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      06-19-2018, 06:52 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by DreamTime View Post
This is just awesome. I wasn't even alive yet in 1981. Anyone who has been doing this for longer than I have been on this planet deserves my attention. I would always want to listen to your stories!! Seriously, this may be my favorite response I have ever gotten on these forums. I love Road Atlanta, so it is beyond awesome to hear your experience of the track from then. Wtf was the elevator shaft end of the back straight?? Was there no 10a & 10b?? For the record, my favorite part of any track that I have been to so far begins coming out of 10b at RA, heading uphill to 11, going under the bridge, slight right turn, upshift, then full throttle all the way into 12 and the front straight. Good lord. I'm getting excited just writing about it lmao.

I just googled Evo School. Will be looking into that for sure.
The main reason I guess my reply was a bit outside the box is that doing that Phase 1 and 2 Evo school will give you continual opportunity to experience putting the tires right on the sweet spot of the tractive force versus slip angle curve, and you'll quickly learn how to stay right near the peak but just to the left of the peak -- develop that keen attachment to the feedback your senses are receiving. An autox course, done right, has the tires at their absolute limits, but not over, continually all the way around the course, with all transitions in steering, braking and acceleration blended with perfect smoothness so as to extract every possible 1/1000 sec. You'll have national championship winning coaches working with you the whole time.

Road Atlanta back then had a huge drop off as you come over the last hill on the back straight. They filled that in significantly when they redid the course over 20 years ago now, and then rerouted the course through those tight corners and made the approach to the bridge almost straight. The initial layout was scary as you can imagine to be zipping along the back straight at WOT and then accelerate like crazy down that chute, but it was just as steep going up toward the bridge, so you could really use that for braking into the bridge turn. That bridge turn apex was right under the bridge, so it wasn't uncommon to track out from it with the tail hanging out a bit under power and sweeping well over into the pit road entrance area down the hill, to setup for turn 12 onto the main straight. It was scary, especially for passengers, but a lot of fun.

There was only one pit back then, the one on the outside of the track, so I'm referring to its entrance above. Where the inside pit is currently located used to be a motocross track (which was incredible btw).

I do recall that at that first event a car lost its brakes going into the bridge turn and came through at huge speed, and cart wheeled end over end down the hill in the dirt toward the pit entrance. Driver had to be air lifted out. He lived at least.

There were so many very high speed crashes that I guess they finally said enough and redid the course in the 90s.

Here's a super8 movie film of RA in 1970 I found on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3NhmB0PBY0 The CanAm cars back then reached insane speeds on the back straight.
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      06-19-2018, 06:59 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
The main reason I guess my reply was a bit outside the box is that doing that Phase 1 and 2 Evo school will give you continual opportunity to experience putting the tires right on the sweet spot of the tractive force versus slip angle curve, and you'll quickly learn how to stay right near the peak but just to the left of the peak -- develop that keen attachment to the feedback your senses are receiving.


We talked about this on my local track forum.

https://www.trackjunkies.org/topic/1...riving-faster/
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      06-19-2018, 11:31 AM   #25
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2. I am a complete data nerd. I already have a Solo2 DL and an M World CAN BUS harness, I just ran out of time to connect the harness to my car before this last weekend. It is next on my list of car projects. Numbers and hard data show exactly where and how to improve, which is why I'm so excited to get this thing fully set up.
There's a lot of good books on data analysis & race car fundamentals, and you will probably want to bone up on your basic algebra and physics.

I think I'm going to create a separate thread (pinned?) for people to talk about telemetry and data analysis since it seems to come up constantly.
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      06-19-2018, 10:49 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by kpewpew View Post
It's definitely eye opening to have an instructor or close friend who's very good drive your car. He hopped right in my car and showed me what it's like to control slip angle of the car smoothly. Was eye opening as you said! He made my car rotate and turn in with such ease that I can't do today
Yeah, it really was pretty cool to see what my car was capable of. I enjoyed every second. I have taken countless rides in instructor cars, all types of older M3s, various Porsches, and even an M4 GTS. But neven an E9x M3, strangely, lol. It was super cool to have that experience.
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      06-19-2018, 11:03 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
The main reason I guess my reply was a bit outside the box is that doing that Phase 1 and 2 Evo school will give you continual opportunity to experience putting the tires right on the sweet spot of the tractive force versus slip angle curve, and you'll quickly learn how to stay right near the peak but just to the left of the peak -- develop that keen attachment to the feedback your senses are receiving. An autox course, done right, has the tires at their absolute limits, but not over, continually all the way around the course, with all transitions in steering, braking and acceleration blended with perfect smoothness so as to extract every possible 1/1000 sec. You'll have national championship winning coaches working with you the whole time.

Road Atlanta back then had a huge drop off as you come over the last hill on the back straight. They filled that in significantly when they redid the course over 20 years ago now, and then rerouted the course through those tight corners and made the approach to the bridge almost straight. The initial layout was scary as you can imagine to be zipping along the back straight at WOT and then accelerate like crazy down that chute, but it was just as steep going up toward the bridge, so you could really use that for braking into the bridge turn. That bridge turn apex was right under the bridge, so it wasn't uncommon to track out from it with the tail hanging out a bit under power and sweeping well over into the pit road entrance area down the hill, to setup for turn 12 onto the main straight. It was scary, especially for passengers, but a lot of fun.

There was only one pit back then, the one on the outside of the track, so I'm referring to its entrance above. Where the inside pit is currently located used to be a motocross track (which was incredible btw).

I do recall that at that first event a car lost its brakes going into the bridge turn and came through at huge speed, and cart wheeled end over end down the hill in the dirt toward the pit entrance. Driver had to be air lifted out. He lived at least.

There were so many very high speed crashes that I guess they finally said enough and redid the course in the 90s.

Here's a super8 movie film of RA in 1970 I found on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3NhmB0PBY0 The CanAm cars back then reached insane speeds on the back straight.
I'm definitely going to check out Evo school. I am open to any experience that is safe and that offers a great learning environment. I haven't done any autocross, I guess it couldn't hurt to try that too.

Wow, such cool history of Road Atlanta!! Learning about all of this really made my day! That video too, holy crap lol. Just awesome

Thanks! I know you had mentioned before that sometimes you come down for Performance Center events, I wanted to give you a heads up about a special event coming up on July 18th. It's not open to the public, but there are a few spots available still. I just canceled my July track event and I think I'm going to sign up for this one instead. Shoot me a pm if you're available that day and might be interested!
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      06-19-2018, 11:18 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by dparm View Post
There's a lot of good books on data analysis & race car fundamentals, and you will probably want to bone up on your basic algebra and physics.

I think I'm going to create a separate thread (pinned?) for people to talk about telemetry and data analysis since it seems to come up constantly.
I got a great recommendation from a track friend about a book that dives deep into the physics of racing, I need to find the piece of paper that he wrote it down on. Good thing I enjoy these subjects lol.

I look forward to the contributions to that thread you're starting. After this weekend I'll be caught up enough with all my work, school, and BMW projects that I'll have more time for forum stuff. Woo hoo! Lol
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      06-19-2018, 11:33 PM   #29
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Someone up above said, regarding safety equipment:

"This overkill for HPDE in a modern designed car. What keeps instructors safe is students who check their ego at the gate, listen to their instructors, and keep their cars in top mechanical condition. "

Just, no. I do instruction for both novice through advanced students, and while there may be some truth to the "overkill" statement for a complete novice (as speed tends to be much lower), I am leery about getting into an advanced student's car if they plan on going 10/10ths and aren't running proper seats and harnesses (so I can wear my HANS).

It doesn't take a fast impact to damage your neck, including suffering internal decapitation. At our local track several years ago an instructor got a pretty good whiplash from his student sliding off into a tire wall at ~45/50mph and had to stop driving/instructing for a few months because of it.

If you are taking this seriously, and driving on a track where there are walls or dirt your tire can catch on and flip the car (i.e. EVERYWHERE) then proper safety gear is a must.

As far as other tips:

* Focus on understanding your car. Driving with DSC off will ultimately make you faster, but understand the risks of not having the nannies there to save you.

* Stick with street tires for a while. I'm partial to Hankook RS4's for my M3s on the track. You will learn MUCH more about handling and limits on street tires than you will on semi-slicks. The margin of grip to no grip on street tires is pretty wide and progressive, and the M3 chassis is a solid platform to work on that car control.

* Brakes, brakes, brakes. Of all mods, beyond safety, do this first. Upgraded pads, stainless steel brake lines, and Motul 600 or equivalent fluid.

* Note on mods: after Brakes (and tires), Safety comes handling. Suspension upgrades next. Power upgrades last (after you plateau lap times after everything else is done)

* Get instructors whenever you can. Everyone has different tips and tricks and their preferred lines on any given track. You can learn from everyone. I still have people faster than me (racers or other instructors) ride shotgun when I can, to soak up as much information as possible. Just this month I shaved 0.5 seconds off my personal best at our local track by having a friend critique my videos and offer advice on a single corner (a driver who has won the 24 Hours of Dubai).

* Focus: Don't get an instructor and just say "help me go faster". Tell them what corners you want to focus on, and what your goal is. Take it 5-10mph faster? Smoother? Maintaining momentum? Be specific, and focus on achievable goals rather than just a whole lap time.
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      06-20-2018, 12:55 AM   #30
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^ solid. RS4 were not fun to drive on after RE71R but I'm starting to realize that it's a good opportunity to learn to maximize what I have. Been getting good feedback from friends or better drivers either riding along, driving my car, or reviewing my footage
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      06-20-2018, 11:23 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpewpew View Post
^ solid. RS4 were not fun to drive on after RE71R but I'm starting to realize that it's a good opportunity to learn to maximize what I have. Been getting good feedback from friends or better drivers either riding along, driving my car, or reviewing my footage
I haven't personally ran them but feedback from friends that have is that the RE71R offer more grip, but the RS4s will last a bit longer (maybe 3-4 track days longer).

The RS4's are surprisingly good in the wet as well. I did a wet track day two weeks ago and I was passing everyone minus the two AWD/full season tire cars.
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      06-20-2018, 11:48 AM   #32
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* Stick with street tires for a while. I'm partial to Hankook RS4's for my M3s on the track. You will learn MUCH more about handling and limits on street tires than you will on semi-slicks. The margin of grip to no grip on street tires is pretty wide and progressive, and the M3 chassis is a solid platform to work on that car control.

Agreed. And that doesn't mean go out and buy RS4, RE71, AD08R, etc., in my opinion. Just use whatever tires you already have.

As I've said before, summer tires like the PSS/PS4S offer tons of grip and predictable manners at the limit, and you will feel confident pushing them even if the track gets wet. Unless you start consuming them like crazy, or have actual data that the tires are holding you back, avoid running a streetable track tire for a while.
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      06-20-2018, 12:21 PM   #33
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If you do start consuming them like crazy, you need camber plates. Or you need an instructor to slow you down

Biggest thing for intermediate students is to keep getting instructors in the car. Find the CDI and tell them you are solo'ed, but want to work on x,y, and z and if they can find somebody to help you out for a session or two. Hell, half the advanced students I usually drive with would benefit with an instructor in the car. I found two seconds late last season by working with a friend instructor in the advanced group.

Never understood why people want to ditch the help ASAP and drive by themselves. But then again, I don't have God given talent.
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      06-20-2018, 12:27 PM   #34
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Never understood why people want to ditch the help ASAP and drive by themselves. But then again, I don't have God given talent.
Emotional reasons, probably: pride that they don't need one, overconfidence, attempt to distance themselves from beginners, fear of embarrassment, unwarranted self-importance, etc.
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      06-20-2018, 02:08 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Chris_PDX View Post
Someone up above said, regarding safety equipment:

"This overkill for HPDE in a modern designed car. What keeps instructors safe is students who check their ego at the gate, listen to their instructors, and keep their cars in top mechanical condition. "

Just, no. I do instruction for both novice through advanced students, and while there may be some truth to the "overkill" statement for a complete novice (as speed tends to be much lower), I am leery about getting into an advanced student's car if they plan on going 10/10ths and aren't running proper seats and harnesses (so I can wear my HANS).

It doesn't take a fast impact to damage your neck, including suffering internal decapitation. At our local track several years ago an instructor got a pretty good whiplash from his student sliding off into a tire wall at ~45/50mph and had to stop driving/instructing for a few months because of it.

If you are taking this seriously, and driving on a track where there are walls or dirt your tire can catch on and flip the car (i.e. EVERYWHERE) then proper safety gear is a must.
I need to figure out the best way to balance safety upgrades while still keeping my car somewhat street friendly. I don't mind installing race seats and that being how my car is for the next year or so until I can justify buying a track only car. I live 5 mins from my office, so there isn't much of a commute. I often ride a bike to work lol. That way I can install harnesses too, but still keep my regular seat belt functional. Is that an okay place to start? What about a roll bar? I thought someone, somewhere told me it was dangerous to be strapped into a harness without having a roll bar, in case you end up upside down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_PDX View Post
As far as other tips:

* Focus on understanding your car. Driving with DSC off will ultimately make you faster, but understand the risks of not having the nannies there to save you.

* Stick with street tires for a while. I'm partial to Hankook RS4's for my M3s on the track. You will learn MUCH more about handling and limits on street tires than you will on semi-slicks. The margin of grip to no grip on street tires is pretty wide and progressive, and the M3 chassis is a solid platform to work on that car control.

* Brakes, brakes, brakes. Of all mods, beyond safety, do this first. Upgraded pads, stainless steel brake lines, and Motul 600 or equivalent fluid.

* Note on mods: after Brakes (and tires), Safety comes handling. Suspension upgrades next. Power upgrades last (after you plateau lap times after everything else is done)

* Get instructors whenever you can. Everyone has different tips and tricks and their preferred lines on any given track. You can learn from everyone. I still have people faster than me (racers or other instructors) ride shotgun when I can, to soak up as much information as possible. Just this month I shaved 0.5 seconds off my personal best at our local track by having a friend critique my videos and offer advice on a single corner (a driver who has won the 24 Hours of Dubai).

* Focus: Don't get an instructor and just say "help me go faster". Tell them what corners you want to focus on, and what your goal is. Take it 5-10mph faster? Smoother? Maintaining momentum? Be specific, and focus on achievable goals rather than just a whole lap time.
- I waited a whole year until I felt comfortable enough to turn off DSC all the way. It was kind of a big deal to me, but I feel like I was ready. I do respect the fact that the driving is all in my hands now, and I take that pretty seriously. But, few things in life are as enjoyable as learning and understanding my car.

- I used PSS all year and at the end of the season, at VIR, when I was first bumped up to intermediate, my instructor mentioned several times throughout the weekend that he thought I had reached the limits of those tires. When I bought a dedicated set of track wheels I went with RE71s and I love them. I'm not sure if that was maybe too big of a jump or not, but I don't want to give them up now that I have them lol. I will need to buy more tires before the season is over, so I will check out the RS4s you mentioned.

- I currently use PFC 11s at the track, but I think I will get the 08s the next time I get pads. And I have used Motul RBF 600 since my first track weekend last year. I plan to upgrade to stainless steel brake lines before this year is over.

- I am definitely in no rush to not have instructors anymore. I feel like I still have so much to learn, and all throughout my life I have found success with the help of others who were willing to teach me. I always have clear goals that I have set that I commnicate to my instructors, and I listen to the goals that they suggest I focus on as well.

- Congrats on setting a new personal best at your local track, cool story too!

Thank you so much!! I love everything that everyone has to offer as far as advice, and there is some great stuff in your post. You are appreciated!
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      06-20-2018, 02:12 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by CorruptCommie View Post
If you do start consuming them like crazy, you need camber plates. Or you need an instructor to slow you down

Biggest thing for intermediate students is to keep getting instructors in the car. Find the CDI and tell them you are solo'ed, but want to work on x,y, and z and if they can find somebody to help you out for a session or two. Hell, half the advanced students I usually drive with would benefit with an instructor in the car. I found two seconds late last season by working with a friend instructor in the advanced group.

Never understood why people want to ditch the help ASAP and drive by themselves. But then again, I don't have God given talent.
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      06-20-2018, 02:15 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by DreamTime View Post
After turning nannies off, I shaved 10 seconds off my lap, for a weekend best of 1:31. Thatís not a horrible time! To put it in perspective, some A group students were running 1:29s and were happy with it. Some of the racers were running 1:25s and were happy with it.
Usually I don't really worry about lap times across run groups, and I certainly wouldn't use lap times across run groups against other cars/drivers as an indicator as to your actual skill level.

It's just a very hard metric to standardize across skillsets. You can be a C level driver in a super capable car, like the M3 or the new M4, and churn laps almost as fast or faster than an advance driver driving a relatively stock E36 M3. Heck between the two cars I drive, there can be as much as a 10 second gap per lap on a high horsepower tracks because of the over 200 ft*lbs difference in torque and 60mm difference in sectional width of the tires.

Not saying lap times are not useful. They're more useful for YOU as a comparison to yourself. And ultimately this is a "sport" where your biggest measurable improvement is going to be with yourself at this point in your motorsport driving career. It's been a while since I've progressed through the ranks as a driver, so my memory is a little hazy but I will offer you this advice.

Every time you get promoted, the first thing you want to do is find some consistency. Get your lap times within 0.5 seconds of each other (traffic not withstanding), lap after lap for a couple of sessions in a row, then you can start try to see if you can improve your speed. But I would look for other "markers" first, like your terminal velocity, RPM and gearing at the end of straights, your cornering speed in relationship to those same VMax at the turn before and after, use those as gauges as to how much you're improving in terms of speed and lap time (because, I've found in 20 years of doing DEs, that your lap time is dictated by traffic more than anything else). I think you'll find these metrics easier to measure than against lap times, IMO. Especially at intermediate level.

Actually I lied. There are two advices I will leave you with. This sport is 99% mental. It's all in the head. But in order to exercise the mental aspect of driving, you must physically be present on track to do so because you can't do it anywhere else. So the few opportunity that you have to get the car on track and drive, you must maximize the learning opportunity, both physically and mentally. Every time I go to the track, I have a plan on what I wish to accomplish in terms of what I want to improve on. Make a mental plan before, and execute it during and then refresh the plan after. Sometimes it can be as simple as "I want to learn how to drive this new car I just bought 2 weeks ago," or sometimes it's as specific as "I want to be at least 5 mph faster through turn XX consistently" or "I need to be on throttle for turns x, y, and z at least another half car length earlier." These plans are the building blocks for a better driver, and going faster, thus having lower lap times, will come naturally.
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      06-20-2018, 02:17 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by kpewpew View Post
^ solid. RS4 were not fun to drive on after RE71R but I'm starting to realize that it's a good opportunity to learn to maximize what I have. Been getting good feedback from friends or better drivers either riding along, driving my car, or reviewing my footage
This is what I'm afraid of lol. I want to learn as much as possible though, and I do understand that grippier tires will hide driving mistakes better. I thought I would just stick with the RE71s from here on out for a good while, but I will take a look at some of the other options before buying tires next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorruptCommie View Post
If you do start consuming them like crazy, you need camber plates. Or you need an instructor to slow you down
I do have Ground Control street camber plates sitting in my garage awaiting installation for whenever my Bilstein B8s arrive. It's been 8 or 9 months since I first ordered those damn things though, soooo...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
Emotional reasons, probably: pride that they don't need one, overconfidence, attempt to distance themselves from beginners, fear of embarrassment, unwarranted self-importance, etc.
Bahahahaha, literally almost crying from laughing so hard omg
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      06-20-2018, 02:30 PM   #39
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Talking about B-C students here.
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      06-20-2018, 02:35 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
Usually I don't really worry about lap times across run groups, and I certainly wouldn't use lap times across run groups against other cars/drivers as an indicator as to your actual skill level.

It's just a very hard metric to standardize across skillsets. You can be a C level driver in a super capable car, like the M3 or the new M4, and churn laps almost as fast or faster than an advance driver driving a relatively stock E36 M3. Heck between the two cars I drive, there can be as much as a 10 second gap per lap on a high horsepower tracks because of the over 200 ft*lbs difference in torque and 60mm difference in sectional width of the tires.
You are absolutely right about comparing lap times across run groups/cars/drivers. The lap times I was comparing to were from older cars that probably had half the hp as mine, so it is not an apples to apples comparison by any means. It was just a pretty awesome feeling to reach that number, so I wanted to share my happiness Especially because I wasn't chasing laptimes all weekend, I was simply doing what I always do, which is focus on smoothness, appropriate braking, carrying speed through the corners, etc. That one great lap time was just a very rewarding result of my efforts!

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Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
Not saying lap times are not useful. They're more useful for YOU as a comparison to yourself. And ultimately this is a "sport" where your biggest measurable improvement is going to be with yourself at this point in your motorsport driving career. It's been a while since I've progressed through the ranks as a driver, so my memory is a little hazy but I will offer you this advice.

Every time you get promoted, the first thing you want to do is find some consistency. Get your lap times within 0.5 seconds of each other (traffic not withstanding), lap after lap for a couple of sessions in a row, then you can start try to see if you can improve your speed. But I would look for other "markers" first, like your terminal velocity, RPM and gearing at the end of straights, your cornering speed in relationship to those same VMax at the turn before and after, use those as gauges as to how much you're improving in terms of speed and lap time (because, I've found in 20 years of doing DEs, that your lap time is dictated by traffic more than anything else). I think you'll find these metrics easier to measure than against lap times, IMO. Especially at intermediate level.
That is great advice to aim for consistency. Also, about looking at other data besides lap times for indicators of how I'm actually doing and/or improving. I'm getting my Solo2 hooked up to my ECU before i go to the track in a week and a half. I look forward to sifting through the data afterwards and familiarizing myself with everything.

Thank you!! I super appreciate the advice
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      06-20-2018, 02:57 PM   #41
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Mary, I can't offer any advice at all on how to get your times down. I cant offer suggestions on what track mods will make you go faster, which questions to ask instructors, how to make a good pass by or which tracks to run. I can't even tell you what number you should put on your car. I'll leave the advice to guys with cool racing names like Parm, dogbone and beef. It just wouldn't seem right for you to get advice from a guy named BOOF. But I am rooting for you and look forward to watching you pursue your track goals.
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      06-20-2018, 03:20 PM   #42
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Mary, I can't offer any advice at all on how to get your times down. I cant offer suggestions on what track mods will make you go faster, which questions to ask instructors, how to make a good pass by or which tracks to run. I can't even tell you what number you should put on your car. I'll leave the advice to guys with cool racing names like Parm, dogbone and beef. It just wouldn't seem right for you to get advice from a guy named BOOF. But I am rooting for you and look forward to watching you pursue your track goals.
Mark, thank you You are such a great friend and it is people like you that make me so happy I found this forum. I can't wait for TOTD this fall, and after that - we need to plan a track weekend at Sebring. My instructor over last weekend instructs with PCA in FL and runs at Sebring all the time, and he got me pretty excited about the track. Lots of good times ahead!
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      06-20-2018, 03:50 PM   #43
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Traffic can ruin lap times, definitely. If I see a train of cars ahead of me, I will slow the car down a bit and then focus on perfecting my technique through the approaching corners. This way I don't feel like it was a total loss.

I have also seen some scary near-misses because people get bunched up waiting for the point-bys -- they start looking at the car that is causing the hold-up, taking their eyes off the car in front of them.
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      06-20-2018, 04:36 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
Traffic can ruin lap times, definitely. If I see a train of cars ahead of me, I will slow the car down a bit and then focus on perfecting my technique through the approaching corners. This way I don't feel like it was a total loss.

I have also seen some scary near-misses because people get bunched up waiting for the point-bys -- they start looking at the car that is causing the hold-up, taking their eyes off the car in front of them.
This right here is why generally speaking chasing lap times is pointless. And I say that as an instructor who chases lap times haha. At this point the lap time represents the indicator of much I'm improving, and it's usually in 10ths of a second at this point (now that I sorted my problem corner at my home track out a few weeks ago).

I tend to be one of the quicker guys in my run group assuming it's only street cars (no Radicals, Palatovs, etc.) and I tend to just chillax and focus on lines if I get behind traffic.

If I get behind a LONG line of cars, I will come into the pits and ask for a gap. The clubs here and pretty good about that, especially in the higher run groups. In Instructor groups it's usually not an issue since it's open passing (with point by), but when I do Advanced runs it can be a problem.
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