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Discussion Starter #1
From my previous post on my Z06 sputtering at 4k RPM I mentioned that I spun four times at Buttonwillow Raceway at the Speedventures event April 15th.

Some of you have asked why I spun 4 times on Friday. The simple answer is I overdrove my car for my driving abilities. If you are familiar with Buttonwillow, we were running configuration #13 counter clockwise. I was running on my CCW's with Hoosiers. My first off-track was not actually a spin, but more of a sprint car slide across the infield coming into the Sunrise turn. I started braking just before the slight drop away on the little knoll coming into the turn. I let the car get just a little sideways and I drifted inside and onto the dirt infield and layed a rooster tail of dirt onto the inside of the turn. Shame on me and apologies to the other drivers. I ended up back on the asphalt and cranked a hard left and just made the exit of the turn.

My next two spins were on the slowest part of the track through Cotton Corners. Both times I was following faster drivers and learning what I could. But while I was keeping up, I was obviously driving just beyond my means. Through these corners the back-end of the car tends to get pitched back and forth a bit from the quick direction changes. Twice I just let the momentum on the rear get away from me while simultaneously not keeping the rubber interface hooked up to the asphalt. The 2nd time I did it I was following John Wurth of Speedventures. He set the fast lap of the day at 2:01. I was running mostly 2:05s and 2:06s, so you get the idea why I pitched it away there.

My last spin was entering the big Riverside turn. I usually come in at around 115mph or so, I brake very lightly while entering to get the front wheels hooking up and then drive through to the apex and exit. On my last session of the day I over braked, got the a$$-end hanging out again and drifted in a slide from the outside entrance of the turn towards the inside of the turn. First my left front hit the dirt, then my front right. At this point I knew it was over so I stabbed both pedals. She spun around completely and I ended up with my two right wheels on the asphalt. The dust cleared quickly and I checked for traffic. A yellow GT3 that I had passed on the front straight had still not cleared the dogleg from the Lost Hills turn so I took off and stayed ahead of him.

The guy in the GT3 was telling me how he is a BMW driving instructor and that he owns two other race cars. He was a little arrogant considering I passed him every session. He did get much faster as the day progressed, but not fast enough. My friend Kevin kick my a$$ in his GT3 when we go out together. So I know his car could do it.

I ended up with the 4th fastest lap time of the day and a 3rd session averaging 2:06. I am pretty happy with that being the novice that I am. While I am progressing quickly, I do have a faster car than most other drivers, so I still have a lot of work to do to consider myself a good driver. I plan to keep working on it. Therefore I will be back out there May 6th.

Come on out and join me, Kraff, Americanmusl, RCorr, Jairl, and several others here on the Z06 forum.

:ity: :ity: :ity:
 

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Not ment to offend. I am surprised they did not permanently black flag you for the day. Most tracks would have if you exceeding one incident. Not that I have ever gone off the track, but never more than once. lol
 

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Thanks for the write-up, it sounds like you had a great time.
Can you adjust your brake bias to reduce these issues for the future?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Grim and Ian:

No, they did not black flag me. I am now running in the fastest group Speedventures has. Most of the drivers are pretty good, pretty fast and have a lot of track experience. The group is also small. While they had 70 drivers this day, only 8 of us were in the Red Group. I did not spin passing other drivers or in traffic. As far as spins go, only one of them went all the way around and that only happened when I purposely stood on the pedals as I drifted in toward the dirt inside the turn.

I was black flagged after hitting the dirt per Speedventures policy. They have you come in, they check over the car, and then send you back out if all is OK. They did ask me if I knew what happened and why? I told them and they sent me back out.

I must say, that I learned more last Friday than any of my other 8 track days so far except for my first day. By pushing hard following better faster drivers and then going just past my abilitity taught me a lot. I finally have a reasonably good idea where my trail braking limit is going into fast declining radius turns. And on quick directional changes like Cotton Corners I learned how quickly I can lose the car when the weight of the back end starts getting thrown around.

I certainly don't advocate spins outs and such, but I learned a lot more than my other slower more sedate track days. Up to this point I had only had one drifting slide/spin that left me perpendicular on the asphalt on the Bowl at Willow Springs and a few other "two wheel offs" exiting corners.
 

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I certainly don't advocate spins outs and such, but I learned a lot more than my other slower more sedate track days.
Your comment is interesting: some of the newer T1 guys and I talk about the learning curve. Some like to "sneak" up on the limits of the car, others, like me, like to learn in a more "aggressive" manner.

I feel that I have learned more by spinning once in a while, as opposed to some guys who never seem to "lose it" but take longer to get to the elusive maximum speed.

Now, I am not at "maximum" now, but I think I am closer to it than others who started at the same time as I did and were not as aggressive as I.

I look back at my first few races, one or two in particular, and I did spin quite a few times in practice. Then, right about my fifth race, my off track excursions almost stopped completely.

My last two races I had two offs: at Memphis I "let it go" rather than fight to keep the car on the track. This was in the last half of Turn One and a safe part of the track (yes, I knew that when I was going off).

At Summit Point, I spun to avoid another T1 Vette who spun in front of me. This was in the rain, so that was not a big deal either. BTW: I grabbed the provisional pole in that session!

Moral of the story: you have to push your envelope to get better. You did that last time out and can see the benefits. Just remember that there is no sense in earning FTD and crashing the car you need to drive home later. In racing to finish first you first have to finish.

DMP
 

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One of the things I tell my students (both novice and advance) is that most drivers try to take the slow corners too fast and the fast ones too slow. It sounds like you spun on both types of corners. I am also a big advocate of braking and shifting in a straight line. I trail brake quite a bit, but the big application of the brakes is done perfectly straight to maximize the tires. It sounds like you may have either trail braked a bit much or just had the brakes on hard when you turned. I'd like to see a video of it personally. I'll be happy to take a look at it and give you my opinion.

Finally, you mentioned you were using Hoosiers. What compound? A or R? What version S03? S04?? How long had you been on track?? Either way, Hoosiers (compared to the Kumhos) get really twitchy after a few hard laps if you are moving the car around. Hoosiers don't like big slip angles...you have to drive almost lazy - don't slide the car much. It's easy to burn up the rear tires on these cars and when you do that, loose is the order of the day. Without seeing the video, I can't say for sure, but my guess is a combination of all of the above. You were probably a bit above your head, trail braked too much and were abusing the rear tires a bit much...for what it's worth.

Next time, be very gentle off the brakes entering the corner and on the throttle coming out of the corner...being sure not to spin the rear tires. For qualifying, you can pitch the car around pretty good to get a fast lap time, but for extended track sessions, don't slide the Hoosiers much. Hope this helps. Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks David and Chris:

Chris said, "...but my guess is a combination of all of the above. You were probably a bit above your head, trail braked too much and were abusing the rear tires a bit much...for what it's worth." You nailed it. I did all of the above. But I now have a much better idea where my limits are in braking and trail braking. And yes, I think I learned the tires get a little fishy when run real hard. I am certain that I do not yet fully understand or appreciate all of the characteristics of the tires, but time will help me get some of that.

David, thanks for your reassurances on my driving mistakes. I think I agree with you that there is really only one way to truly learn your limits and that is through mistakes. My spins were not wild careening fly-off-the-track-like-a-Frisbee spins. My only full 360 was going into the infield inside Riverside just before the apex. This was my 2nd trail breaking limit finding experience.

I talked with Aaron of Speedventures about the getting "black flagged for the day" question, and he said that would not happen at Speedventures normally. He basically reiterated a similar message to yours David.

Thank you gentlemen for the unsolicited, but helpful feedback.

:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
PS. I am hoping to try my hand at the T1 regionals next year after I get more track experience. I got the race trailer already, lots of spares. I just need to go shopping for a race prepped car in the fall. Also, I have considerable off-road motorcycle competition experience from my late teens and early 20's. I competed in national competition so I know line picking, balance, etc. I just need to get it dialed in on four tires on asphalt.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am running RS303s. My tires are used scrubs that I can pick up and burn-off inexpensively.
 

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Olitho said:
PS. I am hoping to try my hand at the T1 regionals next year after I get more track experience. I got the race trailer already, lots of spares. I just need to go shopping for a race prepped car in the fall. Also, I have considerable off-road motorcycle competition experience from my late teens and early 20's. I competed in national competition so I know line picking, balance, etc. I just need to get it dialed in on four tires on asphalt.
Welcome to T1...hope to see you on track soon!!

If you are looking for a fast, reliable, well set up, championship car, Dave Roush is selling his for just $33K on sccaforums.com. I can tell you from experience, that the car is very good. He finished 6th, behind me, at last year's runoffs.
 

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Olitho said:
PS. I am hoping to try my hand at the T1 regionals next year after I get more track experience. I got the race trailer already, lots of spares. I just need to go shopping for a race prepped car in the fall. Also, I have considerable off-road motorcycle competition experience from my late teens and early 20's. I competed in national competition so I know line picking, balance, etc. I just need to get it dialed in on four tires on asphalt.
No wonder you are only a few seconds off the pace. 2 wheelers in generally drive cars better than 4 wheelers. Why?...2 wheels are a dynamic platform 4 wheels just can't match IMO. I would not fret your mistakes. You have to realize that part of it can be the car. If you make the same mistakes in a BMW with sub 280hp to the wheels the car just does not react. Now if you are moving at a good clip and just release the brakes to abrutly in the Z that lightens the rear. Now abuse teh throttle diving to the apex and with your light ass end you porpose spin tires and basically are running on 2 wheels and spin. Sometimes just being smoother gentler on the car may have picked you up a second instead of spun you. This is just really subtle too. No big learn curve there. In fact, this is where I differ with you on the learn more and spin. Yes thats true and safe with a go kart but you have to pick your coners with a car, I.E. no cement walls, and two in cars things break more and you haev a short day. Spin off the Turn 9 WSIR rock and garden club and your spin could end with a roll. For 1 extra second it is not worth it. One of the cool advantages with the Z is that there seems to be always 4-5 of them out there at every event. Guys are just nice when they go out to play and if you find a faster guy next session ask him if he will let you follow and if he will increase his speed each lap and teach you something. Buy him lunch he won't say no. This is even more important when you go wheel to wheel and new dynamics like protecting your line and passing in turns comes in. I Like to find a guy about the same speed and just work passing each other going through turns together getting right on the door handles with each other and deep braking to that scary point but knowing we agreed to let me by on this lap. That's a safe way to learn that does not cost you potnetial injury or the hassle of getting a new fender.
 
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