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      11-11-2019, 06:24 PM   #1409
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Miata driver did a good job not rolling back across the track.
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      11-11-2019, 07:25 PM   #1410
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Interesting thought about the ABS. I doubt I would turn it off.

I'm still leaning in the moneyshift direction.

Didn't Richbot race these things?
Could be a poor heel toe. That'll also cause wheels to lock up.
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      11-11-2019, 11:18 PM   #1411
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I have no idea how you botch a 4-3 downshift on a Miata but this guy seems to have pulled it off. Even jamming into the correct lower gear with no rev match wonít lock them that hard - itís a 1.6l or 1.8l low compression 4banger.

Maybe 4-1 because he was watching his mirrors? I canít ever recall locking up the rear brakes in the dry on my SMís unless I was already backwards

If itís an SM prepped car it doesnít have ABS. Miata ABS is better than nothing on the street but itís not as good as a E9x M3ís. Hell most cars sold to this day donít have ABS as good as an M3ís for competition use - so ditching it usually the default especially on the NA generation

Last edited by Richbot; 11-11-2019 at 11:31 PM..
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      11-16-2019, 11:59 PM   #1412
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Looks like I got a long read ahead of me tonight. Thanks for taking time to talk to me about your car; It looks great out there and it sounds mean. Let me know when you're back at buttonwillow; I wouldn't mind lending a hand.
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      11-17-2019, 01:05 AM   #1413
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Today will be a minor car update note and then a fond farewell to my pup who passed yesterday.

I was finally able to order the Bimmerworld Power Steering reservoir. They were out of stock for quite awhile because there was one connector that they were waiting for. Anyway, I haven't installed it yet, but I am quite happy with how it looks. All aluminum, it has some kind of internal baffles/perforations. Construction on the unit looks good. I have high hopes that this unit can prevent power steering fluid from spewing in the engine bay. If that's the case, I think I will have solved all the fluids from spraying in the engine bay.
Hey Gabe,

What's the correct level to fill the Bimmerworld PS reservoir to? I recently had it installed on my car and we initially had it filled to just above the grates. It was incredibly hard to turn the wheel in a parking lot when I picked up the car. I tried filling more fluid and now it's a bit easier but still heavier than I think it should be. I have Dinan underdrive pulleys which may be complicating things (under-drives PS), but I had installed as a way to try and reduce PS leaks.

Curious to hear your experience...
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      11-17-2019, 01:23 AM   #1414
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Hey Gabe,

What's the correct level to fill the Bimmerworld PS reservoir to? I recently had it installed on my car and we initially had it filled to just above the grates. It was incredibly hard to turn the wheel in a parking lot when I picked up the car. I tried filling more fluid and now it's a bit easier but still heavier than I think it should be. I have Dinan underdrive pulleys which may be complicating things (under-drives PS), but I had installed as a way to try and reduce PS leaks.

Curious to hear your experience...
I believe we filled to a similar level. But I didn't notice any change in steering feel at all. hmmmmm

Honestly, once I put the sweat band over the cap (and it stopped spraying on my windshield throughout he hood vents), I have forgotten about it. I was just driving the car today at SuperLap Battle and didn't think about the steering feel once.
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      11-17-2019, 08:17 AM   #1415
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I am happy to report that I am signed up for Global Time Attack's Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow. As usual, they'll be running config #13CW. This is what I consider to be my home track and home config. I'll be in the Unlimited Class since I want to run slicks.

I'm quite sure I have no chance of winning, but that's not really the point for me. This is a vibrant, highly competitive environment, and it's fun to be a part of it.

8 of the 12 cars so far in Unlimited are RWD. If the past is any indicator, the Miatas and S2000's will run away with it. There is a Corvette signed up that I've never heard of. When those are built right, they put down incredible times. There is a BMW E36 M3 in the Class. Those guys used to run some pretty quick S2000's. Curious to see how they do in a BMW. Jason Sharek's Mercedes C63 is signed up. It's an amazing build put together by Michael Essa. We always have fun duking it out. Anyway, lots of interesting competition to consider.

I have podiumed at SLB before, but each year, the competition seems to step it up more and more, so my best bet is to focus on putting together clean laps. I know that sounds basic, but sometimes you just gotta go back to basics. I've put in enough laps at Buttonwillow to know how to get around the track cleanly. The question always is: can you put it all together in one lap? Looking at last year's SLB results, I could easily have podiumed. And if I ran my current personal best time, could have gotten 2nd.

My long time goal has been to hit a 1:46 at Buttonwillow. I know that in the correct conditions it's possible because I've been in that territory until the DCT double-upshifted. I was hoping that carbon doors could be on the car for SLB. I thought maybe that could be the extra kick that puts me over the top for a 1:46, but the fabricator just isn't far enough along.

Other thoughts:

-In previous years, SLB was run a week or two earlier in November and the weather would still be quite warm. It would get into the mid-80's.....blah. But this is the first year that they've been able to acquire a weekend slot and it's a bit later than the previous events. In my experience, mid-November is when it finally cools off, and the event is Nov. 16 and 17. So, I'm hopeful that the weather will be cool----or at least significantly cooler than mid-80's......(One year, I went to Buttonwillow by myself for a semi-exclusive day----November 16, 2015. The high was 58ļF that day. So, I'm hopeful!)

-I have good tires. Remember all the stress about getting tires mounted at the Buttonwillow tire shop on Friday? I had new Pirelli DH mounted. I've never attended a GTA event with such good tires. I will be working hard to sort out when is the right time to run them. If you've followed my thread over the years, you know I have struggled to find clean laps at SLB---meaning a lap where someone isn't impeding my lap with a broken down car, or a car fire, or fluid on the track, or someone in an AWD car put on their hero tires and is screaming past me or the start/finish guy throws a Yellow flag for no reason.....shall I continue?.....haha which seems ironic. Isn't a TT supposed to basically guarantee clean laps? Anyway, as far as tires go, there will be no excuses in the tire department this year.

-The car feels good. I've been experimenting with some different aero settings. I believe they've been working for me. I like the feel. I'll stay a bit vague on what I've been doing for now. It's not that big of a deal, but I've been messing around with it.

-They will be live-streaming the event. So, if anyone is curious, you can watch it.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to putting down some TT laps in less than 3 weeks!!

Stay tuned!
Good luck - let us know how it goes this weekend!

Is Buttonwillow the only SLB event that you run? Or will we be able to cheer on an E90 here at COTA in Feb?
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      11-17-2019, 08:53 AM   #1416
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Good luck - let us know how it goes this weekend!

Is Buttonwillow the only SLB event that you run? Or will we be able to cheer on an E90 here at COTA in Feb?
I am looking forward to the write-up. Watched all of your sessions yesterday.

As near as I can figure, you're currently 2nd in class.

Good luck today!
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      11-17-2019, 09:35 AM   #1417
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OG Shark View Post
Good luck - let us know how it goes this weekend!

Is Buttonwillow the only SLB event that you run? Or will we be able to cheer on an E90 here at COTA in Feb?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMoose View Post
I am looking forward to the write-up. Watched all of your sessions yesterday.

As near as I can figure, you're currently 2nd in class.

Good luck today!
Thanks guys!

After day #1, I'm 3rd in Unlimited class and 5th overall (out of about 90 cars).

However, I do expect to drop in the standings today. There are some pretty crazy cars that have not run yet due to technical problems, and some heavy hitter cars haven't had their best tires on the car yet. I think I can improve my time a little bit, but not enough to stay where I am. We'll see!

My first session is at 9:40AM Pacific Time.

GTA removed the drivetrain classifications which is a bit of a bummer for me. So no more splitting up AWD, RWD and FWD classes. (But I still keep my eye on that---you know, to make me feel better about myself. )

For the moment SuperLap at COTA is not on my radar but I am very interested to go there and do that.

Alright, I gotta run. I'll do a writeup after the weekend.
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      11-17-2019, 12:27 PM   #1418
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Good luck Mr Bone!!!!
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      11-19-2019, 01:03 AM   #1419
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Well, it was quite a weekend out there at SuperLap Battle. Iím happy to report that I was able to hang on to 3rd place!



For me, that is an unbelievable result. When you consider the list of cars that were attending, along with the fact that they donít split up the drivetrain classes anymore, I should have been relegated to 6th at best in Unlimited Class. But a multi-day Time Attack event has many challengesótechnical, weather, track conditions, other cars breaking down on track that prevent you from running at full pace, finding open lapsÖ.the list of challenges just goes on and on. Many cars that show up are high-strung and finicky, which means they may not be able to perform as hoped. The bottom line: Regardless of what your car is supposed to be able to do, you gotta go out and actually do it. And at a heavily contested time attack event like SuperLap Battle, lots of things can interfere with your plans. I have had many frustrating days at these events. But on this weekend, I was able to implement my plan while some others were dealing with challenges. It was a fantastic surprise that I was able to hit the podium.

Iíll get into how I approached the weekend in a future post. For now, here are a few pix from the weekend followed by a video with three continuous laps. (The last lap is my fastest)

Shiny and clean and badged/bannered up and ready for Day 1 to begin:


Babyís got new shoes!


Podium!


Champagne!


Video with three continuous laps: 1:48.6, 1:48.4, 1:48.003
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      11-19-2019, 10:45 AM   #1420
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Congratulations!! Competing in Unlimited is no joke, others have unlimited pockets and run shop cars whereas you are just a regular human!

Theoretical times are very nice but there's nothing like having to actually deliver. That's one thing people who don't track (or don't track as seriously) will never get, they think that because car X is lighter, more powerful and has better aero it should automatically win... but that's not the case.
Which in the end is why we bother tracking at all. If it were all over in an excel sheet we would not bother going out in the first place

Congratulations again!
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      11-19-2019, 12:06 PM   #1421
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Congratulations!! Competing in Unlimited is no joke, others have unlimited pockets and run shop cars whereas you are just a regular human!

Theoretical times are very nice but there's nothing like having to actually deliver. That's one thing people who don't track (or don't track as seriously) will never get, they think that because car X is lighter, more powerful and has better aero it should automatically win... but that's not the case.
Which in the end is why we bother tracking at all. If it were all over in an excel sheet we would not bother going out in the first place

Congratulations again!
Thanks for those kind words man!

It is 100% true that itís tough for an individual car owner to go up against full shop car development programs. These race shops draw business based on the performance of their cars, so they take it seriously.

One of the cars that should have bumped me from the podium had $200k into the build. They hired a professional driver to push it to the limit. Sadly, the car experienced a fire in the first hot lap of the competition. The driver was mindful enough to jump out, grab a fire extinguisher and put the fire out. He saved the overall build, but the wiring harness suffered from the fire. The car never ran another lap.

As you said, you cannot just race with Excel sheet specs.
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      11-19-2019, 01:54 PM   #1422
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One of the cars that should have bumped me from the podium had $200k into the build.
"To finish third, first you have to finish." -Ron Dennis
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      11-19-2019, 01:57 PM   #1423
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Wow Congrats dogbone. Way to represent the community and goes to show all your hard work paying off. It really puts it into perspective after seeing the list of cars and competitors out there!

Well deserved!
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      11-19-2019, 02:07 PM   #1424
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Incredible! Congrats Gabe!
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      11-19-2019, 04:30 PM   #1425
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"To finish third, first you have to finish." -Ron Dennis
True!

Quote:
Originally Posted by elim11 View Post
Wow Congrats dogbone. Way to represent the community and goes to show all your hard work paying off. It really puts it into perspective after seeing the list of cars and competitors out there!

Well deserved!
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Incredible! Congrats Gabe!
Thanks guys!
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      11-19-2019, 05:02 PM   #1426
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In this post, Iíll talk about my approach to the SuperLap Battle competition this year. (Iím writing about this not to bore you, but to give people an idea of what kind of thought process I go through when going into a competition like this.)

A few weeks ago, I wrote:
Quote:
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Öso my best bet is to focus on putting together clean laps. I know that sounds basic, but sometimes you just gotta go back to basics. I've put in enough laps at Buttonwillow to know how to get around the track cleanly. The question always is: can you put it all together in one lap?
This really was the basis of my approach. But how do you go about it? Iíve done many of these events. Itís the Wild West out there. The track gets trashed with dirt and fluids as it goes on. The weather always seems to get hotóeven in the middle of November. No plan ever gets executed without a hitch. So, you have to be adaptable. I want to start out by saying, thereís no 100% right way to plan things out. Every decision has an upside and a downside. You just have to do your thing and see how it plays out.

For me, the main question was: When do I run my brand new Pirelli DH? Everything had to revolve around that. I wanted to give myself the best chance of getting the most out of the tires. (I only come with one set of new tires. No palette stacked full with new tires for me!!) Pirelli DH are magical on their first hot lap. However, in my experience, brand new Pirelli DH need two scrub-in/warm up laps to get into prime condition. Given that each session only has one warm up lap, how do you scrub-in new tires over two laps without screwing up your position within the grid and not impeding the guy behind you or worse, he passes you and now things get really complicated?

Here are the questions I needed to consider:

-Run the new tires Day 1 or Day 2? Day 1 was going to be cooler weather than Day 2. If cool air is important to me, which it generally is because my engine pulls better in cool air, then I needed to hunt for the coolest air. Looking at the weather apps, it seemed it would be a few degrees cooler on Day 1. The first session for my run group would be about at the same time on both days due to how they run the schedule. Some people like to save the good tires for Day 2. I would also do that if I didnít know the track. But, I know Buttonwillow. I donít need as much ramp-up time to get familiar with it. So, the weather seemed to be better Day 1, and I didnít need a lot of warm up. So, Day 1 seemed to be the answer to this question.

-Run the new tires early in the day or late in the day? My car does NOT run record lap times in hot weather. So, from an engine standpoint, early in the day is better. But, trying to go maximum pace in the first session is never really ideal. Quite often, I find I run my fastest times in the second session of the day. But the 2nd session of the day was after lunch in the hottest part of the day. So, I felt like the first session was my best shot. At some HPDE events, I do run well at the end of the day, but this ain't no HPDE.

-Do I go out gridded in my assigned slot? Or do I go out later in the session? This is a TOUGH one. The sessions are 20 minutes long. Almost no one ever runs all 20 minutes in a time attack session. Soódo you go out with everybody in a grid spot that might be bad? Or do you wait 10 [very nerve wracking] minutes and then run the last 10 minutes when usually less people are on track? There is simply no right answer here. Waiting 10 minutes can be very risky. Sessions tend to get crazy. People go off and dirty up the track, cars break down and prevent maximum pace, safety/tow vehicles are on course trying to get someone off the courseÖ..sometimes, your best bet is to go out in your gridded spot and just work hard to maintain a gap your out-lap and get a good lap in before the shit hits the fan in the session. So, thereís no sure-fire way to approach this, but my pre-assigned grid slot was 8th position on Day 1 Session 1. I figured this could be high enough in the grid to allow me a chance at an open lap. I decided that my Plan A would be to show up and run from my assigned position at the beginning of the session.

-Do I drop my fastest lap at the beginning of the whole event? Or do I wait and try to drop my fastest/best in the last session of Day 2? If you watch Formula 1 Qualifying events, you watch these guys get faster and faster. No one wants to reveal their maximum pace until itís too late for anyone else to do anything about it. Thatís fascinating, but this ainít F1. At a time attack, sometimes you find the conditions to go fast are best early in the event. The track just gets trashed and the weather gets hot and itís just damn hard to go fast later. I do believe that itís a good strategy to hold a fast lap until later in the event, but the reality for me is that I just canít worry about it. And, dropping a good hot lap early can get in the heads of your competitors. All of a sudden, they are forced to chase something. Again, thereís no right answer hereÖ. (I gotta pause here and share a story from a couple years ago. A guy had been leading the SuperLap competition pretty much the whole weekend. He decided to not run the last session and packed up his car and hang out for the awards. In the last session, a Miata dropped a hot lap good enough to beat him and he couldnít respond. Whoops!) Anyway, given that I was such an underdog at this event, I felt no need to be cagey. I was leaning towards setting my best lap early in the event.


GTA did something with the schedule that was new to me, and it played very well into the plan I was coming up with. On Day 1, they did a Practice Session from 8:30-9:30. No times were being recorded during this session. Any car could go out during that hour. This was the single biggest factor that ultimately affected my planning. So after considering all of this, I decided Plan A would be to run the new tires in the first timed session and commit 100% to going as fast as possible. I hoped the track would be clean, the weather would be cool, I would have practiced and I could get a clean lap. Hereís what I planned:

-I wanted to go out and practice running the track from 8:30-8:50 on old scrub DH tires. This would allow me to get my first ďsessionĒ in and get familiar with the track again. I could warm up my brakes and make sure the car is running ok. (We replaced the fuel pump and filter right before the event.)
-Then I would come in and put the new tires on the car.
-Then I would go out at the end of the Practice Session and scrub in the tires.
-Then I would go to grid and run from my 8th position and hope that I could get a good lap time in the first session.

Hereís how it went:

I went out in the Practice Session from 8:30-8:55. Holy cow, that Practice Session was REALLY the Wild West!! It was crazy out there!!! You had cars of all speeds out there. You had a TON of cars flying off track and dirtying the track up. You had cars breaking down sitting on the side of the track waiting for a tow. You had cars spewing fluids on track. There was white powder being put down already in this session. Oh my godÖÖ.it was insane. I actually thought I might have to scrap my plans. But I decided to move forward. So, I came in a few minutes later than planned. Also, GTA threw us a minor curveball. The transponders would not be ready until 9AM. There was some issue with the charging. So, once I came in, I had to get my transponder. I forgot to bring an ID with me to leave with them, so I had to run back to my trailer, get ID and go back and finally get the transponder. These are precious minutes!! Then I had to change wheels, put gas, put water for the misting system, put the transponder on. Then, I had to switch back to my race suit and race shoes, jump in the car, strap in and then still have enough time to run out and scrub the tires in. I did all that crap in 25 minutes! Hahaha so, I made it, but was literally down to the last minute. So then I go to grid, and there was something I was quietly hoping foróóóin past events, I have found that quite a few people are not ready to run in the first session. I was slotted in 8th position, but I had hoped some people would not show up and I could run higher up in the grid. Guess whatóóóseveral people did not show up to grid. Instead of going out 8th, I went out 3rd!!! This was a stroke of good luck. So, that was the last piece of the puzzle that gave me the green light to go for it in the First session on Day 1. And sure enough, I had open track on my first hot lap of SuperLap Battle.

Unfortunately, I sent the tail wide in Off-Ramp of lap 1. I was pushing as hard as I could and just pushed a bit too much. First lap ended up with a 1:48.6. On the second lap, I was impeded by the car in front of me at Bus Stop because he was on an off lap (data says I lost 0.6 sec)ÖÖ.darnó1:48.4. (This would have been my 1:47.x.) The third lap was open. I did everything right on that lap and got a 1:48.003, but the engine was on itís 3rd straight hot lap. It couldnít pull the way it does when itís fresh.

But my plan had worked! I got a respectable lap in during the First Session. And I never was able to run faster the rest of the weekend. And believe me, I tried. I ran every session. I ran as hard as I could. The track felt bad to me on Day 2. I donít think I ran better than 1:49.9 on Day 2. And aside from the top few cars, no one else was tearing it up on Day 2 either, so going hard on Day 1 turned out to be the right thing for me.

In the next post, Iíll talk about what I saw some my competitors going through.


And I guess I gotta share this walk of shame through the desert. The announcer called it----"Bus Stop Complex". hahaha Oooh busted. Yes, I contributed to the dirt on track during the event. I went 4-off at Bus Stop twice, and dropped two wheels there once. I didn't go off anywhere else though.

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      11-19-2019, 06:52 PM   #1427
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Originally Posted by dogbone View Post
In this post, I’ll talk about my approach to the SuperLap Battle competition this year. (I’m writing about this not to bore you, but to give people an idea of what kind of thought process I go through when going into a competition like this.)

A few weeks ago, I wrote:
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Originally Posted by dogbone View Post
…so my best bet is to focus on putting together clean laps. I know that sounds basic, but sometimes you just gotta go back to basics. I've put in enough laps at Buttonwillow to know how to get around the track cleanly. The question always is: can you put it all together in one lap?
This really was the basis of my approach. But how do you go about it? I’ve done many of these events. It’s the Wild West out there. The track gets trashed with dirt and fluids as it goes on. The weather always seems to get hot—even in the middle of November. No plan ever gets executed without a hitch. So, you have to be adaptable. I want to start out by saying, there’s no 100% right way to plan things out. Every decision has an upside and a downside. You just have to do your thing and see how it plays out.

For me, the main question was: When do I run my brand new Pirelli DH? Everything had to revolve around that. I wanted to give myself the best chance of getting the most out of the tires. (I only come with one set of new tires. No palette stacked full with new tires for me!!) Pirelli DH are magical on their first hot lap. However, in my experience, brand new Pirelli DH need two scrub-in/warm up laps to get into prime condition. Given that each session only has one warm up lap, how do you scrub-in new tires over two laps without screwing up your position within the grid and not impeding the guy behind you or worse, he passes you and now things get really complicated?

Here are the questions I needed to consider:

-Run the new tires Day 1 or Day 2? Day 1 was going to be cooler weather than Day 2. If cool air is important to me, which it generally is because my engine pulls better in cool air, then I needed to hunt for the coolest air. Looking at the weather apps, it seemed it would be a few degrees cooler on Day 1. The first session for my run group would be about at the same time on both days due to how they run the schedule. Some people like to save the good tires for Day 2. I would also do that if I didn’t know the track. But, I know Buttonwillow. I don’t need as much ramp-up time to get familiar with it. So, the weather seemed to be better Day 1, and I didn’t need a lot of warm up. So, Day 1 seemed to be the answer to this question.

-Run the new tires early in the day or late in the day? My car does NOT run record lap times in hot weather. So, from an engine standpoint, early in the day is better. But, trying to go maximum pace in the first session is never really ideal. Quite often, I find I run my fastest times in the second session of the day. But the 2nd session of the day was after lunch in the hottest part of the day. So, I felt like the first session was my best shot. At some HPDE events, I do run well at the end of the day, but this ain't no HPDE.

-Do I go out gridded in my assigned slot? Or do I go out later in the session? This is a TOUGH one. The sessions are 20 minutes long. Almost no one ever runs all 20 minutes in a time attack session. So—do you go out with everybody in a grid spot that might be bad? Or do you wait 10 [very nerve wracking] minutes and then run the last 10 minutes when usually less people are on track? There is simply no right answer here. Waiting 10 minutes can be very risky. Sessions tend to get crazy. People go off and dirty up the track, cars break down and prevent maximum pace, safety/tow vehicles are on course trying to get someone off the course…..sometimes, your best bet is to go out in your gridded spot and just work hard to maintain a gap your out-lap and get a good lap in before the shit hits the fan in the session. So, there’s no sure-fire way to approach this, but my pre-assigned grid slot was 8th position on Day 1 Session 1. I figured this could be high enough in the grid to allow me a chance at an open lap. I decided that my Plan A would be to show up and run from my assigned position at the beginning of the session.

-Do I drop my fastest lap at the beginning of the whole event? Or do I wait and try to drop my fastest/best in the last session of Day 2? If you watch Formula 1 Qualifying events, you watch these guys get faster and faster. No one wants to reveal their maximum pace until it’s too late for anyone else to do anything about it. That’s fascinating, but this ain’t F1. At a time attack, sometimes you find the conditions to go fast are best early in the event. The track just gets trashed and the weather gets hot and it’s just damn hard to go fast later. I do believe that it’s a good strategy to hold a fast lap until later in the event, but the reality for me is that I just can’t worry about it. And, dropping a good hot lap early can get in the heads of your competitors. All of a sudden, they are forced to chase something. Again, there’s no right answer here…. (I gotta pause here and share a story from a couple years ago. A guy had been leading the SuperLap competition pretty much the whole weekend. He decided to not run the last session and packed up his car and hang out for the awards. In the last session, a Miata dropped a hot lap good enough to beat him and he couldn’t respond. Whoops!) Anyway, given that I was such an underdog at this event, I felt no need to be cagey. I was leaning towards setting my best lap early in the event.


GTA did something with the schedule that was new to me, and it played very well into the plan I was coming up with. On Day 1, they did a Practice Session from 8:30-9:30. No times were being recorded during this session. Any car could go out during that hour. This was the single biggest factor that ultimately affected my planning. So after considering all of this, I decided Plan A would be to run the new tires in the first timed session and commit 100% to going as fast as possible. I hoped the track would be clean, the weather would be cool, I would have practiced and I could get a clean lap. Here’s what I planned:

-I wanted to go out and practice running the track from 8:30-8:50 on old scrub DH tires. This would allow me to get my first “session” in and get familiar with the track again. I could warm up my brakes and make sure the car is running ok. (We replaced the fuel pump and filter right before the event.)
-Then I would come in and put the new tires on the car.
-Then I would go out at the end of the Practice Session and scrub in the tires.
-Then I would go to grid and run from my 8th position and hope that I could get a good lap time in the first session.

Here’s how it went:

I went out in the Practice Session from 8:30-8:55. Holy cow, that Practice Session was REALLY the Wild West!! It was crazy out there!!! You had cars of all speeds out there. You had a TON of cars flying off track and dirtying the track up. You had cars breaking down sitting on the side of the track waiting for a tow. You had cars spewing fluids on track. There was white powder being put down already in this session. Oh my god…….it was insane. I actually thought I might have to scrap my plans. But I decided to move forward. So, I came in a few minutes later than planned. Also, GTA threw us a minor curveball. The transponders would not be ready until 9AM. There was some issue with the charging. So, once I came in, I had to get my transponder. I forgot to bring an ID with me to leave with them, so I had to run back to my trailer, get ID and go back and finally get the transponder. These are precious minutes!! Then I had to change wheels, put gas, put water for the misting system, put the transponder on. Then, I had to switch back to my race suit and race shoes, jump in the car, strap in and then still have enough time to run out and scrub the tires in. I did all that crap in 25 minutes! Hahaha so, I made it, but was literally down to the last minute. So then I go to grid, and there was something I was quietly hoping for———in past events, I have found that quite a few people are not ready to run in the first session. I was slotted in 8th position, but I had hoped some people would not show up and I could run higher up in the grid. Guess what———several people did not show up to grid. Instead of going out 8th, I went out 3rd!!! This was a stroke of good luck. So, that was the last piece of the puzzle that gave me the green light to go for it in the First session on Day 1. And sure enough, I had open track on my first hot lap of SuperLap Battle.

Unfortunately, I sent the tail wide in Off-Ramp of lap 1. I was pushing as hard as I could and just pushed a bit too much. First lap ended up with a 1:48.6. On the second lap, I was impeded by the car in front of me at Bus Stop because he was on an off lap (data says I lost 0.6 sec)…….darn—1:48.4. (This would have been my 1:47.x.) The third lap was open. I did everything right on that lap and got a 1:48.003, but the engine was on it’s 3rd straight hot lap. It couldn’t pull the way it does when it’s fresh.

But my plan had worked! I got a respectable lap in during the First Session. And I never was able to run faster the rest of the weekend. And believe me, I tried. I ran every session. I ran as hard as I could. The track felt bad to me on Day 2. I don’t think I ran better than 1:49.9 on Day 2. And aside from the top few cars, no one else was tearing it up on Day 2 either, so going hard on Day 1 turned out to be the right thing for me.

In the next post, I’ll talk about what I saw some my competitors going through.


And I guess I gotta share this walk of shame through the desert. The announcer called it----"Bus Stop Complex". hahaha Oooh busted. Yes, I contributed to the dirt on track during the event. I went 4-off at Bus Stop twice, and dropped two wheels there once. I didn't go off anywhere else though.

Awesome write up!
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      11-19-2019, 09:58 PM   #1428
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      11-20-2019, 10:53 AM   #1429
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Keep up the long posts. I like reading all the detail. I think what also helps is you came with a car you've had a long time and are familiar with and you know generally what does and doesn't work. So many of these shops bring out underdeveloped cars it seems.

You said your car never runs as well after a few hot laps. Is it possible to upgrade more components so it just runs the same for a full 20-30 minute session? That would annoy me like no other to not feel like I had consistent power.
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      11-20-2019, 12:58 PM   #1430
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Originally Posted by //steve\\ View Post
Keep up the long posts. I like reading all the detail. I think what also helps is you came with a car you've had a long time and are familiar with and you know generally what does and doesn't work. So many of these shops bring out underdeveloped cars it seems.

You said your car never runs as well after a few hot laps. Is it possible to upgrade more components so it just runs the same for a full 20-30 minute session? That would annoy me like no other to not feel like I had consistent power.
Thanks. In essence, this thread has become my motorsport blog. I have considered creating my own blog, but I like this forum a lot. So, for the time being, I'll keep posting about my experiences here.

Yeah, my car has been on track for almost 8 years now. The car has proven a certain reliability. My next post about SuperLap will touch on this topic.

Regarding the car's ability to run hot laps----I have touched on this topic before. When I say that the car can only run two or three hot laps, I'm talking about 10/10ths, all out, going for personal-best laps. For this car, that means doing 1:47 laps at Buttonwillow (trying for a 1:46). If I just backed off 4 seconds and did 1:51 laps, I could do those for 30 minutes straight. When I go to an HPDE and run on scrubs, I can stay out on track for as long as I like. And let's put this into perspective-----most people have never done a 1:51 lap at Buttonwillow. 1:51 is a proper fast lap. When I look at the results from SuperLap Battle this past weekend, only 14 of the 90 cars in the competition went faster than 1:51. This was not just a regular HPDE where random first-timers showed up to run; this was a competition full of people who know how to run.

The fact is that dealing with heat in high horsepower cars of any brand is VERY VERY challenging. There are NO easy solutions out there. If someone made a sure-fire way to cool the car, I'd probably run it. (Aside from meth injection......that does not really interest me at the moment.) From what I can tell, the best way to deal with heat is to overbuild an engine with high power potential and then de-tune it back to some far lower power level, and then that de-tuned engine will run forever. Isn't that basically what the OEMs do? The turbos in a stock BMW production car are never running at 100% capacity. But then, the tuners turn them up. Guess what happens when they do?

And---I say it all the time---the tires cannot handle 20-30 minutes of 10/10ths laps. They need a break too. Look at the Formula 1 guys. They run 1 qualifying lap and come in. It's the tires that can't take it. And look at their pace in the races---easily 5-8 seconds slower per lap than the qualifying lap times. Again, it's all about tire management in the races. So, there's more to it than just an engine overheating.

I was watching a Pirelli World Challenge GT4 race recently. An Audi R8 was just leaving the rest of the competition in the dust at the beginning of the race. It was impressive to watch. Vesko Kozorov is no doubt a great driver. Buuuuuuut, you're only allowed one set of tires during the 1-hour race. He had over-driven the tires in his first stint. Even before the driver switch, his lead evaporated. The car didn't even have a chance in the second half of the race. It's all about tire management.

So, as always in motorsport------the answer is complicated!
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