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My First Track Experience

Went to Hyperfest at Summit Point today and had my first track experience there. It was just a 20 min hyperdrive session, but it was fvcking awesome! I was sad

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Old 06-16-2012, 08:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My First Track Experience

Went to Hyperfest at Summit Point today and had my first track experience there. It was just a 20 min hyperdrive session, but it was fvcking awesome! I was sad when it ended because I just wanted to go around more and more. It was a relatively short track around the Jefferson Circuit at Summit Point (1.12 miles I think), but I got a total of 12 laps in.

It was definitely different from any other driving experience I've had before. This was the first time I could feel some of the limitations of my all season tires. I wasn't really pushing it to the point where I was at the limit of my tires, but I could hear and feel them sliding like I was in a controlled drift. That's the best way I can explain it. I'm guessing that with summer tires, the limit where this starts to happen is higher so you can carry more speed into turns with more grip and control. I have bought a set of used summer tires and I'm planning on using them the next time I go out on the track.

The instructor helped me a lot too. I could feel myself getting faster and more confident with every lap. I tried to go a little bit faster each lap around, but I was "drifting" a lot coming into some of the turns hard. Around midway into the session I think the instructor asked me to slow it down on some of the turns and try to focus more on car control. I went a little bit faster than he wanted at first just because I was having so much fun. The main section he wanted me to do this at was the last series of turns right before the finish line. This is why a bunch of people were passing me coming into that straight at the start of the course. I didn't mind it though, I just wanted to improve my skills.

I think the one thing that I really want to work on next time is knowing when to start braking. I feel like I was braking too early a lot of the times, but then again I wasn't really trying to push the car as hard as I could. Wanted to take it at a decent pace for my first time and not try to get overconfident. My oil temps were over 260 early in the session, but I didn't really look at it again after that. Did the early part of the session mostly in 3rd gear and switched to 4th after that.

My gopro video is posted below. Any thoughts, comments, advice, criticism, etc. is welcomed and greatly appreciated

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_dKmSq8U38
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice. Gotta watch the vid later, but sounds like a good time
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Glad you enjoyed it my good man.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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awesome, one time is all it takes to get hooked! Its more addictive than crack
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nice. Gotta watch the vid later, but sounds like a good time
I haven't even watched the whole video myself yet

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Glad you enjoyed it my good man.
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awesome, one time is all it takes to get hooked! Its more addictive than crack
Yup I'm definitely hooked. Just wish it wasn't so expensive. I'm already broke and now I'm gonna be extra broke
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You were getting a good bit of tire talk by about your halfway point, and I think your instructor realized that much more would be pushing it. When you talk of "drifting" coming INTO a corner, were you talking about the front end plowing forward and the actual turning didn't happen til you slowed down? Or was it happening after you began your turn, and the car would begin to slide?

In the end, he kept you safe, and the shiny side up. And you still learned something and gained confidence. Sounds like he did his job
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Awesome !
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You were getting a good bit of tire talk by about your halfway point, and I think your instructor realized that much more would be pushing it. When you talk of "drifting" coming INTO a corner, were you talking about the front end plowing forward and the actual turning didn't happen til you slowed down? Or was it happening after you began your turn, and the car would begin to slide?

In the end, he kept you safe, and the shiny side up. And you still learned something and gained confidence. Sounds like he did his job
It was definitely happening right after I began to turn. I was still able to control and direct the car where I wanted it, just a lot of tire talk like you said.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Awesome !
Yeah I can't wait to get out there again
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It was definitely happening right after I began to turn. I was still able to control and direct the car where I wanted it, just a lot of tire talk like you said.
Then you were finding your limit - the tires were likely kinda "greasy", being all-seasons and all, and all that heat was pushing them.

I know you wanted to go faster, but learning the corners is easily the most important part...

How was the braking?
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Then you were finding your limit - the tires were likely kinda "greasy", being all-seasons and all, and all that heat was pushing them.

I know you wanted to go faster, but learning the corners is easily the most important part...

How was the braking?
Yeah I thought that was it. I know that learning corners was the most important part, but I was having a bit too much fun drifting it around
I should have my summer tires installed tomorrow and the cruise next Saturday should be a good way to get a feel of how it's like to drive on them.

Brakes were good, but I feel like I was braking way early and not hard enough (that's what she said) instead of waiting and then braking hard. That is one thing I need to work on. Not used to carrying that much speed into a turn and then braking hard to get to the proper speed and I need more practice with that.

Another thing I want to do is drive a more high speed course with faster turns. I guess the main course at Summit Point would be better with this than the Jefferson circuit. Though the Jefferson circuit is the one where I'll be driving the Lamborghini next month.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Brakes were good, but I feel like I was braking way early and not hard enough (that's what she said) instead of waiting and then braking hard. That is one thing I need to work on. Not used to carrying that much speed into a turn and then braking hard to get to the proper speed and I need more practice with that. Reference points are VERY important for threshold braking - use those distance markers.

Another thing I want to do is drive a more high speed course with faster turns. I guess the main course at Summit Point would be better with this than the Jefferson circuit. Though the Jefferson circuit is the one where I'll be driving the Lamborghini next month.
Very common to do this as a beginner. Threshold braking is definitely a skill that takes practice. But look at it this way: early braking is a LOT better than late braking. It takes time to learn a track, and you always early brake into corners until you know it better. And you make MINOR adjustments (5-10 feet at a time), slowly working your way to the limit of when you can brake hard, and as soon as you start taking your foot off the brake, your turn-in is beginning or already begun (trail-braking).

Main course at Summit is definitely the faster course, but I feel Shenandoah is much better at learning driving than Main. There are a LOT of varied corners at Shenandoah.

So did you get a feel for using your throttle to steer around the corners? Did he make sure you didn't alter your steering angle at all, and only used the gas?
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good Job of keeping it on the track
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Very common to do this as a beginner. Threshold braking is definitely a skill that takes practice. But look at it this way: early braking is a LOT better than late braking. It takes time to learn a track, and you always early brake into corners until you know it better. And you make MINOR adjustments (5-10 feet at a time), slowly working your way to the limit of when you can brake hard, and as soon as you start taking your foot off the brake, your turn-in is beginning or already begun (trail-braking).

Main course at Summit is definitely the faster course, but I feel Shenandoah is much better at learning driving than Main. There are a LOT of varied corners at Shenandoah.

So did you get a feel for using your throttle to steer around the corners? Did he make sure you didn't alter your steering angle at all, and only used the gas?
No we didn't work on throttle steering much. In some of the corners he did tell me when I should stop braking and get on the gas and this did give me somewhat of an idea what it's like.

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Good Job of keeping it on the track
Thanks! There were a couple times where I thought I was going to go a bit off, but I was in more control than I thought.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Shenandoah.sucks, it's like a high speed autox. I lost some brain cells from getting whiplash in that place
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