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Old 01-15-2003, 09:03 AM   #1
akuhner
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Default Ice Racing Driving Techniques

The short ice racing season is here in the North East, and before I go to the one event I make it to every year I want to see how everyone else drives on ice. The event I'm going to is more of a road racing course on a frozen lake, and each run is 2 laps of the 1.1 mile course. Last year's course was pretty open with only a few turns that required threading it through gates. Most of the turns could be taken at 40mph or so, and I hit 76mph on the straight. I'm on studded Hakka 1s, but the studs really don't do much. I won my class last year but the competition is going to be stiffer this year.

So I found that the traditional method of steering into the slide just doesn't work - you end up way on the outside of the turn, even off the course. I'm not that good at it to begin with, but left-foot braking doesn't really work either because the car is so sensitive to the brake that you loose it if you even tap the brakes in anything but a straight line.

What I found worked was getting the car into the slide a little early, getting back on the gas, and making slight steering adjustments kept me closer to the inside of the turn. I even found myself turning the wheel away from the slide trying to pull the car into the apex. It worked that time, but I'm sure there is more speed somewhere. Any thoughts from the "pros?"

Alex



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Old 01-15-2003, 03:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
I'm on studded Hakka 1s, but the studs really don't do much
admittedly, i've only been ice racing once, and that was in a MR2, but i can tell you the studs make a huge difference. lets put it this way, FTD that day was a Open Class EVO IV on studded tires. He ran a 1:40. I ran a 2:40 the best scoobies on rubber were in the 2:20s. i rode in the EVO and it was nuts! he had so much grip! all the cars on studs were way, way faster then the cars on rubber. even if you didn't know what a particular car was running, you could deduce it by the first corner

what did i learn driving wise? same thing as always, just more poigant with a mid-engine, rwd car on ice: be smooth. for me, since there was no grip to be had anywhere, the best thing to do was stay as tight as i could, since i couldn't carry any more speed on a higher radius arc, so the extra distance wasn't worth it. i really couldn't let the tail come around much at all b/c you just couldn't gather it back in. alot of the slower scoobie guys were overdriving big time, b/c the awd would allow them to bring the tail back in so they would divebomb into corners, get the car stupid sideways, and drift out way wide. sure, they wouldn't spin (like me ) but there times sucked. i would have been midpack with the scoobes. the toyota was a good lesson in back to basics, less is more, smooth like butta, yadda, etc, blah, you've heard it all before.
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Old 01-15-2003, 04:36 PM   #3
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Default studs rule

I assume you have to use street studs...
Pull your studs and put in longer ones, DO NOT drive these on pavement and spin the tires at your own risk, spun tire = thrown stud and you'll find out on the next hairpin what that machine-gun sound was on the previous straight.
Sorry but big heroics are tough to be consistant with, slower may not be faster but in a 20 lapper, the sideways guys will finally miss and get beached on a bank.
Passing, you can't go 110%, perfect is perfect and any faster is off the end, be calm wait for the mistake. Always be in position to get side by side and look for snow to nibble at.
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Old 01-15-2003, 05:47 PM   #4
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Randy - I'm talking about time-trials style ice racing here, sorry I didn't mention that! And I do mean street studs, which can't make the difference that 10th was talking about there. At the races last year there was an Audi 90 rally car with sheet metal screws for studs and he was just sick to watch. He had 600 screws per front tire and 400 per rear! I'm thinking of pulling my studs out because most other events (rally cross on snow, etc) won't let me use the studs at all which is a bummer but understandable.

Yes, patience and smoothness are important virtues in ice racing. What about left foot braking?

Alex

Pic of the Audi's serious studs:
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Old 01-15-2003, 09:55 PM   #5
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http://www.trunkmonkeyracing.com/Vid...CA_Ice_Racing/

For technique, that's the end of season video I put together for BMWCCA last year. I pulled second place for the season in 4WD Snow class. Can you pass on the info for the ice racing series you're talking about? I'd like to look into other venues!

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Old 01-15-2003, 11:17 PM   #6
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Here is one video from a couple years ago made by ralyrcr: Here

Same place and car that Jeff is talking about.

In that video there are scenes where I think he gets a little wide but he's carrying a ton of speed and is on long studded tires so he can power out of it. They generally just pitch the car in a long drift. That car is usually driven by Bill Morton (car owner) and Murray Thomas (owner of TAD Motorsports). There are quite a few guys using studded tires, Menard's (the hardware store) makes and sells ice racing tires here. It's like driving on gravel with gravel tires I've been told.

You can also see some examples of guys just pitching the car out and not on studded tires and the results of that.

I generally just try to drive slow and try not to get the car going in the wrong direction at too high of speed. It's all about getting the car straight and gaining forward momentum again, but that's alot easier said than done. I'm certainly not all that great at it. Snowbanks and snow are your friend sometimes but we haven't had a whole lot of snow this year.

I was just looking at some pictures from last year and you can see the wide variety of cars at this event:

http://www.w-a-g.org/events/ice/2002...pictures_1.htm

Last edited by dwx; 01-15-2003 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 03-11-2003, 05:00 PM   #7
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I was just searching for something else, and stumbled across this thread.

Quote:
Can you pass on the info for the ice racing series you're talking about? I'd like to look into other venues!
You don't say where you are, but I've got links to every ice racing group in the world here;

http://planet-torque.com/iceracing/world.html

Okay, I'm probably missing a few, and the non-English sites are tough. Both Solo and w2w, plus a few motorcycles wackos thrown in for entertainment. Eleven US states, most Canadian provinces, and a few European countries.
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Old 10-23-2004, 11:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
Can you pass on the info for the ice racing series you're talking about? I'd like to look into other venues!
Sean the event Alex was talking about was the Adirondack Motort Enthusiast Club's [A.M.E.C.] "Studs on Ice" solo time trial event. This February [haven't set the date yet] will be our 4th annual event in upstate NY, about 1 hour north of Albany. You can see last years results and pics HERE

Cheers,
Mike Kamm A.M.E.C. V.P.
Studs on Ice coordinator
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Old 10-24-2004, 12:34 AM   #9
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IMHO it is all about judging braking points and getting the correct entry speed. It is a more critical decision than gravel or snow, because the difference between making the corner and being off wide in the snow drifts on the lake is a pretty small amount of speed.

The other advice is (well you don't have this problem if you're turning the other way to make the apex) is to not be afraid to turn in too early. Again, like on gravel but more acute situation. If you try and go through the first part of the corner on a racing line, bets are you'll understeer off.

Turn in, get the tail out, apply gas, and steer in intended direction of travel.
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Old 10-24-2004, 12:10 PM   #10
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Alex,

I've seen that mazda somewhere else before. Might that be the company loaner vehicle for Function First Motosports?

Fitz
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Old 10-24-2004, 09:19 PM   #11
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Sweet! I'm going to have to check this out...

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Old 10-24-2004, 09:20 PM   #12
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Oh, and here's one of the Trunkmonkey cars last year on Newfound Lake.



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Old 10-25-2004, 10:05 AM   #13
akuhner
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Whoa, this thread never dies!

Mike - When are the time trials going to be this year? Last year they conflicted with Sno*Drift so I couldn't go. Sno*Drift will be Jan 28th and 29th this year so please don't do it that weekend! Or the weekend before, for that matter! If the event does not conflict with a rally North Coast Rally Team might show up with my street 2.5RS, a Suzuki Swift hill climb car, a '95 WRX Type RA, and the 2002 WRX STi Group N rally car. We might not bring all of those cars, but that's the goal.

I wonder if NASA or Rally America would sanction an all ice Rally Sprint?

Alex
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Old 10-25-2004, 10:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Car #187
Whoa, this thread never dies!

Mike - When are the time trials going to be this year? Last year they conflicted with Sno*Drift so I couldn't go.
Alex,
We haven't set a date yet, but we are shooting for the first or second Saturday in February. We are trying to not have it conflict with the N.E.H.A. banquet as well. Of course, mother nature always has the last word on these things anyway.

See you at RNY?

Mike
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Old 11-22-2004, 12:06 AM   #15
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I found this pearl of wisdom on another thread on this site. I couldn't agree more. It really cuts to the chase:

The most important thing to remember is to drive within your ability and to not show off. On the ice, the fastest cars are the ones that look the slowest and least spectacular while on course. The cars flying sideways in four wheel drifts spraying snow everywhere are the ones that come in last.

Last edited by Ice racer; 11-22-2004 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 11-22-2004, 11:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice racer
I found this pearl of wisdom on another thread on this site. I couln't agree more. It really cuts to the chase:

The most important thing to remember is to drive within your ability and to not show off. On the ice, the fastest cars are the ones that look the slowest and least spectacular while on course. The cars flying sideways in four wheel drifts spraying snow everywhere are the ones that come in last.
Last maybe, but with the biggest smiles on their faces.

I hope to have my '88 Justy GL 4WD out on Newfound this year in one form or another.

/Andrew
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Old 11-22-2004, 01:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice racer
I found this pearl of wisdom on another thread on this site. I couln't agree more. It really cuts to the chase:

The most important thing to remember is to drive within your ability and to not show off. On the ice, the fastest cars are the ones that look the slowest and least spectacular while on course. The cars flying sideways in four wheel drifts spraying snow everywhere are the ones that come in last.
Ha. I wrote that.

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