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Cadillac ATS General Discussion Forum Discussion, canyon driving in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; is anyone here a really experienced performance driver? how would u drive in a canyon? i went canyoning yesterday, and ...
  1. #1
    donavo is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    canyon driving

    is anyone here a really experienced performance driver? how would u drive in a canyon? i went canyoning yesterday, and while it was VERY fun i found myself often nervous on some of the turns. i kept all traction on. downshifted before the turns for engine breaking. but after a while 2 porches were right behind me and i was surprised for a bit because i thought i was going pretty fast for anyone. after i pulled over and let them go they took off real fast. later on i caught up with them at a pub towards the top of the canyon. i asked them how fast they were going on those turns and they really surprised me with 80-100mph. i was doing 65-70 MAXXXXX. they said they would floor it on the turns because they needed to get all the weight to the rear wheels to not lose traction. that sounds reeeeeaaally scary to someone like me with no previous performance driving experience. so does this apply to only rear engine RWD cars? or are other RWD cars supposed to do the same/similar? what is proper canyon driving?

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    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
    Hoosier Daddy is online now Moderator
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    Re: canyon driving

    Quote Originally Posted by donavo View Post
    is anyone here a really experienced performance driver?
    I have a dedicated track car; I've done my share of track days and have been drafted into instructor duty. My son was a Bondurant instructor and has no secrets from me. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    how would u drive in a canyon? i went canyoning yesterday, and while it was VERY fun i found myself often nervous on some of the turns. i kept all traction on. downshifted before the turns for engine breaking. but after a while 2 porches were right behind me and i was surprised for a bit because i thought i was going pretty fast for anyone. after i pulled over and let them go they took off real fast. later on i caught up with them at a pub towards the top of the canyon. i asked them how fast they were going on those turns and they really surprised me with 80-100mph. i was doing 65-70 MAXXXXX. they said they would floor it on the turns because they needed to get all the weight to the rear wheels to not lose traction. that sounds reeeeeaaally scary to someone like me with no previous performance driving experience.so does this apply to only rear engine RWD cars? or are other RWD cars supposed to do the same/similar? what is proper canyon driving?
    First, you can not drive at the limits on canyon roads without significant risk. Second you won't know the limits for a corner the first time you drive a road. Those guys may/probably know the road like the back of their hands. And without seeing the roads and them on it, they may be going faster than the risks of new oil, loose gravel, etc around a blind bend would deem prudent. It's almost certain you could go a lot faster than you did with minimum risk. You just need some practice and familiarity with the particular road.

    The best way to get the driving skills is track days. Most race tracks are regularly rented out to various clubs, etc. for that purpose. Many allow non-members to participate maybe paying more than members. I don't do this anymore (I've got to sell that unused track car) but when I was it was often just a few hundred dollars for a day. Go do it. You will smile a lot.
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    donavo is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: canyon driving

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Daddy View Post
    I have a dedicated track car; I've done my share of track days and have been drafted into instructor duty. My son was a Bondurant instructor and has no secrets from me. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.



    First, you can not drive at the limits on canyon roads without significant risk. Second you won't know the limits for a corner the first time you drive a road. Those guys may/probably know the road like the back of their hands. And without seeing the roads and them on it, they may be going faster than the risks of new oil, loose gravel, etc around a blind bend would deem prudent. It's almost certain you could go a lot faster than you did with minimum risk. You just need some practice and familiarity with the particular road.

    The best way to get the driving skills is track days. Most race tracks are regularly rented out to various clubs, etc. for that purpose. Many allow non-members to participate maybe paying more than members. I don't do this anymore (I've got to sell that unused track car) but when I was it was often just a few hundred dollars for a day. Go do it. You will smile a lot.
    i dont want to track my ats though...what are my options and what do u think i should exactly do?

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    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: canyon driving

    Quote Originally Posted by donavo View Post
    i dont want to track my ats though...what are my options and what do u think i should exactly do?
    Just so we are on the same page, track days do NOT have to involve side by side running that risk damaging sheet metal - some sessions will not allow any passing except if a leading car pulls far to one designated side and waves a trailing car past on a straight. But track days do involve having experienced drivers let you ride with them in their cars and to coach you while riding along with you. And they involve a venue with car safe runoff areas. While you have to beat the tires/brakes/etc to get the absolute best lap time, you don't have to beat on them much or for long to learn the limits.

    You can learn to go faster on your own on public roads but the risks are MUCH higher. Enjoyment comes from running at a certain percent of the limits. While learning, you will exceed the limits at times even with an instructor. You don't want to learn the limits by exceeding them with oncoming traffic or a 1000' drop-off.
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    marktanner is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: canyon driving

    A high performance driving school can teach you how to drive to the max, and also how to drive your car with more control and more safely no matter what your speed. The cheapest school will probably be with the BMW club, which one can join even if you don't own a BMW. You have to use your own car, of course, but as stated above, they are not competitive, and the rare wrecks that occur are usually due to driver error, or equipment failure. There is always an in-car instructor, unless you do so well that you get signed off, and then you get an instructor the next event anyway. There is also classroom instruction.

    If you want to learn how to drive better but don't want to use your own car, there are schools that do this, but they are MUCH more expensive. Consider the Cadillac Driving Academy for instance. A great book that explains the fundamentals of high performance driving is "Speed Secrets" by Ross Bentley. There is no substitute for doing it in the car, though, or riding with an experienced driver who can explain what they're doing. BTW, one should never floor the car in a corner until one is at or past the apex of the corner. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please get the book.

  7. #6
    SLA
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    Re: canyon driving

    A canyon run isn't a controlled environment. Different day, different conditions etc. 7 tenths is where you want to be running. You did the right thing by letting those guys pass.

    If you want to learn the limits of your car, start at an auto cross. If you want to go from there, sign up for ahpde.
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    Re: canyon driving

    Quote Originally Posted by SLA View Post
    A canyon run isn't a controlled environment. Different day, different conditions etc. 7 tenths is where you want to be running. You did the right thing by letting those guys pass.
    Even if you know the road you are running (like the back of your hand), a car can kick up gravel, wind can blow debris, among other things; you need to build in a safety factor (at a un-controlled venue).

  9. #8
    M5eater's Avatar
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    Re: canyon driving

    Quote Originally Posted by donavo View Post
    is anyone here a really experienced performance driver? how would u drive in a canyon? i went canyoning yesterday, and while it was VERY fun i found myself often nervous on some of the turns. i kept all traction on. downshifted before the turns for engine breaking. but after a while 2 porches were right behind me and i was surprised for a bit because i thought i was going pretty fast for anyone. after i pulled over and let them go they took off real fast. later on i caught up with them at a pub towards the top of the canyon. i asked them how fast they were going on those turns and they really surprised me with 80-100mph. i was doing 65-70 MAXXXXX. they said they would floor it on the turns because they needed to get all the weight to the rear wheels to not lose traction. that sounds reeeeeaaally scary to someone like me with no previous performance driving experience. so does this apply to only rear engine RWD cars? or are other RWD cars supposed to do the same/similar? what is proper canyon driving?
    a) the ATS is not a porsche.
    b) you openly admitied you're not experienced.
    c) idiots can do whatever the hell they want, doesn't mean you should
    d) it sounds to me like you were doing fine. Never out-drive your car. Never out-drive your comfort zone, especially on public roads. Especially in a freaking Canyon.

    You did great in my opinion for having some shenanigans on a whim.

    Just so we are on the same page, track days do NOT have to involve side by side running that risk damaging sheet metal - some sessions will not allow any passing except if a leading car pulls far to one designated side and waves a trailing car past on a straight. But track days do involve having experienced drivers let you ride with them in their cars and to coach you while riding along with you. And they involve a venue with car safe runoff areas. While you have to beat the tires/brakes/etc to get the absolute best lap time, you don't have to beat on them much or for long to learn the limits.
    Bingo. People weirdly enough, would rather not have their 80K car ruined by some ass-hat who decided to play fast and furious during a $500 session for giggles. Vehicle wear and risk of injury is at all times, under your control. You don't need to run 10/10ths to have a helluva time either.
    i dont want to track my ats though...what are my options and what do u think i should exactly do?
    Yes. You do. If you have no nearby open-road courses, stroll up to a local Autocross. You'll learn more in 1 day when you spin out than you will in 10 'canyon' runs.
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    Yplus is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: canyon driving

    Here are some simple rules I've learned from track days (both car and motorcycle) that I apply to almost all driving, track or street.

    If you're not smiling, you're going too fast for you, take it down a notch.
    Go at 75% of your comfort zone and let your comfort and experience grow so you're 75% becomes "faster". You WILL need that 25% in an unexpected situation sooner or later (most likely sooner)
    Don't cross a yellow line or a white shoulder line. Chances are you didn't need to if you took a good line, and it's more fun (and safer) to think of those lines as cliffs, and not the actual cliffs/guardrails/people trying to enjoy their day walking and not being killed, etc.
    Go only as fast as you can stop. Sounds weird, but if you can't see beyond 100 feet, keep in mind even at 60 mph your car can't stop in that distance. Now imagine a car is stopped just past that blind spot and you get my drift.
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  11. #10
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    Re: canyon driving

    Quote Originally Posted by donavo View Post
    is anyone here a really experienced performance driver? how would u drive in a canyon? i went canyoning yesterday, and while it was VERY fun i found myself often nervous on some of the turns. i kept all traction on. downshifted before the turns for engine breaking. but after a while 2 porches were right behind me and i was surprised for a bit because i thought i was going pretty fast for anyone. after i pulled over and let them go they took off real fast. later on i caught up with them at a pub towards the top of the canyon. i asked them how fast they were going on those turns and they really surprised me with 80-100mph. i was doing 65-70 MAXXXXX. they said they would floor it on the turns because they needed to get all the weight to the rear wheels to not lose traction. that sounds reeeeeaaally scary to someone like me with no previous performance driving experience. so does this apply to only rear engine RWD cars? or are other RWD cars supposed to do the same/similar? what is proper canyon driving?
    Street is street, track is track.

    Speed limits are usually set for a (good) reason. If you exceed them, you are not only likely to overrun your skills, but also to overrun the conditions, blind corners, unseen exits, grid/dirt on road-surface, and other traffic.

    Someone can always run faster on any street section - but can they stop in time in case of a calamity?

    I think that you were the better driver, imho.

    And fwiw, the ATS/BMW-3 is no match for a Porsche, especially a Boxster, in the twisties. The Boxster has its engine before the rear-axle, (mid-engine), coupled with a much lower center of mass. Even with less hp/lb, it will run circles around the ATS/BMW-3 type of sedans - in fact, the Boxsters do outrun the 911's in the twisties, but give it up on the straight-aways. The new 911's are electronically limited to prevent spin-outs - a common problem to the pre-electronic generation (cornering too hot).

  12. #11
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    thebigjimsho is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    I've made great cars with poor drivers look slow on the track. I've had good cars with great drivers make me look like a beginner on the track.

    One time I had two punks in a Mustang GT on my butt hitting a highway exit. However, I knew the exit like the back of my hand. I know how to properly hit its apex. When I floored it, I made sure to use most of the slow lane for entry. With hitting my apexes and proper throttle control, I had those two idiots in the Mustang a good 200ft back. Oh yeah, that was in my Town Car.

    I've been driving Town Cars for years. I have certain on/offramps that I have perfected. I can make it do some silly looking things that would make others jawdropped.

    What you encountered are expcerienced drivers with incredibly fast machinery. The gap can be made monstrous quickly. Figure out how to fully control your car and get to know your surroundings. That doesn't happen overnight.

    And I would greatly suggest autocrossing...


    -- We miss you, JD (Dirt_Cheap_Fleetwood)


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