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#41
Rob Burgoon

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$1 on hardening shocks all around.


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#42
Steve Scheifler

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I'll see your $1 and raise another, especially on the rear (or softer springs, depending. people often forget they are part of a system with limited range of adjustment before you have to swap one part or the other).
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#43
Todd Lamb

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I would start with rear shocks, because they are easily adjustable on pit lane. From the severity of the problem, it would probably require revalving the shocks, but you'd want to at least try them at the full range of adjustments first.

 

The culprit could also be the rear springs.The shocks have to work in conjunction with the springs. A little more time to change, but also worth a try before revalving the shocks.

 

Without driving the car or seeing suspension travel, I would be hard pressed to tell you which way to go.

 

For those who haven't been there, Sebring is a very bumpy track. Shock valving that works at other tracks doesn't necessarily work for Sebring. Teams spend a lot of time testing there to get cars sorted out for one race a year.

 

To bring this back to SM, one of the great things about the class is the lack of adjustment. Spec springs, shocks, and swaybars make it pretty easy to stay within the sweet spot of handling. With too much adjustment, you can quickly tune yourself right to the back of the pack.

 

As far as how big of an adjustment to make - if you have a big problem make a big adjustment. If you have a small problem  make a small adjustment. Try to make one adjustment at a time and keep notes, so you understand the cause and effect. It can be helpful to try to go a tiny bit too far with an adjustment to make sure you notice which direction the handling is trending towards.


Full disclosure: SMAC chairman, my opinions do not reflect anything to do with the SMAC unless specifically stated.

Todd Lamb
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#44
Diller

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I have a question about tire choice and rain.

 

I don't mind driving in the wet at all. In fact, I sometimes prefer it so my little non pro-motor can keep up. The question comes in when we have off and on rain and the track dries out and gets wet about ever half hour (welcome to spring in the south right). This Saturday at Road Atlanta will be like that. I have heard that if there is no standing water, go with dry tires, and if there are puddles, go with wets. What is your threshold for going back and forth between the two?


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#45
Jason J Ball

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Todd,

 

Great thread, definitely better than endless 1.6L parity debates!  

 

What is the best strategy for managing out of class traffic?

 

How do you maintain consistency doing so? I find that I end up getting over-slowed at the worst time (South Bend at VIR) and end up 1-2 seconds off my usual lap time, even if I try to time it where I can get the pass done at turn in.


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#46
Todd Lamb

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Diller - there's no clear cut answer to your question. Very situational. For new racers I would err on the side of caution. When in doubt, go with rains.

For experienced drivers, on a wet track with no streams/puddles and no more rain expected, slicks may be the answer.

Now if you look at the radar pre-race and heavy rain is expected while you're on the pace lap, but the track is dry, rains are probably the right call.

Another way to look at it - when in doubt do what your primary competitors are doing. You may miss the chance to get lucky on your choice once in a while but you won't make those wrong calls either so you'll always be on an equal playing field to the guys you want to race.

Full disclosure: SMAC chairman, my opinions do not reflect anything to do with the SMAC unless specifically stated.

Todd Lamb
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#47
Todd Lamb

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Jason - good question. Tough situation in any class, but even more so with the lack of straightline speed in SM. Very easy to get frustrated and do something detrimental to your own race.

 

With cars in faster classes (most), you usually have a few laps to study the situation while the gap opens and closes. Observe during the lap(s) you are catching the cars in front. See where they are faster (straights) or slower (braking/corners). Look for places they leave the door open.

 

When you're close enough to strike and you've found your spot to make the move: Be precise in your closing rate and car placement, telegraph your intentions to pass, and commit. The lack of commitment is usually the biggest cause of slowing both cars down because neither is sure what the other one is doing.

 

With faster cars, in SM you really have to focus on setting up a pass several corners in advance. You have to keep the car ahead from slowing you up at the apex so you can get a good run off the corners, which will allow you to stay as close as possible on the straightaways (don't forget to draft) to be in a position to make a move. This means you may need to leave a gap heading into the corner so you can run your own speed.

 

Also, if the pass isn't there, telegraph your intentions to NOT pass by staying in line. Drop back a bit and work on getting the run off the next corner. Using your example of South Bend at VIR - if you don't get a run up the esses, stay in line, lift at bit at the top of the esses to open up a gap, and run your own speed through the corner to get the run down the hill out of South Bend. Very good passing opportunity there as cars have to transition from the right side of the track to the left side to setup for the pre-oaktree corner. But the key is you are setting up the pass at the top of the esses.

 

 

 


What is the best strategy for managing out of class traffic?

 

How do you maintain consistency doing so? I find that I end up getting over-slowed at the worst time (South Bend at VIR) and end up 1-2 seconds off my usual lap time, even if I try to time it where I can get the pass done at turn in.


Full disclosure: SMAC chairman, my opinions do not reflect anything to do with the SMAC unless specifically stated.

Todd Lamb
Atlanta Speedwerks
www.atlspeedwerks.com
SpeedShift Transmissions - reliability and performance

Spec Miata / Spec Boxster / Spec Cayman specialist

Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Director

Global MX-5 Cup team

MX5 Cup Champion - Has won a Season in the MX5 Cup Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill NASA Champs Winner - NASA Champs Winner ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner Majors Winner - World Challenge Winner - World Challenge Winner

#48
FTodaro

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Just curious, When i played a lot of golf, i had to take lessons frequently because of what i call "Creep". At least when we are talking about a golf swing, i had some tendencies  that would come back into my game and going to the coach he would point that out to me and get me back in line. For example,  standing to close to the ball.

 

Do you find that in your coaching that people have some bad tendencies and that you have to remind them from time to time they are slipping?


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#49
NPiekarski

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Todd, I mirror what others have said with thanks and gratitude of sharing your knowledge.

 

After a long winter and no driving for a majority of us, it is so important to get the most out of every minute on the track. Coming in to a new weekend or after a break from driving, what tips do you have for getting the most out of every session. Do you have a routine of getting your self up to speed and finding that maximum corner speed versus spending too much time and energy slowly working up to the "breaking point"?


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#50
ECOBRAP

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What are quick setup adjustments you can do at the track to prepare for last minute rain? What is an ideal rain setup given enough time?


-Ecobrap

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#51
davew

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I stole this rain setup from Drago

 

4 jack stands and a car cover

 

dave


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#52
ECOBRAP

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I stole this rain setup from Drago

 

4 jack stands and a car cover

 

dave

 

Thanks, I'll put those in the trunk for my next rain race and let you know how it goes!  :bigsquaregrin:


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#53
Caveman-kwebb99

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Funny true story...

 

I had a very good friend who just loved to store things in his trunk like well jack stands and more.  I found them when I set his car up but put them back in the trunk when I was done.  We got to the track had a good practice day and for whatever reason at the end of the day he put all that stuff back in the trunk. Next morning for qualifying in his hurry he did not remove the jackstands etc and we rolled up to grid for qual.  We took off with him on my bumper only for me to see him do one lap then fade away and next thing I know he is on pit road with all kinds of dents in the quarter pannels.  

 

He was so sure that the car was falling apart had he known he already had taken on the body damage maybe he could have tried to beat me for the poll lol.


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#54
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RE: iRacing and driver development. 

 

Todd,

 

I have iRacing and hate it...badly. Do you recommend this as a training tool? If so, how do you use it, racing, practice sessions, Any special hardware setup?

 

I have Traqmate and use it to some extent but barely scratching the surface. Your comment on brake sensors has my gears turning as a possible upgrade. What would be your recommendation for driver development events throughout the year?

 

Thanks


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#55
Todd Lamb

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"Creep" can certainly happen, but I would like to think the lessons stay with the driver and they continue to work on the things they have learned and self-coach a bit. Usually when a breakthrough occurs the lap times decrease and the "ah-ha" moment is enough motivation to not regress (and the data will remind them if it does).

Do you find that in your coaching that people have some bad tendencies and that you have to remind them from time to time they are slipping?


Full disclosure: SMAC chairman, my opinions do not reflect anything to do with the SMAC unless specifically stated.

Todd Lamb
Atlanta Speedwerks
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SpeedShift Transmissions - reliability and performance

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#56
Todd Lamb

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You're welcome!

I believe that you need to be in the car two weekends a month to be able to get in a car and be up to speed from lap one of test session 1. After a few months, it takes a few sessions to get back up to speed.

Data will help you quickly determine if you're getting up to speed. Comparison to previous races will let you know if your cornering speeds are where they need to be.

I also personally rely on predictive lap time for instant feedback in the car. So if I'm not hustling the car as much as I should be the predictive time will let me know I need to step up my game.

Todd, I mirror what others have said with thanks and gratitude of sharing your knowledge.

After a long winter and no driving for a majority of us, it is so important to get the most out of every minute on the track. Coming in to a new weekend or after a break from driving, what tips do you have for getting the most out of every session. Do you have a routine of getting your self up to speed and finding that maximum corner speed versus spending too much time and energy slowly working up to the "breaking point"?


Full disclosure: SMAC chairman, my opinions do not reflect anything to do with the SMAC unless specifically stated.

Todd Lamb
Atlanta Speedwerks
www.atlspeedwerks.com
SpeedShift Transmissions - reliability and performance

Spec Miata / Spec Boxster / Spec Cayman specialist

Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Director

Global MX-5 Cup team

MX5 Cup Champion - Has won a Season in the MX5 Cup Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill NASA Champs Winner - NASA Champs Winner ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner Majors Winner - World Challenge Winner - World Challenge Winner

#57
Todd Lamb

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Never skip an opportunity to practice/race in the rain. You never know when that rain experience will come in handy at a particular track in 2 weekends or 2 years.

Setup for SM in the rain: disconnect the swaybars, bolt on the rain tires, and have at it.




What are quick setup adjustments you can do at the track to prepare for last minute rain? What is an ideal rain setup given enough time?


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Full disclosure: SMAC chairman, my opinions do not reflect anything to do with the SMAC unless specifically stated.

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MX5 Cup Champion - Has won a Season in the MX5 Cup Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill NASA Champs Winner - NASA Champs Winner ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner Majors Winner - World Challenge Winner - World Challenge Winner

#58
Danica Davison

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I like this thread, thanks Todd.  I have a question which I dont know if there is an answer to or not.  In my 2 years driving a spec miata (1.6), I have never driven on sticker tires. I have very awesome teammates who donate their take-offs to me.  Most of them have around 4-6 heat cycles on them before I get them. Given that, most people around me either have stickers or fresher tires. How differently am I supposed to drive, if at all, on older tires compared to all the other guys around me on stickers? Or am I just at a loss all the way around because mine are older.  I have no idea if I am doing the right thing or what, because I dont know the difference between stickers and the ones I use.  Hopefully that makes sense...


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#59
Todd Lamb

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I have never been a fan of simulators. I can't "feel" the car and therefore IRacing has cost me millions in in-game car damage. :)

Now that is MY opinion, and on this opinions vary greatly. I have used IRacing to learn the basics of a new track, as I did for Summit Point before I went there the first time. It is pretty good for learning sight lines and which way the track goes, and the physics are pretty good so you can find trouble spots or where the car gets light.

IRacing is also very good for concentration and focus. Mental exercise, so to speak.


If you have a data system and don't use it much, before you add any sensors get comfortable using the basic system and reviewing the data. Usually a day with someone that knows data analysis will give you enough to think about for months of racing. You can get a lot from rpm, velocity, and g loads.

RE: iRacing and driver development.

Todd,

I have iRacing and hate it...badly. Do you recommend this as a training tool? If so, how do you use it, racing, practice sessions, Any special hardware setup?

I have Traqmate and use it to some extent but barely scratching the surface. Your comment on brake sensors has my gears turning as a possible upgrade. What would be your recommendation for driver development events throughout the year?

Thanks


Full disclosure: SMAC chairman, my opinions do not reflect anything to do with the SMAC unless specifically stated.

Todd Lamb
Atlanta Speedwerks
www.atlspeedwerks.com
SpeedShift Transmissions - reliability and performance

Spec Miata / Spec Boxster / Spec Cayman specialist

Spec MX-5 Challenge Series Director

Global MX-5 Cup team

MX5 Cup Champion - Has won a Season in the MX5 Cup Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill NASA Champs Winner - NASA Champs Winner ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner Majors Winner - World Challenge Winner - World Challenge Winner

#60
KW78

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danny-steyn-spec-miata-NOLA-lap-times.jp

 

 

nola.png

 

 

 

 

 

Todd,

 

Kudos on a great thread.  Thanks.

 

To many out here, especially supported SM customers, I play the drivers coach role out in our little pond.  I get frustrated at times as I haven't been able to get a coach such as yourself that will talk theory enough to help me be a better driver as well as being able to give me a data lap to aspire to.  I often end up piecemealing someones better section to glean improvements in my own driving, which isn't really clicking with me much.

 

One of my friends/ fast customers and I have been working hard on the Krumm line philosophy.  I agree with you that without acceleration capability off a corner, the effect is lost or diminished, however we have some 2nd gear hairpins that it, at times, helps with.  I am afraid that we actually have just used the Krumm line to become aware of our trailbraking shortcomings, and that is where the gains have actually came from.  (Hence all cars this year got brake PSI sensors).

 

So, with that background info, I posted Danny's speed trace from NOLA (from one of those parity threads) because it has examples of data traces I am struggling to explain to myself and others.  Focusing on the trace shapes at the end of brake zones, check out the brake zone after the 2nd fastest spot on the course.  (About 9000 feet into lap).  I see examples like this on our data all the time.  The blue trace (without benefit of a cursor to move) seems to be some neutral apex corner where Danny brakes down to some minimum speed, works around the corner and pulls off.  The red line, the brakes are released slower, the trough at the bottom is not symmetrical, and there is an instantaneous (nearly) transition to the speed trace picking up sharply.  Furthermore, and most puzzling to me, is that the minimum speed point in the red trace is WAY around the corner, past the apex, and nearly at the track out point (as defined by the blue trace behavior).  AND, if the red trace really is an example of driving that deep into the corner and slowing all the way to exit, it still has stellar acceleration from that point into the next feature, even over the blue trace that accelerated earlier (presumably with turning mostly done).  I realize in this case there are two cars here, but I have lots of examples where this is the case within the same car from overlaying several laps and finding an outlier example identical to this.  I suspect Danny's cars are very close to each other anyway in this area.  Couple this with a time gap trace, and I find these examples often are the best section times. 

 

The conclusion seems to be drive in too deep and gather it up at the exit...  which I basically don't think is correct.

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks,

Kyle


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