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      01-13-2013, 10:15 AM   #1
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Circuit of the Americas...the first DE ever!

The Driver's Edge (www.thedriversedge.net) just did their first day at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX. COTA is being touted as one of the best tracks in the world...I was skeptical. So I haven't driven that many track so I can't verify that but it is fantastic! If you get a chance...do it. It should be on any track junkie's bucket list.

It is a first rate facility and there is nothing cheap, ugly or cut rate about it. I would compare this to the Nurburgring as far as the quality of the facility and the challenge of the track. The facilities! My buddy rented a garage...its a 6 car garage that was Pastor Maldonado's garage. It had a beautiful epoxy floor and had its own bathroom that was cleaned twice during the day. The cleaning lady was pretty damned hot. But probably not impressed by my buddy blowing it up right before they cleaned it. I heard you could even order garage service...food brought down to you garage (I'm too cheap). INSANE! The only downer is lots of rules but for a good reason.

Turns and switchbacks are one thing but this track has crazy elevation changes. Some significant but a lot of little nuances that can really mess you up. There are a few early apex turns where you have to turn before you can see the apex. I could have probably developed some reference points with more time but I was basically turning in based on cadence.

Like Bo knows...Just do it!



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      01-13-2013, 10:37 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing! Was looking forward to seeing some feedback for this track. Definitely want to find my way there someday. Even if its in a rental car
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      01-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #3
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You were skeptical? Everything about that track screams awesome.

Thanks for sharing. Sure wish it wasn't 24 hrs drive from me.
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      01-13-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
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Passing a porsche on the front straight. Long story but I probably didn't earn that pass. The vette in front was holding everyone up.



Quote:
Originally Posted by FormulaMMM View Post
You were skeptical? Everything about that track screams awesome.

Thanks for sharing. Sure wish it wasn't 24 hrs drive from me.
Skeptical about being the best in the world. I haven't experience that many tracks and didn't understand what the best track in the world should be and have. I think I have a better understanding but I also have very few points of comparison. There are more qualified people to qualify that statement.

No doubt...worth a long trip. Kind of like how I want to travel to run Laguna Seca, VIR, and Watkins Glen.
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      01-13-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
Looks like a difficult track and also kind of annoying too.
?
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      01-13-2013, 01:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
Looks like a difficult track and also kind of annoying too.
Actually, that's a good point. The problem was vettes would pull on the long straights. Then you catch up to them by the second turn after the long straight. The next passing zone is a little ways but it leads onto another long straight. Although they should give a pass, they don't because they want to drag race down the straight. So they create a gap and start all over again.

That silver corvette was holding up that porsche in front of me the entire session. I was the ONLY one that silver vette let pass that entire session. So there were some frustrated people.
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      01-13-2013, 01:19 PM   #7
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Silver e46 M3s...the official car of COTA.
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      01-13-2013, 01:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Actually, that's a good point. The problem was vettes would pull on the long straights. Then you catch up to them by the second turn after the long straight. The next passing zone is a little ways but it leads onto another long straight. Although they should give a pass, they don't because they want to drag race down the straight. So they create a gap and start all over again.

That silver corvette was holding up that porsche in front of me the entire session. I was the ONLY one that silver vette let pass that entire session. So there were some frustrated people.
yeah i hate that.
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      01-13-2013, 02:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Actually, that's a good point. The problem was vettes would pull on the long straights. Then you catch up to them by the second turn after the long straight. The next passing zone is a little ways but it leads onto another long straight. Although they should give a pass, they don't because they want to drag race down the straight. So they create a gap and start all over again.

That silver corvette was holding up that porsche in front of me the entire session. I was the ONLY one that silver vette let pass that entire session. So there were some frustrated people.
Thats when you get 5 guys together and go give the guy a talking to after the session.
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      01-13-2013, 02:35 PM   #10
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      01-13-2013, 02:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasBoosted View Post
Thats when you get 5 guys together and go give the guy a talking to after the session.
i do that all the time if i have an issue dont need 5 guys.
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      01-13-2013, 02:48 PM   #12
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yes i was but that was before i watched the video. couldnt figure out how going to such a nice track was annoying. my bad
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      01-13-2013, 02:58 PM   #13
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Looks like a good time, thanks for sharing!
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      01-13-2013, 02:59 PM   #14
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Awesome! I plan on going when I PCS back to the States. I can't wait to get home.
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      01-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #15
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Thanks for posting, can't wait to try myself. BMWCCA will be holding a DE and club race there this year but unless you are a club racer odds are low to get in. I went to the USGP and was salivating thinking about getting the M out there.

Would you mind sharing the fee Drivers Edge charged?
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      01-13-2013, 03:27 PM   #16
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Two other questions: How was the run up to Turn 1? And is turn 2 (apart from just being downhill) off camber?

For reference for others, some interesting times:

Pole for USGP: 1:35.657 (Vettel)
Pole for Ferrari Challenge: 2:16.36
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      01-13-2013, 04:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
Well I have no problem elaborating. I wasn't talking about what OP said, though I can understand that as well about DE with point bys and how that can lead to the train game. What I mean is all those turns that you have to mid track through. I counted 9 compromise corners in a row from turn 2 to 10. What that means is 1) no rest 2.) if you mess up one of those corners the whole section is blown 3.) even though the track is wide, passing in here is difficult and will hurt your lap time so slower divers will bog you down 4.) its kind of ticky-tacky with one corner blending into the next over and over and over. Similar to the complaint many drivers have of Hungaroring F1 track--they say its like a glorified kart track. It doesn't attribute itself to great racing and you can't let the car run. The reward for taking a corner better than your competitor is not an overtaking opportunity but rather just an opportunity to run up on his gearbox. Know what I mean? I get that impression from this track.

At the same time there are track that are great for driving but not so much for racing (Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca, Lime Rock) and then there are tracks that are boring to drive but lend themselves to great racing (Watkins Glen, Road America). Also, the track takes a different character in a fast car vs slower car. Sweeping turns in fast cars become non-turns in slow cars, short straights become long straights, etc. A track designed for F1 isn't going to feel that same for a slower class of cars. In my opinion of course, but shared by many other drivers as well.
thanks for that explanation. dont have experience with a lot of tracks so helpful.
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      01-13-2013, 04:21 PM   #18
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      01-13-2013, 05:15 PM   #19
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Thanks for the show OP.

Did you try the StopTech track pads this event?

.
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      01-13-2013, 07:37 PM   #20
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Great looking track and it was crazy to watch the F1 guys there.
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      01-13-2013, 09:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
What I mean is all those turns that you have to mid track through. I counted 9 compromise corners in a row from turn 2 to 10. What that means is 1) no rest 2.) if you mess up one of those corners the whole section is blown 3.) even though the track is wide, passing in here is difficult and will hurt your lap time so slower divers will bog you down 4.) its kind of ticky-tacky with one corner blending into the next over and over and over. Similar to the complaint many drivers have of Hungaroring F1 track--they say its like a glorified kart track.
I disagree with that. There is definitely some speed potential through there. It is a long section of turns strung together but its two totally different rhythms between 3-5 and 6-9 The key is T9 but there's a lot more speed in 3-5 than what you see in my video. The challenging part is the turn in to T3. I think the unique aspect here is if you mess up T3, you're still fine for T4 but you'll be in not so great shape for T5. I like that...its different. Then T6-9 is a slower section with trail braking and late apexes. Honestly, that is probably the most boring section of the track relatively speaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by signes View Post
Two other questions: How was the run up to Turn 1? And is turn 2 (apart from just being downhill) off camber?

For reference for others, some interesting times:

Pole for USGP: 1:35.657 (Vettel)
Pole for Ferrari Challenge: 2:16.36
The hardest part about T1 was the braking zone because you scrub so much speed from the hill I was always braking way too much. Part of it was I REALLY didn't want to go off, we were all on a short leash. I felt like I had an easy .5 second in that braking zone alone.

T2 is looks off camber when you come down the hill. Looks flat in the video. But I never got that sensation where the car was pushing to the outside. I'd have to look at it more or walk the track to be sure. I was more concerned with not getting too far track left so I could set up for T3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
Thanks for the show OP.

Did you try the StopTech track pads this event?

.
No. It rained in the morning and I started with the Pagid yellows. I was going to swap in the stoptechs when I got to the track just to try them but I ran out of time.
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      01-13-2013, 09:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by signes View Post
Thanks for posting, can't wait to try myself. BMWCCA will be holding a DE and club race there this year but unless you are a club racer odds are low to get in. I went to the USGP and was salivating thinking about getting the M out there.

Would you mind sharing the fee Drivers Edge charged?
$375/day. I think instructors paid some amount less than $375...not sure what that was. Most were only offered one day. Expensive but the good part was that there were some criteria to keep the most of the boneheads away. Notice I said most...I was there

I believe BMWCCA will be cheaper since they are not for profit and do have a little more negotiating power.
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