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Old 12-05-2008, 05:14 AM   #1
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Winter DE Tire Question

Hey there boys and girls, I need some advice. My first DE is tomorrow morning and I am excited!

However, it's going to be cold (well, col for this part of the world!) at the track this weekend with lows in the high 30's in the mornings. Then it warms up to the 60's during the day.

I have a set of track rims clad with a set of very low mileage Sumitomos HRTZII's.

I also have a set of street rims with Michelin PS2's with less tread on them, but still enough for the DE for sure.

I originally put the track rims on the car to save the expensive rubber, but I am concerned with cool weather grip and the fact that the track rims provide some vibration at 80 mph and cannot be balanced to remove it.

Does anyone know if the Michelins are better in cool weather compared to the Sumi tires? If price is any indication, they're probably better, but I need some outside thinking to help me make this decision.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:34 AM   #2
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I would choose PS2s for a cold day. I have not run with Sumi's but reports are that they are MUCH better when warm.

Whatever you choose pay attention out there especially in the 1st session. Work up to speed gradually. Your tires are cold, the track is cold, and you are new to this track. Stuff happens. We had a similar day last year with lows around 40F. A GT3 made a mistake at 100mph in the 1st session and went bounding through the dirt infield like a Baja 1000 racer. At times his car was 4' off the ground. He did a lot of damage but walked away without a scratch. This guy came back in October with his car all repaired and repainted, looked great. He showed up at Tech inspection with loose wheel lugs all the way around .

Listen to your instructor, have fun and drive safe. You will have a blast.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:56 AM   #3
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Randall:

If it is going to be in the 60's you should be fine especially if it is sunny. The track will heat up once everyone gets out there and I wouldn't worry about it too much. Since this is your first DE I would suggest saving the good rubber until you get more familiar with the track. You are going to be pushing yourself and your car past limits you can't imagine and I guarantee you will have a new appreciation for your car and a greater understanding about what makes it so special. Go out and have some fun. Listen to your instructor and concentrate on learning the line and the nuances of your car. You should just enjoy your first time out and not worry so much about the technical stuff. You will be surprised at how totally exhausted you will be at the end of the day.

I am very jealous of you right now! Let us know what a great time you had.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:31 AM   #4
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Cold weather and summer tires don't mix. Be very careful getting to and from the track - that's when you will be most likely to encounter freezing conditions especially overpasses.

Also your instructor may not be too familiar with driving in the cold and may expect your car to have more grip than it does. If he is pushing you to go faster than you think proper then that's the one time when its ok not to listen to him.

Good luck and have fun. But be aware that DEs can be very tiring. Make sure you rest between sessions. Even though its going to be cool make sure you stay hydrated. If you find yourself making more mistakes as the day goes on, don't be afraid to take a break.
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:43 AM   #5
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OK, I'm not educated enough... what's a DE.
Is it Driver's Education?
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:43 AM   #6
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OMG. What an amazing weekend.

Saturday, I left the track lower than a snake's belly. I showed up thinking I would be at the head of my class and would easily impress my instructor with how much skill I already possessed.

NOT.

Sunday morning, I expressed my dissatisfaction with my skills with my instructor and he said I would certainly do much better the second day, and that I was no worse than any other of his first-time DE students. No better, no worse, just typical. He said, "Street credibility helps a little here, but often you repeat your bad habits on the track."

Yup. I was always looking at the pavement in front of me, never saw a flag or flag station for that matter, etc.! And day two was a LOT better. I saw flags when he saw them, I hit a late apex most of the time, I braked in the right places and hard enough and for the length of time required to begin the turn.

What I discovered was a good driver in a 2.5 boxster can make an average driver in a GT3 or Turbo look stupid. I even passed a Turbo a couple of times when they screwed up the corner and I didn't... of course, it was a guy's wife driving his car in green and he was in the white group.

I really scrubbed my PS2's though. I had a lot less rear tread than I thought when I posted this thread asking if I should use them. I need to put new rear rubber on the car before I take it out to drive the car hard again. I'm near the wear bars.

Here's some pix of a boxster I saw at the track... This car was LOUD and the driver was FAST. Of course, he was in the yellow or white group and an old track veteran.

I think I shall go back for the April or May DE and see how much progress I make.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:17 PM   #7
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So Randall,
Was it fun???
For me track days are a little like smoking crack. I can never get enough!
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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Topless, it was 10x more fun than driving the Tail of the Dragon, and a lot safer.

Of course, I still want to go back to the TOD, but this time I will drive it faster, safer, and know what's going on with the physics of my car. I can't believe I didn't kill myself last year on that twisty road.

DE's are as much fun as a man can have with his clothes on.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:08 PM   #9
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I bought a photo of me on the banked straight doing about 105 mph. I could have hit 125 or higher had I learned how to nail turn 13, allowing me to sail through 14 and 15 and build some steam up before I hit the oval bit of the track.
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
I bought a photo of me on the banked straight doing about 105 mph. I could have hit 125 or higher had I learned how to nail turn 13, allowing me to sail through 14 and 15 and build some steam up before I hit the oval bit of the track.
Looks like fun Randall! I drove the October and November DEs in Dallas and seriously considered doing this one too; obviously I did not make it. Perhaps in 09 we can gather a few people from the forum for some DE fun. I keep bugging Jeph to go but he won't listen to me and does AX instead.
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