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      08-11-2009, 05:23 PM   #1
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Watkins Glen or VIR

If you had to choose one which one would you track? I have not tracked either track, both are approx the same distance from me.
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      08-11-2009, 05:33 PM   #2
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VIR for the pure speed, though WGI is excellent as well.
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      08-11-2009, 05:49 PM   #3
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that is a tuff one...

i was at the Glen this past weekend.. and VIR 2 weeks ago..

I say go to the Glen because the weather is much nicer right now up there then it would be at VIR..

VIR is a safer track... If you run off or anything like that.. so that might be important to you...

Both have great parts that are very nice to drive...


But i say the Glen.. then in the winter go to VIR...
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      08-11-2009, 06:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by KINGLEH View Post
VIR is a safer track... If you run off or anything like that.. so that might be important to you...
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      08-11-2009, 06:52 PM   #5
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I have run both - and given the speed that you can obtain, I suggest and recommend VIR. I prefer to err where the green is grass, and not armco.
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      08-11-2009, 07:28 PM   #6
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Thanks could go to the Glen sept 28-29, will take the M, not the Cayman S . The way it sounds the M is the car for the Glen. I like the Cayman S for tracks like Shenandoah at Summit Point. Thanks for your opinions. Can due VIR in November.
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      08-11-2009, 08:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 4u3 View Post
Thanks could go to the Glen sept 28-29, will take the M, not the Cayman S . The way it sounds the M is the car for the Glen. I like the Cayman S for tracks like Shenandoah at Summit Point. Thanks for your opinions. Can due VIR in November.
With the M, you can go WOT into turn 2, keep it there, and come out of 4 riding the redline, but I would not recommend that as the car get kind of loose at 140 mph, which is not fun. Just take it easy if you take the M.
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      08-12-2009, 07:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KINGLEH View Post
VIR is a safer track... If you run off or anything like that.. so that might be important to you...
I understand what you guys are saying, but you cannot go in with the mentality that you will have an off at high speed, or you most likely will. You simply cannot ever worry about that, even on a slow track like NHIS. Pick the track based on its layout, not on which is "safer". Because the truth is, you can incur damage (to the car, to your body, or as importantly to your ego/self belief) at any track if you are driving beyond your limits. And that's the key - VIR, WGI, NHIS, etc. - don't drive beyond your limits and you'll be fine. Go slow first, learn the track, and slowly increase your speed, but not beyond what you are comfortable with. Don't expect much your first time at either track. Make a goal for yourself and stick to that. Don't get into a competition with others. It's not a race. And next time you go back, make a new goal, etc.

I say this, because I know people get very excited and push too hard right away. Having a powerful car makes it easy to. Most tracks are best learned in a "slower" car for less speed down the straights and into the corners (where most offs happen to people first time at the track). Especially these two tracks. I would say take the Cayman. Better learning car IMO (the M is a real easy car to drive too fast - too easy). More feedback. You will not even get close to the limit. That's fine. The fact that you want to take the M, implies you want to push hard, and it's part of the reason I say this. But to each his own - they are your cars, your decision. I don't know your background, but even pros take it easy the first time at a new track. Limiting your gears is another option. This is what schools teach you. While you may be able to take a corner easily in 4th, take it in 3d for instance. Limit your shifting as well so you focus more on the proper lines, braking points, etc., and less on shifting for the first few times around. Stuff like this helps tremendously in getting you up to speed a LOT faster on a new track. It's tempting to take your most powerful car and push hard. And perhaps that's why some said VIR is "safer".

Hope this made some sense. I don't mean to sound all "preachy" or whatever. Just some advice based on my own experience. I DID say I prefer VIR for pure speed, and I do. I should have added this to my post I suppose. I guess it really was a reaction to people saying one is safer than the other. And, as I said, I understand what they mean, but you wanting to take the M also prompted me to post this. Hope it wasn't a lot of useless typing

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The way it sounds the M is the car for the Glen
This is what I noticed. And the reality is, unless you are in a competitive race, such statements can be dangerous to believe. Because the first time, you'll be just as fast in even a Cayman non-S! That's the truth.
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      08-12-2009, 07:57 AM   #9
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Do them both with us (www.MVPTrackTime.com). VIR September 7th & 8th and The Glen October 31st & November 1st.

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      08-12-2009, 09:08 AM   #10
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Urbo, there is a lot that can go wrong that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with you pushing the car, and the top speeds and run off areas do make a difference in that regard. Would you rather have a tire blow at 155 mph or 120 mph? And would you rather have something like that happen on a track with plenty of run off or not? And even if you take exactly the same amount of risk in terms of pushing yourself (say you drive at 90% of your limit on both tracks--whatever that means), would you still not rather be on a track with more run off area or not? (Not that the amount of run off area is the only factor that dictates damage/injury in a crash, but still...)

Having said all this, one needs to review the track and know where to test your limits and where not to, and if you can hold yourself to that, one can at least manage the "driver" side of the risk, but there are issues that are beyond your control.
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      08-12-2009, 09:16 AM   #11
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Urbo - lucid - Two very worth while suggestions.

Quote:
one needs to review the track and know where to test your limits and where not to
While VIR offers some margin for run offs, there is still the need to know where to PLAY, and where to PAY when you are driving that track. The PLAY part to me seems larger than Watkins. Use your head, not your foot and all should be okay and fun.
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      08-12-2009, 10:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
Urbo, there is a lot that can go wrong that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with you pushing the car, and the top speeds and run off areas do make a difference in that regard. Would you rather have a tire blow at 155 mph or 120 mph? And would you rather have something like that happen on a track with plenty of run off or not? And even if you take exactly the same amount of risk in terms of pushing yourself (say you drive at 90% of your limit on both tracks--whatever that means), would you still not rather be on a track with more run off area or not? (Not that the amount of run off area is the only factor that dictates damage/injury in a crash, but still...)
Lucid, you're absolutely right. But it's not something I ever thought about when I was at the track/racing - a tire puncture, a loose nut, another car running into me, a small animal/bird running in front of me, etc. These are all things that can easily happen (and did), but if you think about this going in, you better be content with just going slow forever or losing. Because until you step over these thoughts, you'll stand in your own way towards making progress and getting faster/winning. These are things that can easily happen - we all know this. But we assume the risk and forget about them. How will you ever go faster than 120 if you are afraid of a tire puncture? 120/130/140/150/160/etc., you simply can't think about it, regardless of track. There is a certain amount of ignorance you need to have when you step into the car if that makes any sense.

To use your example, say you're coming out of T4 at WGI, going down the straight for the Busstop in T5. Are you thinking tire puncture? Are you slowing down from 140 or whatever down to 120 to be more comfortable? Are you thinking, "Man I wish there was more runoff area here in case my tire goes!"? I hope not! Are you even thinking anything BUT just preparing the car for T5? If you are, then you are over-thinking and THAT will eventually get you in trouble. Once you commit to tracking/racing, you need to have a goal/goals. In racing that goal is simple - to win. When tracking, as I said in my prior post, you need to make a goal before you get to the track and step in the car. And goals will depend on many things - track familiarity, driver skill level, car you are driving, the amount of risk you are willing to take, etc., etc., etc. My goal may be to better my time from the last time I was there. Or be faster in a certain sector, etc. Or try something new. For the first time, my goal may be simply to learn the track and be as smooth as I can, since speed will come later naturally.

No track is safe. Period. This is how one needs to think. Unexpected stuff can happen anywhere, and many such offs are not at high speeds either. But do all the thinking before getting into the car. The only thing you should ever think about in the car is what's up ahead.

The bottom line for me is that comparing tracks in terms of risk is a dangerous game. You may then be too slow at WGI and too fast at VIR. Both bad which can lead to bad things... See what I mean? Take each track on its own. Even if you've "mastered" a track like WGI or VIR, you should never feel "safe" or "safer". The risk is always there when we talk about the unexpected.

Quote:
Having said all this, one needs to review the track and know where to test your limits and where not to, and if you can hold yourself to that, one can at least manage the "driver" side of the risk, but there are issues that are beyond your control.
Agreed again. The only thing you CAN manage is the driver's side of the risk. Nothing else. To me WGI is just as dangerous as VIR. You just need to know what to do as a driver. If everyone here says go to VIR - it's safer should the unexpected happen, then the OP may go to VIR with too much confidence and/or never end up going to WGI, or going with some fear. And both are bad.... And fear is the MOST dangerous thing to bring with you. Adrenaline and some anxiety is good/normal/expected. But not fear. That will get you in trouble.
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      08-12-2009, 10:47 AM   #13
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Urbo, I agree that one should not be thinking about going off while driving. That's true in general with any kind of sport that involves high speeds. I used to race road bikes competitively, and if you start thinking about crashing as you are coming down a mountain pass at 70 mph, the chances are you will, so that is pretty much a universal rule. However, that is not what we are discussing. The OP is not on any track yet. I stand behind my opinion that some tracks are simply "safer" than others by design. For instance, if I stick telephone poles right outside the track out areas of turns in a track, that track is now much less safe by design. We can discuss if track X is safer than track Y by design, but that doesn't change the fact that some tracks are safer than others the way some cars are safer than others, and so on. Sure, you can get yourself in trouble on any track, or even on the street, but that is the driver's side of the equation, and we seem to be in agreement there. Also, I refuse to drive on a track at 155 mph in a car without a full cage and a 3-point seatbelt. I don't think it is a particularly smart thing to do. Again, that is a decision you can make before getting on the track. I also know that once I get on a track, I most likely won't be able to restrain myself to lift and tool around at a much lower speed than the track would allow me to, so I'd rather have the track and the car impose that limit on me, but that's just me. That way, I am not thinking about my tire blowing while I am on the track, but I've done the risk management thinking I need to do before I start driving to determine what I am and am not comfortable with in terms of the variables that are beyond my control once I am on the track.
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      08-12-2009, 11:15 AM   #14
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urbo while you have some decent points for track knewbs.. you contradict yourself alot...

I agree with Lucid mostly...


also you ALWAYS have to be aware of everything that can happen.. lug bolt or whatever.. you are aware of that stuff.. you think of them.. thats why you tq your wheels in the morning...

the OP asks which track to go to in his M3.. and just posts later your telling him dont worry about this or that.. BUT he shouldn't even take the M.. and take his other car....


Let him do what he wants... You dont really know his experience... He asked about which track.. and something alot of people consider is the safety of the track.. thats top 3 on alot of peoples lists actually... thats a fact that VIR has more run off then WGI... also VIR has a safety station at its secondary pit/paddock right after the Oak tree... where as WGI has limited access points also...

So anyways.. you have to think of all the situations and be totally aware of your surroundings... that just makes it safer for you...
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      08-12-2009, 11:39 AM   #15
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Lucid, I don't think we disagree too much, but perhaps look at things differently coming from different backgrounds. So the conversation is useful I think.

The OP is not on any track yet, correct, but I was answering your questions about what would I prefer if a tire should go, etc. So that's why I answered in the manner I did.

Again, the bottom line is that no track is safe. Also when you compare totally different tracks in terms of safety/risk, at this level of driving (non-pro), that can be a bad thing as I've said. That is my main point here. Why? As I said above. Someone may be reading this (the OP and others) and think that VIR is so friendly, with much more run off areas, that they will maybe push too hard and it can end up bad. At the pro level, drivers know better. That's it really. I don't want the OP to think that by choosing VIR, he's going to have what one user called more "play" room. It's just a dangerous way to think. Does it have more play room? Yes. Should you think that way when you've not been to the track? Absolutely not.
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      08-12-2009, 11:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KINGLEH View Post
urbo while you have some decent points for track knewbs.. you contradict yourself alot...

I agree with Lucid mostly...


also you ALWAYS have to be aware of everything that can happen.. lug bolt or whatever.. you are aware of that stuff.. you think of them.. thats why you tq your wheels in the morning...

the OP asks which track to go to in his M3.. and just posts later your telling him dont worry about this or that.. BUT he shouldn't even take the M.. and take his other car....


Let him do what he wants... You dont really know his experience... He asked about which track.. and something alot of people consider is the safety of the track.. thats top 3 on alot of peoples lists actually... thats a fact that VIR has more run off then WGI... also VIR has a safety station at its secondary pit/paddock right after the Oak tree... where as WGI has limited access points also...

So anyways.. you have to think of all the situations and be totally aware of your surroundings... that just makes it safer for you...
I'm not sure how I contradict myself "a lot", but anyway, to each his own. Perhaps you can elaborate on where I did that...The OP can do what he wants - I never said do this or do that. I was just pointing out something I described in my post above. I replied originally with VIR, but not because it's safer. Because I prefer it. My reply was more to the other posts.

Having raced in SCCA FF at these tracks some time back, I'm quite aware of being aware. I'm also quite aware of NOT thinking about these things when driving, which was my point. That is in no way a contradiction. I am also aware of people pushing too hard with too little experience at a track - regardless of their skill level. Especially at DE events. And the consequences that follow...
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      08-12-2009, 11:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbo73 View Post
Lucid, I don't think we disagree too much, but perhaps look at things differently coming from different backgrounds. So the conversation is useful I think.

The OP is not on any track yet, correct, but I was answering your questions about what would I prefer if a tire should go, etc. So that's why I answered in the manner I did.

Again, the bottom line is that no track is safe. Also when you compare totally different tracks in terms of safety/risk, at this level of driving (non-pro), that can be a bad thing as I've said. That is my main point here. Why? As I said above. Someone may be reading this (the OP and others) and think that VIR is so friendly, with much more run off areas, that they will maybe push too hard and it can end up bad. At the pro level, drivers know better. That's it really. I don't want the OP to think that by choosing VIR, he's going to have what one user called more "play" room. It's just a dangerous way to think. Does it have more play room? Yes. Should you think that way when you've not been to the track? Absolutely not.
Sure, no track is "safe". Driving on a track entails risk (as compared to sitting around watching TV). No question about that. We do sign multiple waivers just to go through the gate. But then risk is not a black and white thing, and different people have different attitudes and tolerances toward different levels of it. I understand your point about not wanting to portray any track as a "safe" track (unless people sit around and watch TV on it!). I think people need to exercise some common sense when it comes to that though. If one drives to a track thinking there is no risk ahead and it is a safe thing to do because of this or that, one is fooling himself I'd say...
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      08-12-2009, 12:08 PM   #18
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Yeah, but the REAL question is DSC OFF or MDM?
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      08-12-2009, 11:01 PM   #19
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DSC OFF!... i had enough of DSC at the M school...
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      08-13-2009, 03:49 PM   #20
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DSC OFF!... i had enough of DSC at the M school...
Yeah - it was a sort of joke in reference to how many times the subject comes up.

I was surprised that they have you run with MDM at the Advanced M school. Just not the best way to learn, as it will kick in still.
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      08-13-2009, 06:46 PM   #21
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yea.. i think they will have alot of people spinning out if they turn it off.. and their horror story's about people turning it off were pretty funny...


Plus... with MDM on its the best "smoothness" practice ive ever done... you have to be unbelievably smooth on edge to keep it from killing your time...
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      08-13-2009, 06:51 PM   #22
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and their horror story's about people turning it off were pretty funny...
care to share a few of them?
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