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Discussion Starter #1
What a difference between Sonoma and Monterey!

Qualified on the pole (barely) on Saturday and finished first overall on Sunday. There was stout competition - like the Sonoma race: 18 in my class (SP) and another 6 in comparable GT1 and GTA classes - total of 43 in the race group. There were lots of late model strock cars, Porsches and tube frame Vipers.

It was the best finish I've had. I'll post a video sometime in the next few weeks.
 

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It would be a lot of work but a commentary track would be cool, talking us through a lap. I've always thought that road racing looked to be incredibly challenging because the course is so long and there must be a lot to remember, what gear to be in here or there etc. Does it take you a long time to get a new course figured out to the point of being able to run hard? It seems that getting the right gear in the car would be a big challenge and tough to determine in that it would vary a lot when running by yourself and using your line vs running with the other cars.
 

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Just plain awesome!!! It has to take a lot of time to figure out what gear to be in , I can see by that track I think I'd be spending alot of time spunout in the tullies
Frank
 

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I swear everytime I watch Matt's videos I end up running off course. I think a couple of times I came up out of my chair too. That left hand sweeper with the bump into the tight right hander is killer. Great videos as always. Thanks
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Road racing thougthts

Hi Dave, thank you for the interest. I think in many ways road racing is simpler than oval track racing. This is because I think there are many variables that oval track racers worry about that simply cannot be addressed in road racing (at least not by me).

I select transmission gears pretty much the same as I would for drag racing from a rolling start of about 50mph and aim for a final drive ratio that puts me near the top of the rpm range at the fastest part of the track. The difference between what I do and what might be preferred in drag racing is first gear selection. I pick a first gear that works in the paddock, for getting out of the pits and when behind a dawdling pace car driver. Second through fifth gears are for the track.

I might try to be a little trickier about the transmission gears if I had less torque and more time to sort out speeds in corners, but as a club racer I do not get enough seat time at any one track to do that. If I am going to a new track, I try to find out what speeds the locals achieve and plan my ring and pinion selection accordingly. So far, I have only had to have three of them to cover the tracks between Phoenix and Seattle. . Running with other cars has little effect on gears – things are not that precise.

You’re right about getting to know new tracks. I often turn faster laps in the race than in qualifying because even with familiar tracks I am always learning. I think part of the reason it is different with the pros is that the pro drivers are not the ones writing the checks to repair the race car.

Showing up at a new track with a completely wrong setup makes it tough. I used to fuss around with corner weights a fair amount, but currently use about the same setup everywhere. This is partly because static weight biases are dwarfed by the effect of cornering loads. In addition, if the car is set up with bias in corner weights, than if it is wrong for a new track, it is really wrong. I basically get the two front corners as even as possible to maximize braking and just drive the thing. If I need to tune, I make adjustments to the rear anti-roll bar or maybe play a little with the wing and splitter. My car has very limited rear roll center (geometric) adjustability, but quite a bit of rear roll stiffness (elastic) adjustability. This is the opposite of standard oval track practice, as I understand it. The rear suspension is a different design than the NASCAR-type Panhard rod deal, which has adjustable roll center.

I use Nitrogen in the tires and set pressure according to ambient temp. I don’t use tire pressure as a tuning aid, except to accommodate ambient temp and I try to keep them out of the sun before I set pressure.

When I get to a new track I start out driving in as high a gear as possible and focus on learning a line that enables me to come off the corners best. This usually means trying to apex late at first and moving to an earlier apex as conditions allow (I do the same thing when driving on the street). I have found that it is easy to err in down shifting to a lower gear when one does not yet know how fast one can get through the apex. Also, since I have the BBF torque advantage, it is less of a handicap to be in too high of a gear. If you look at the video, you can see the tach. has a graduated scale and spends most of the time between 5k and 7k rpm, +/- 400 or so.
 

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Matt,

Indescribably delicious :mrgreen:

The engine sound is great and the pucker factor is very real!

Thanks,

Tom
 
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