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My first race weekend

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  • My first race weekend

    I had my first 2 races over the past weekend at BRP with NASA. I raced in PTE both days. It was a very hot weekend and I felt like I had too much nervous energy on Saturday and probably wasted too much walking around for various reasons. I paid the price later, I was exhausted.

    The start of my first race ever sucked because the group never slowed down and went to double file. I heard the first couple of rows did but that was it. I was on I-5 and could see the pace car pull off and I guess the front cars just took off. The race was then uneventful because we were so spread out. I didn't pass anyone and no one in my class passed me. I was a little disappointed but at least my first race was noted as "No Incident" in my provisional license book.

    Sunday was just as hot and I felt like crap most of the morning. I spent way more time relaxing in the cafeteria and in Brett's trailer. I realized my mistake from the day before and changed my foolish ways. I still qualified 7 out of 9 but I was as fine with that. The start went much better as you'll see in the video should you choose to watch. I had a ton of fun during the Sunday race and broke my own personal best lap time on the last lap of the race trying to chase down another car - good stuff. Second race was also noted as "No Incident" in my provisional license book

    Thanks to everyone who gave me advice in my other thread, I really believe it helped and I think I was a bit more relaxed than I would have been without the advice. I still made lots of weird driving errors during the first race like somehow not being able to figure out what gear to be in going onto the front straight from Sunrise. I did it fine during qualifying but could not for the life of me figure it out during the race - weird. Also thanks to Rob, William and Brett for the extra driving tips that helped me to improve on Sunday. Please give feedback on the video.

    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=...s#grid/uploads
    Last edited by Red_5; 06-27-2011, 08:10 PM.
    99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
    '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

  • #2
    Ok, I'll just write down notes as I watch:

    turn 1, don't coast in, left too much room outside. Drive him all the way to the exit. When your nose is ahead, he's your *****.

    star mazda, get to the apex. 1:27 full throttle!

    cotton corners, go ahead and shove your car right up behind the rotary. You want to try to time it so you've got a run and just about to hit him at corner exit. It's ok to be right on his ass and even accidentally bump him a little in the corners since it's NASA rules. Just don't knock him off his line.

    2:43, ok he pointed you by. Next corner is a left. When you get your nose ahead, make him your ***** and force him to the right, right up against the dirt so you can get the best possible entry into buttonhook.

    good... good...

    3:47 mmm no. Not even close. If you want to do it here (and it will take real commitment), get your nose almost touching him in the esses, swing wide on the last ess before the kink, and then straighten your braking zone over a smidge of dirt, and brake late enough to be sure that you finish your braking zone with your nose ahead, physically preventing him from turning in. Either that or flying clean past him into the dirt yourself. If you try to time it so you end up with just a wheel alongside his door and not with your nose ahead to take control of the line, there's a good chance he'll turn in, you'll go in his door, and you'll be at fault.

    4:00 saw it coming. Excellent.

    4:10 just because there is a car ahead, doesn't mean you don't need to exit. Just go in full bore and if he wrecks, dodge him (into the dirt if needed).

    riverside should be flat, corners after bus stop should be flat.

    4:45 turn in earlier and jump that $#!%

    cottons, try to put it down and keep it down. Remember, an open throttle in a miata in 3rd will tend to help plant the rear.

    6:10 did you look before you turned in?

    6:40 phil hill. On some occasions in a miata you want to slowly roll on the gas. This isn't one of them.

    7:28 gas sooner.

    7:45 oops.

    8:00 that min speed was quite good but the entry was slow. That showed me how much grip those nittos have and you're not using enough of it elsewhere.

    Overall, I'm pleased with what I see. You're not making poor decisions that put other cars at risk, and you're making mistakes but not spinning from them which is kind of important in a race setting. I give it a B for a rookie racer. Keep doing what you're doing in traffic, but get closer and try to drive your line like there isn't a car 3 lengths ahead of you.

    Other than that, I'd refrence your signature line and practice that when NASA isn't looking. Racecraft needs practice, but without the outright speed when you're alone, you can't expect huge amounts of success. When you're not as quick as the quick guys, you often get to spend a lot of time alone on the track.
    Last edited by robburgoon; 06-27-2011, 10:09 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by robburgoon View Post

      6:10 did you look before you turned in?

      7:45 oops.

      Overall, I'm pleased with what I see. You're not making poor decisions that put other cars at risk, and you're making mistakes but not spinning from them which is kind of important in a race setting. I give it a B for a rookie racer. Keep doing what you're doing in traffic, but get closer and try to drive your line like there isn't a car 3 lengths ahead of you.

      Other than that, I'd refrence your signature line and practice that when NASA isn't looking. Racecraft needs practice, but without the outright speed when you're alone, you can't expect huge amounts of success. When you're not as quick as the quick guys, you often get to spend a lot of time alone on the track.
      Thanks for the feedback. It really is painful watching the video but it definitely helps. I made improvements Sunday from watching Saturday's video but obviously I "have some work to do".

      At 6:10, I knew he was there and that the other Miata was right behind him. I think I expected him to slow down more rather than go flying through like he did. I guess that's an experience thing and doesn't happen much in HPDE. I don't think I was surprised at all by the presence of other cars but some of the aggressiveness was definitely surprising. I expected it by the HC drivers but there were a couple of Porsches that I thought could have timed their passes better. Of course William passed me on the inside going into the Bus Stop in either practice or qualifying on Saturday.

      What was the "oops" for at 7:45? Nothing looked that bad to me but what do I know.

      Another thing I forgot to mention is how tiring the races are. I don't think I've ever driven that hard for that long before. I need to get into better shape.
      99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
      '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Red_5 View Post
        Another thing I forgot to mention is how tiring the races are. I don't think I've ever driven that hard for that long before. I need to get into better shape.
        try enduro. it is a 90 minutes stint. instead of usual 20-30 minutes sprint race.
        S1 Supermiata - 220whp
        13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
        17 GT350R
        03 Miata Club Sport
        96 NSX
        06 EVO MR
        15 Mini Cooper S
        Beck 550 Spyder

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bellwilliam View Post
          try enduro. it is a 90 minutes stint. instead of usual 20-30 minutes sprint race.
          I plan to at in the future. I'm glad I didn't sign up for the enduro last weekend. I was shelled by the end of the day. I could barely hold the fire extinguisher during your pittstop.
          99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
          '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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          • #6
            at 6:10, the HC was a bit too aggressive.

            on approach to Phil's Hill, you always do a second or 2 of coasting. either on the gas or on brake.
            on approach to Buttonhook. you need to be WOT on turn in, and brake in a straight line. you are lifting on turn in. remember to double apex, it is almost a mini version of Bowl at SOW CCW. on the gas on turn in.
            you were much faster by end of the video. you didn't lift as much.
            good job on the first race. no off, no issue.
            S1 Supermiata - 220whp
            13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
            17 GT350R
            03 Miata Club Sport
            96 NSX
            06 EVO MR
            15 Mini Cooper S
            Beck 550 Spyder

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            • #7
              Hoping to match up the faces I met to the names here. So I met Ed first then William came by. And a third person was Eric? So is Red_5 = Eric?
              Technik Engineering ASA Stage 1.
              Supercharged E46 M54B25.
              2011 NASA TTC So Cal Champion!

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              • #8
                =0) super dope! grats on a fun weekend!
                Jairo "Hido" J

                Gamble It Films!
                http://www.GambleItFilms.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  Congrats! Pretty cool getting your personal best in the last lap of a race. That track configuration looked like a fun one.
                  99 C5 corvette SCCA GT2
                  99 Supermiata "Super"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vince S. View Post
                    Hoping to match up the faces I met to the names here. So I met Ed first then William came by. And a third person was Eric? So is Red_5 = Eric?
                    Yep Vince, I'm Eric. Nice to finally meet you too.
                    Originally posted by minorthreat View Post
                    =0) super dope! grats on a fun weekend!
                    Thanks man
                    Originally posted by redtopz View Post
                    Congrats! Pretty cool getting your personal best in the last lap of a race. That track configuration looked like a fun one.
                    Thanks. The Buttonhook, second to last turn, was killing me all weekend. It's amazing how different a track can seem going the direction, especially that turn. Very fun and challenging.
                    99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                    '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bellwilliam View Post
                      at 6:10, the HC was a bit too aggressive.

                      on approach to Phil's Hill, you always do a second or 2 of coasting. either on the gas or on brake.
                      on approach to Buttonhook. you need to be WOT on turn in, and brake in a straight line. you are lifting on turn in. remember to double apex, it is almost a mini version of Bowl at SOW CCW. on the gas on turn in.
                      you were much faster by end of the video. you didn't lift as much.
                      good job on the first race. no off, no issue.
                      thanks William for the feedback. I'm working on coasting less and getting on the throttle harder/sooner. There were several times during the weekend where I had thought of "just get through the weekend without issue". They aren't only looking at the races but all sessions for incidents. Your tip on Grapevine/Cotton Corners was very helpful. I was definitely faster through there Sunday than Saturday and I still have work to do there - November.
                      99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                      '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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                      • #12
                        Way to get through it. I had the same nervous energy my first full race weekend too. On your second, you'll be much more relaxed.
                        ~ Jim Tway
                        Tway Motorsports
                        (714) 528-2150
                        #57 Pacific Automotive Recycling Center Corvette

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jimt View Post
                          Way to get through it. I had the same nervous energy my first full race weekend too. On your second, you'll be much more relaxed.
                          Thanks, but I'm not sure I'll be less nervous. My next race weekend should be at ACS and I've never even been there before. I'm pretty sure I'll be nervous. By my third weekend or if work gets in the way of ACS, I'll be okay at being back at BRP.
                          99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                          '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Red_5 View Post
                            Thanks, but I'm not sure I'll be less nervous. My next race weekend should be at ACS and I've never even been there before. I'm pretty sure I'll be nervous. By my third weekend or if work gets in the way of ACS, I'll be okay at being back at BRP.
                            ACS in a Miata -- bring a newspaper to read while you drive down the front straight.
                            The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

                            2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
                            1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
                            2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - my last track day car (FOR SALE or not, depending on how I feel when I fall out of bed tomorrow morning)
                            2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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                            • #15
                              Hey Eric. It was nice to finally meet you on Sat. Congrats on finishing your first weekend without any issues. Rob pretty much covered everything, but remember, for now just focus on keeping it clean and getting through your first few races.


                              Originally posted by Vince S. View Post
                              Hoping to match up the faces I met to the names here. So I met Ed first then William came by. And a third person was Eric? So is Red_5 = Eric?
                              Nice to see you again Vince.
                              Team Rambling Warrior Poet


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