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Old 05-14-2015, 10:38 AM   #1
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Sebring PCA HPDE trip report

I just got back from my first ever time driving at Sebring, it was a combined event from Citrus and Suncoast regions. It was a 1-day event, 5/9/2015, the day before mother's day. Maybe because it was only 1 day, but attendance was very light, and there were only about 10-12 of us in the blue group. I barely saw any other cars the whole time I was on track. To contrast the 2 day event they had in Feb they said was sold out with 200+ cars - with Sebring being so long (3.7 miles) I think they allow a huge number of cars in each run group. I will say the flag folks were top notch, I did not see any trains and they didn't hesitate to wave the blue flag.

My instructor was Lou Lipari, he races a 968 Firehawk (I guess that is some type of Porsche 968?) and he also has a Cayman S, a 2008 I think. He brought the Cayman for the first time to Sebring instead of the race car, so I got to ride with him one session. Here is one of his race start videos, crazy! Skip ahead to 6:00 for the green flag.

There are 4 run groups (green, blue, yellow sol, red instructor solo) and each group gets 4 30 minute run sessions, with the exception of Green & Blue, who run their first session together as parade laps with no helmets for familiarization. Then for the following 3 "hot" sessions they like the instructor to drive the first 2 laps to get a feel for the car and to show more of the line at speed. Sebring has a lot of walls, unlike Roebling which is wide open except for the pit wall after turn 9. My instructor drove the first two laps of our first hot sessions and then after the first session he was fine with the car, he mostly wanted to test the brakes, which get a lot of workout at Sebring.

Session 1: My best lap was a low 3:06. It sure is a lot different than playing it on Forza (where I consistently run in the 2:30 range... ) There was a gray boxster owned by a gentleman named Chris that I met this January at RRR. In this video that is him roaring past me at the start of this lap. I tried to hang with him but he was long gone in short order.... His Boxster is a 2003 Seal Grey with a hardtop, suspension, tune, exhaust, etc... and he leaves me standing still on the straights unless I get a super launch out of the corner. When he is at WOT the exhaust is glorious but also you can feel it in your chest...

Sebring fast lap session 1

After this session I decided I was going to try and break 3:00 for the day.

Session 2: My best lap here was a high 3:05, less than half a second faster. I figured there was no way I was going to get down to 3:00. Here is a link to my 2nd session but there is not much to see there (outside of slowish driving and improvement opportunities )
Sebring fast lap session 2

In between Session 2 & 3 I rode with Lou in his Cayman in the yellow group - WOW! Just feeling the track at speed and seeing how he did certain things was a real eye opener.

Session 3: Every hot lap of this session was better than my fastest laps of the previous two sessions. I was carrying more speed through turn 1, I was turning in a little later at the hairpin and getting on the gas a little sooner, and my tires were talking to me in a few places. Lap 7 was my fastest lap with a low 2:58 and I caught up to the gray Boxster

Sebring fast lap session 3

Lap 8 was also a sub 3:00 lap but it was a high 2:59. It started out faster than Lap 7 and was slightly ahead, but then I blew it in the hairpin and got a slow launch which seemed like it affected the whole rest of the lap. I got a little closer to the gray boxster that lap, and then we got the checkered flag.

I think the major things that helped me get down to <3:00 in session 3 were slowing less and turning into 1 at around 80 and apexing around 70 (vs turn in at 70 and apex around 60), getting a smoother run and exit through 3-4-5, and slowing down a little more and turning in a little later in the hairpin which let me get to full throttle earlier

If there is a next time I have a few things to work on (and probably plenty I don't even know I need to yet)

Turn 1 - I am going to get closer to the wall, and carry a bit more speed and track out further. This time I was purposefully staying outside the line near the inner wall but I think I should get closer.

Turn 10 & 13 - I have a problem with turning in too early just about every time, and turn 13 I slow too much such that even when I turn early I don't make it to track out.

Turn 17 - ??? Lots of things to do there. I could probably brake later and harder and bend in to the wall more, and tighten up my line before the first bridge and the blue dot, and get back on the gas earlier once I am at a point that I know I have the turn.

There were quite a few Boxsters there, but I don't know if any of them are on here. Boxzilla was not there this time. My friend Chris in the gray Boxster is not here either although I told him about this forum so maybe we will see him. A couple of Boxsters I saw last year were there this year too (I did not drive last year because I broke down on the way with a failed crank position sensor). Unfortunately I don't have any pictures.

Anyway, it was a fun time, if I go back through I will try to do it in cooler weather I was figuring that May would be more moderate but this year we went right from winter to summer down here...

Steve

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Old 05-14-2015, 11:42 AM   #2
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Sebring is tricky ...

... but fun.
Based on watching your last video, here's my critique:
Turn 1 - Make the turn-in earlier which allows you to come closer to the apex (wall)
Turn 2- Is a non-turn in a Boxster
Turn 3 - Make the turn-in earlier which allows you to carry more speed
Turn 4 - Becomes a non-turn. Go straight from 3 to 5
Turn 5 - As you will be on tom of the curb with a lot of speed you need to left-foot brake as the left tire is on the curb. This brings the weight of the car forward and allows the front tires to bite and make the left turn. (This takes some practice).
Turns 6,7,8 and 9 looked very good.
Turn 10 - Make the turn-in much later so you don't get caught up in 11.
Turn 12 - can be a non-turn depending on how you handle 11.
Turn 13 - carry more speed and let the car track out completely.
Turn 14 - Bishop's Bend - can be taken flat out. Trust your brakes.
Turn 15 - watch out for trail braking. Here's where many spin out.
Turn 16 - In a mid-engined car you don't have to go left as much to make 16.
Turn 17 - Come in closer to the wall on the right (corner worker) under throttle. Hit the brakes and turn in under the center of the bridge. Track out all the way on the front straight.
If you do the above, you'll be under 2:50!
I turn 2:48 in my '98 Boxster and 2:34 in the Spec Boxster.
Come on down in February or September when the Gold Coast/Suncoast events are held. You'll see run groups of 75 cars then and the weather, especially in February is great for tracking.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro







Quote:
Originally Posted by steved0x View Post
I just got back from my first ever time driving at Sebring, it was a combined event from Citrus and Suncoast regions. It was a 1-day event, 5/9/2015, the day before mother's day. Maybe because it was only 1 day, but attendance was very light, and there were only about 10-12 of us in the blue group. I barely saw any other cars the whole time I was on track. To contrast the 2 day event they had in Feb they said was sold out with 200+ cars - with Sebring being so long (3.7 miles) I think they allow a huge number of cars in each run group. I will say the flag folks were top notch, I did not see any trains and they didn't hesitate to wave the blue flag.

My instructor was Lou Lipari, he races a 968 Firehawk (I guess that is some type of Porsche 968?) and he also has a Cayman S, a 2008 I think. He brought the Cayman for the first time to Sebring instead of the race car, so I got to ride with him one session. Here is one of his race start videos, crazy! Skip ahead to 6:00 for the green flag.

There are 4 run groups (green, blue, yellow sol, red instructor solo) and each group gets 4 30 minute run sessions, with the exception of Green & Blue, who run their first session together as parade laps with no helmets for familiarization. Then for the following 3 "hot" sessions they like the instructor to drive the first 2 laps to get a feel for the car and to show more of the line at speed. Sebring has a lot of walls, unlike Roebling which is wide open except for the pit wall after turn 9. My instructor drove the first two laps of our first hot sessions and then after the first session he was fine with the car, he mostly wanted to test the brakes, which get a lot of workout at Sebring.

Session 1: My best lap was a low 3:06. It sure is a lot different than playing it on Forza (where I consistently run in the 2:30 range... ) There was a gray boxster owned by a gentleman named Chris that I met this January at RRR. In this video that is him roaring past me at the start of this lap. I tried to hang with him but he was long gone in short order.... His Boxster is a 2003 Seal Grey with a hardtop, suspension, tune, exhaust, etc... and he leaves me standing still on the straights unless I get a super launch out of the corner. When he is at WOT the exhaust is glorious but also you can feel it in your chest...

Sebring fast lap session 1

After this session I decided I was going to try and break 3:00 for the day.

Session 2: My best lap here was a high 3:05, less than half a second faster. I figured there was no way I was going to get down to 3:00. Here is a link to my 2nd session but there is not much to see there (outside of slowish driving and improvement opportunities )
Sebring fast lap session 2

In between Session 2 & 3 I rode with Lou in his Cayman in the yellow group - WOW! Just feeling the track at speed and seeing how he did certain things was a real eye opener.

Session 3: Every hot lap of this session was better than my fastest laps of the previous two sessions. I was carrying more speed through turn 1, I was turning in a little later at the hairpin and getting on the gas a little sooner, and my tires were talking to me in a few places. Lap 7 was my fastest lap with a low 2:58 and I caught up to the gray Boxster

Sebring fast lap session 3

Lap 8 was also a sub 3:00 lap but it was a high 2:59. It started out faster than Lap 7 and was slightly ahead, but then I blew it in the hairpin and got a slow launch which seemed like it affected the whole rest of the lap. I got a little closer to the gray boxster that lap, and then we got the checkered flag.

I think the major things that helped me get down to <3:00 in session 3 were slowing less and turning into 1 at around 80 and apexing around 70 (vs turn in at 70 and apex around 60), getting a smoother run and exit through 3-4-5, and slowing down a little more and turning in a little later in the hairpin which let me get to full throttle earlier

If there is a next time I have a few things to work on (and probably plenty I don't even know I need to yet)

Turn 1 - I am going to get closer to the wall, and carry a bit more speed and track out further. This time I was purposefully staying outside the line near the inner wall but I think I should get closer.

Turn 10 & 13 - I have a problem with turning in too early just about every time, and turn 13 I slow too much such that even when I turn early I don't make it to track out.

Turn 17 - ??? Lots of things to do there. I could probably brake later and harder and bend in to the wall more, and tighten up my line before the first bridge and the blue dot, and get back on the gas earlier once I am at a point that I know I have the turn.

There were quite a few Boxsters there, but I don't know if any of them are on here. Boxzilla was not there this time. My friend Chris in the gray Boxster is not here either although I told him about this forum so maybe we will see him. A couple of Boxsters I saw last year were there this year too (I did not drive last year because I broke down on the way with a failed crank position sensor). Unfortunately I don't have any pictures.

Anyway, it was a fun time, if I go back through I will try to do it in cooler weather I was figuring that May would be more moderate but this year we went right from winter to summer down here...

Steve
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:12 PM   #3
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Nice to have someone that can provide such detailed advice. Pedro, you should charge.

PCA's HPDE season is over here in Phoenix as it generally get's to hot starting about now. Go figure tomorrow it's only supposed to get up to 72. Can't wait until fall.
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:32 PM   #4
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Our HPDE season is also halted in South Florida ...

... but we resume in September, when it's more manageable.
In the meantime I get to work or race through PCA Club Racing.
Just did COTA last weekend. Talk about hot and sticky!
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

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Originally Posted by Porsche9 View Post
Nice to have someone that can provide such detailed advice. Pedro, you should charge.

PCA's HPDE season is over here in Phoenix as it generally get's to hot starting about now. Go figure tomorrow it's only supposed to get up to 72. Can't wait until fall.
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:28 PM   #5
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Awesome, thank you Pedro! I will watch my video again with a track map and your notes and see if I can get myself ready for next time.

Steve
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:42 PM   #6
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here's a video with me in my car. This was my 2nd time driving Sebring. 2.27 lap time
car is a 2004 boxster S, PCA F class

continue your good work, it takes pratice and seat time!!!


Last edited by Paseb; 05-17-2015 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paseb View Post
here's a video with me in my car. This was my 2nd time driving Sebring. 2.27 lap time
car is a 2004 boxster S, PCA F class

continue your good work, it takes pratice and seat time!!!

I'm not sure how I missed this before, thanks for sharing! Very nice!
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steved0x View Post
I'm not sure how I missed this before, thanks for sharing! Very nice!
im at 99.3% of track record, not bad for my 2nd time there.

i will be back for the PCA race in february, now this time, my goal is to get the new track record.

i just love sebring

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