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      10-17-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
VictorH
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Track Notes - Barber Motorsports Park

Just got back from a really nice 4+ days at Barber this past week with the BMW CCA O'Fest event. Met a lot of new folks and ran into some old friends and made a couple of new ones too. Barber is a really nice facility and well maintained. I did 4 days and one session on day 5. By the end of day 2 and into day 3 & 4 I was really getting to understand and liking the track. It's very technical, I'd call it a cross between a go-kart track and a roller coaster. There isn't really much time to sit back and relax as you are always doing something. Don't get hung up on what you just messed up as the next corner is coming soon. Also there are some turns where if you screw up one turn the next 3 are going to be messed up too, so you don't want to compound your problems by "pushing on ahead" as you'll likely get into trouble later in the complex.

I thought I'd include some notes here on the track that I've accumulated that might be helpful to others who will be going there in the future. The videos I found on Barber are not as helpful as for other tracks as the elevation changes and blind apexes don't give you any reference points as to where you should be on the track. Evidently, Barber has a reputation for having a lot of crashes and there are clearly 2-3 areas that can be risky if you aren't paying attention (we had our share of crashes at this event too).

Also, this is what worked for me in a stock E90 M3 (stock suspension, no engine mods) running RE-11 tires (which I really like). I would say that I'm an advanced intermediate student, I have no racing experience and I'm not an expert driver. However, I'm pretty observant and am pretty good at experimenting and trying and learning new lines. These notes are based on what felt best or worked best in my car on these days. It's not an endorsement or recommendation, but just some ideas on what worked for me.

IF SOMEONE CAN POST A TRACK MAP THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL (I can't get a picture without it just giving me a link in the post)

Barber Motorsports Park
October 2011

Turn 1- Faster than it appears, downhill entry, with favorable camber. On corner entry try to complete braking before the curbing on the right side starts and turn in under power. Apex is the middle of the curb. Track out is wide and allows for accidental early entry (within reason). Stay inside for the upcoming carousel and brake heavy, in a straight line, for the next complex.
Turn 2-3 – The carousel. Constant radius, stay inside (½ car-width from the inside) of the pavement or follow the seam in the pavement with the left side wheels on the seam. When you see the corner station in front of you, then begin your turn in to the apex, which is at the end of the inside curbing, while applying sequentially more and more power. Should be near or at full power at apex and to track out on the left side curbing.
Turn 4 – Get most of the turn completed while going up the hill so that at the top of the hill at the blind apex, you hit the paint stripe (only if it’s dry) at the curbing at the top with your right side wheels (do not hit the curbing) and have minimal steering input. Track out to mid track or right of mid-track. No shifting, braking or other steering input changes other than un-winding the steering wheel at the top if needed.
Turn 5a, b & 6- The hairpin, get to right side of track on entry, brake hard and turn in late/deep and gradually. Try to hit apex at the flat curbing that is ¾ of the way around the turn. Should be able to apply moderate throttle by apex and track out to the opposite side curbing, but which time you should be at full power, for turn 6 while slowly unwinding the steering wheel.
Turn 7 a, b & 8- Corner entry is at the left side parallel to curbing. Brake hard and turn in past the dark patch of pavement that starts at the beginning of the curbing. That would be approx 20-30’ beyond the start of the curbing on the left. Once you enter this complex you should not touch either the right or left side curbing on these corners, there is no need and it can upset the balance of your car. Enter turn under power and keep moderate power on until the braking zone, and start braking (hard) as soon as you are past the left hand curbing. Turn in sharply into turn 8 after you get off the brakes. Track out to the opposite side of curbing while feeding in throttle. Cross over to the right side of the track for the “kink.” One caution here is that if you have traffic in front and they either are not comfortable or are running over the curbs you will easily gain 3-4 car lengths on them so you may end up at the entry to turn 8 on top of the car that was 4 car-lengths ahead of you at the beginning of 7.
Turn 9 & 10 – A fast but tricky turn if you enter turn 9 too early. Don’t hit curbing on 9 but try to keep this a “late apex.” Turn 9 is the sharper of the two and requires more and quicker steering input. Turn 10 is then a sweeper, to the right, with the apex at the end of the right side curbing which can be taken at or near full power. Track out to the opposite side curbing on the left on track out.
Turn 11 & 12 – Another tricky complex that has at least 2 lines, the “school line” and the “racing line.” The school line requires moderate braking and a late apex “sharp” left turn for 11 which should position the car deep on the left side of the track going down the hill. The apex for 12, which is an uphill right-hander is ¾ of the way up the hill. Unwind steering wheel before hitting the top of the hill and again be careful of any steering inputs or balance changes at the top as the car will again be light. I prefer the “racing line” which changes the entry to turn 11 left hander into a gradual sweeper which can be taken under moderate power with a goal of “straightening” the braking zone into the “armpit” of turn 12. Brake in a straight line, then downshift and “early apex” while just starting the uphill segment of the corner and stay inside for at least 40’. This positions the car pointing mostly straight up the hill with a slight leftward bias. At higher speeds minor corrections of car position can be done by inducing a bit of throttle oversteer. This is another corner where you need to be careful if you have traffic ahead, you will come on top of cars that entered well ahead of you at the entry to turn 11, they are now accelerating while you are still braking, but since you are going through the transition from downhill to uphill and have favorable camber here your corner entry speed will be higher (you have more grip available to you here) and you’ll net about the same speed upon exit at the top of the turn.
Turns 13-14- A constant radius and constant throttle turn that will be faster early in the session and slow later as the tires get hotter and don’t have the same front grip. It’s okay to cross deep across the inside curbing of 13 as the curbing is flat and bump free (you can go almost to the grass and be okay), however don’t do this in the rain as it’s going to be slippery.
Turn 14a- Unwind the steering wheel for the braking zone while staying mostly inside. Brake late so that you can trail brake into 14a to rotate the car. Then induce a little throttle oversteer to get the car in parallel alignment to the pavement you need for the set up for turn 15.
Turn 15 a moderately simple left hander with a late apex a bit beyond ¾ of the way around the curbing. Can be taken under moderate to full power then track out to opposite side curbing.
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      10-17-2011, 08:54 PM   #2
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Those are some detailed notes, will definitely check this out if/when I make it to barber, appreciate it
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      10-17-2011, 08:58 PM   #3
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      10-17-2011, 10:25 PM   #4
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Nice write up. I got to run there 2 years ago and thought it was a fantastic track. Lots of run off areas just in case too.
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      10-18-2011, 02:52 PM   #5
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Ofest was a great time. Good weather for the most part. Hope to see you at Road A in March.
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      10-18-2011, 04:31 PM   #6
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Nice write up.

Def. don't lift or change gears at the top of turn 4, unless you like buying shiny new armco.
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      10-18-2011, 05:39 PM   #7
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Nice write-up Victor. Funny how many lines i learned through the carousel and turn 14. I'll be back for sure, just wish it could be this year. The surface is great as well and won't kill your rubber.
I'll post some video later tonight if I get time.
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      10-18-2011, 06:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainofjjj View Post
The surface is great as well and won't kill your rubber.
Hi Brian, It sure was a fun week. I think you're missing a piece of the quote which is "... won't kill your rubber, unless you drive like Victor." I took all my track tires off yesterday and boy I sure was rolling the rubber over on the side-walls, on the fronts, despite multiple adjustments in air pressure. Two things (probably 3 things) I'm going to do over the winter.
1) GC adjustable camber plates (street version)
2) Head restraint system (hybrid or R-3)
3) Schroth harness system if it comes out.

Last edited by VictorH; 10-18-2011 at 06:58 PM.
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      10-19-2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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Yeah, don't go in to turn 2 too hot, definitely get your braking done in the straight line. Otherwise you might hit the armco, like me.
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      10-19-2011, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim@SEA View Post
Yeah, don't go in to turn 2 too hot, definitely get your braking done in the straight line. Otherwise you might hit the armco, like me.
I was instructing in your session. Did you actually make contact? From my limited viewpoint it looked like you were close but no contact.
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      10-19-2011, 04:57 PM   #11
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Yeah I did. Bent tie rod and all. Right side of my car is f-ed up right now.

On a good note I got a trophy for fastest time in the beginners class at Thursday autocross.
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      10-19-2011, 07:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim@SEA View Post
Yeah, don't go in to turn 2 too hot, definitely get your braking done in the straight line. Otherwise you might hit the armco, like me.
What exactly did you do, so that the rest of us can learn from it. The carousel if pretty wide and the grass area before the Armco seemed pretty good too. Perhaps it was not a small boo boo?
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      10-19-2011, 08:05 PM   #13
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Victor,
Great time at Oktoberfest. Enjoyed meeting you and having fun in our E90s. Nice write-up. I would add that Nitto NT01 tires are a great choice. They were fast, predictable, quick to heat up and gripped better on corners, especially the carousel, than the extreme performance tires, ie my Dunlop Star Spec, which I used on day one at Barber.

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      10-19-2011, 08:30 PM   #14
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Hi John,
Yes, Barber was a lot of fun. However, whenever you were behind me I felt like a sitting duck as you kept gaining a little bit every lap. You were pretty quick and were driving a good line.
I'll be up in Asheville tomorrow for a grant meeting, but maybe we can get together sometime either at another track event or if I have another trip up there with some spare time.

Victor
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      10-20-2011, 08:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorH View Post
What exactly did you do, so that the rest of us can learn from it. The carousel if pretty wide and the grass area before the Armco seemed pretty good too. Perhaps it was not a small boo boo?
I hit the inside wall. I basically didn't brake enough in a straight line of the corner. When I tried to correct the back end was so light that I began to slide. I slammed on the brakes but kept going. When the car got onto the grass I knew it was going to hit.

My instructor told me to brake but Jack believe I should of hit the gas pedal transferring the weight to the back wheels and riding the corner wide. I am just happy I didn't end up like the white m3 on Wednesday or the e36 on Friday.
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      10-24-2011, 01:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainofjjj View Post
Nice write-up Victor. Funny how many lines i learned through the carousel and turn 14. I'll be back for sure, just wish it could be this year. The surface is great as well and won't kill your rubber.
I'll post some video later tonight if I get time.
Would love to see the vids. Thanks.
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      10-30-2011, 09:44 AM   #17
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http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2608716741349
You can skip the first five minutes of the video. I kept screwing up the hairpin with braking, either doing it too early or too late. I also seemed not to put enough power down from the hairpin. The video suddenly stops because the piping to my intercooler slipped off causing the car to lose power and not run right. Luckily I made it back to the pits.
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      11-02-2011, 09:51 PM   #18
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Disagree with not running over the left hand curbing at the museum turn. Initial turn in and run ALL over the left side curbing makes it a straight shot to the right hander to exit.
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