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Old 11-11-2005, 12:53 PM   #1
gills
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At the Track The (sometimes) harsh reality of doing HPDE's

Limerock park, connecticut. My brother's M3 swapped 318ti that we put a lot of love and effort into. Coming out of turn 1 (big bend) on cold tires, in cold weather on a cold track.

A quick word of advice for those that are just starting DE's, take it easy the first couple of laps!! This happened starting the 2nd lap on the last session of the day. My brother had to learn the hard way and i had told him to start easy because ambient temp was 43 F.

Luckily though the way he hit the tirewall didn't break or bend any suspension parts. His car was able to be driven home from the track albeit with no driver side window for 2+ hours! Amazingly, the car doesn't pull, the steering wheel is somewhat straight and there or no fluid leaks. All cosmetic damage. All the hardwork that was put into it is still alive!! At this point i think he's going to turn it into a track only car.



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Old 11-11-2005, 12:57 PM   #2
RB5 Clone
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Exclamation reality sandwich

Simple truth of racing: you race, and sooner or later stuff gets bent.

you guys just did it sooner.

Dave G
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:00 PM   #3
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Damn, that sucks. Poor little Bimmer. Good to hear the car is still mechanically sound and that the driver was OK enough to drive home... long live the sleeper mentality!
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:16 PM   #4
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i saw that yesterday. i can't imagine what itd be liek to do that myself. In time i guess, just hopefully much later.

i was the white wrx #33
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:28 PM   #5
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Ouch, that's a bummer. Another reason to try autocross first.
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:51 PM   #6
gills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIDREX
i saw that yesterday. i can't imagine what itd be liek to do that myself. In time i guess, just hopefully much later.

i was the white wrx #33

I was thinking the same thing.

Didn't you go off right before turn 3 on the 2nd or 3rd session? It wasn't nearly as dramatic as my brother's off but i felt like i was bringing bad luck on people when i was behind them.
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Old 11-11-2005, 02:45 PM   #7
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oh man that sucks atleast he is ok
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Old 11-11-2005, 03:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gills
Luckily though the way he hit the tirewall didn't break or bend any suspension parts.... the steering wheel is somewhat straight...

If it was only body damage how come the steering is off center?

him = safe ==> me =
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Old 11-11-2005, 03:40 PM   #9
gills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endeavor

If it was only body damage how come the steering is off center?

him = safe ==> me =
Thanks for your concern.


alignment got knocked out. Tie rods are straight as well as other links.
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Old 11-11-2005, 03:52 PM   #10
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If the front wheel took a side hit expect bearing damage. A crew chief friend automatically replaces a wheel bearing after a side hit like that.

Before my very fist track day I was told if you aren't prepared to roll your car up in a ball and throw it away, DON'T take it on track.
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Old 11-11-2005, 04:01 PM   #11
Scott Farmer
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I know it feels bad, but the important thing is that nothing other than your pride and wallets are hurt. I went off in the first lap, first session at VIR and hit a tirewall in my STi. You do this stuff long enough, and it'll happen.
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Old 11-11-2005, 04:27 PM   #12
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I find that driving schools/ lapping days are relatively accident free, at least
the ones I have attended, about 30 days worth over the last 3 years.

I haven't been at the track when they happen, but hear about them at other tracks that I won't go to.

I think the reason for the accident free events I have attended is because the track I go to, Putnam Park in Indiana, is a relatively safe track with lots of run off room. Only one corner out of ten has something you can hit, armco on that corner.

I would rather travel 4 hours to Putnam Park instead of 45 minutes to my local track, Gateway International in St. Louis because of the lack of runoff room and significantly greater risks I want to avoid at my local track.

Look for a track with run off room if you want to try a track day and minimize your risk and they are not nearly as dangerous as the roads we travel especially if we are traveling fast.
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Old 11-11-2005, 04:32 PM   #13
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My friend stacked his Integra at Willow Springs yesterday.

It happens.
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Old 11-11-2005, 04:32 PM   #14
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gills...yes i did go off at turn 3 in the 2nd session from clipping that puddle of water at the apex of turn 2. who would've thunk that water meant slippy

I also went off in the last session at turn 2 and ended up in the swampy stuff. no damage, just a very out of balance wheel cuz it filled up with mud.

this was my first time ever at limerock, i can't wait to get back next year
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Old 11-11-2005, 04:40 PM   #15
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Wow, I remember you guys from Watkins Glen in Sept. I was the white STI with all the stickers on it.

Glad to hear he's not going to give up on the track days.
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Old 11-11-2005, 05:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WagonMonster
My friend stacked his Integra at Willow Springs yesterday.

It happens.
details? how did it happen? I'm heading to willow springs next month
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Old 11-11-2005, 06:11 PM   #17
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kid,

i thought that was you and i was 1 car behind you when you splashed through that puddle. A little unnerving, eh?

I forgot about that last time you had an off. You went WAY off. We were all watching you and were all like "the beauty of AWD" because that was some seriously swampy stuff. Good thing you didn't damage anything.

You were definitely one of the quicker ones out there though. Don't know if you agree or not, but there were a fair amount of people that weren't supposed to be in group 2. Some of them were moving WAAAY to slow and WAAY off line to be in 2. It was frustrating at times.

I was #44 by the way.


Euro,

Of course i remember you man! Thanks for letting me use your pyrometer a thousands times at the Glenn Have you been tracking your STi still?
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Old 11-11-2005, 06:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gills
I forgot about that last time you had an off. You went WAY off. We were all watching you and were all like "the beauty of AWD" because that was some seriously swampy stuff. Good thing you didn't damage anything.
yeah, the car just kept going was nice to be able to just drive right out of it...wasn't there a car in group 4 or 3 earlier in the day that they had to black flag the field to be able to tow him out of there?

i saw the splash in come up above my window and i was just like oh hey its water, thats kinda weird. but it really didn't occur to be a problem to me, probably cuz i'm so new to this. i just made sure i kept my distance from then on.

i was one of those guys supposed to be in group 1 since this was only my 3rd time on a track ...they moved us up since there was a lack of instructors. seemed to work out alright though. Not fast enough thuogh, those evos kept taking me.

Last edited by KIDREX; 11-11-2005 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 11-12-2005, 02:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RB5 Clone
Simple truth of racing: you race, and sooner or later stuff gets bent.

you guys just did it sooner.

Dave G
www.lastditchracing.net
The same thing can be said for driving on the street. Sooner or later your going to get into an accident.


HPDE are not races. Your not supposed to drive the track at ten tenths.
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Old 11-12-2005, 02:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwak
Before my very fist track day I was told if you aren't prepared to roll your car up in a ball and throw it away, DON'T take it on track.
This is why I don't understand why people take their daily drivers out on the track. The best driver in the world in a perfect car will still stuff it in the wall given enough time. If you don't you're not pushing enough.
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Old 11-12-2005, 02:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate49509
HPDE are not races. Your not supposed to drive the track at ten tenths.
?! You're not supposed to RACE. Driving your car at 10/10ths is fine.

Just understand there is no room for error at 10/10ths and you WILL go off if you make one. That last 1/10th can get expensive.

Gary
Sheehan Motor Racing
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Old 11-12-2005, 11:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no-coast-punk
This is why I don't understand why people take their daily drivers out on the track.
Because not all of us have the means or facilities or desire to support a track-only car, the tow vehicle, the trailer, and the extra space to house all that. And when it comes down to it, HPDE-ing is pretty damn safe, so the overwhelming majority of participants can track their daily driver without any worries of bending sheetmetal at an event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no-coast-punk
The best driver in the world in a perfect car will still stuff it in the wall given enough time. If you don't you're not pushing enough.
Again, it's a HPDE, not a race. I agree that if you're pushing the limits all the time, eventually you will step past the line and crunch your car. Been there, done that (quite famously I might add). But at a HPDE there really isn't any need to be pushing that hard. (Which is not to say that I don't... )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Sheehan
Driving your car at 10/10ths is fine.
Agree on that one, too. On the one hand, I'm sure my car could be driven harder/faster by a more capable driver, but I'm generally pushing about as hard as I can. Really the only time I can think of consciously driving 7 or 8/10ths (of my ability) was on the 2 occasions I ran my sister's WRX wagon. She did me a huge favor by letting me open track her car while mine was out of commission, it would have been rather ****ty of me to repay the favor by wrecking her car. And even then, I still went out and flogged it as hard as I could for the first few laps of each session to "see what she'll do", then backed it off a bit for the rest of the session.

Pat Olsen
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Old 11-13-2005, 12:34 AM   #23
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You take the risks you can afford. This means making a conscious decision about whether you can afford to drive 10/10ths or not. Everyone that drives on a closed course (autocross, track, rally) needs to make the decision about how hard they can afford to push.

HPDE's are about learning and having fun. You CAN do both at 9/10ths.

The last track day I did, they had a policy. You got one free spin. If you spun your car a second time (more than 2 wheels off counted as a spin) you were parked for the day. The attitude was, "Go ahead and drive as hard as you safely can." It was like a reminder not do drive over your head. This is what HPDE's should be about.

Andy H.
Many spins autocrossing, only one on an open track!
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
You take the risks you can afford. This means making a conscious decision about whether you can afford to drive 10/10ths or not.
I understand what you and others are saying, but I don't think it's so easy to calibrate your driving. Crashes happen because people are at more 10ths than they think. I'm sure that many people who crash thought they were driving within their affordable limits right up until the car let go!
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:42 AM   #25
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all this shows how the real focus of performance driving is sharpening your judgement, so you can really understand what 9/10s or 10/10 really is.

another part of the learning curve, is that you discover first-hand how costs tend to get "inflated" along the way!

Dave G
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