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      09-13-2012, 09:44 AM   #1
paradocs98
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Inspecting the grass at NJMP

Just got back from a great two-day event at NJMP with SCDA--Lightning on Monday and Thunderbolt on Tuesday. Rare that you get to do both tracks in one event.

Weather was beautiful and there was a good mix of fast cars (BMWs, Corvettes, GT3 cup cars, a V8-powered Radical!...).

I had an interesting moment on Lightning coming out of turn 5, the over-the-hill right-hander. I probably apexed a bit too early, as the HPDE/school line dictates that you drive far out to the left side of the track under braking to set up for 5, then cut the wheel hard to the right and accelerate up over the crest of the hill in a straight line. This helps prevent you from having steering input as you crest the hill, which could lead to the car shooting to the right as the suspension recompresses on the other side. I was trying different lines, though, that a BMW CCA club racer had showed me earlier in the season. The problem wasn't the crest of the hill, but running out of room on track out. I thought I would stay on the pavement, just running up onto the rumble strips on track out, but my left front wheel clipped the start of the rumble strip where it steps up as it transitions from grass to the strip. This unsettled the car and shot me in a slide to the right. The tire wall was coming up quickly but somehow I managed to get it straight enough to just miss. I then spun in the grass back onto the track. Luckily the red Corvette that had just pointed me by slowed and avoided me.


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      09-13-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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close call! thank God you didn't hit that wall. thanks for posting
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      09-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #3
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Scary, but very nice recovery. That retaining wall was coming up quick. Even more scary is sitting on the side of the track while the other cars whiz by.

This kind of thing usually happens when you are "trying something". I was "trying something" (heel-toe shifting coming into big bend at Lime Rock) when I put four wheels off in my last event. I was too concentrated on bringing up the revs that I didn't break hard enough. Luckily there was plenty of grass so I did not crash but it's still pretty unnerving nonetheless. Thanks for sharing.
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      09-13-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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woah, that must have been scary. Glad you did not hit the wall.
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      09-13-2012, 11:44 AM   #5
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I'm glad you captured and posted the in-car footage as well. You can infer a lot from the actual action of the hands compared to what's going on outside.

So, I have a question. What was going on with the hands just prior to the spin? At the 1:02 mark, AFTER you've crested the hill.
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      09-13-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
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close call, glad you saved it.

Hitting the start of the rumble strip will truly upset the car. I think there's dirt there instead of grass, lots of people go off that way (for missing the apex rumble strip on the hill top).

When I try new lines I always make a mental note of runoff spaces and quite often decide to go straight off rather than try to pinch it and maybe save it or end up on the opposite side. There's plenty of runoff space on the left side (and zero runoff on the right all the way to the left hander) but it's a split second decision.

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      09-13-2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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glad u caught it nice save glad your ok ... looked like fun minus that
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      09-13-2012, 12:36 PM   #8
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Nice reaction. Here's my analysis...please consider that I've never been to the track before.

I think you could have used more of the track on entry going over the hill. Looks like you turned in about a half car width from the edge. Maybe adjust your turn in reference point?

Was the racer trying to tell you to use the compression on the far side to turn the car? That would make sense if you are trying to early apex that turn...might need to some more steering input and throttle once the suspension loads up to rotate the car more.

But that approach does have risks.
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      09-13-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Holy sh*t, close call!


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I'm glad you captured and posted the in-car footage as well...
+1
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      09-13-2012, 02:17 PM   #10
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Damn that was close! Nice save and thanks for sharing the footage.
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      09-13-2012, 02:40 PM   #11
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Oh my!! Thank goodness it worked out!!
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      09-13-2012, 03:15 PM   #12
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Wow that was close. It appears as if you drove to the edge of the track...or perhaps let the car take you there without sliding to track out....because you were well into the power.

It looks like the video's are really sync'd up but it took for you to travel across the whole track before you dialed in enough countersteer. Gotta work to get that quicker...and anticipate the hook when you drop a wheel.

Glad you made it unharmed.
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      09-13-2012, 05:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brosef View Post
close call! thank God you didn't hit that wall. thanks for posting
I know--thanks!

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Originally Posted by M3 Esq. View Post
Scary, but very nice recovery. That retaining wall was coming up quick. Even more scary is sitting on the side of the track while the other cars whiz by.

This kind of thing usually happens when you are "trying something". I was "trying something" (heel-toe shifting coming into big bend at Lime Rock) when I put four wheels off in my last event. I was too concentrated on bringing up the revs that I didn't break hard enough. Luckily there was plenty of grass so I did not crash but it's still pretty unnerving nonetheless. Thanks for sharing.
And the grass is like skating, even when it's dry. What you're describing is exactly why I chose the DCT for this car. I knew it would see a lot of track time, and I knew I wasn't ready yet to bang off two perfect rapid-fire heel-toe downshifts (5-->4, then 4-->3) under threshold braking coming into Big Bend (or any other track's turn 1), with a Z06 breathing down my neck.

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woah, that must have been scary. Glad you did not hit the wall.
Me too. Thanks.

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I'm still trying to figure out how this happened. Maybe you put your rear tires in the dirt as well? Did you pinch it as you were running out of road maybe? It just doesn't seem to me that hitting the track out curbing with your front tire would cause a spin. Something more happened is my guess.

In any case, great save and lucky too. Last time I was at lightning I was not so lucky.
I might have very well been pinching it off a bit, in anticipation of running out of room. I know--a no-no, but sometimes it's still hard to resist. It might have just been the natural curve of the track, though, because as you know, Lightning gradually sweeps to the right as it flows from turn 5 to the bridge before the left-hander. So I think you always have a bit of steering input to the right as you accelerate out.

What happened to you at Lightning?

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Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
I'm glad you captured and posted the in-car footage as well. You can infer a lot from the actual action of the hands compared to what's going on outside.

So, I have a question. What was going on with the hands just prior to the spin? At the 1:02 mark, AFTER you've crested the hill.
Do you mean the little corrections I'm making as I crest the hill? If you don't go over the hill completely straight, the back of the car will want to step out to the left as you get light and then recompress. Because I was taking a tighter line through this turn, I was having to turn a bit as I crested the hill, and had to make corrections as a result. That was ok--it was track out and clipping the step-up of the curb that got me. Is that what you meant?

I think having the camera on me is helpful, too, so I can review my reactions and see what I'm doing right and wrong.

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Originally Posted by PeterM1 View Post
close call, glad you saved it.

Hitting the start of the rumble strip will truly upset the car. I think there's dirt there instead of grass, lots of people go off that way (for missing the apex rumble strip on the hill top).

When I try new lines I always make a mental note of runoff spaces and quite often decide to go straight off rather than try to pinch it and maybe save it or end up on the opposite side. There's plenty of runoff space on the left side (and zero runoff on the right all the way to the left hander) but it's a split second decision.
Really good idea. I've been getting better about just driving straight off if I need to, but I still occasionally find myself trying to pinch it when I apex too early and overcook the track-out. It's a self-preservation mechanism that you have to learn to override. Good plan to be aware of runoff areas everywhere so you don't have to decide at that critical moment. I should work on that more.

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glad u caught it nice save glad your ok ... looked like fun minus that
Yes, entertaining to look at now, but while it was happening I was thinking "Oh, man, I'm gonna hit the wall. How am I going to get home? etc. etc."

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Nice reaction. Here's my analysis...please consider that I've never been to the track before.

I think you could have used more of the track on entry going over the hill. Looks like you turned in about a half car width from the edge. Maybe adjust your turn in reference point?

Was the racer trying to tell you to use the compression on the far side to turn the car? That would make sense if you are trying to early apex that turn...might need to some more steering input and throttle once the suspension loads up to rotate the car more.

But that approach does have risks.
I welcome analysis--suggestions appreciated. When you say using more of the track on entry, do you mean setting up for the turn by driving far over to the left side of the track on approach under braking, then turning sharp to the right and accelerating over the hill in a straight line, just clipping the inside curbing at the crest of the hill? That's the classic HPDE/school line taught at Lightning, because it's the safest. I was trying a tighter line through the corner this time, hugging the inside more, doing what a club racer had shown me as a more defensive/racing line. He's probably done it 1000 more times than I have, though.

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Holy sh*t, close call!


+1
+1

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Damn that was close! Nice save and thanks for sharing the footage.
Thanks. It was another lesson learned.

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Oh my!! Thank goodness it worked out!!
Yep--thanks!

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Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
Wow that was close. It appears as if you drove to the edge of the track...or perhaps let the car take you there without sliding to track out....because you were well into the power.

It looks like the video's are really sync'd up but it took for you to travel across the whole track before you dialed in enough countersteer. Gotta work to get that quicker...and anticipate the hook when you drop a wheel.

Glad you made it unharmed.
Getting better, but definitely need to work on reaction/hand speed. Should have started this when I was 20, not 40. But I am going to an advanced car control clinic next week using Lime Rock's wet skid pad and autocross course. Should be educational. And fun.
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      09-13-2012, 05:07 PM   #14
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Glad you mostly got scared and dusty.

The early turn-in before the rise and fall set you up for it before the hill.

No matter what, you have to stay out of that chuck-hole before the curbing on the left... That bump upset the car... quite a bit!

If you didn't bend any driver side wheels, consider yourself lucky!
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      09-13-2012, 05:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Glad you mostly got scared and dusty.

The early turn-in before the rise and fall set you up for it before the hill.

No matter what, you have to stay out of that chuck-hole before the curbing on the left... That bump upset the car... quite a bit!

If you didn't bend any driver side wheels, consider yourself lucky!
I'll check them again, but I think the wheels are okay. They did fine at Thunderbolt the next day. That's why I bought Forgelines--quality wheel!
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      09-13-2012, 09:57 PM   #16
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Don't mean to derail the topic, just a quick comment:

I noticed something odd in your video, why are you braking in T4? (left hander on the esses) No need to brake there, you can carry a lot more speed through that turn.

Also, if you're willing to try new lines, next time you're out there notice the patch of dirt right before the T4 apex strip? Put your front left through it and make sure your rear left stays on track, between these 2 changes you've gained another half a sec per lap.
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      09-14-2012, 12:43 AM   #17
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Looks like you skillfully countered the spin to the right and saved the car from the wall, but then didn't counter a second time to straighten the car from continuing to rotate counter clockwise? (which worked out fine b/c all the energy got dissipated in spinning on-track).

Since it sounds like you are open to trying new ideas()...

Why not try turning earlier and a bit less for 3, which will set you up to work less for the turn-in for 4. From the video, my guess is that you needed to tap the brake for 4 in order to the get the front to bite and get the car to turn-in.

Thanks for sharing.
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      09-14-2012, 01:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterM1 View Post
Don't mean to derail the topic, just a quick comment:

I noticed something odd in your video, why are you braking in T4? (left hander on the esses) No need to brake there, you can carry a lot more speed through that turn.

Also, if you're willing to try new lines, next time you're out there notice the patch of dirt right before the T4 apex strip? Put your front left through it and make sure your rear left stays on track, between these 2 changes you've gained another half a sec per lap.
I treat turns 2 and 3 as one big sweeper, so I can set up on the far right on track out after T3, then cut hard to the left to run over the inside curbing and bit of dirt in T4. I can try to not brake there, but it feels like I need to in order to plant the front end a bit and make that sharp left transition.
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      09-14-2012, 01:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixm3 View Post
Looks like you skillfully countered the spin to the right and saved the car from the wall, but then didn't counter a second time to straighten the car from continuing to rotate counter clockwise? (which worked out fine b/c all the energy got dissipated in spinning on-track).

Since it sounds like you are open to trying new ideas()...

Why not try turning earlier and a bit less for 3, which will set you up to work less for the turn-in for 4. From the video, my guess is that you needed to tap the brake for 4 in order to the get the front to bite and get the car to turn-in.

Thanks for sharing.
Yep--see my reply to PeterM1 right above.

I probably didn't counter the second spin because I was so flummoxed after just missing the tire wall.

And one thing I forgot to mention--after the spin and returning to the paddock, I found 26 cents in change and an old french fry in the rear seat footwell.
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      09-14-2012, 01:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Yep--see my reply to PeterM1 right above.

I probably didn't counter the second spin because I was so flummoxed after just missing the tire wall.

And one thing I forgot to mention--.after the spin and returning to the paddock, I found 26 cents in change and an old french fry in the rear seat footwell
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      09-14-2012, 07:55 AM   #21
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Wow, that was real close Nice save
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      09-14-2012, 08:06 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradocs98 View Post
Yep--see my reply to PeterM1 right above.

I probably didn't counter the second spin because I was so flummoxed after just missing the tire wall.

And one thing I forgot to mention--after the spin and returning to the paddock, I found 26 cents in change and an old french fry in the rear seat footwell.
Ha ha, wait, what? You allowed french fries to be eaten in your car?
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