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Old 10-02-2021, 07:08 PM   #1
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spinouts!

Looking for a little advice. Im having issues with spinning out. im in a 2000 986s thats stock except racing seats and a fabspeed exhaust. Tires are re71r's. Ive spunout once at each of my last 3 hpde events (ive done about 8 total in my career). I was under the impression the 986 was super forgiving. Do I just suck that badly? I clearly need more track time and plan to keep working on it but am looking for any advice that may help a rookie out. Im spinning out at or just after the apex of sharp turns. I get into the turn but then lose the ass end. Im dont think im letting off the gas but not sure. Today was wet and rainy and I think i lost it when my inside tires hit the painted Kerb. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 10-02-2021, 08:02 PM   #2
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Rule #1 in the rain is DON'T touch the gators (curbs) when they're wet. They will be slick as glass. In fact, when it's wet you want to move a couple of feet away from the apex. The reason is there is rubber ground into the groove and when it becomes wet it becomes slick as glass. Moving a groove outside puts your tires on more virgin territory that has less tire and more asphalt for better traction. You must also be very smooth with your throttle response coming out of a wet corner.

Assessing your situation will be viturally impossible without video. All we can do is guess. Get a GoPro and start videoing your sessions. A used one on ebay can be purchased for cheap money. Very valuable learning tool to see what you're really doing vs what you think you're doing, regardless whether you're diagnosing a spin or just assessing your driving in general. Then we have something to look at vs basing analysis on a paragraph description.

Are your dry track spins early or late in the session? If early, do you have enough heat built up in your R comp tires? You can't just come out of the pits and hit that 1st turn full blast on cold R comps. It might take a full lap to warm them up. If ambient temps are low, R comp tires may not heat up for quite a bit of the session. If late, maybe you have too much air pressure in your rear tires. Tires heat up as the session progresses and if you have too much air in them at the start, they will lose traction as the pressure increases throughout the session. Monitoring tire pressures during a session is important to drivability.

If you're spinning out at or past the apex, that means your weight transfer is occurring where the weight is moving from back to front, resulting in less traction on your rears. Chances are this is because you're carrying too much speed into the corner and then try to slow down by braking or taking your foot off the gas. This will cause the fwd weight transfer. Remember the famous adage: slow in, fast out. And not every corner is capable of trail braking, but that's a way to keep your car balanced in a corner rather than having a front biased balance (resulting in less rear traction). A balanced car is a happy car.

But as stated earlier, we can only guess unless we have video. Hang in there and it will become more fun as you master your car and track.
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Last edited by husker boxster; 10-02-2021 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 10-03-2021, 10:07 AM   #3
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husker boxster is an instructor and has lots of experience. I trust his guidance. I'll add this to augment what he said. I'm a novice and I spin. Typically when it happens I have entered the turn too fast, I cut in for a too-early apex and do not have enough traction left in the tires to recover. When I do it wrong, it feels wrong from the instant I start turning.

When I do it right, it feels right. Brake hard coming in and trail off on the brake (smoothly) as I turn - exchanging braking friction for turning friction. Approaching the corner I look to the apex, but in the corner my eyes are ahead on the exit, then ahead to the next section of track. Fixation on the apex ruins me when I let it happen.

Tires matter. Not just what tire, but having the right pressure, age of the tires, and alignment.

Here's a playlist of very old videos that present the basics very clearly starting with tire pressure:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0zWLZDCJ_0&list=PLQK00oc6k4iRkIcUCXMZ-wXe_we121CNc
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Old 10-03-2021, 10:25 AM   #4
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Only other thing I'll add is... ASK your instructor what happened. We, though sitting right seat, feel most things happen before they do and anticipate what's going to happen.

For instance, I was working with a student couple years back at Mid-O who said he was really struggling w T1... a 'flat' 90 higher speed left hander. True he was, but more importantly he was not smooth in chicane (T2-3) just before keyhole. I was feeding him a little bit on T1 but really trying to focus his concentration on T2-3, the chicane. Why? T1 is really about confidence and trusting the car/track/conditions etc. T2-3, the chicane, is about balance, weight transfer, and control. Sure enough 3rd session a few laps in he started 'getting' T1 but was still upsetting the car T2-3. I congratulated him on getting T1 but cautioned him and said he needs to be extra careful next lap w T2-3 b/c his entry speed to T2-3 was going to be substantially faster now that he 'got' T1.

Guess what happened very next lap? He nailed T1 w precision better than previous lap and we promptly spun and went off after T2 before T3 b/c his upsetting the car was amplified by much higher entry speed.

Good luck, have fun & ask lots of questions of your instructor
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Old 10-04-2021, 04:10 AM   #5
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With a few events under your belt, you should have at least some sense of what's going on by now. Can you feel the rear start to break away before it goes or does it just snap? Are you comfortable feeling, and dealing with, oversteer and understeer?

A Boxster is indeed a fairly easy car, but it's not a fwd car where you just manage the front tires to minimize understeer. You need to manage all four tires, and constantly adjust the balance of the car. An MR car does have a low polar moment of inertia, so things tend to happen a little quicker than in an FR car.

Another note is that the RE71R is pretty unforgiving. Production stopped in 2019, so any left out there are now getting even more cantankerous. They'll grip, but when you go over the limit they just totally turn off. A more modern tire / one with more progressive breakaway will give you more confidence to probe the limits and even go over a bit, without that "on eggshells" feeling.
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Old 10-06-2021, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspoljor View Post
Today was wet and rainy and I think i lost it when my inside tires hit the painted Kerb. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I see you're in Indiana. Were you at Putnam Park this weekend by any chance? I was there instructing in my yellow 2002 Boxster S. It was definitely slippery. I was glad my student's 2003 Boxster was optioned with PSM!

I'd be happy to help you next year at HPDE events at Putnam if that's where you generally run. Otherwise, follow the advice here and just work with an experienced PCA instructor who is familiar with 986's. Good luck!
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Old 10-07-2021, 03:44 AM   #7
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If you were running at Putnam what turn did you spin at?
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Old 10-07-2021, 07:41 AM   #8
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Pretty much what Hukster said.

I would add something simple. IMHO, If you are spinning out at a corner, you are going too fast for the corner in your configuration and line.
One thing to try is lower your speed maybe 5 MPH and increase your speed on each subsequent lap to find your max speed.

There are a lot of factors involved. Re-71s are great "street" trackable tires, while they are reasonable sticky, they are not truly R comp tires. They do handle heat reasonable well, but will get a bit greasy as they get really hot, so towards the end of a session, they won't perform as well as a coupler of laps prior. Look into Nitto Nt-01s if you can go with less than 200TW in your class. They love heat.

As we say in San Diego region of PCA, "Sometimes in order to find your limits, you need to exceed them" that and "In a spin, BOTH feet in and come to a complete stop"

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