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Old 06-28-2017, 05:28 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 3,895
Trip report and footwell camera showing my heel/toe downshifts at Road Atlanta

This past Friday, 6/16/2017, I went to a 1 day event at Road Atlanta with JZilla. There was a high forecast of rain, but we got lucky, and other than a few sprinkles in the morning, the weather held off and we had a great day.

The night before as a different story - I went on a track walk, and about halfway through it really started coming down. Going down the hill before turn 12 I was afraid my feet were going to slip out from under me. It is hard to communicate in pictures or watching a video, or even playing a driving sim, but it is steep...

  • I had a goal to break 2:00, which is something I have never done before in my previous 6 track days at Road Atlanta. Last time I was there was March 2016, and I think my best was a 2:03 something. The previous November I think I was in the 2:01 range. I guess I learned some things since March 2016 because I got a couple of 1:59's in my first warmup session, and then after that I ran lots of 1:55's, some 1:54's, and a single high 1:53. I was pretty happy - I was hoping for a result like this. Last time I went to Sebring after a long break like that I shaved off 8 seconds and I was hoping for a similar result here.
  • Traffic - other than 2 trains, which I got around by going into the pits, traffic was great and drivers were very courteous, and I had tons of clear track, and this was with quite a few folks in my run group, my guess from looking at the roster was maybe 40+. The trains happened in session 2 & 3, and a few folks (at least 1) got moved down a run group, and overall it was a great and well run event. This is my 2nd time with JZilla, and both events were great.
  • Run groups - this event had 4 run groups, and I was in the intermediate group (Novice, Novice Solo, Intermediate, Advanced/Race). Maybe that's why it was so smooth, I passed some cars, some cars passed me, but it was all very smooth. I think I like these higher groups, at first I thought it was all about speed, but now I am realizing that while some of it is speed, it is more about experience, courtesy, and awareness.
  • I took a wrong turn coming down by Atlanta and had to get off the interstate to make a U-turn, and I decided to turn into the first place I passed in order to check my maps, and that first place turn out to be Atlanta Perimeter Porsche, so I went in there, hung out a little, and got some water bottles and snacks. They invited me to park under their circular covered drive, while at the same time they told a newer Buick SUV that tried to park there to move

  • Even though I shaved off a ton of time, I think the car still has around 10 seconds. I have been watching videos, our own Lap1doug has shared some in his Boxster where he is going around 10 seconds faster, and there is a guy on YouTube name Rich Boven that runs with Chin that runs like 1:41, although I think his Boxster is race prepped and possibly lightened, I don't have the details. However, I can turn this into a highlight - it just means I have more to learn and gives me some more goals and things to work on. In both of these examples the driving is very smooth too, no frantic corrections or things like that.
  • It was only a 1 day event. Road Atlanta is kind of far - a 1 day event at Roebling is no big deal since it is only 3 hours away, depending on traffic, Road Atlanta turns out to be 5-6 hours away. I bet I could have shaved off some more time the next morning if it was a 2 day event
  • Traffic in the Atlanta area...
  • My Hankook R-S3 fronts were shot after CMP, and I didn't want to buy any more tires because I had a set of Nitto NT-01 in my storage, so I ran those tires this event (all previous Road Atlanta events were on the R-S3). So it is not really an apples to apples comparison, although I do think that I would have had similar results with the R-S3, since I am driving so far below the limit of the NT-01. I have also driven Roebling and Sebring with the NT-01, but my fastest times were set on my most recent visit to each, with the R-S3. I really wish I could have broken my best time on the R-S3, but maybe next time (on the R-S4)

One cool thing I tried this time was to clip a camera under the steering wheel on the owner manual tray to see if I could catch some footage of the pedals when I was driving, and that actually turned out really well.

In that session we also had a red flag drill, and we end up stopped going uphill between turn 6 & 7. I hook my wheel over the edge of the track to try and hold me (which doesn't really work) and you can see the brakes really smoking in the car ahead of me. Fast forward to 12:45 to see it.

I also ran one session when I mounted the camera outside the car. I tried that once before, but this time I was able to capture where the tire met the road, and you can see the deflection of the tire in the turns. If you fast forward to 8:55 I am right behind a car that doesn't make turn 3 and goes off. They did a good job going straight off and not trying some heroic save, or else I may have been caught up in it.

In the final session of the day a Nissin Nismo Juke had an ABS failure and went off in turn 1, didn't hit the wall, but got stuck in the gravel, so they black flagged the session to drag him out. I was right behind him for about half a lap and it looks like his brake issues started when braking for turn 7 (you can see a big cloud of smoke ahead when I come through 6), here is some video of that:

Here is a video fro the car behind. You can see here that as he is entering turn he starts to spin like a top:

Also not shown in this video, the red NC Miata that is in front of me as I go up the hill toward the bridge leading up to turn 12 did a money shift and went 3->2 near redline instead of 3->4. He is out of camera range right then unfortunately, as I was curious to see if his back tires smoked or not. He reports that his car is fine thankfully

There was also a guy in the novice group with a very nice Lapis Blue 996, I was talking to him and we were talking tires, and it turns out he had Continental Contact Extreme DW (or whatever it is called) on the front, and the DWS all season version on the back. I told him that was a terrible idea and that he was likely to feel some squirrely behavior near the limit. He said he was working on getting some new wheels and tires. Then I later saw this video posted by another driver from the last session of the day (I can tell because you can see where someone had oiled down the track earlier...), the 996 makes its appearance at 45 seconds in:

Here is a Harry's Lap Timer view of my "fast" lap:

It was a great trip and I think I am going to try and go back this November with MVP Track Time.

I also met a fellow 986forum member there, either Justin (or Jason or something) (sorry Justin, or Jason...), he said he only posts here when he has a problem, but usually he searches and finds the answer so he barely ever posts. I meant to get a photo with our cars but it never worked out.... And I never got his user name either. He and I were the only two Boxsters there, although there were some Caymans and 2-3 996s.
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