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-   -   Trip report and footwell camera showing my heel/toe downshifts at Road Atlanta (http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-racing-forum/67392-trip-report-footwell-camera-showing-my-heel-toe-downshifts-road-atlanta.html)

steved0x 06-28-2017 05:28 AM

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...

Highlights:
  • 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 :)

Lowlights
  • 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.

https://youtu.be/4gCpegHQWsw
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4gCpegHQWsw?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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.

https://youtu.be/ei1O7CzVUiQ
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ei1O7CzVUiQ?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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:

https://youtu.be/lwPiABg2jys
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lwPiABg2jys?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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:

https://youtu.be/pT2hmV-gwo4
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pT2hmV-gwo4?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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 :)

https://youtu.be/Qc4vSvxG3Gw
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Qc4vSvxG3Gw?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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:

https://youtu.be/3K8MJATkN2w
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3K8MJATkN2w?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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

https://youtu.be/qihLO2a4G9I
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qihLO2a4G9I?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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.

Lemming 06-28-2017 06:32 AM

Looks like you had a great time. I've not been to RA in far too long, that will be rectified next month.

You would definitely benefit from going down a gear in a few places. Watch some of the spec boxster vids from RA and see. Also need to keep you foot in it coming down the hill into T12, its a really fast corner and on NT01's you can carry much more speed.

Congrats on the time decrease and keep working at it.

steved0x 06-28-2017 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lemming (Post 542310)
You would definitely benefit from going down a gear in a few places. Watch some of the spec boxster vids from RA and see.

I agree, I think if this was a 2 day event I may have tried the following:
  • Go from 4->3 when braking for turn 3 - I was flat coming out of turn 3 leading up to the esses and was nowhere near the limit
  • Go from 4->3 when braking for turn 6 - then I don't have a downshift going into 7 and I can put all my focus on maximizing my speed there
  • Or maybe even try 3->2 going into turn 7, 3rd is lugging it coming out of there
  • Turn 1 - at my current speeds I could probably go 4->3 and pull up the hill better, but I think I can roll more speed into 1. Once I feel I am doing well there, I will see if a 4->3 makes sense

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lemming (Post 542310)
Also need to keep you foot in it coming down the hill into T12, its a really fast corner and on NT01's you can carry much more speed.

That is definitely a work in progress :) I think what I might try is go 3->5 (or even 3->6 unless that would put me way too low in the RPM range) under the bridge, and then work up to more throttle that way. Then when my foot is used to pressing down (it often releases by itself...) I will go back to 4.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Lemming (Post 542310)
Looks like you had a great time. I've not been to RA in far too long, that will be rectified next month.

Who are you running with when you go back? There is a Just Track It event that I am toying with the idea of going...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lemming (Post 542310)
Congrats on the time decrease and keep working at it.

Thank you! It felt really good!

Lemming 06-28-2017 08:41 AM

Nabil talked me into coming over and teaching the novice classroom sessions at the next event. Since I need testing time with the new SPB, I am going.

Since I've not driven an SPB at RA it's difficult for me to say exactly what gear you need to be in. In the other cars that I've driven, T1 is not a downshift unless you are in traffic and have to slow. Having said that, in order to get up the hill to T2, you will have to carry more speed through 1.

T3 has been a downshift in every car I've driven at RA, then upshift to 4th before entering the SSSSSS.

T6 is difficult to answer until I drive it as I've done it both ways depending on car driven. Watching video from Todd Lamb, he is going into 3rd at T6, followed by 2nd at T7. The shift back to 3rd comes at trackout and can be difficult.

steved0x 06-28-2017 09:32 AM

Your gears are a little different than mine since I have the 6 speed, your gears are all just a little taller I think. I guess I should look it up.

Brian was at the JZilla track day instructing and driving, Nabil and Brian are good folks, I just did 2 days with them at CMP and I'm going to try and go to Roebling with them in November if it doesn't overlap the MVP Track Time event at Road Atlanta. JZilla says there "may" be another Road Atlanta day added and I wonder if it will be the Friday before this Just Track It event. That would be a cool combo.

Maybe I will see you there, if so, maybe you can ride with me and help me get faster :)

Does your SPB have a passenger seat If so I will beg a ride along...

Edit: uggg I just verified that I have a work trip that week to Seattle, so no Road Atlanta for me in July...


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