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Old 04-18-2003, 12:38 PM   #1
jsnow
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Default What does 5.5 hours of track time feel like?

Exhausting!

More later. Have to unpack the car and stuff. Was a great event, and all the Scoobies went home intact, despite doing a little off-roading. I bet rocks are still falling out of Alex's car.

Photos and video to follow.


-James
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Old 04-18-2003, 12:39 PM   #2
paulatwork
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wicked! Can't wait to hear about it.

Hmm what's alex been up to must've been the flamin brakes line.
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Old 04-18-2003, 02:45 PM   #3
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Well Alex did just put on the "rally inspired" SPT suspension, so perhaps he's just finding shortcuts.
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Old 04-18-2003, 04:10 PM   #4
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So, I said 5.5 hours of track time, but that's just what was scheduled. We actually had half an hour or so of open track at the end of the day, so it was at least 6 hours.

First, the random details:

My last time at Summit Point, I was running 1:36s in practice, and put down a 1:43 in the time trials; jittery because of going off in turn 3. This time I ran 1:34s all day, possibly as low as high 1:33s but that's not confirmed. Best officially timed lap: 1:34.5.

Most amazing occurence of the event: There was a guy driving an SSGT Audi TT. I've met him before at Mosport and he's extremely fast. We went out together at one point with him chasing me to see how we stacked up, and also so he could get some video of my car on the track. Now, he says that he was running as fast as he could and he couldn't catch me. The gap between us more or less stayed the same. But he was doing that with one snow tire on the car because he'd corded one of his street tires.

By the time the time trials started, he'd gotten a flat on another street tire, and went out with two snow tires in the rear, two street tires in the front, and brakes that had air in them. He still ran a 1:33.4 and won the class.

My hat is off to him. He is an amazing driver.
I am afeared of the day that he gets his Victoracers.

I settled my score with Summit Point. Last year I went off at tun 3. This year, I ran on the ragged edge in turn 3 every time and even spat up some dirt once when I stuck one tire off the outside. I know I was on the edge because if I did anything wrong in the corner the car would start to oversteer. That's where the time at Team O'Neil pays off. Foot stays on the floor, hands roll the wheel back to center and catch the slide and then roll right back into the turn. I felt great every time I went through there, even if I was squirming around when I did it.

The Victoracers get two big thumbs up from me. I haven't yet found their limits in the corners, but in straight line braking... I can't believe what I can get away with on those tires, and I didn't lock them up once.

We were split up into two run groups for day 1, licensed and unlicensed. This meant that I was running with insanely fast Corvettes and such. It was even a crowded group, with 33 people in it. Despite that, no trains, no real traffic except what I deliberately stuck with. (Declining point bys from Miatas to study their lines a bit, etc.) Point-bys were spot on, and I gave and received lots of them. Passed Miatas, Mustangs, and even an FFR Cobra. Got passed by Miatas, Mustangs, Corvettes and Formula cars.

Because instructors were running in my run group, I never got an instructor in my car. So I had to rely on my memory from last year and following other folks.

Here's a lap around the track starting from the entry to the front straight at 80mph:

Grab 4th gear as I pass the flagger at the end of the pit wall. Soar up to 120mph, possibly 125 (one doesn't watch the speedo when there's a hairpin coming up on you at that speed), lift off the gas and lean gently into the brake in one smooth motion shortly before the first braking zone marker. Add more brake and more brake (and more brake) and heel-toe to 3rd gear, more brake, and turn right on the concrete strip at around 40mph. Turns 1 and 2 are more like a single double apex turn, so, touch the apex of 1, and begin unwinding steering. Track out to the left edge of the track, touch the second black strip of tarmac on the outside, continue unwinding steering, and run right back across to the right side of the track near a small sandy patch on the inside.

Hold 3rd gear down the straight between 2 and 3. I'm just hitting redline before I brake in a straight line, get lightly back on the gas and turn for the small kink at the end of the straight, but keep to the outside. Now, turn in for real and plant the throttle. If it's not planted, I'll oversteer here. Head for the inside curbing but don't touch it, it'll lift the inside tires and throw me into more oversteer. Maintain steering input and I'm thrust right back out to the outside, onto flat curb on the outside, just missing the gravel. Don't unwind until I'm past that gravel. Specifically, a point where the gravel was dragged out onto the curb just a little bit.

Out of turn 3, so unwind steering now, provide a minor steering correction and head for the left edge of the track. Touch a small, dark concrete strip on the outside and we're rushing downhill at redline in 3rd.

4 is an extremely fast right hander. I think I could take this without braking, but I never had the balls to try it. So, quick hard tap of the brakes, then turn right and floor it. Head for the curbing on the inside, get straight as fast as possible and stand on the brakes.

Now we're heading straight for the left edge of the track with an extremely slow left hander coming up. My first instinct was to try to be on the right side of the track here, but the straight that proceeds it is more important than a perfect entry to this very slow corner, and if you're going fast enough, you shouldn't be able to pull the car back to the right anyway.

So, brake like hell and get down into 2nd, and turn left on the concrete strip for five. I like to keep my outside tires on the middle of the strip so that when I unwind I'm parallel with the left edge of the track before...

Quick brake stab for 6. Turn right and again place outside tires in the middle of the concrete strip. Track out to the outside, running a little on the curbing and look for that black strip of pavement. Pass that strip from my left tires to my right tires as I come back inside. If I do it right, I'm parallel with the right edge of the track and just barely miss being off the track on the right.

Quickly grab 3rd, floor it and turn left for 7. Fairly simple turn, and a throwaway. You go from parallel with the right edge of the track to parallel with the left edge of the track.

Now we're rushing towards 8, which is a fast right-hander. I did this once with out lifting before the turn. It was scary, but I made it. Every other time I lifted slightly before making the turn. Again, inside curbing, tire squeal and understeer and push right out to the curbing on the left edge. Do some minor course corrections with the throttle if needed.

9 is technically some bend on this straight between here and the front straight. I don't really think about it. I do a quick gauge check here (and notice a check engine light flashing at me[size=1[[1][/size]) and then grab 4th a little bit early. If I stay in 3rd, I redline too early. If I wait to grab 4th, the time I spend shifting is lost to those last few moments before the braking zone. So I grab 4th early, hit about 105, maybe 110 and I'm diving at an angle towards the left edge of the track, brake and heel-toe to 3rd, stay out, then cut right for turn 10. Unwind, touch the outside curbing but not those nasty rumble strips on the outside, and I'm doing 80mph at the start of the front straight.



Lots of places I think I can improve. I don't feel terribly consistent here, so that's a big one. I wonder if I shouldn't get parallel to the left edge of the track before 10. If I can go through 4 without brakes, do I gain anything? Should I brake during the kink in 3 and just deal with the way it rotates the car? Perhaps it's a good rotation...

Great event. Well worth the drive. This remains one of my favorite tracks. It's fast, it's slow, it's fun, it's forgiving, it's scary. It really equalizes cars with the carousel, and lets you see who's cornering better and who's fast in straights. Beautiful area and friendly people. Can't wait to go again.


-James

[1] Yes, I threw a CEL on my bone stock car between turns 8 and 10 at Summit Point. Took it to the dealer an hour or so ago and they confirmed what I suspected: misfire. They pulled the freeze frame data and told me that I was doing 87mph in 3rd gear at 6,302rpms with a coolant temperature of 110 degrees Farenheit, and that the misfire occured because that was too cold an engine for that kind of driving. In short, failure to properly warm up the engine before running hot laps at Summit Point. They also looked like they were about to call the cops on me until I explained where it happened.

Edit: Fixing typos.

Last edited by jsnow; 04-18-2003 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 04-18-2003, 04:28 PM   #5
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James, sounds fantastic!

How did your brakes hold up? Are they stock?
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Old 04-18-2003, 04:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by paulatwork
How did your brakes hold up? Are they stock?
Lordy, no! I destroyed my stock pads and fluids at NHIS on my first track day and learned my lesson.

I was running Porterfield R4S pads front and back and Motul 600. Fade was definitely an issue. Overall, the first major braking zone, turn 1 heats them up like crazy. They feel OK for my quick taps in 3 and 4, and then they're definitely faded when I get on them for 5. They feel good again for the tap at 6, and they're faded before 10. However, they cool down so much on the front straight that they feel fine again going into 1. (This is after several hot laps.)

I did one full 45 minute session once and I would compensate by occassionally running partial throttle down the front straight, (70 to 80mph) to minimize braking in turn 1. So, fade was an issue, but I could make them last by using them wisely. I still wound up with a very mushy pedal at the end of those 45 minutes and had to bleed all four corners a couple of times during the event. There were several occasions where my brake pedal would dip below my gas pedal under braking and heel-toe became a contortion excercise.

I think my pedal feel may also not be very good because of the speed bleeders. I'm a little skeptical of them at the moment. I want to put the OEM bleeder valves back in and do it the traditional way and see if I can restore some of that brick-like pedal feel I had when I first put on my steel lines.

Overall though, I think they held up fairly well to what I was putting them through. I skipped one 40 minute session, the open track at the end, and only ran partial sessions most of the others and still did 223 track miles over the course of the event.

Oh! And I wasn't technically SS legal. I had a suspension mod:



Trunkmonkey action shot!



More pictures:
http://teardrop.org/com/20030416-SummitPoint/


-James
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Old 04-18-2003, 04:59 PM   #7
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sounds fantastic. i am JEALOUS!!!

next year, i'll run with you guys for sure! snow, sorry i still have your timer i felt pretty bad till i remember com was timed

raj
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Old 04-18-2003, 05:31 PM   #8
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I see - thanks for the info!

That's a great pic too
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Old 04-18-2003, 05:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by rajito
snow, sorry i still have your timer i felt pretty bad till i remember com was timed
Oh, it's no problem at all. I wasn't in a rush to get it back. However, because of the collapse from five run groups to two, there were no spare timers available like I'd thought there would be. Doh!

I guesstimated my time by talking to folks that I was chasing, (and did so very accurately, I might add) and I pitted in the middle of a session to time Alex with my wrist watch. (Also more accurately than I'd thought I would.)

So, no worries. Actually, if you see Frank Cullen at an SCDA event you might just give it to him, since I'll see him at Mosport.

I'll also be at the BMW autocross tomorrow, if you're going to that.

You should come to the Mosport event. It's an "away" event so it'll be about as crowded as Summit Point was. Not to mention being an incredible, incredible track.


-James
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Old 04-18-2003, 05:35 PM   #10
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I finally made it back... Oh man, drove from 2:15am til 3:15pm... *slump* Ask CTKAG about our trip back.

I first want to thank jsnow for announcing this event here, it was a blast. I'd say this was my favorite track event to date. COM was super cool and a nice fun group to hang out with.

Track time: 3.16 hours (day 1) + 1.6 hours (day 2) = ~4.8 hours
Track miles: 250 miles @ 2 miles per lap = 125 laps
Top Speed: I think 120 mph when I was running with deimos on the open track after the time trials
Best Time Trial Lap: 1:36
misc. info:
- I went through my front brake pads after the first day, all the way down to the backing
- Flames shot out my wheel again after the pad change. Determined it was the anti-squeal spray. No flaming after cool down. I tossed that can of spray.
- I reached 1600+ F on the EGT during the front straight and between turns 2 and 3. My powertrain is stock. Something will melt from this...
- I went 4 wheels off twice. Nothing to be proud of... The last time was right after the 120 mph front straight, then brake pedal to the floor. I plowed off track into the gravel pit. Like jsnow says up top, he takes corner 1 at 40mph, I was prolly going 50-55 mph with no brake pressure. Both foot in, soft gravel stopped me. Scary. No damage. Just alot of rocks stuck underneath the wagon.

I learned alot on this trip. I know I still brake too much all over the course. I also now know I have a big problem braking on the front straight. No more hot speeds at the end of those straights until I can reduce my fading problems. I have oem calipers, oem rotors (new), motul RBF, SS braided hoses, and PBR MetalMasters Brake Pads (street). rajito has the same setup with no problems... I learned that turbo lag helps "feather" the throttle. jsnow is crazy fast on a stock car. deimos brakes much better than me (he made it through the 120 mph front). Frank is an awesome instructor. CTKAG is super fast with his (almost)-STi. And COM was a great group.

edit: added pic

My favorite shot: (with instructor Frank)

(I just realized how much steering corner 6 took! Look Ma, no hands! )

Last edited by xstar; 04-19-2003 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 04-18-2003, 05:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by xstar
I finally made it back... Oh man, drove from 2:15am til 3:15pm... *slump* Ask CTKAG about our trip back.
Uh-oh. I drove from 4AM to 11:30AM, including a half-hour nap on the side of the road from 6AM to 6:30AM. I had everything unpacked from the car by noon. Drove the car to a dealer to get the CEL checked and drove to work! I was in my office by 1:45.

What happened?
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Old 04-18-2003, 06:11 PM   #12
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To make a long story short - the trip back was broken into 100 mile increments, requiring an ECU reset (and 1/2 hour cool off) inbetween. Car would go into limp mode about every 100 miles - not a whole lot of fun on a highway!!! Got up at 1:30AM - arrived at my house 1:30PM. Took us 7 hours on the way down (from CT)

Big Thanks to Alex for hanging with me to make sure I got it home. Now to find out what's wrong.
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Old 04-18-2003, 06:45 PM   #13
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Ouch. I'm sorry. How did you guys drive back? It's hard to believe I didn't see you. Were you pulling off of the Interstates?
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Old 04-18-2003, 08:14 PM   #14
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Hm... From what I recalled from my visit to Summit Point last fall (and from the post I put up on NESIC), my best times were in 1:29-1:30. Sorry dudes!

-Ray

Edit: As the post below suggests, I was lying. My best times were 1:37.xxx

Last edited by rkkwan; 04-18-2003 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by rkkwan
Hm... From what I recalled from my visit to Summit Point last fall (and from the post I put up on NESIC), my best times were in 1:29-1:30. Sorry dudes!
Nice try, Ray!

Those are your lap times from NHIS, not Summit Point. And I smoked your chicane/chicane 1:29 with a 1:26.5!

1:29 in a lightly modified WRX would be insane at Summit Point. The ST1 class winner was running a 1:30, and he is what we call "Really Damned Fast (tm)."

Seriously though, what did you run at Summit Point?

Edit:

I think this is the thread you were looking for:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...hreadid=257173

Minus the huge crack, my front rotors looked exactly like that when I took them off. Thanks again for that photo. I was probably two or three track days from cracking them. If I'd run them at this Summit Point event, they almost certainly would have cracked.



-James

Last edited by jsnow; 04-18-2003 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:34 PM   #16
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No wonder! Thanks... I must have been smoking something... Hehehe..

About the time 1:37s I did, I think that I could be much faster at Turns 3, 4 and 10. Need much more track time to do those fast. Especially 10. I hardly ever get a good shot out of 9 into 10 (usually have to deal with traffic), as a result I usually don't break 115 on the front straight. Maybe my car is a little low on power, maybe not.

Alex - Wayne lost the brakes of Mark's car at last year's One Lap at the end of the front straight too! [But I have to say that you seem to be getting 4 wheels off a little too often lately. ]

-Ray

Last edited by rkkwan; 04-18-2003 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Wayne lost the brakes of Mark's car at last year's One Lap at the end of the front straight too!
Yeah... I think we traced that to the Porterfield R4-S pads. I was able to get them to fade on a back road in Vermont later that month as well. Bleeding the fluid (Superblue) didn't seem to help too much either. This was with 4 pot fronts, stock rears, R4-S's all the way around, and 225/45/16 Pirelli PZERO Asimetrico's.

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Old 04-19-2003, 06:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fitz
I think we traced that to the Porterfield R4-S pads.
Funny you should say that.

I used up my front Porterfield R4-S pads around the middle of last season (the rears won't die though; they're still on the car) and switched to Hawk HP Plus up front. I got the impression that they generated less heat and faded less, but I also knew that my driving and braking abilities had been improving throughout the year, so I wasn't ready to attribute it to the Porterfields just yet.

I'm doing the same thing again this year: starting with Porterfields and switching to Hawks when it becomes necessary. I'll get to do multiple events at NHIS with both pads. I'll let you know what I find out.


-James
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Old 04-19-2003, 06:44 AM   #19
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Wow, I've been sleeping from 7pm to 5am. My brain is finally not pudding. Onto the posts!

Quote:
Originally posted by rkkwan
Alex - Wayne lost the brakes of Mark's car at last year's One Lap at the end of the front straight too! [But I have to say that you seem to be getting 4 wheels off a little too often lately. ]
I agree completely.

I do not believe 4 wheels off is acceptable behavior at all! In a mix of misjudgement (thinking only 3rd lap around, brakes should be ok; so brake point remains the same) and misunderstood mechanical preparedness(used speed bleeders on my own), I did a bad job driving.

I have found my brake fading starts after the 3rd hard lap from 1.5 days of practicing. So I let my braking point remain the same. However, I think the speed was higher than before, so I should have pulled the braking point 1/2 a marker ahead.

In hindsight, I should have pumped the brake pedal when I felt I was losing pressure like that. I just always have been taught to go smoothly onto the brakes, apply hard and firm pressure, and keep it there! Then when in doubt, go straight and both feet in... In the future, I'll try to pump slightly if that ever happens again. (let's hope not)

Like jsnow, I used speedbleeders on my own to bleed my brake fluid. At the dinner after the 2nd day, one of the miata guys recommend to keep using them, but have a second person pump the pedal for me like using the oem bleed bolt. That made sense to me. I have bled the brakes again prior to leaving SummitPoint, this time with CTKAG pumping the brakes. The pedal has felt fine all the way home. I'll comment more on this after another track day. So I guess speedbleeders are pointless?

And lastly Ray, I understand how much of a problem my braking really is. In the last week, I went to 3 track days. Each day, I went 4 wheels off... I want that to minimize that ever to happen again. I plan to do the 2 thing above and take all my HOT braking zones much slower...
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Old 04-19-2003, 06:53 AM   #20
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Default Re: What does 5.5 hours of track time feel like?

Quote:
Originally posted by jsnow
I bet rocks are still falling out of Alex's car.
Yes, rocks are STILL falling out of the car. I would hear a rock clang against a strut repeatedly every once in a while.

Last edited by xstar; 04-19-2003 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:02 AM   #21
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OK, so here's what happened with my car.

On day 2, I went out for the first small-bore session. I got in about 5 laps, then coming down the front straight flat out, the car just shut off. Not much fun trying to get slowed down and through turn 1 with no power brakes or power steering! Pulled off track on the outside of turn 2. The car would restart, but would not let me accelerate (was in limp mode), so I couldn't get back on track to get to pits. After a few minutes of sitting though, the car did start and I was able to run back to the pits.

I let the car sit for a bit and then tried running up and down the paddock, but was back in limp mode. Some of the other drivers made some suggestions - the most logical was that the car may have been overboosting because of the change in weather conditions, so I turned down the MBC. No change. I then pulled the negative cable to reset ECU. After sitting for 1/2 hour, I reconnected and restarted. CEL came on immediately. At that point, I figured there was something a little more serious going on and decided to call it a day - and withdrew from time trials.

I had been hitting the rev limiter pretty hard going into 3 and then again at 4 as I was picking up a lot of speed in those corners as my laps improved and I learned the corners, but had been shifting into 4th the last couple laps before it shut off.

My guess now is that some sensor has cooked - and it will allow me to run after an ECU reset until it heats up enough (about 100 miles of driving at 55-60) and then trips into limp mode.

I've bypassed the Unichip & disconnected the CEL eliminator on the rear O2 with no results.

Goes to dealer on Monday. We'll see what kind of hassle I get from them.
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:44 AM   #22
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Slow pokes!! I'm thinkin' with better brake pads and Victoracers that I could chop another 3 seconds and be down into the 1:32s, maybe faster, in my sister's WRX. Who knows - it's all bench racing at this point.

I'm certainly jealous of you guys starting the track season. I have 3 more months of deployment time to look forward to before I even get to see my car again. *sigh* It will be a joyous reunion - I just hope there aren't any coppers around.

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Old 04-19-2003, 12:31 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by jsnow
Ouch. I'm sorry. How did you guys drive back? It's hard to believe I didn't see you. Were you pulling off of the Interstates?
We took 81, then 84 back. We got off the highway about every 100 miles like CTKAG said. I basically tailed him the whole way, making sure no one got between us. On uphills, if he stalls, and need to do a rolling engine start, an unaware car could have been alot of trouble.

I'm just glad the trip worked out well for everyone.
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:43 PM   #24
rkkwan
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Join Date: Apr 2001
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Pat - Still "vacationing" in Perth? Why not rent a car and try out the rally stages of Rally Australia in the outskirt of Perth? I am sure you can find information about where those roads are. Of course you have to shift with your LEFT hand!

Alex - I am not sure why you're getting so much brake problem at Summit Point. While I did break my rotors there, this course wasn't the reason for it. And there should be plenty of time on the front straight for the brakes to cool before Turn 1. I really never had any brake performance problem since I went to R4, Super Blue and SS-lines. I only have rotor longetivity problems.

-Ray
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:38 PM   #25
deimos
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Summit Point was a blast!

I took the long route home via my grandparent's, which totalled 850 miles from track to gparent's to home.

The Porterfield R4S pads definitely fade quickly. I hit 125 or so down the straight into turn 1 and was standing on the brakes by the 2nd braking marker to make turn 1 at all. This was the time xstar decided rallying was more fun. :P
I was a bit concerned as I saw xstar getting closer to me in the rear view when I glanced up to make sure his brakes weren't fading like mine.

As this was my first track event in a car ever, I posted about 6 laps between 1:38.8 and 1:39.5 during the open session at the end of day 2. I'm pretty sure I lost all my time on turns 1 and 10. After blowing through 5 to the edge of the grass, I backed off for the other 3 laps, as having no brakes is no fun. I find I can take 2-4 and 8,9 almost full throttle, with an occasional lift to settle the front end.

I can't wait till NHIS and then mosport, and whatever comes next.

CTKAG, sorry to hear about the constant limping. I thought things would be better after you drove back to the motel fine.
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