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Old 11-08-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
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First DE experience

Well, yesterday I had my first DE experience at Infineon. The first session was under rain, but later the track dried up.

Anyway, this was great. I did not realize how well the car handles at high speeds, and it seems that I became more confortable, particularly after sessions 3 and 4. Near the end, the PSM was kicking in almost in every corner (does this mean I was close to the limit or was I making a mistake ?). No spins or accidents. I didn't time it, but a car that was close to me was doing 2:10 or so.

Ultimately, this made me realize that at this point, anything that I do to my car will not be to add power. I plan to learn with the stock settings, and when I change anything it will be (1) tires and (2) minor suspension mods such as sway bars.

Just some thoughts from a newbie.

best
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:18 PM   #2
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One of the best ways to learn car control is on a wet track surface at somewhat lower speeds. Sounds like a very good first day. You had fun, learned a lot, and kept the shiny side up.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:28 AM   #3
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I agree. One can learn a lot at the track in the rain. On about my second or third DE it rained all weekend. All of us newbees were moping around about the rain and all the instructors were grinning! lol. "We're going to learn a lot today" they said. We did. Slowing down to match the conditions, concentrating on the line and being SMOOTH was incredibly helpful. And fun!!! (Except for the driver of the brand new Vette who apparently wasn't listening to his instructor and spun into the wall...twice in the same spin. Bummer..especially since he had taken the car directly from the dealer to the track and hadn't told his wife about the new car. Double bummer)

My first mod for the track was to change the stock brake pads to Pagids. After you get a little faster and start braking harder and later you'll more than likely find that the stock brake pads will start fading after a while. Easy quick fix. Pagid or some other track rated pads will stop the fade. They're a little harder on the rotors, and you probably don't want to drive around town with them since they tend to squeal a lot, but for the track they're a blessing.

After that...R compounds!! Whooooo hoooooo. Strap on the G suit and go for it! lol.

Have fun. Be safe. (As is always said at our DE driver's meetings..."The Newman/Haas boys JUST left, so don't try to impress anyone")

Bob
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:54 AM   #4
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DE is fun! 100% agreed!

Another safe way to learn car control is a big parking lot covered with snow. Luckily here in Utah we have plenty of those. I always do that and also let my kids drive, my wife has a lot of fun doing this as well.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:51 AM   #5
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Also, I felt I would REALLY benefit from seat/harness... Half the time I was just trying to stay inside the car. A regular seatbelt really doesn't hold very well in tight cornering...

Too bad a set of seats is so expensive...

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Old 11-09-2010, 10:37 AM   #6
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I agree, though the only time it caused problems was while turning right, and trying to operate the clutch pedal for a downshift.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:06 PM   #7
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One of my next mods will be seats/harness, nothing beats to be sitting snug in the car so that I can use my feet and hands for just driving and not bracing. Helps with left-foot-braking as well!
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:48 PM   #8
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You don't need seats and harness if this is your DD. But you do need a CG-lock. It goes on your seatbelt and locks down your lap belt so your butt is planted firmly into the seat. But you can still move your upper body around in traffic. I lock it down really tight during DEs but also use it all the time when I DD. Now if I ride in a car without it I feel like I am going to slide out of the seats. I bought mine at Nationals in 2006 and have used it for 5 years now. Looks just the same as the day I bought it. Very nice quality stainless steel piece about $50.00.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:25 PM   #9
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Good tip Y!

Lucky me, my Box is not my DD and I really want those GT3 seats
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