" the kink? You put "" marks around something that isn't a quote.

My bad if I mistook what you meant. It's just in a thread about the kink if I would not want to see the word lift. My bad if I mistook what you meant.

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Some cars (and drivers) never lift for the kink. Some lift and brake, just like any corner. My point was, the corner is the corner. If it scares you, which it certainly does me, lift and don't go through so fast. Just don't expect them to change the corner because it scares you.
wheel

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wheel,

Without getting into the nuances of driving the "kink". OK.

True, a high donwforce car, such as ALMS P1 won't brake there. Not sure what the ALMS GT cars do.

My vote, leave it alone.

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"Driving is a serious business" - John Milner, 'American Graffiti'

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Doing away with the kink at RA would be like serving apple pie with no crust. Sure it tastes good and I'd still eat it but don't try telling me it's pie.

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Keith Novak
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I didn't vote, because I am unsure. This is a tough question. Could it be made "safer" with the outcome less damage? I guess so, HPT moved back the turn 2 wall after complaints about that arrangement.

Would additional paving or some other method help reduce riks? I don't know. It may just promote some people to take more risks with the belief they can just use the runoff to save it and really create "a big one" when it gets away from them (more applicable to the faster classes that actually brake for the kink vs. SM)

This Runoffs was my first time facing the kink. It sure is intimidating the first time through and I definately had to work up to go "flat" during practice. You got to be on your game and there is not a lot of margin for error.

I suppose it is best to leave the kink as is, since that IS Road America.

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I don't know if anyone else notices it, but to me the kink would be less scary to take flat if they smoothed out the little dip right before the apex.

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quote:
Originally posted by JIM DANIELS:
Hard not to be bias personally, $60k write off and the arm still tingles. But, SM is so slow there not really an issue as is. Its the fast cars to consider.

I'm neutral.


 -

Don't blame the track. [Wink]

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quote:
Originally posted by Ara:
quote:
Originally posted by JIM DANIELS:
Hard not to be bias personally, $60k write off and the arm still tingles. But, SM is so slow there not really an issue as is. Its the fast cars to consider.

I'm neutral.


 -

Don't blame the track. [Wink]
Hard not to, had there been just a tad bit of room to spin and come to a stop.... S&^T happens of course but I don't need a turn like that to prove myself. Maybe if I was in the back and turns like that is how I got my thrill I would feel different? [Razz]

Raise hands, who else went through the dip at 120MPH plus, two wide? BTW, the "DIP" is where turn 10a/b is now at Atlanta.

I will race whatever is there, the thrill for me is in the competition not un-needed danger.

Don't lift but do PRAY the bolts are tight!

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JD, I thought you had a mechanical failure at the kink?

Pat

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JIM DANIELS
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quote:
Originally posted by pat slattery:
JD, I thought you had a mechanical failure at the kink?

Pat

Fatigue. But hey, got a rule named after me.

Sure made it interesting in the World Challenge cars (first race back). Was not sure a WC taxi was meant to go through there flat. But once Mike Galatti showed me how to use the grass on entry and exit, piece of cake..... lol

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quote:
Originally posted by pat slattery:
JD, I thought you had a mechanical failure at the kink?

Pat

The rear knuckle snapped and rolled under the car at turn in.. That video still scares me!
Jim

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quote:
Originally posted by JIM DANIELS:
Raise hands, who else went through the dip at 120MPH plus, two wide? BTW, the "DIP" is where turn 10a/b is now at Atlanta.


/QB]

Mr Daniels ;
the "dip" was actually located just before todays 10a, and was easy to go through FLAT at the top of 4th, two wide ... in a FF or a Vee or any low h.p. car like a SM.
The following right hander up under the bridge(T-11), well lets just say, very few had the testicles to try that stunt two wide ...
only Rd Atl Masters like Fitzy, Reeves, Varde and Felton, while drifting out past the pit lane entry road into the red clay at drivers left [Eek!]
raise hands anyone been passed on the OUTSIDE at 90 MPH going under the bridge at RD Atl ?
[fight]

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Hand raised, forget the speeds but many times in GTU, GT2 and something so at one point, firehawk car. Same weekend I watched the FAboys flat T1

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Doesn't every great track have one or two places that seperate the men from the boys?

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Leave the kink alone. Get rid of the rediculous rumble strips that rattle everything loose. Broke a rear caliper bracket, my hardtop came loose, bent 3 wheels, re-balanced 3 sets of tires, just looked at my runoffs diff (ugh!), went through one wheel bearing. This was all in a week at road america.

The real issue isn't the kink to me. As most mentioned flat in a well handling SM while sipping coffee. What is the real issue is mechanical failures. (i.e JD's accident) This does scare me because had my rear caliper braket broke yielding me no brakes on the last day of testing going into Canada rather than turn 14 onto the front straight my week would have been over before it started.

I love the track, but absolutely hate the rumble strips. I don't get why they need them. They are very hard on equipment and would rather the track get rid of them instead of changing the layout. I replaced everything before the runoffs on my car as that is when I re-service my car and leave it for 2010 with all new parts, so to have as many failures as I did that week was either dumb luck or attributable to the aggressive bumps the track has. After my test days I stayed off of them except for my flyer qualifying lap and the race.

Mat

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quote:
Originally posted by Andy Bettencourt:
Doesn't every great track have one or two places that seperate the men from the boys?

Sure but few lift so is not a turn the separates us anymore. Is just a turn with no room for mechanical much less human error. I choose to go flat, would like to have a choice of where to go is something happens. Which, by the way, is no less of a problem if you are someone that does lift. Truth is, street courses are the only places, IMHO, for walls that close at those speeds.

Doc, guess if we did an INDY car lap or two it might be more apparent, rumbles to prevent off track wheel dropping? I think they force the cars to a lower track out speed if I recall correctly?

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Agreed JD, however INDY doesn't run there anymore. Time to put the track back in a state where all cars can run there safely. It can be done with gravel traps and runoff room. As you have run at many places across the country, there is not a track I have raced at (other than CMP) with that aggressive of exit curbing. I watched the ALMS race this year and those guys use every bit of the rumble strips every lap without flinching. The purpose built racing suspensions have no trouble with that type of curbing as their alignments usually don't change unless they hit tires or walls. Our 10-20 year old cars can't handle that. Accidents waiting to happen in my opinion. Check your braided brake lines also when you run there. I saw several fittings on cars backing loose. [Eek!]

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I went thru the dip at Road Atlanta back in 1989 in the IMSA Firehawk Series driving a Honda CRX alongside Jeff Brabhams GTP Nissan! I was doing about 125 mph and he was doing over 200 mph.

It was my second lap on the track, open practice, at night, and I had no clue if I was on the racing line or even which way the next turn went as nobody had a track map for me to look at!

I swear my heart jumped out of the car as I had just looked in my mirror and had no clue anybody was behind me, much less a 950hp car going almost twice as fast as me.

I think I might have left some skid marks in my shorts on that one [Big Grin]

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quote:
Originally posted by mat pombo:
Leave the kink alone. Get rid of the rediculous rumble strips that rattle everything loose. Broke a rear caliper bracket, my hardtop came loose, bent 3 wheels, re-balanced 3 sets of tires, just looked at my runoffs diff (ugh!), went through one wheel bearing. This was all in a week at road america.

The real issue isn't the kink to me. As most mentioned flat in a well handling SM while sipping coffee. What is the real issue is mechanical failures. (i.e JD's accident) This does scare me because had my rear caliper braket broke yielding me no brakes on the last day of testing going into Canada rather than turn 14 onto the front straight my week would have been over before it started.

I love the track, but absolutely hate the rumble strips. I don't get why they need them. They are very hard on equipment and would rather the track get rid of them instead of changing the layout. I replaced everything before the runoffs on my car as that is when I re-service my car and leave it for 2010 with all new parts, so to have as many failures as I did that week was either dumb luck or attributable to the aggressive bumps the track has. After my test days I stayed off of them except for my flyer qualifying lap and the race.

Mat

+1 Mat I couldn't believe how ruff they are,my mirror's kept coming unadjusted.I tightened the bolts as hard as I could and it didn't help.I would watch the car in front of me and couldn't believe how hard the wheels would shake over the rumble strips.

As for the kink I say leave it alone,this was my first time there as well and took a while to go through there WOT in fourth gear but it sure is fun! [yep]

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quote:
Originally posted by B(Kuch) Kucera 45:


As for the kink I say leave it alone,this was my first time there as well and took a while to go through there WOT in fourth gear but it sure is fun! :yep

You'll have some bigger fun next time WOT in 5th!

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quote:
Originally posted by Cajun Miata Man:
quote:
Originally posted by B(Kuch) Kucera 45:


As for the kink I say leave it alone,this was my first time there as well and took a while to go through there WOT in fourth gear but it sure is fun! :yep

You'll have some bigger fun next time WOT in 5th!
By the end of the race I was shifting into 5th as soon as I hit track out.So I'm sure the next time I'll try it,I can't wait!

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I say leave the curbs alone too, if you make a mistake, you may lose a filling or two, but typically won't run off and hurt yourself. If you try and use them excessively, their progresive nature starts to penalize you. No doubt, they are rough. I have bent a few wheels there as well, but I like them as is.
Jim

[ 11-27-2009, 04:02 PM: Message edited by: Drago ]

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Jim Drago
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Leave it alone. One of the most thrilling turns in all of racing. That being said I agree it would be nice for RA to explore any possible safety enhancements to the turn without actually changing the course layout.

   

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