: Went to a road course event. Some Q & A



AlmostAV
10-11-08, 05:52 PM
Hey, just got back from my first "road course" event. It was AWESOME. If you havent yet done this, grow some balls and do it....seriously...one of the most fun things Ive done in some time. :sneaky:

* I have fe4 suspension with eibachs / ww mod

Honestly, I felt I didnt push the car to its max, being it was my first time, and I also wasnt using the correct angles per say on the turns. There were 2 slaloms, and the course was pretty tight. I also kept losing alot of time on this one turn because I kept trying to brake and slightly turn at the same time. I may of been braking too late, and not hard enough, which forced me to have to turn and brake :helpless:....which causes our cars to kinda lock up and slide forward. I was doing a lot of sliding and a little drifting here and there because of the lack of traction.

I ran a best time of 66.2x I believe, 1.7 slower than a stock motor (exhaust only) z06 with aftermarket sways springs, and some other suspension work. I was also about two seconds slower than an is-f.

All in all I feel I did pretty well. However I have a couple of questions

1. My brakes seemed to suck....:hmm: I always was told / felt our brakes were some of the best on the road, however it just didnt seem like they "bit". What could this be? Ive never bled my brakes...unless the dealer did and didnt tell me...I also have resurfaced rotors.....Or was it simply me not slamming them hard enough and then trying to turn and brake?

2. I didnt push the car to its max. I was a little weary, as Im not comfortable with the rear constantly sliding around as I was doing. I really needed race rubber to be competitive.


I did get to go along as a passenger in a mustang-gt/cs with gt500 mods done to it. and on race rubber, let me tell you, this guy could freaking DRIVE :bonkers:. His brakes seemed way more responsive. Im not sure if its bc I just wasnt slamming on them like you should. He also was taking turns was harder and faster. Less body roll. And the car didnt slide around at all. I on the other hand was all over the place. He ran like 58 seconds I believe.

Anyways just thought Id share. I know its sloppy writing and all, I did goto the bar...so post up your comments/critiques etc.... :lildevil:

YoshiV
10-11-08, 06:27 PM
Sounds more like an autocross event than a road course event...IMO two different animals. I prefer actual road courses myself but an autocross is surely a test of driving skills. I have never had a problem with the performance of the brakes on the V...auto cross or road course.

Twitch
10-11-08, 07:40 PM
Don't worry about the car. It'll feel better when you get some more events under your belt.

CO_GTS
10-11-08, 08:06 PM
losing alot of time on this one turn because I kept trying to brake and slightly turn at the same time. I may of been braking too late, and not hard enough, which forced me to have to turn and brake :helpless:....which causes our cars to kinda lock up and slide forward.:lildevil:

Many drivers believe that the key to driving quickly is to drive into the corner as deep as possible, slam on the brakes at the last possible instant, jerk the wheel into the turn, and then slam the throttle as hard as possible to the floor.

Its really much simpler than that!

The single most important objective is to carry as much speed out of the corner as possible.

Think about this, if you delay your braking at corner entry by 10-15 ft, you might gain 1-2 hundredths of a second per lap. However, if you can exit a corner 2-mph faster, you can carry that extra speed all the way to the next corner, this will often result in lowering your lap times by several tenths of a second.

Why not do both? Ultimately that is the goal, but for most of us (Michael Schumacher and others excluded) it just requires us to be too perfect. So, since we have shown our greatest gains to be at corner exit, that should be our focus. If you come in a little too fast, you will wind up fighting the car for control through the turn, instead of concentrating on corner exit speed.

After you have maximized your corner exit speed, and can do it consistently, it becomes appropriate to hone your corner entry. Just remember, corner entry offers the smallest opportunity for speed improvements, but has the greatest potential for disaster. (Dev Clough)


Or was it simply me not slamming them hard enough and then trying to turn and brake?

2. I didnt push the car to its max. I was a little weary, as Im not comfortable with the rear constantly sliding around as I was doing:lildevil:

A car, at rest, distributes its weight over the four tires.

When you accelerate, the front gets lighter – an extreme example is a drag car doing a “wheelie”. The result is “weight transfer” off the front tires, and onto the back tires. That's why front wheel drive cars dont make very good race cars and why our V's have RWD.

When you step on the brakes, weight transfers from the back to the front.

When you turn, weight transfers from the tires on the inside of the turn, to the tires on the outside of the turn.

That’s all simple enough, but gets a little more complicated in fast driving because you are often performing a combination of these things simultaneously. Sometimes (actually quite often) you are still doing some braking while turning at the entry of a turn, and a key to going faster is beginning your acceleration before completing the turn.

The amount of traction you have at each tire is dependent on how hard the tire is being pressed against the pavement. Since any kind of weight transfer causes a change to this pressure, than the traction you have at each tire is constantly changing with weight transfer.

If weight transfer did not occur, traction would always be consistent, and the car would be easy to drive quickly. Since weight transfer is unavoidable, the next best thing is to cause the weight to transfer as predictably as possible. This is done by driving smoothly. When you apply the brakes, don’t slam them on, progressively squeeze them on. Squeeze into and out of the throttle. Turn the steering wheel gently, and try to make only one turn of the wheel to achieve the arc you want through the corner. As you accelerate out of the corner, unwind the wheel as you squeeze on the throttle. (Dev Clough)

rand49er
10-11-08, 09:00 PM
I'm a total novice ... TOTAL NOVICE mind you, but nonetheless I have two suggestions.

One, get an instructor to ride with you. You could learn the same thing after 10-20 sessions (maybe), but an instructor will tell you things that will leapfrog you in the experience column. I absolutely loved that opportunity; it was invaluable. (FWIW, I'm still horrible, but just wait'll V-Day III. :D)

Two, I suspect it's not your brakes, but your tires. Once you learn actually how to drive and find the proper line (<-- absolutely the most important thing), your next limitation will be your tires if you push the car at all, IMHO.

Dennisscars
10-11-08, 09:52 PM
All great points from CO GTS, I will echo some of them:

Rule #1.. Fast will not come until smooth..

Tires can only do 100% of something.. ie they cannot brake 80% and turn 80%, see #1. Street tires, unless crap actually are quite good for learning they will cry and let you know your doing something wrong before they turn loose. R compound figure you already know how to drive and give little warning you are in trouble before turning loose.

Slow in, fast out. Our car is much too fat to fly in like a Miata. It's got plenty of power to power out.

Pay for or sign up for an instructor, until you drive the proper line AND properly drive the car none of the above will happen.

Leave Stabiltrak ON.. If it's coming on you have not accomplished any of the above. I still leave it on, my goal is to drive such that it doesn't come on and if it does it's saving your ass... There is no reason to slosh the car.. You'll be surprised how smooth you will be if you can make a lap without it coming on. Some of my best times have been when I wasn't trying to be "fast" but smooth..

And sign up for another event and most of all enjoy the day, the car and the track..

Twitch
10-11-08, 10:01 PM
just wait'll V-Day III. :D)
.

Why wait. I think a spot just opened up.

AAIIIC
10-12-08, 03:24 AM
Hey, just got back from my first "road course" event. It was AWESOME. If you havent yet done this, grow some balls and do it....seriously...one of the most fun things Ive done in some time. :sneaky:
As YoshiV said, it wasn't a road course event, it was an auto-x. The amount of balls required to do an auto-x is pretty minimal compared to that required to do an actual road course event. Auto-x is a lot of fun, great car control training, and a helluva lot cheaper to do than open track events, but it doesn't take a whole lot of balls to do 60mph in a parking lot full of traffic cones. :p I've only seen 1 car damaged at an auto-x in the 9 years I've been competing, whereas I've probably seen a couple dozen cars damaged in about 1/3 as many open track events over the same period of time.


Honestly, I felt I didnt push the car to its max, being it was my first time, and I also wasnt using the correct angles per say on the turns. There were 2 slaloms, and the course was pretty tight. I also kept losing alot of time on this one turn because I kept trying to brake and slightly turn at the same time. I may of been braking too late, and not hard enough, which forced me to have to turn and brake :helpless:....which causes our cars to kinda lock up and slide forward. I was doing a lot of sliding and a little drifting here and there because of the lack of traction.
For a beginner, the biggest thing is slow in, fast out. Brake more than you think you need to, otherwise you'll just scrub the front tires like it sounds like you were doing. As you get more experience you'll learn to brake and turn at the same time without overwhelming the front tires.


I ran a best time of 66.2x I believe, 1.7 slower than a stock motor (exhaust only) z06 with aftermarket sways springs, and some other suspension work. I was also about two seconds slower than an is-f.
Driver skill is more important than just about anything (other than tires) when it comes to auto-xing. That's why an IS-F was faster than a modified Z06, and why you were within spitting distance of the same modified Z06.


1. My brakes seemed to suck....:hmm: I always was told / felt our brakes were some of the best on the road, however it just didnt seem like they "bit". What could this be? Ive never bled my brakes...unless the dealer did and didnt tell me...I also have resurfaced rotors.....Or was it simply me not slamming them hard enough and then trying to turn and brake?
What pads are you running? Pad selection will determine that initial bite. Did you ever get into ABS? If not, then you weren't using all that the brakes have to give.


2. I didnt push the car to its max. I was a little weary, as Im not comfortable with the rear constantly sliding around as I was doing. I really needed race rubber to be competitive.
Do yourself a favor and don't even think about being competitive for a while. Stay on street tires and learn to drive, then worry about getting race rubber.


I did get to go along as a passenger in a mustang-gt/cs with gt500 mods done to it. and on race rubber, let me tell you, this guy could freaking DRIVE :bonkers:. His brakes seemed way more responsive. Im not sure if its bc I just wasnt slamming on them like you should. He also was taking turns was harder and faster. Less body roll. And the car didnt slide around at all. I on the other hand was all over the place. He ran like 58 seconds I believe.
Most of that is due to the R-compound tires. Stickier rubber means more cornering grip, more traction under acceleration, and more braking power.

thebigjimsho
10-13-08, 05:21 PM
Our brakes are among the best on the road. But if you don't know if your brakes were bled, get them done!!! Especially if you're on a road course. Pads will also make quite a difference. I guarantee that I can make the V brake with a good set of Carbotechs or Hawk Blue compounds just as good as that Stang did...

AlmostAV
10-13-08, 06:11 PM
Heres a video I found of an evo doing the course that I did. This was the same day/event I was at.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei19rUrsrAU

and heres some random pics. I love that red vette. The stance was menacing. It was fully prepped for scca events...rollcage and all....also had a fully built motor. It sounded nasty.

rand49er
10-13-08, 07:51 PM
... as good as ...:nono:

adverb, not adjective

lmcgrew79
10-13-08, 07:57 PM
Like dennis said, i think the best advice i ever got was to look at your tires at 100%. Remember this while driving. You can slam the brakes and turn ,but you will probably go straight, and its easier to gain speed in a turn than try to slow down in a turn.

PISNUOFF
10-13-08, 08:52 PM
Every driver education event instructor will tell beginners to make sure you get all your braking done in a straight line. Even if you brake late and have to miss your turn-in point. Once your speed is correct, you can start your turn-in after you've started to release the brakes and still have a little braking force applied. This will keep the front suspension loaded and downforce applied to the front tires.

AlmostAV
10-13-08, 09:30 PM
pics and a vid (not of me but it shows the course) added

Dennisscars
10-13-08, 09:45 PM
That's great you got your car on track, but that track looks too slow for big ole fatty. She likes to run on the big end.

I prefer a track with less cones and more full throttle time..

Now sign up for another one.. :highfive:

mbiker97
10-13-08, 11:11 PM
An auto x won't test our brakes. I've only done one, but it was a drift show the whole time on my all seasons. BTW a Z06 is supposed to be much faster in an auto-x, just look at the classing. BTW what class did you run and the is-f run?

Albertan
10-14-08, 12:13 PM
Only thing I can add to the already good advise is to practice straight line braking. Wind her up to 60-70mph and hammer on the brakes to just before ABS comes on. You will be surprised at how hard you can brake and how fast this car will stop. You probably weren't coming close to max braking. Now you know how hard you can brake on the track.

50 4Ever
10-14-08, 01:31 PM
pics and a vid (not of me but it shows the course) added

I've never seen an auto-x like that before, out west they are on big parking lots. I've never done one before, looks like fun.

As Dennis said these cars don't really like auto-x, they like to get out and run. The only guy I know that auto-x's his V is CaliCadi. He has coil overs (ground control) and last I heard was running Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. With the stock shocks (FE4) you can expect a lot of body roll and the suspension takes a while to settle. Upgrading to FG2's will help a lot, but coilovers will help the most. I have FE4's and Hotchkis sway bars and have run road tracks a few times, this setup is OK but still has too much body roll. The brakes on these cars are great, bleed or have the fluid replaced.

Sometimes, to go fast you need to slow down.

:thumbsup:

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a186/504ever/08%20427/cars.jpg

C66 Racing
10-14-08, 08:27 PM
That's a pretty neat little auto-x track, where is it? As mentioned, most auto-x I've run are either on airport runways or big parking lots. That sort of looks like a dedicated auto-x track... or maybe a go-kart track? Either way, great way to learn some car control before you go to a dedicated track day event.

As for the brakes, I think the brakes on the CTS-V are fantastic and that's compared to my 02 Z06 track car. Not sure why your initial bite would be low. Could be several things including cold pads, air in the lines due to not bleeding in a while (I always bleed brakes before a track event), or maybe you just didn't get into the brakes as hard as you thought.
:cheers:

thebigjimsho
10-15-08, 01:50 AM
We've got a pretty big course on an old runway at a MA State Police Driver training facility...here on bald F1s...


t7CnQkHXfiU

C66 Racing
10-15-08, 11:38 PM
Now that's the auto-x I'm used to... a big piece of concrete and a bunch of cones!

trukk
10-16-08, 01:12 PM
Our brakes are among the best on the road. But if you don't know if your brakes were bled, get them done!!! Especially if you're on a road course. Pads will also make quite a difference. I guarantee that I can make the V brake with a good set of Carbotechs or Hawk Blue compounds just as good as that Stang did...


Agreed.

Once way to quickly tell if your fluid and or pads aren;t up to snuff, is to stomp and the brakes and see if you can get into the ABS, if you can't get into the ABS, you porbably have bad fluid and/or need your brakes bled. If you can get into ABS for a few stops, but then you can't it's probabably a brake pad issue.

Always make sure you have fresh brake fluid.

-Chris

AlmostAV
10-16-08, 03:22 PM
thanks. Is this something the dealer will do for no charge (ie warranty maintainence)??

Chef
10-16-08, 11:22 PM
Leave Stabiltrak ON.. If it's coming on you have not accomplished any of the above.


Oh Dennis, Dennis, Dennis...:nono:

Dennisscars
10-17-08, 12:18 AM
Oh Dennis, Dennis, Dennis...:nono:
:Poke: What?? sideways motion is wasted forward motion...

Going through the corkscrew and having ST come on is a BAD thing..

I'm sure the guy in the new Z06 with the paper plates that tore out the rear end of his car into the wall of turn 11, wishes he would have left it on...





On the other hand this is some cool driving...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTFl1ZWdMgI




Good to see you around again... post up some pics.. :highfive:

Chef
10-17-08, 11:17 AM
I agree with you to a point. If you want to learn the car and its "ways/limits" then turn off the ST and learn it at your own pace. Don't go beyond your own skill set. The built in correction will mask your faults and hinder your advancement of driving the cars limits. If you are going out to drive agressively yet not wanting drive to the limits than keep it on or if you're new to tracking a car. It is true, it will help and save your arse.

This is the first thing an instructor will tell you on any track will be lose the ST in advanced tracking. If you are new to running tracks or if it's a new track and haven't yet experienced 10/10 driving then I agree with the ST until you're comfortable.

I just spun out last weekend at the end of Firebird Main going in the 150's range and it's not fun - luckily no contact or flat spotting with a 180 and back to work. Edited the spin....*grin*


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SfUsvV88KY

thebigjimsho
10-17-08, 02:47 PM
Anyone who is in their first few dozen track days should have ST on. Stunting development, not learning limits, whatever is worth actually keeping your car running.

Going to competitive driving mode is excellent for learning the limits of the V and keeping your car on track, although if you're too reckless, bad things can still happen. I wouldn't go all off unless you are very experienced and have another car at home you can drive.

Dennisscars
10-17-08, 09:01 PM
I'll still contend that if you can go fast without it going off, your not pissing the car off and will inherently be faster. And if I can go fast without it going off, turning it off will not make me faster.. It will certainly tell you where you are pissing the car off and can be used to identify where NOT to... It's plenty obvious flashing on the DIC..

Ok how about this as not to confuse the noobs, until you've got a roll cage, a six point, a Hans device and no longer put blue tape on your car you should leave it on?

Chef
10-18-08, 12:37 AM
Ok how about this as not to confuse the noobs, until you've got a roll cage, a six point, a Hans device and no longer put blue tape on your car you should leave it on? 10-17-08 11:47 AM

Makes sense to me.

Here's a thought - when I did play with the ST it screwed me up in terms of every time I hit a corner camber or load the car in a straight line and got wheel spin the ST went off...We've had plenty of instances when going fast in a straight line that the ST activates which can be scary. Even with my Sachs Race shocks and heavy lbs on the spring rates the car can get ST'd...

Keep it on to be safe and go home in one piece...:)

50 4Ever
10-18-08, 01:48 AM
...

I just spun out last weekend at the end of Firebird Main going in the 150's range and it's not fun -...

Spinning is a bummer, 'specially in a beemer. :eek:

Another thing to keep in mind on this ST discussion, is the drivers yearly seat time. Are they aiming for SCCA license and competition or are they just doing a few HPDE's a year. I did about 6 or 7 HPDE's a year. I wasn't the slowest on the track nor was I the fastest, I was not aiming to be the fastest, I just want to have fun. I always drove with my ST on, if it came on I figured out what caused it, I guess I would use it as a learning tool. Bottom line is it is the drivers decision as to how much risk they are willing to accept.

JMHO

Chef
10-18-08, 10:17 AM
agree too...

Dennisscars
10-18-08, 04:06 PM
Now I will confess, I turn off T/C which is separate and different. At the top of 4th the maggie will break the tires even with slicks.

and spinning at 150 is an arse puckering experience to which you certainly pissed of the car and she was showing you who was actually in control and not recommended for the under 20 event group..

The times I've instructed, the first thing I tell them is "I'd rather be bored, than scared.."

C66 Racing
10-21-08, 12:36 AM
And if I can go fast without it going off, turning it off will not make me faster..

Actually, I've found that turning it off (02 Z06) is about 1 sec a lap faster.

Now to qualify that, I've got five driver's schools, 30+ DEs and 30+ SCCA races under my belt and I'm not advocating to go straight to off for the novice. Also note that my track day car is a fully race prepped C5 Z06 with an eight point cage.

Actually my experience this weekend at PIR (Portland) was telling. This was my first track time in over two years due mostly to deploying four times in the last two years, but also because I had to have my Z06 rebuilt as the last time I raced I hit turn 9 at Pacific Raceways and totaled the car (100+ mph into a concrete wall). So, I started the weekend a little leary. Hadn't driven at PIR since a DE with the Alfa club in 02. Hadn't driven on the track in 2 years. Last time I drove I crashed. Saturday morning practice was wet. Nice combo. I ran with TC/AH both on and took it really easy. Sat afternoon was sunny and dry - ran comp mode (TC off, AH on) and didn't get too many activations as I gradually increased speed. Interesting side note - cracked the right rear rotor and replaced it. Sunday morning sprint race - started in Comp mode again and as I got faster I was getting more and more active handling interventions and well within my comfort range. When I noted that active handling was on essentially all the way down the back straight at PIR I turned it off. Interesting side note two - cracked the left rear rotor - the Vette rear rotors really don't like the extra heat from AH, though I'm not sure how the V brakes hold up as I'm afraid to run the V at the track. Ran the Sunday afternoon main race with TC/AH both off (finished 1 of 2 in class and 2 of 23 overall). Fastest time of the weekend was in the Sunday afternoon main.

As an aside I used the same set of Hoosier A6s all weekend and they started the weekend with two heat cycles on them.

As a DE instructor, many factors weigh into my recommendation to a student to either turn off or use AH. Consequences of failure are one that I didn't see mentioned above. Some tracks have high stakes (say turn 9 at Pacific for example). Others like MAM at Omaha, which was built in a corn field, are relatively safe to play around with, at least in a low CG car like the Vette. Not sure if I'd brave turning it off in the V as I'd fear spinning off the track sideways and rolling the car - which I saw a BMW 525i do at Roebling Road at a DE back in 01 or 02.