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      08-14-2012, 07:47 AM   #1
Gearhead999s
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Good Article & Video about Driving Watkins Glen



Article here

http://blog.axisofoversteer.com/2012...kins-glen.html
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      08-14-2012, 04:42 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting. Always helpful to see a racer's perspective and lines. My amateur abilities and chubby car are apparently costing me 20sec a lap around the Glen!

I noticed he was running a racing line around most of the corners, early apexing or hugging the inside, driving a protective line. But this was a qualifying lap--wouldn't a more traditional, non-protective line be faster for qualifying? Or is it that most of the rubber had been laid down on the racing line, making it stickier and ultimately faster even for qualifying?
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      08-14-2012, 06:43 PM   #3
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I do not think he is early apexing at all as there is a lot more grip on a tighter line on older pavement at places like WGI & Mosport.Here is my video for comparison.

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      08-14-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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Have to say that looks good to me. I used to be real afraid of "early" apexing, but after a bit realized that to actually hit the apex at speed had to point a bit to the inside and the speed naturally pushes you where you need to be. This isn't really "early" but definitely seems that way after the safe, traditional HPDE , late apex philosophy. Thanks for the website and video link, good stuff
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      08-14-2012, 10:35 PM   #5
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Clarke runs a competitive line through each corner: he carries lots of rolling speed on corner entry and doesn't bind the car on corner exit. He places his car effectively in each corner, exploiting corner radius (consider, for example, his use of the apron at the exit of turns 7 and 9) and maximizing corner exit speed.

An early apex is not always unacceptable. When more grip is available in the second half of a corner (when, for example, a positive change in elevation exists in the second half of a corner) or when the turn has an increasing radius, an early apex is appropriate.

Clarke's lap is impressive, but for me his subtle, smooth inputs with the car's controls make his performance particularly noteworthy.
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      08-15-2012, 05:41 AM   #6
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Now that I watch the Clarke Cayman qualifying lap again, I don't see early apexing either--at least not in most of the turns. Probably what I was noticing was his approach to T9/"The Off-Camber": it does seem like he hugs the inside curbing through here, but maybe that's where there's more grip. I do know that the late-apex/"safe" HPDE line through T9 has you stay out very wide to the right prior to initiating the turn due to the tricky mid-corner camber shift as the track rejoins the NASCAR straight, and also due to the very limited runoff on track-out. My most recent time at the Glen an instructor rode along and had me turn into 9 a lot earlier than the traditional HPDE/school line, and it worked well, but I was a bit apprehensive about it at first. Even that approach wasn't as tight or curb-hugging as Clarke's line in the video, though.

Again, though, not sure how I jumped from noticing this line through T9 to seeing "early apexing most turns."

I did notice on watching it again that Clarke has a bit of a wiggle and correction on entry to the downhill left-hand T6. I wonder if this was due to a bit of downhill trail-braking, which could make the back end come around as he describes in his turn-by-turn analysis on the linked website.
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      08-15-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradocs98 View Post
Now that I watch the Clarke Cayman qualifying lap again, I don't see early apexing either--at least not in most of the turns. Probably what I was noticing was his approach to T9/"The Off-Camber": it does seem like he hugs the inside curbing through here, but maybe that's where there's more grip. I do know that the late-apex/"safe" HPDE line through T9 has you stay out very wide to the right prior to initiating the turn due to the tricky mid-corner camber shift as the track rejoins the NASCAR straight, and also due to the very limited runoff on track-out. My most recent time at the Glen an instructor rode along and had me turn into 9 a lot earlier than the traditional HPDE/school line, and it worked well, but I was a bit apprehensive about it at first. Even that approach wasn't as tight or curb-hugging as Clarke's line in the video, though.

Again, though, not sure how I jumped from noticing this line through T9 to seeing "early apexing most turns."

I did notice on watching it again that Clarke has a bit of a wiggle and correction on entry to the downhill left-hand T6. I wonder if this was due to a bit of downhill trail-braking, which could make the back end come around as he describes in his turn-by-turn analysis on the linked website.
From what I have seen is that most instructors tend to teach the traditional school conservative type lines not the more agressive type race lines that allow faster lap times.I teach the race type lines and to this point I have never had a great issue with students having a problem with doing this.If they want to be quick they will need to know this at some point and I feel it is safer to do this for both the student & instructor.
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      08-15-2012, 12:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead999s View Post
From what I have seen is that most instructors tend to teach the traditional school conservative type lines not the more agressive type race lines that allow faster lap times.I teach the race type lines and to this point I have never had a great issue with students having a problem with doing this.If they want to be quick they will need to know this at some point and I feel it is safer to do this for both the student & instructor.
+1

I do the same, I teach the fast line from the get go. It is was most student want anyway. Further, this also forces them into learning more advance driving techniques earlier in the process (trail braking, throttle steering...).

As soon as they have caught onto the "line", I start working "off line" with them. I believe the better driver is the one who is able to make the best of whatever situation occurres, regardless of where he is positioned on the track at a given moment. It also makes for safer passing .

Last edited by CanAutM3; 08-15-2012 at 10:51 PM.
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      08-15-2012, 03:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanAutM3 View Post
+1

I do the same, I teach the fast line from the get go. It is was most student want anyway. Further, this also forces them into learning more advance driving techniques earlier in the process (trail braking, throttle steering...).

As soon as they have caught onto the "line", I start working "off line" with them. I believe the better driver is the one who is able to make the best of whatever situation occurres, regarless of where he positioned on the track at a given moment. It also makes for safer passing .
From what I have seen in an awfull amount of instructor run groups is that a good percentage of instructors do not know the fast way round most racetracks.Making the student to think for himself is a huge part of instructing and I do not feel that is pushed enough or at all at most schools.
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      08-15-2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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Thats what called driving the car at speed. amazing. its being able to maintain control, and keep the car at the limit through the entire track. wow.
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      08-15-2012, 10:26 PM   #11
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Wow...one mistake and you're eating armco there. I get spoiled here in Texas where there are only a ocuple of turns on all of the tracks where there's something bad waiting for you if you make a mistake.

I've found on turns with camber and room on exit, early apexing works. But yeah, I was taught late apexes early on because of the safety and skill issue. You really need to be able to be smooth on the controls (especially the brakes), able to rotate the car with trail braking and throttle. Also, able to drive with slip angle.

If you can't trail brake, rotate the car with throttle, and drive with slip angle...you shouldn't be early apexing or you'll be driving a BMW lawn mower.
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