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#21
Bench Racer

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 I have been passed by drivers cornering like they were on rails and I wonder how they manage, it.  I know a race motor would not help me in the least with folks like that, but they're not my competition.

Forgetting who your competition is, improve your driving skills (need to understand what the car is doing) and setup so your also on rails. I am always amazed when a car passes me entering a corner and it's on rails. 


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#22
Ron Alan

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Bmarshall1...Jim said it best...which basically is be careful what you wish for! Don't lose track of the fun factor!

 

You can drive yourself crazy trying to analyze every possible reason why you aren't finishing higher/going faster...and you can drive others crazy...if I could reach though this computer and shake you I would!! :) Obviously I'm teasing but I can see the rabbit hole you are going down with all the threads you have started and potential threads you may start...hell, you took over this thread :duck:  :D

 

I think the Garmin is a decent tool...but 2 things I noticed in the one day we used it. Maybe over time it would but it certainly didn't seem to recognize the value of a slow in fast out(early to throttle you could also say)that pays off in OVERALL lap times in a MIATA. Sure, it kept telling my driver to go deeper on one specific corner to gain .2-.3 because he did it once...it didn't seem to care that the next 1700' of the track was  dependent on the exit speed of that corner and the next which was basically all acceleration. I'd be curious to know if a real advanced racer would find anything out of it?

And dont forget...lap times dont matter in a train of 5 bumper to bumper racing. Thats a whole other thread!

 

Hopefully you have allowed(or plan to allow) a top 5 driver to lay down a few solid laps in your car on the same day as you...Data doesn't lie...you will quickly figure out your/car weaknesses!

 

Please don't take my ribbing for anything more than that! Keep the questions coming. Keep them short :P


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#23
Steve Scheifler

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Ron, you both underestimate, and overestimate what the Catalyst is doing. Not only is it looking down track to calculate the rolling impact of what you do, it overlaps what you see displayed as clear finite segments to weed out combinations that can’t be achieved in a single lap. However, the most important thing to realize is that it doesn’t really know anything you haven’t taught it through example in terms of the car or things like relative grip in different parts if the track so if you are doing something wrong but very consistently, it doesn’t recommend much change.

As for all the questions and trying to prioritize where to focus one’s money and effort, really, a rabbit hole?
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#24
bmarshall1

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Bmarshall1...Jim said it best...which basically is be careful what you wish for! Don't lose track of the fun factor!

 

You can drive yourself crazy trying to analyze every possible reason why you aren't finishing higher/going faster...and you can drive others crazy...if I could reach though this computer and shake you I would!! :) Obviously I'm teasing but I can see the rabbit hole you are going down with all the threads you have started and potential threads you may start...hell, you took over this thread :duck:  :D

 

I think the Garmin is a decent tool...but 2 things I noticed in the one day we used it. Maybe over time it would but it certainly didn't seem to recognize the value of a slow in fast out(early to throttle you could also say)that pays off in OVERALL lap times in a MIATA. Sure, it kept telling my driver to go deeper on one specific corner to gain .2-.3 because he did it once...it didn't seem to care that the next 1700' of the track was  dependent on the exit speed of that corner and the next which was basically all acceleration. I'd be curious to know if a real advanced racer would find anything out of it?

And dont forget...lap times dont matter in a train of 5 bumper to bumper racing. Thats a whole other thread!

 

Hopefully you have allowed(or plan to allow) a top 5 driver to lay down a few solid laps in your car on the same day as you...Data doesn't lie...you will quickly figure out your/car weaknesses!

 

Please don't take my ribbing for anything more than that! Keep the questions coming. Keep them short :P

No offense taken at any of the replies I have read, that's why I'm here vs. Facebook.  I like being surrounded by adults!

 

A lot of good points here, I am a bit of a perfectionist, but perhaps not as competitive as some.  I don't need to win, just be the best I can be, if my best is 15th, then I am happy there, no, really. :banana:

 

We can separate my 'needs' into 2 categories: trying to figure out if a true race motor would help me achieve my potential, or am I trying to replace skill with HP.  Perhaps a little of both, likely more of the later.

 

I like the idea of getting a top racer in my car (although I may be a bit embarrassed, it does have 3 different body panel colors and Homer Simpson speed holes).  Is there anyone at Sebring want to take a few laps in my car?

 

The first practice at Sebring Turkey Trot (9AM and 70 degree) I turned my fastest laps, the thing is I was being very careful and trying to be smooth (not fast) as I had forgotten to lower my tire pressures and went out w/ 40lbs, I know cool is good for HP, but w/ that much pressure I am surprised I was able to get around the track quickly: Slow is smooth-Smooth is fast...

 

Ron - not to discount your Garmin experience, but I reviewed it pretty heavily and when doing so, at least to me, it seemed to recognize that sometimes slower in and earlier on the throttle is the fast way out, just my experience.

 

Lastly I get paid by the post, I am here to get paid and soak up the info..... :wave2:



#25
Ron Alan

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As for all the questions and trying to prioritize where to focus one’s money and effort, really, a rabbit hole?

Maybe a bad metaphor? I guess worrying about minutia vs focusing on what is most important at this point in the progression of improvement?

 

And yes...the Garmin is way smarter than me! But as I think you have confirmed...it learns what you teach it? Not poo pooing the product!


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#26
Ron Alan

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Lastly I get paid by the post, I am here to get paid and soak up the info..... :wave2:

I knew it...a Jim plant to bump up traffic :)


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#27
Jim Drago

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Lastly I get paid by the post, I am here to get paid and soak up the info..... :wave2:
I knew it...a Jim plant to bump up traffic :)
 
shhhh! :)

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#28
bmarshall1

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Ooops, my bad.  I mean...Hello fellow Miata enthusiasts, I am here to learn about my car, how are you today?



#29
Jamz14

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Imo, ignore guidance to brake later and harder. Brake lighter and earlier and drive the corner with a car fully gathered up.
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#30
Martinracing98

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Braking later does clearly have advantage, but it competes directly against getting back to the gas earlier. Finding the sweet spot is trick. I have found erring on the side that allows me to get back to the gas early is better than erring on the side that has me braking later



#31
Jim Drago

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Imo, ignore guidance to brake later and harder. Brake lighter and earlier and drive the corner with a car fully gathered up.

Danny would have a field day with this :) ( and I dont say you are wrong ,  I think he would say brake hardest and latest possible without compromising entry, apex speed and wot application) 


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#32
Sphinx

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Danny would have a field day with this :) ( and I dont say you are wrong ,  I think he would say brake hardest and latest possible without compromising entry, apex speed and wot application) 

 

But $1 says that Danny (and you and every other fast driver) got to that point on braking after he did all of those other things.  Every experienced driver keeps telling me to focus on the corner backwards (exit speed, mid-corner, entry and the FINALLY braking point).  So, "braking" is the conclusion of the paragraph, not the starting point.


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#33
bmarshall1

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But $1 says that Danny (and you and every other fast driver) got to that point on braking after he did all of those other things.  Every experienced driver keeps telling me to focus on the corner backwards (exit speed, mid-corner, entry and the FINALLY braking point).  So, "braking" is the conclusion of the paragraph, not the starting point.

Wow - this tidbit is an eye opener but makes sense.   The Garmin was telling me to brake later and harder, but not deeper; in other words maximize the use of my brakes, get off the brakes, turn in earlier, accelerate sooner



#34
Jim Drago

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Wow - this tidbit is an eye opener but makes sense.   The Garmin was telling me to brake later and harder, but not deeper; in other words maximize the use of my brakes, get off the brakes, turn in earlier, accelerate sooner

That is all correct, often easier said than done though :) 


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#35
Steve Scheifler

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I’m seeing no specific reference to trail-braking which by definition sets limits on all this. Some people use it rarely if ever, and it’s necessity or advantage varies by car and setup, but I’d wager few cars can achieve optimal results at many tracks without some of it. Still, an old friend summed up his general approach as “maximizing the amount of horsepower you make per lap”. By that he meant essentially what’s discussed above as braking late and hard then getting back to the power as soon as the nose is aimed towards the apex. I’m probably not alone in finding that even in a simple example the transition from nose-down breaking to turning and throttle is the tricky bit. It’s about weight transfer of course, and how you control that with brake release. Under threshold braking the weight is all on the front tires and they are doing most of the work. If you then ask them to add lateral grip (turning) they give up and slide. If you lift abruptly, the weight transfers abruptly and then if you turn the wheel there’s no bite with the surface and again the steering input isn’t responsive. So even if you don’t think of yourself as a trail-breaker, a smooth but quick RELEASE of the brakes is what allows you to make that transition while still getting the nose pointed where it needs to go and not upsetting the balance of the car with abrupt weight transfer.

More aggressive trail-braking then is extending the release, longer and/or deeper to help rotate the car with controlled weight transfer, particularly in the slowest/tightest corners. Watching that done may give the appearance of brake-point-shoot getting back on the power way later than someone braking early then on the gas immediately after turn-in, but the idea is to maximize average speed at all points by maximizing the friction circle rather than the “maximize HP per lap” approach.

Does that make sense?
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#36
Ron Alan

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Makes sense to me Steve...but there is a guy on here that says he will never lose in a straight line...is that what you mean by "maximize HP per lap"? :)

 

Let's generalize for the sake of the beginner/newbie when it comes to driving a MIATA Specifically!

 

1. Brake as hard as you can in a straight line that does not lock up the wheels

2. Turn in as the brakes are released and transition immediately to the throttle...if you cant do this...you aren't slowing enough!

3. Use the whole track to unwind the wheel...apex to edge of track as you are 100% on the throttle! 

4. Put your car in position as quickly as possible to repeat the above for the next corner.

 

Every track and every corner is unique and can be optimized...nothing here will tell you how to do that!

 

Did I say this advise was in general??? My point is this...if new drivers learn good habits from the very start...which IMO the above is...they will be ahead of the curve in learning advanced techniques to get everything out of the car(re-read Steves post above here...friction circle!). Basically this is another way of stating what Sphinx said his advise has been...exit speed first! 

 

It is amazing how many drivers after being out for several years...still over drive the entries...always trying to gather the car. 1st comment out of their mouth...

"I catch EVERYONE under braking". 

My response...maybe, does it work out?

Answer...they have more power and drive away!

Response..you are running about the same lap times?

Answer...yes!

Response...Did you know that at 100mph a .5 second gap is 74'(6ish car lengths)and at 40mph a .5 second gap is 29'(little over 2 car lengths)?

Answer...whats your point?

Response...Uhggg!

 

And so there is no confusion...these good habits,  and improvements upon them, helping to achieve maximum speed thru out every aspect of every corner...leads to each individuals best lap time! Come race time...you will throw many good lap time habits out the window :) You'll have to learn a whole new set of race craft habits...which applies to other cars in front and behind you. 

 

 

 By that he meant essentially what’s discussed above as braking late and hard then getting back to the power as soon as the nose is aimed towards the apex. 

There was some examples of this at this years Runoffs...unfortunately those drivers didnt take into account the car they had to drive thru :(


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#37
bmarshall1

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Makes sense to me Steve...but there is a guy on here that says he will never lose in a straight line...is that what you mean by "maximize HP per lap"? :)

 

Let's generalize for the sake of the beginner/newbie when it comes to driving a MIATA Specifically!

 

1. Brake as hard as you can in a straight line that does not lock up the wheels

2. Turn in as the brakes are released and transition immediately to the throttle...if you cant do this...you aren't slowing enough!

3. Use the whole track to unwind the wheel...apex to edge of track as you are 100% on the throttle! 

4. Put your car in position as quickly as possible to repeat the above for the next corner.

 

Every track and every corner is unique and can be optimized...nothing here will tell you how to do that!

 

Did I say this advise was in general??? My point is this...if new drivers learn good habits from the very start...which IMO the above is...they will be ahead of the curve in learning advanced techniques to get everything out of the car(re-read Steves post above here...friction circle!). Basically this is another way of stating what Sphinx said his advise has been...exit speed first! 

 

It is amazing how many drivers after being out for several years...still over drive the entries...always trying to gather the car. 1st comment out of their mouth...

"I catch EVERYONE under braking". 

My response...maybe, does it work out?

Answer...they have more power and drive away!

Response..you are running about the same lap times?

Answer...yes!

Response...Did you know that at 100mph a .5 second gap is 74'(6ish car lengths)and at 40mph a .5 second gap is 29'(little over 2 car lengths)?

Answer...whats your point?

Response...Uhggg!

 

And so there is no confusion...these good habits,  and improvements upon them, helping to achieve maximum speed thru out every aspect of every corner...leads to each individuals best lap time! Come race time...you will throw many good lap time habits out the window :) You'll have to learn a whole new set of race craft habits...which applies to other cars in front and behind you. 

 

 

There was some examples of this at this years Runoffs...unfortunately those drivers didnt take into account the car they had to drive through.

WOW - the last few posts and this one are real eye openers.  I have never heard (or read) it explained like this.

 

Ron, I'm kinda embarrassed to say your post sounds like you had a conversation with me after my last few races as those are my exact words.  I know I have a lot to learn and this is helping me immensely.



#38
Martinracing98

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WOW - the last few posts and this one are real eye openers.  I have never heard (or read) it explained like this.

 

Ron, I'm kinda embarrassed to say your post sounds like you had a conversation with me after my last few races as those are my exact words.  I know I have a lot to learn and this is helping me immensely.

I laugh as I think back about 20 years ago, my first year kart racing. I was talking to a non-racer. He said "How much could there be to learn. I would think either you are fast or you are not". I think about that every time I witness someone have a new aha moment.



#39
Steve Scheifler

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Makes sense to me Steve...but there is a guy on here that says he will never lose in a straight line...is that what you mean by "maximize HP per lap"? :)

Let's generalize for the sake of the beginner/newbie when it comes to driving a MIATA Specifically!

1. Brake as hard as you can in a straight line that does not lock up the wheels
2. Turn in as the brakes are released and transition immediately to the throttle...if you cant do this...you aren't slowing enough!
3. Use the whole track to unwind the wheel...apex to edge of track as you are 100% on the throttle!
4. Put your car in position as quickly as possible to repeat the above for the next corner.
...


By making the most HP per lap my buddy was emphasizing the idea of being back on the throttle earlier than anyone else and staying on it longer. An even more simplified number is % of time at full throttle but his description encompasses more and produces a mental image of cumulative gains. But the real world isn’t that simple even with open lapping, and trail-braking doesn’t really fit in. I’ve come to believe that trail-braking probably shouldn’t be an add-on advanced skill but understood and developed fairly early on, partly because most of us start in and never get beyond production based cars with compromises which require it at some level.

As for your four key points, I largely agree but with a similar caveat of being a place to start learning and development, not end. Quite often the brakes are used primarily to set the nose (transfer a little weight & bite forward) so steering will be responsive, IOW they aren’t an on-off switch. In number 2, the release is hugely important, and in fact being too abrupt on release will give the same effect as not having slowed enough. I see people overbraking and still not get turned in because they come off the brakes too fast THEN turn the wheel as the nose jumps up. Not too much speed, too rough and poorly timed in the release. In 3, I think you mean unwind and track out to the edge and by then be 100%? If not it’s worded oddly. There’s often too much talk of “momentum” cars being different but this is where it’s real. We have so little power that it takes very little finesse to get back to full throttle without losing rear grip, but regardless, it’s generally best for overall grip and balance to be positive throttle by or just after the apex (inside) then of course add as quickly as grip allows. But here’s my point, the thing about a slow unwind all the way to the track-out point is that so long as your wheels are turned you are also scrubbing speed, and your underpowered momentum car is incapable of replacing that loss with more forward acceleration or add “throttle oversteer” to complete the rotation. Watch a really fast driver’s front tires from a rear bumper cam on a car in front. What you will see at many corners is that momentum/slip/drift carries them to the outside of the track on exit but the front wheels were “straight” well before that and then start dancing either side of center to maintain course. Obviously a beginner shouldn’t expect to replicate that right away, but knowing the difference helps build in the right direction. In these cars if you are still fighting with the steering to hold a car on track at exit (rather than finessing it) you will forever believe you are being out powered down the straights. And that takes things back to trail-braking which is often the best way to enter slightly faster, yet rotate sooner, and carry more speed and more throttle out while scrubbing off less. Thinking/learning from the exit backwards is great but that doesn’t make all parts equal in importance. In both literal and figurative ways it all revolves around the release/transition from brake to power. I wish that I had understood that when I began. On number 4, yes but... slow hands in places where you aren’t rushed because again, turned wheels = scrub and reduces forward acceleration, and of course in some situations the distance traveled or other factors may dictate a slightly different or more gradual path to the next corner. As Martinracing notes, there’s a lot more to it than observers see and at least an awareness of that is helpful from early on.
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#40
Ron Alan

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Thanks Steve...you have zero argument from me! Newbies and many midpack guys will benefit from your more advanced description of my rudimentary simple starting point! My only real point was what i think holds back many drivers...the ability to understand how braking benefits and hurts lap times. AND, sometimes what they think they are doing better is just normal ebb and flow of cars/drivers being equal

 

Data is the least expensive and most valuable tool a beginner can invest in...just behind is the coach to help it all make sense :)


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