Originally Posted by SP33DRCR
but isn't time the universal yardstick?
Between a fresh set of R-comps like Hoosier R-6es to a set with a dozen heat cycles, the difference per lap could be in the magnitude of a couple of second per lap. Between a lap in brisk 60 degrees temperature and 105 degrees can be the difference of 5+ seconds per lap. If you're in a group with a lot of traffic, and predefined and limited passing zones, a clean lap vs a lap stuck in traffic can be as much as 10 seconds difference.
When you start comparing times by different drivers driving different cars, all bets are off. Tires, suspension, brakes...etc all will contribute to some big disparities in lap time even at the same tack, not to mention temperature and humidity.
For example, at our last event at Auto Club Speedway, my fastest lap was achieved during the first session when it was in the high 60s, despite my later sessions having higher average cornering speed. But the next two sessions were ran in mid to high 90s, with top speed on the front straight being several MPH slower and speed through turn 2, the LONG banked NASCAR oval having higher speed in the cooler session.
Yet I know for sure my driving in the 2nd and 3rd sessions were much better than the first.