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ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS Reader
8/10/21 9:09 p.m.

This past weekend i was at Grattan raceway.  Midnight Motorsports hosted a 2 day event and other than a slightly wet track for the first hour on Sunday it was a great weekend.  This was my first time at Grattan raceway and I think my time was respectable but I also realize there is room for improvement.  I ran a best of 1.36.9xx and my times were consistently in the 1.37's when I had a clean lap.  The car is a stock c6 corvette.  

FYI; the title is a throw back to a less than pleasant experience I had when auto crossing over the winter; Autocross: how much do I suck?

Edit:  Here is a video from this past Friday evening (7/24/22) at Autobahn south.  I ran a 1:45 which was my best time of the evening, I ran into some traffic during the last few seconds of the lap and since I never got past that traffic for the rest of the session and my lap times went down to ~1:48 I think i could have run a 44.  I still have about 6-7 seconds of time to find out there as I think I and the car can run a 1:40 or better.  Any feedback/critique welcome.  

 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/10/21 9:20 p.m.

Without even pressing play on the video.

 

If it was your first time on a track and you never missed a flag, you knew where the flag stations were and you picked them up early, you didn't ever go off, you were never black flagged, and you never had an instructor in your ear, I can say that you did well. 

adam525i
adam525i Dork
8/10/21 9:24 p.m.

I can't offer any advice other than to get your camera centered better :)

Once the borders open and things settle down (so 2022) I'm looking forward to making the drive over to Grattan, it looks like a really fun track.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/10/21 9:25 p.m.

I think you'll find in this forum.... you never suck.  You're here.  You're trying racing things.  You are flogging stuff around a track.  I have been on this forum since 2012 and been to exactly two events and these folks are always supportive of my endeavors.

Welcome.

The only thing that sucks about this for me is that you have a C6 and I don't.

I will say that you seem timid on both pedals.  I have no idea how that track (or your car) feels, but I think you can push it further and lean on the brakes, and roll on the gas a bit earlier.  I keep seeing the throttle drop as you get close to a curve, or even sometimes in a straight.  This is my problem as well.  I primarily drive old muscle cars that can't take a turn or brake in time to take a turn.  I slow down too early.  I see a cone coming up and I lift off to keep speed instead of staying on it and trusting that my brakes can slow me down in time.

 

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
8/10/21 9:33 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

If it was your first time on a track and you never missed a flag, you knew where the flag stations were and you picked them up early, you didn't ever go off, you were never black flagged, and you never had an instructor in your ear, I can say that you did well. 

First time at Grattan, this is my 3rd year doing HPDE.  In 3 years I have only been black flagged once and had all 4 wheels off the track once (separate events, ironically same track and same turn).  

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
8/10/21 9:43 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

I think you'll find in this forum.... you never suck.  You're here.  You're trying racing things.  You are flogging stuff around a track.  I have been on this forum since 2012 and been to exactly two events and these folks are always supportive of my endeavors.

Welcome.

The only thing that sucks about this for me is that you have a C6 and I don't.

I will say that you seem timid on both pedals.  I have no idea how that track (or your car) feels, but I think you can push it further and lean on the brakes, and roll on the gas a bit earlier.  I keep seeing the throttle drop as you get close to a curve, or even sometimes in a straight.  This is my problem as well.  I primarily drive old muscle cars that can't take a turn or brake in time to take a turn.  I slow down too early.  I see a cone coming up and I lift off to keep speed instead of staying on it and trusting that my brakes can slow me down in time.

 

Thank you for the kind words, the "how much do I suck" was intended to be tongue in cheek, i am actually fairly happy with the times that I was running.  I showed constant improvement across the two days on the track dropping my times a few tenths every time out.  my first few sessions I was running 1:39 and over the course of 10 sessions I dropped ~3 seconds off of my time.  I would love to know how a 1:36 stacks up against similarly spec'd cars.  There was a very modified c6 that was pitted next to me and he was running in the low 1:21's but he had 100tw Toyo tires in 295/305 and an extra 100hp.  That being said, I know those 3 things don't add up to 15 seconds.  

one thing to note is that my setup is just an iphone with a $20 OBDII reader, so the throttle input and speed stuff tends to lag a bit.  

nocones
nocones UberDork
8/10/21 10:22 p.m.

I ran a 1:30.5 in a Very modified MG midget at my first Grattan event.  It is a great track and I think the little things at this track probably make a huge difference.  Also your comfort to push deep into braking for T1 and carry speed over the Jump.  

I've attached my video.  Your laps looked pretty good for a first event.  Better to be conservative and approach speed slowly then end up in the fence or woods. 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
8/10/21 10:31 p.m.

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

Trying to learn in a Corvette is like trying to learn Navigation in a barrel going over Niagara falls.  
     A slower car gives your body more time to learn. Allows your brain to catch up to all the inputs your body is giving you. 
   Hint, When the Navy teaches new jet pilots to fly they don't start in an F35. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
8/10/21 11:49 p.m.

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

I will actually contradict what Curtis is saying to some degree. Early in the video you are taking a somewhat conservative approach. The thing I like is you are hitting your marks for the most part (note them are some hard tires) with a couple of early turn ins and a kissed apex here and there........nothing major.

Around the 6 minute mark you start trying a little harder and get choppy. What I would caution you about is one particular area; not sure of the corner number but the section where you are  braking uphill angling over to the left to line up the turn in point for a right over crest turn. Again in and around the 6 minute mark you were a bit ragged and if you start pressing in the section before you have it nailed down you're going to possibly have an off there. The only reason I even bring up something you only did once is there appears to be not a lot of run off there.  Again take your time.

Overall you look really good, keep working on hitting your marks and the speed will come. I wish every track day driver took your measured approach.

 

akylekoz
akylekoz SuperDork
8/11/21 5:40 a.m.

I miss Grattan! 

If it was your first time there you probably didn't even learn the track yet.  I know the turn Tom1200 is referring to, it's tricky, blind, off camber left going into the right hander before the jump, not a super easy section to get right. 

My first laps there were in a stockish 92 Mustang, it as fun to keep going back after each modification and see my times drop.  Then continue to drop with older tires but more seat time.  I can't recall my times right now but low 1:50's sounds right, 1:30's is moving in my book. 

How were your wet track time compared to your dry?   I hit a mid day wet couple of laps there and only lost a couple of seconds per lap, due to focusing on smooth.   This told me I was overdriving the car, once dry and smooth I lost a couple more seconds.  Such a fun track to suck at.

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS New Reader
8/11/21 7:30 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

I will actually contradict what Curtis is saying to some degree. Early in the video you are taking a somewhat conservative approach. The thing I like is you are hitting your marks for the most part (note them are some hard tires) with a couple of early turn ins and a kissed apex here and there........nothing major.

re: the tires, they are Goodyear SC3's I had them installed earlier this year and prior to that event had 1 day and a handful of street miles on them.  I thought those were supposed to be pretty sticky tires and I ran them at 28# front and rear to start the day and was finding the pressures in the ~34 at the end of the session according to the dashboard (since the cool down lap and return to the pits takes 2+ minutes and I never remember to check tire pressures as soon as I get out of the car, that is measured via the car's computer during the cooldown lap)

as for my time in the wet, they were not much slower.  The first session the track was damp and I ran a best of 1:42.xxx.   

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/11/21 8:56 a.m.

Yup, you did good. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
8/11/21 10:13 a.m.

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

The tires just seem to make a fair bit of noise. I looked and they are 100 treadwear so actually should be fairly grippy..........so ignore my assumption that they were hard tires due to the noise.  

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
8/11/21 10:51 a.m.

In my opinion, there is zero reason to record data or lap video (aside from keeping as a memory) until you are advanced enough of a student to be able to both identify and correct issues.

There is enough stress and multitasking just learning car control and track awareness as it is. Trying to also focus on lap timing is going to lead you to pushing further than your mind can process and will put you in serious trouble.

Just my opinion OP and love that you are head first into this amazing hobby. Hope you have started buying jeans with deeper pockets as you are going to need them! 

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
8/11/21 11:19 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

The tires just seem to make a fair bit of noise. I looked and they are 100 treadwear so actually should be fairly grippy..........so ignore my assumption that they were are tires due to the noise.  

You looked at the Supercar 3R, which is considerably faster. The Supercar 3 is 220 treadwear.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
8/11/21 11:20 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

The tires just seem to make a fair bit of noise. I looked and they are 100 treadwear so actually should be fairly grippy..........so ignore my assumption that they were are tires due to the noise.  

You're thinking of the Supercar 3R, which are 100 treadwear and considerably faster. The Supercar 3 is 220 treadwear.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
8/11/21 11:21 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

In reply to ClearWaterMS :

The tires just seem to make a fair bit of noise. I looked and they are 100 treadwear so actually should be fairly grippy..........so ignore my assumption that they were are tires due to the noise.  

You're thinking of the Supercar 3R, which are 100 treadwear and considerably faster. The Supercar 3 is 220 treadwear.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/11/21 11:42 a.m.
Olemiss540 said:

In my opinion, there is zero reason to record data or lap video (aside from keeping as a memory) until you are advanced enough of a student to be able to both identify and correct issues.

I disagree.  Even if you can't read it yourself right now, it's super useful to have when looking for advice from other people, either informally (like in this thread!) or in a coaching situation.  As with anything you need to practice to learn, and the sooner you start on reviewing your own video the sooner you'll be able to identify the issues in it.

Also, on a mental level I really like having a record of where I came from.  That way I have evidence that even though I still think I suck at this, I can see that at least I don't suck as much as I used to. :)

Having a lap timer visible to you as an relatively inexperienced driver may not be useful, though.

 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/11/21 11:57 a.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

I agree. There's an adage in golf that is something along the lines of if you get a coach when you're a beginner you don't learn the bad habits in creating your own swing so there's less for a coach to have to correct and you become better much faster as there's nothing getting torn down to be rebuilt properly. Having video of early sessions when not pushing things beyond 8/10 is a good thing as an instructor can point out potential concerns or positively or critically provide the guidance of where can be pushed harder next. I also feel that it's important to do this for each different track, as there's nuances with regards to surface where some locations will have more grip than others or more grip under braking than others and of course camber differences of track specific corners that don't translate well on sim racing setups. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/11/21 12:11 p.m.

As far as the video itself goes, I agree on learning to be smoother with the throttle.  For example, at 1:29 you stomp on it pretty aggressively while the car is still turning which is likely not going to work as you start carrying more speed through the corner.  Similar at 2:26 and 2:55 and others.  You want to start getting on the throttle earlier but more progressively, feeling the grip in the back end of the car as you feed it in and trying to keep it balanced.  2:20 is better in this regard.

It's hard to be sure from the video (the speed trace is laggy), but it also looks like you might want to think about brake pedal techniques as well.  Ideally you want to transition quickly from full throttle to a fast, hard, initial brake application, then taper off the pressure as the speed comes down and you approach the turn-in point.  For example, at 3:42 you come off the throttle pedal and the gee bar goes up to about half a gee of deceleration, sits there for half a second, and then goes to a full gee.

As far as line goes, I've never driven this track so I'm not sure.  It looks like you might be early on the corners, although the camera location isn't great for figuring out car placement on the track.

akylekoz
akylekoz SuperDork
8/11/21 12:11 p.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

One nuance that Grattan used to have was a big dip right at the apex of the turn before the front straight.  I hit it a little to hard once and had a nice slide to start the front straight.  I was warned about it in the drivers meeting, still hit it.

Also while chasing a faster car I hit the straight to find him gone, a quick scan found him sliding right up to the guard rail in front of the bleachers.  

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
8/11/21 2:21 p.m.

You'll get more useful feedback from experienced drivers or coaches if your video shows you and your hands in addition to what's happening in front of the car. 

MINIzguy
MINIzguy HalfDork
8/11/21 3:09 p.m.

I will need to make it out to Grattan before the end of this season! Just moved to East Lansing this month

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
8/11/21 3:34 p.m.

In reply to collinskl1 :

220 is still not hard........from the sound I thought he was on something in the 300 range. Also note I run nothing but Hoosiers.

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
8/11/21 3:36 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:

Also, on a mental level I really like having a record of where I came from.  That way I have evidence that even though I still think I suck at this, I can see that at least I don't suck as much as I used to. :)

 

 

Yes, this.  I used to totally suck at motocross now I just kinda suck at motocross.

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