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Old 07-14-2001, 08:08 PM   #1
johnfelstead
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Member#: 856
Join Date: Feb 2000
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Cambridgeshire, England, UK
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2005 JDM STi
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Talking Rockingham Motor Speedway - Driven by Westie ;-)

I thought you guys would like a sneek preview of the newest track on the CHAMP car callender. Rockingham Motor Speedway here in the UK.

I have just spent the day driving round the International circuit that takes in 2 or the Oval banked corners plus the main straight then heads into the Infield, just like Daytona in the 24Hr race.

This was my first ever time on a banked corner (except the Karusell at the Nurburgring, but thats tiny). I hated it in the wet, very intimidating having that concrete wall there. In the dry though, absolutely awesome. I was taking the banked corner at 130MPH and hitting 145MPH down the main straight, before braking hard for the chicane that bypassed the 2nd banked corner. It was the first circuit i had driven on that was mainly left handers, going anti-clockwise. It made for an interesting diference in driving. After the first 2 laps i came in the pits and ripped my rear view mirror off the car, it was right in the line of sight for most of the corners.

The track is HUGE, it looks very different to anything i have driven on before. I dont know if its because its so new or down to the Tarmac used but in the wet it was Horible to drive on. I usually love driving in the wet but this was just undrivable. Like on diesel. In the dry though it was a scream, I now have slicks on the rear of the car, they used to be treaded.

Enjoy the pictures, they are still building the place. The Champ cars hit town in September, i for one will be there to watch history being made in the UK. Our first Super Speedway Oval And i drove it first.

me, does that corner dwarf my Westie or what?



Track and Pit lane Garages. Beats the hell out of Most UK tracks.



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Last edited by johnfelstead; 07-14-2001 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 07-15-2001, 11:45 PM   #2
slidewaysmike
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Cool John!! Do I spot an Elise and a WRX in the background of the garage pic? What was the occasion? Did they hold an open track day?

My guess on the bad traction is the new tarmac. New courses are already "green" enough, I am sure they are even worse when wet.

I want you to know that for some reason I love to hate you!! I am demanding that you post more cool pics, more often, as I want to live vicariously through you.

Mike
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Old 07-16-2001, 05:21 PM   #3
johnfelstead
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it was a track day run by easytrack, pretty much every type of track day drivers cars were there. We had Elises, Exiges, Caterhams including R500's, westfields (both bike and car engined), Ultima's, Scoobs, Nemisis race car, Skylines, Renault Clio Williams and so on.

Naturally i stuffed the lot of them.

My brief impresion of the day..............

Thanks to the easytrack chaps for a great day on a new circuit, it was a lot of fun.
I didnít have any problems at all with the traffic thankfully, everyone without exception got out of the way as soon as they realised I was approaching, which was nice . The only place this didnít happen easily was on the banked Oval section, but then again there really was only one line through there with all the **** on the track so I didnít expect anything else really. I did pass a few round the outside there but they made room to allow it, I was very concious of the **** just off line, get in that and your in the wall for sure.

The track is a bit of a jeckyl and hyde affair. Very hard on the brakes compared to most other places.

Basic rundown for me was exit the very tight exit of the infield second then flat in 2nd, 3rd, 4th throughout the banking drifting towards the wall on exit at around 130MPH then 5th hitting 145MPH before braking hard for the chicane at the 150 mtr board. Dropping to 4th then full throttle from about 50 yards before the chicane taking that dead straight using the entire kerb on the right. Keeping it flat right through the left-hand sweeper, avoiding the wet patch on the track transition point that stayed there all day, strange that one?? Let it drift out to the wall keeping it flat in 4th till the limiter (140) which was conveniently also the braking point for the very tight double 90 left to start the infield.

The infield could be driven in 2 styles I found, both equally fast. You could either drive it quickly, neatly and smoothly which was easy on the tyres or you could drive it like a complete head case, keeping the wheels spinning for a huge amount of time through the corners. At first I was doing the former to learn the track properly but after lunch I just went into headcase mode and spent the afternoon melting my tyres and grinning a lot.

I found I could take the 3rd corner in the infield, the uphill 80 blind right, all the way through the left/right fast kink with the rears spinning, brake for the downhill double 90 left then nail it through there completely sideways through both 90ís in one huge power slide then off up the hill. The next corner, a long constant radius lefthander I was taking in 3rd at first but I found it nicer to take in 4th later on. I found this corner was very easy to run wide on the exit of, it had a strange feel from the front through there, the grip levels dropped off late in the exit. It was then a case of heavy braking from around 120 for the tight righthander.This was a right pain to get correct, I eventually found it was quicker to make this very late turn in and straigtline the exit heading for the outer barrier then turn late away from the barrier, if I didnít do that it was just a case of very low traction as the car tried to roll on the rear and slide wide. The next right hander was fairly hard braking but you could let the car run very wide on exit and make the exit plus right kink that followed one very long full throttle ark, nice corner that one when you got it right. Then it was hard braking and down to 2nd for the left hander back onto the oval. That corner was the pits, I never got it right all day, or at least it felt crap with the off camber exit.

As to when it was wet. I normally love driving in the wet but that was just atrocious. It was like driving on diesel, no fun at all. Thank god it dried out is all I can say.

as to driving a scoob round there, a standard one brake wise is in BIG trouble. This has to be the hardest track on brakes in the UK, even harder than donington GP circuit.

The infield is a bit mickey mouse, especialy for a bigger car like a scoob i would think. It is a lot of fun, i prefer faster flowing corners though. The tight stuff is OK for a while but there is only so much rubber on my rear tyres and they took a hell of a pounding, the are now slicks.
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Old 07-16-2001, 05:43 PM   #4
Fred Zaplitny
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Hmmm. I thought you'd be driving a Lola Toyota with a big old target on the side.

Pretty cool John. I have to say, I'm jealous.
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Old 07-17-2001, 04:33 PM   #5
johnfelstead
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2005 JDM STi
Black

Talking

I gave up on the champ car, it was too slow on the infield section.
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