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Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
1/14/22 6:14 p.m.

In reply to 350z247 :

Grammer.......it's the internet, we don't need no stinking grammer

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
1/14/22 6:46 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

In the early 00s, I saw a spec Miata keeping up with a Viper GTS at Portland Intl.  Sure tye Vioer win the front straight but every lap the Miata would catch up again before the straight.  

The guy in the Viper didn't know how to drive.  Put an equal driver in the Viper and the Miata driver will never seen him again -- at least, not until he comes up to lap you. :)

Personally I find track days a lot more rewarding when the traffic in the group is mostly running at the same speed and thus minimizing the number of passes that need to happen and it has nothing to do with "winning the track day".  When I'm at the track I'm not just driving in circles for fun, I'm there with a set of goals in mind.  Perhaps I'm trying to set a particular lap time, refine my lines through various corners, or maybe just work on various parts of my driving.  Improved braking techniques, carrying more speed, better throttle modulation, etc.  Doing those things takes mental energy, concentration, and focus.

Safely managing passing ALSO takes some of that energy.  In a perfect world I'd have the track to myself and could devote all of my attention to my own driving.  In the real world I'm sharing the track with other people, passes are a fact of life and I need to divert energy to them.  The more often that happens, the less time I can devote my full attention to achieving my personal goals.  It's not just the actual pass either -- I'm planning it out for several corners before it happens, and then once it's over it takes some time to get my brain back into "the zone".  This is true whether I'm the faster OR slower car, it may be the responsibility of the passing car to make sure it happens safely, but that doesn't mean the driver of the slower car can shut his brain off.  Making passes happen smoothly at track days is a cooperative exercise.

Once a track day goes beyond 2 or maybe 3 passes a lap, the overhead of managing those passes quickly starts to dominate and I'm not making progress on my goals.  Again this applies whether I'm the faster OR slower car.  Bringing a car that's, say, 10-20 seconds a lap slower than the average pace of the group is a recipe for frustration.

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/14/22 6:48 p.m.
MrFancypants said:

As a semi-competent amateur HPDE warrior my view on this is pretty simple and comes down to $/event.

Aside from certain modified or exotic cars big horsepower tends to come with extra weight, big horsepower and extra weight leads to more heat, extra weight and more heat needs more brake and more tire, more brake and more tire means more $$$ per session.

Because of that I prefer sub 3000 lb cars for track days to maximize my track time per dollar spent, and typically these cars don't exceed 250 hp. I suppose these are regarded as "momentum" cars.

Big horsepower on the street can be fun because ripping it up to or just over freeway speeds doesn't cost so much extra that it's a problem. Buy the right car and it might not even be too far off the fuel efficiency of smaller lighter cars that it's even noticeable at the pump. But for a track junkie the costs can really add up.

 There are plenty of exceptions to your  sub 3000# 250 hp rule. 
   Assuming you have mechanical skills.   I'll point out only what I know a lot about , the Jaguar XJS V12  can get under 3000# and over 400 hp  by careful shopping you can do that for under $2000. 
     Same with the simpler XJS 6 cylinder. 
  Possible to be at 2500 # with 450 hp for only about $500 more. 
     I know other Jaguars are the same sort of deal. ( no personal experience  though)   
      The reason I push Jaguars is most of them seem to be owned by poseur's. Thus the mechanical stuff is overbuilt and not worn out. 
  I wonder if there are similar Mercedes Benz deals?  It would seem that there are a whole bunch of poseur's who own those and I know how silly expensive service work is on them. Which means heavy depreciation.  
  As far as consumables go though. Tires and brakes should be affordable especially if you shop for used tires.  Since you'll be racing an odd dog. The last 10th of a second won't matter. A season or two old tires  won't matter because you wont be apples to apples like you would with a Miata.  Corvette, Mustang, BMW. Etc. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
1/14/22 8:40 p.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

I normally run in the intermediate group as that's a better fit. 

We're all kind of looking for the Goldilocks just right; not to slow or to fast relative to other cars.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/15/22 7:31 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

You're assuming that a lower power/grip car has enough acceleration available to exhaust available traction :) You're also forgetting what happens after the corner.

With the high power/grip car, the earlier you can accelerate the more speed you'll have down the straight. If you can give up 3 mph mid-corner by taking a less-than-ideal line, but gain 5 mph by the time you get to corner exit, you benefit. So it's worth squaring off the corner somewhat in that case, you're setting yourself up to apply that traction longitudinally as soon as possible. Your total time in the corner may be longer but your time on the straight will be less.

Same thing happens to some extent on corner entry.

I'm lucky to have access to very similar cars with radically different power/grip ratios. I definitely have to adjust my lines to get the best lap times, and it's more obvious on some cars than others. In one case - a chicane exit - it's worth taking a line that goes diagonally across the track in the high power/grip because I can get on the power sooner and longer. In a car with the same suspension and tires but half the power, I take a more arcing line to maintain as much speed as possible down the short straight. My line through the chicane is almost identical because there's no way to deploy the power anyway.

Of course, it's not black and white. As noted, it's relative. And as soon as you're trying to deal with another car mid-corner, the rules change :)

Are you racing wheel to wheel or just a track day?  
    If you're racing for position lines mean almost nothing. It's your relative positions. 
 The car in front can dictate the the circuit to the car behind. You trade lap time for positioning. 

mr2peak
mr2peak Dork
1/16/22 12:06 p.m.

I think the grip levels of modern cars kill the fun. Power means nothing without grip. Low grip means cornering balance is more important, and throttle skills come in to play more often.  200TW tires are great for lap times but put you way above legal speeds for anything approaching the limits.

Keep the power, lower the grip, and use your skills and judgement to keep yourself pointed in the right direction.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/16/22 1:20 p.m.

In reply to mr2peak :

Then the Frisbees come with low grip tires and people wail and gnash their teeth.  Can't ever win.

350z247
350z247 Reader
1/17/22 1:55 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Because that's idiotic. Let's take a college track athlete and make them run in their dress shoes instead of spikes. It makes no sense to spend all this time and money building a competent car to then hobble it with garbage 500TW econo tires...

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/17/22 8:36 p.m.

In reply to 350z247 :

Perhaps you haven't thought things through?  
 Older stuff updated to be competitive with new stuff is nonsense.  
      More power, more traction,  and you've lost originality.  Sure it can be done if you spend enough money, but why? 

maj75 (Forum Supporter)
maj75 (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/17/22 10:57 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

So you evidently haven't had to drive with your arm out the window giving 15 individual point-bys to the cars coming up fast in the mirror.  30+ cars on track, no point bys in the corners, gets old.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
1/18/22 12:31 a.m.
maj75 (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Tom1200 :

So you evidently haven't had to drive with your arm out the window giving 15 individual point-bys to the cars coming up fast in the mirror.  30+ cars on track, no point bys in the corners, gets old.

How about 43 cars on a 1.8 mile track at a vintage race with a gap between the fastest and slowest cars being 20-25 seocnds. This is way busier than any track day.

 At the PCA events I instruct at I do indeed end up waving 20-25 cars by at some events.

Here is where I am at: if you can only pass on the straight then who really cares of there are 15 cars stacked behind you. You can get them all by on one straightaway. In a 30 minute session you may have to do this twice.

So what we are talking about is 2-3 minutes of the 30 minutes involve waving people by.

I have no problem with anyone not wanting to deal with having to do a bunch of  point bys. All I'm saying is I personally don't have an issue with it. As I previously mentioned you just need to have a different attitude and a plan to manage things before you go on track.

What I don't agree with are the statements people make about needing to have a car with at least 300hp to enjoy a track day......that's all I'm saying.

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
1/18/22 1:00 a.m.

OK so here is what happens when you take you 80whp car out in the intermediate group at your local PCA events. Fully half the field passes you, this was probably the least busy session for the day.

A couple of notes; the Hoosiers are shot, so not only is the car slow on the straights it's slow in the corners, the oversteer was fun but slow. Next please ignore the shuffle steering, I was still nursing an issue with my right shoulder.

On track video starts at minute 10.........cuz I suck at editing.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QcLeGQTMyGY

jerel77494
jerel77494 New Reader
3/17/22 1:29 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

If you want something with a motorcycle feel, try an Exocet or Ariel Atom.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
3/17/22 1:36 p.m.
jerel77494 said:

In reply to Tom1200 :

If you want something with a motorcycle feel, try an Exocet or Ariel Atom.

Driven a friend's Exocet numerous times; they are huge fun.

I've got an open wheel car, which pretty much a 4 wheel motorcycle 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
3/17/22 3:15 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

It's all about mentality.  Are you trying to be a track day hero?  Or are you trying to improve as a driver and get faster, and more consistent with what you have?  
 

 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/17/22 4:07 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

Or are you trying to improve as a driver and get faster, and more consistent with what you have?  

As has been mentioned several times in this thread already, having to constantly deal with traffic (either faster or slower) is a significant mental distraction and makes it much harder to "get faster and more consistent with what you have".

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
3/17/22 4:39 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Tom1200 :

It's all about mentality.  Are you trying to be a track day hero?  Or are you trying to improve as a driver and get faster, and more consistent with what you have?  
 

 

Yup, there really are no wrong answers.

I totally get folks wanting more power and point bys spoiling the fun for them. The only reason I've been so adamant about point bys not being a big deal is some people hear this and think they can't bring a low powered car to the track. You just have to have a different approach is all. Some people may find point bys a hassle and others won't care because they had such a good time.

Traffic is an on track reality regardless of which end of the performance spectrum you are on.  

mke
mke Dork
3/17/22 9:05 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

I've always differentiated the two this way.

If you are focusing on getting the maximum grip for all four tires at once, you are in a momentum car.

If you are focusing on foward bite / getting the car up on the rear tires you are not in a momentum car.

Well, I'd say yes. When I'm in a corner I'm focused on grip and as I exit and try to get on the throttle the focus changes to grip.  cheeky

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
3/17/22 9:09 p.m.
mke said:
Tom1200 said:

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

I've always differentiated the two this way.

If you are focusing on getting the maximum grip for all four tires at once, you are in a momentum car.

If you are focusing on foward bite / getting the car up on the rear tires you are not in a momentum car.

Well, I'd say yes. When I'm in a corner I'm focused on grip and as I exit and try to get on the throttle the focus changes to grip.  cheeky

Everything is a momentum car, some just have more ability to gather more of it than others smiley

 

Fast drivers in powerful cars don't waste any of it even when they have plenty of acceleration to make up for a deficit.

Mckeemk8
Mckeemk8 New Reader
6/13/22 8:32 a.m.

It all depends on what one considers 'fun' to be. For me it only takes 43 seconds to climb PHA's Giant's Despair and negotiate 5 tricky turns before crossing a bumpy finish line at 160 MPH, fighting to correct an insidious road crown that keeps hopping my wide-tired car two lanes left on a too narrow road. I am totally exhausted after those 43 seconds. If I get to the top of the run I know I have not made any mistakes, nor left any speed on the table. My car has either been on the verge of wheelspin, or brake lockup, or tire sideslip every foot of the way. It has shaken the ground beneath the spectators for an entire mile - many comment about the the earthquake quality of the run.

I tell Darryl about picking up the front wheels coming out of the 'Devil's Elbow' and he counters with actually getting onto the grass verge courtesy of the road crown. His cognitive dissonant encounter only lasted for 42 seconds. We have much information to exchange because we both want the other to survive the next banzai run. Those in the paddock with less than a HP per KG have no idea what we are talking about. 

livinon2wheels
livinon2wheels New Reader
6/13/22 9:07 a.m.

Long live the momentum cars....I own a stupid quick WRX thats a faster car than i am a driver, so for track days I have an old 2005 legacy wagon that serves as my daily driver and track weapon. In its current form maybe 175 horsepower, or less, superbly balanced chassis neither especially hard on tires or brakes, dead neutral in steady state cornering with oversteer possible by just lifting and cranking in more steering lock. Straights give you time to actually check gauges and its so much fun to dice with the faster cars in the corners. I will mourn the day that car dies because it has provided more driving satisfaction than its marque or body style would suggest. And yeah I'd love to have an even 200 hp. Just saying....

tgschmid
tgschmid New Reader
6/13/22 5:40 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

It's all about momentum! My 13 yo does quite well in autocross with his 9hp go kart embarrasing adults with 70x the horsepower in 6 figure cars. Yes power to weight works in favor of the Kart, but was Colin Chapman wrong???...simplificate and add lightness. Unfortunately, having only one gear is a huge disadvantage...if the educated guess after walking the course is wrong, one is either too slow or the engine goes kaboom. Horsepower only makes up for bad talent (all other things being equal). I, personally, enjoy driving a slow car fast. Both Lotus and early Porsche got this one right decades ago.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/14/22 12:28 p.m.

In reply to tgschmid :

That's absolutely true, except as we age it's easier to just  put the throttle down and drive past on the straights. Then dance on the knife edge of control in the corners.  
     Our reflexes in our 70's aren't as sharp as they were in our teens and 20's.  I used to love to dance on that knife edge.  However, once the tires bite and the throttle can go down I can still squirt past some of those who are better at dancing on the edge.  

glyn ellis
glyn ellis New Reader
9/21/22 1:26 p.m.

In reply to Driven5 :

PCA, Chin to name but two

BuzzF5R
BuzzF5R New Reader
9/22/22 10:19 a.m.

Does my 225 hp F5R roadster count?

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