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Lime Rock- First Day Road Racing w/ Pictures

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Lime Rock- First Day Road Racing w/ Pictures

Old 06-24-06, 01:35 AM
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Lime Rock- First Day Road Racing w/ Pictures

im home safely with the car, minus some V712's, but rubber well spent. i had an awesome time. i woke up bright and early on thursday morning at 4.30 and left at 5 and arrived at the park at 7. it didnt start raining until i got there and didnt stop until right before my first run, so i got lucky or help from a higher power. my day started with me unpacking the 7and a walkthrough on the the course with the other novieces. i found, and they pointed out, that there are cones around every chicane to point out where you should be (great to look at while walking the track, even more help while racing and sometime difficult to get to) so we walked the track, and came back to the paddocks and lined up for racing. i was nervous and anxious and excited, so pretty much a flustered ball of emotions. we lined up to get on the track and they put an instructor in the drivers seats of all of the novices vehicles to point out the line of the track and how it should feel around the track (like a ballet on 4 wheels when driven correctly). so i have an instructor driving me around the track (if anyone truly knows me, they know i dont like or let anyone drive my car but me, so you can imagine how nervous i am at this moment already.) so the instuctor is driving my car showing me around the track and im getting a feel for where i should be and how the car feels. granted the track is wet and he isnt quite following the line, because the line has smooth pavement over it due to cars ripping the pavement up which makes it slicker then pavement in the rain due to the lack of texture to grip on. so the instructor, who by the way is a gentleman by the name of Nat for anyone keeping track, is driving my car and is getting a feel for it. the rearend kicks out around the esses by what i take as an accident because he asks what vehicle this is and follows the question by a 'wow, this thing has some go to it, huh?' which i reply an RX-7 and yes if you arent watching the speeds, she will kick out on you. he drives around a couple laps and feels my car out and then starts to push it a little harder as the laps progress. on the 4th lap hes trying to attack it with more aggression. around the esses i feel hes pushing it, just a little too hard. we come out of the esses take the right and turn into no name straight squirrely. the rear end kicks out, he tries correcting, and with the fd having a shorter wheel base, the cars rear end kicks out sending us into a 360. im reaching for the oh sh** bar, but i stuffed a towel in the door panel due to the open window and rain, so im pretty much grabbing for nothing. my heart comes close to everything but stopping as the world slowly stops spinning as im watching in slow motion the art of the 360 done by a proffessional. he punched the clutch and punches the brake and we do a (from a amatuers point of view) a perfect manuever. the car stops spinning in the exact spot that we were heading to and he keeps going like nothing happened. 'well sometimes that tends to happen. if it does you want to...........' im half listening while trying to collect myself. 'your tires might have a bald spot, but at least i kept it off the walls.' again, still collecting myself. oh yea, how can i forget the 2 cars right behind us as we were doing this trick of magnificant proportions. in the middle (180 degrees) of our turn, i looked out the windshield into the eyes of a gentlemen in a red hard top miata, wide eyed and startled, staring at me going with 'oh sh**' eyes just as i was. (the miata driver later came up to me and we had a good laugh about the situation.) so eventually we finished up the walkthrough and i literally fell out of the vehicle shaken still after 7 or so laps with him. i drove it back to the paddocks and told the story to my pit crew (zach) with a shaky voice and shaky hands. it was hard trying to show a line with your hands while shaking like a crackhead
my first couple of laps were on a wet track, but as i earlier mentioned, it stopped raining right as i was lined up to head out. I was ran in a novice class with a full grid, so i had at least 10 cars on the track at the same time as me. in my novice class were: 2 AMG Mercedes', Z06, 2 240z's, Integra, Fox Body Mustang, 2 WRX STi's, 2 Evo VIIIs, and a couple more. so i had to fight for my line sometimes. they sent us out and i got my road racing fun on the way. first couple of laps i felt out the course and took it easy. i quickly found that this is not the track to take it too easy on, especially with cars taking up your rearview forcing you to speed up or move over.. i had cars up my a** within the first lap. i did the gentleman thing and drag raced them down the whole front straight just kidding, i moved to the side and let them go and watched their line. i figured it would be a great experience to see when they brake and the line they took. the cones that were placed at the chicanes to tell where you should be placed at each turn helped a lot. i seriously used them to play connect the dots. i would look ahead, look at the upcoming cone and turn my car a general sweeping motion towards it. i found the 'general' line of the track in the first practice heat. i didnt get creative just yet, so i stuck to where i should be. during the heat i had a corvette slowly catching up to me. so what did i do: pushed it harder. by the 4th or 5th lap i was attacking each corner like i meant it. i was done ***** footing and that corvette in my rear view kept taunting me. i didnt necessarily block him on the straightways but i never broke my line to let him pass, as i was told not to. it is the responsibilty of the passer to safely pass the vehicle in his way. he eventually caught up to me on the downhill and by the time the front straigh came up, he was on my a** and gone. i watched and followed his line for as long as i could. i actually kept up with him in the corners and couldve passed him on no name straight. i just wanted to see how he came out of the down hill and into the front straight with soo much speed. by the time we got to the bottom of the hill, he was gone. so that was how my first heat went, pretty much.
by the time my second heat came up, i had a general feel for my cars reactions to the corners and the line of the track. i found quickly that if you are out of the line, the track let's you know quickly. too much gas, you're out of the pace and you're trying to make up for it throughout the next chicances; too much brake, you dont have enough speed to fully carry yourself through the next corner. but when you're driving the line as it should be, it does truly feel like a dance with you, the car and the track. it's just a smooth motion connecting you from one turn to the next. it feels like nothing else ive ever felt before. i cant even describe it (anyone who has raced lime rock or any road course im sure knows how i feel when it just feels right). so i had 2 heats with about 9-10 laps each and then i came in and they started time attacks. as the day progressed, the heat slowly rose. as the heat rose, my car was more vulnerable to the heat. i actually ran the car at upwards of 110*c. not for more then 2 laps though, when i saw the heat rise, i laid off the boost, upshifted, and just cruised the track. i couldve pitted in and let the car cool down, but i wanted to get as much seat time as possible. the car was fine after i brought it in, just needed some time to rest and cool down. the track store had water wetter, so i grabbed some and got some water from the bathroom and put some in. did it help; no, not really, but that's ok. a valliant effort was put forth in the struggle against high temperatures in a rotary powered vehicle.
later in the afternoon, we had time attacks. they set the time attack session up in order of numbers. i was number 72, so i had some time to prep the car and watch how others rode the line from the towers. my tires, as expected, rose in pressure since the morning. so i sprayed them off to cool them down and i lowered the pressure to 33 in the front and 31 in the rear. i pulled out of my paddock and headed over to the line up and got in my place. we had some difficulty in times due to cars catching up to vehicles in front of them, so we had to deal with re-runs. i lined up behind a 240z and i had a turbo charged sentra behind me. so im thinking 'ok this is fine. i shouldnt catch the z for a while, and i should pull away from the sentra.' hahahaha, yea right, never underestimate any vehicle you see at the track. ANY, no matter if its a ford fiesta with your grandmother driving it, underestimating can be youre biggest mistake. anyway, back to story time. so im lined up, i get pushed out onto the track for my time attack. they have it set up so there is 1 warm up lap, 2 time attacks, and 1 cool down lap. i pull out of the pit, gradually get up to speed and warm up the tires a little bit with a little tire squeal here and there and i ride the line. i go through the big bend on the inside of the line to work the left tires a little more to warm them up. so thats how my warm up lap went. i came out of the down hill and into the front straight with ample speed to turn out a good lap time.
i let off the throttle by the time i hit the starting line and i am tapping the brakes by the 6 and full on the brakes between 4 and 3. i stay tucked to the left and late apex the big bend and hit it in the middle of the apex on the inside and follow the middle of the track with my left wheel hanging out of the smooth pavement. i come out of big bend with a late brake into the short right turn on the wheel and into the begginning of the esses with a left hander. i run a late brake and late apex on the left hander and hit the corner right at the middle of the turn and head straight to the right hander's left side and again attack it with a late apex. i come out of the right hander with my car floating to the left side of the track and tuck myself to the right side to catch the end of the bumps to set myself up for the no name straight and then the up hill. i downshift to third and late brake to prepare for the next right hander. i pull on the uphill, and the car squats as i hit the angle increase. i lay off the gas ever so slightly as to not spin the tires too much as i come off the hill. i 'land' and settle and upshift to 4th for the short straightaway and then quickly downshift to third. i pull left then quickly right to set up for the right hander before the downhill. i put myself to the far left of the downhill to set up for the front straight. i late brake as much as possible to set up for the downhill. i brake just enough on the down hill to set me up for the end of the hill and into the front straightaway. i come out of the bend at 85mph and i keep it throttled and push it as hard as i could. i hit 117-120mph (the last thing at that speed was looking down, for all those concerned with how fast i got on the front straight, im sorry, it was in that vicinity) on the straight, and let off the throttle as i cross the starting line and tap the brake at the 6 and get on it at 4-3 and am set up for the big bend. and thats how my time attacks went. by the end of my second time attack lap and begginning of my cool down lap, i had the turbo sentra in my rear view, so i had pushed it a little bit but not fully all out on the last run. i figured my car can cool down in the paddock my best unofficial time of the day was a 1:13.1. it could be slower or faster, im not sure. my friend Zack (basqueinmyzachism) timed my laps for me, and thats what he had for best time. thanks zach, it was great meeting you and i appreciate your support. and me being the stubborn *** that i am had to see what everyone was talking about on the uphill. so on my second time attack, third lap, i push it up the hill and over the crest without fully letting off the throttle (:warning-this is not how it should be done! if you push it too hard over the crest, your car's suspension will fully extend and your steering wheel will fill light, causing you to turn more. when you land and your tires catch, your car will go where your steering wheel was pointed, which can send you to the inside of the track at full speed. so again do not do this.). it is quite the rush when all you see is blue sky and you get a tickle in your stomach. just like a roller coaster ride. i landed and rode it out and my car caught a little bit, but i straightened it out quickly. everyone warned me about it, but i had to feel it first hand (again see above mentioned warning)
so thats pretty much how my day went. i met a lot of nice guys full of enthusiasm and advice and learned a hell of a lot. my day ended with a Subaru/RX-7 meet at Hooters on the Berlin turnpike and my girlfriend waiting for me at home. i keep putting myself in the drivers seat and going for laps on the track throughout my day, recreating in my mind how it went. i really cant wait to get back on the track and after road racing, autocrossing's not looking like as much fun. im still a begginner, as most of you who have seen me race would clearly know, and im still sticking to autocrossing. i feel i can learn a lot about myself and my car through autocrossing, but roadracing is where i want to be. with that said, i have to prepare my car a lot different then how i was planning on. I need to change the intercooler/radiator set up and a single turbo is definatly in the long shot picture. with my temps running as hot as they were, it would not be smart to leave it as it is. the suspension is awesome on the road race, so im gonna leave that as it is. i am hoping to get back on the track at least one more time this year on Lime Rock and hopefully once at Pocono.
so thats how my first day on Lime Rock went. i have a video of my Time Attack session including warm up and cool down laps, but i cant find a way to upload them. once i figure out how to, ill put them up. i am going to the american le mans series on the 1st with hopefully my little brother, so if anyone from the club is planning on going, let me know and hopefully we can meet up. sorry i went on forever, it was seriously a breathtaking experience that i hope everyone can one day feel and this thread does not truly express how it was, but it gets a little feel and a teaser that should hopefully push anyone who wants to race Lime Rock to take that first step and get out there. If you've read this far, thanks, and im sorry it took forever.

this was double posted from the New England thread. Enjoi!
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Old 06-24-06, 01:39 AM
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Pictures of me racing

http://www.cartct.com/results/06-22-06/062206c14.jpg getting ready to line up
http://www.cartct.com/results/06-22-06/06220635.jpg
http://www.cartct.com/results/06-22-06/06220660.jpg standing around, red sox hat
http://www.cartct.com/results/06-22-06/062206172.jpg me=owned by orange mustang
http://www.cartct.com/results/06-22-06/062206174.jpg fiero=owned on front straight
http://www.cartct.com/results/06-22-06/062206202.jpg
http://www.cartct.com/results/06-22-06/062206208.jpg In the front for a little while through the esses.
http://www.cartct.com/index1.php?ce.../06-22-06p.html pics of everyone.
http://www.limerock.com/images/map2_large.jpg Lime Rock Track Map

pictures taken by Chip Rutan, Joe Skibisky, Chris Zelle, and Kevin FitzMaurice.
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Old 06-24-06, 08:37 AM
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Sounds like a fun time. Welcome to the world of the "Go fast crack pipe". Take another hit. Prepare to kiss your bank account goodbye.

One question - your instructor asked to drive your car around a track in the wet and he didn't even know what kind of car it was (nor aparantly how it handles)?! And he SPINS IT???!!!

In all the driving events that I have been at, none have ever required that the instructor take a student's car out. As a novice you probably did not know this. In fact I know several organizations that would kick that instructor off the track immediately. That is absolutely uncalled for. He should have never been driving that aggressively in your car at all, much less in those conditions. He is not insured for your car, and most likely neither are you.

Think about it - if he had seriously bald-spotted one of your tires, your weekend would have been over right there. You would have been out that money for the weekend, as well as a couple new tires. If you think that your instructor would have paid for it, you're kidding yourself.

The instructor is there to teach you how you should be driving your car - not taking a multilap joy ride for himself. If he wanted to take you out on the track, then he should have done so in his own car. What an idiot.

What group was hosting this event?

-bill

Last edited by wrankin; 06-24-06 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 06-24-06, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by wrankin
The instructor is there to teach you how you should be driving your car - not taking a multilap joy ride for himself. If he wanted to take you out on the track, then he should have done so in his own car. What an idiot.
The Porsche/BMW/Audi events at Heartland Park suggest that the instructor drive novice around the track one or twice in the novice's car the first time out (to give them an idea of the track). This means if the owner doesn't want someone driving their car, they can say no. I usually suggest people allow the instructor to drive the car so at least the instructor can get a feel for how to help the student (if it's a car unfamiliar to the instructor).

However, those aren't "at speed" laps with helmets on.

I have had, on occasion, students ask me to drive them in their car on the track.
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Old 06-24-06, 09:29 AM
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Driving Schools

A novice can learn much faster if you see the line driven correctly if you allow an Instructor to drive your car with you in the passenger seat. I don't know of any clubs in the Northeast that would not allow this practice.
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Old 06-24-06, 09:47 AM
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the event was with CART-CT and even with the little mis-hap id let him race my car again. he just underestimated my car but he had the skill and knowledge to keep it off the walls and out of the Miata. if that had happened with me driving, i would have paniced and ended up off the track. it was a great learning experience to feel the 'clutch in, brake in' in times of loss control first hand, then to try and figure out (god forbid) with me behind the wheel in a full out spin. i appreciate the experience, and my tires are fine.
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Old 06-25-06, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack
A novice can learn much faster if you see the line driven correctly if you allow an Instructor to drive your car with you in the passenger seat. I don't know of any clubs in the Northeast that would not allow this practice.
1) If you want to show the student the line and drive it at 9+/10'ths, you should do it in your own car, not his.

2) If you actually want to teach the novice student the line, driving it at 6/10'ths and talking it through with him/her is a heck of a lot more useful for them than running it 9+/10's in the rain. Think parade lap speeds.

he just underestimated my car but he had the skill and knowledge to keep it off the walls and out of the Miata.
I have seen very experienced drivers/instructors put it into the wall in the rain because they misjudged a curbing, or didn't see a small puddle that had formed since the last lap. Couple this with a car that is know for sudden power spikes because of the turbos. Couple this with someone who admits up front that they know nothing about the car nor the way it handles (oversteer? understeer?).

The bottom line is that he lost control of the car. The fact that you didn't get tangled up with the Miata was more a testiment to luck and the awareness on the part of the Miata driver, rather than any so-called skill of your instructor.

From the writeup, it sounds like the instructor was out for a joyride. Again, what a moron.

-bill

Last edited by wrankin; 06-25-06 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 06-25-06, 09:36 AM
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Listen - my apologies for the thread hijack. It sounds like you had a great time and learned alot. Keep at it!

The description of the event just punched a couple of my buttons (duh!).

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion.

-b
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Old 06-25-06, 11:10 AM
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haha, its alright. i completly agree with the fact that he should have known what he was driving. even if he didnt know anything about the car from the name, he should have asked questions. i was just impressed i guess with the whole event in my head. i thought my car was totalled for sure, so maybe it was just luck or an a little help from a higher being. either way, im home alive with the RX-7 right outside unscathed and thats all that matters right now. I'll have a video up soon of my warm up, 2 time attacks, and cool down laps.
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Old 06-25-06, 11:50 AM
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1) If you want to show the student the line and drive it at 9+/10'ths, you should do it in your own car, not his.

2) If you actually want to teach the novice student the line, driving it at 6/10'ths and talking it through with him/her is a heck of a lot more useful for them than running it 9+/10's in the rain. Think parade lap speeds.

Totaly correct..
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Old 06-25-06, 02:55 PM
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Old 06-25-06, 07:57 PM
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Merely a tip should you return, as you get more comfortable at speed take the uphill, the next right hander and the downhill in 4th gear. These turns if taken right are pretty fast.

Ramon
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Old 06-25-06, 10:39 PM
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thank you ramon. i actually had a hard time getting into third gear before the uphill and i misshifted a couple times throughout the day. i watched the movie again and i see what you mean. i upshifted to 3rd and downshifted to 4th twice each between the uphill, back straight, downhill and into the straightaway. watching my rpms, the car was still in the power band in 4th gear, i think i just upshifted slow down a little more, but it actually threw the flow of my car off a little bit. thanks a lot for the help. i truly appreciate it. its one thing to try to catch yourself making a mistake, but its always helpful to have other points of view. keep 'em comin.

im definatly gonna be back on lime rock. its just finding what appendage i can do without to afford the day. i want to be back as soon as possible, but i think im gonna have to wait til october, which isnt a bad thing, cause the air will be cooler, but the track will also be cooler making for a whole new experience.

again thanks again for the input.
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Old 06-26-06, 10:09 PM
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my time attack laps were 73.067 and 74.946.
im happy with them.

here are all of the results from the day.
http://www.cartct.com/index1.php?cen...s/06-22-06.htm
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Old 06-26-06, 10:16 PM
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could you maybe make paragraphs in the first post? Looks like a alphabet explosion
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Old 06-27-06, 12:23 PM
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LOL Ren..

To the OP, glad you had a good time, I skipped most of what your wrote just because it's hard to read, but I can tell you are very excited. One note of caution, temper your enthusiam with the whole keeping up with faster cars bit. You're a novice driver, focus on the line and keeping your car under control, not on what your lap times are and what cars you're passing/not passing on the track. Trying to race in a driving event is a sure way to wreck your car, sooner or later. Especially in the rain.

As for why he wasn't driving the line, it's not that the dry line is ripped up, as a matter of fact, it's the exact opposite, rubber build up and repeated contact has polished the surface. Think water on glass. The rain line attempts to stay out of the dry line as much as possible.

I've seen DE events here on the west coast require that instructors drive your car, that's not super unusual. However, if an instructor spun my car, he'd not be an instructor as soon as I could get to the chief instructor. I don't instruct anymore, but when I was, I'd drive their car no more than 5/10s, but on a perfect line, so they could see the line clearly and absorb the knowledge. The hot laps would be reserved for my car
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Old 06-27-06, 12:24 PM
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******EDITED TO MAKE EASIER ON THE EYES******

im home safely with the car, minus some V712's, but rubber well spent. i had an awesome time. i woke up bright and early on thursday morning at 4.30 and left at 5 and arrived at the park at 7. it didnt start raining until i got there and didnt stop until right before my first run, so i got lucky or help from a higher power. my day started with me unpacking the 7and a walkthrough on the the course with the other novieces. i found, and they pointed out, that there are cones around every chicane to point out where you should be (great to look at while walking the track, even more help while racing and sometime difficult to get to) so we walked the track, and came back to the paddocks and lined up for racing. i was nervous and anxious and excited, so pretty much a flustered ball of emotions.

we lined up to get on the track and they put an instructor in the drivers seats of all of the novices vehicles to point out the line of the track and how it should feel around the track (like a ballet on 4 wheels when driven correctly). so i have an instructor driving me around the track (if anyone truly knows me, they know i dont like or let anyone drive my car but me, so you can imagine how nervous i am at this moment already.) so the instuctor is driving my car showing me around the track and im getting a feel for where i should be and how the car feels. granted the track is wet and he isnt quite following the line, because the line has smooth pavement over it due to cars ripping the pavement up which makes it slicker then pavement in the rain due to the lack of texture to grip on. so the instructor, who by the way is a gentleman by the name of Nat for anyone keeping track, is driving my car and is getting a feel for it.

the rearend kicks out around the esses by what i take as an accident because he asks what vehicle this is and follows the question by a 'wow, this thing has some go to it, huh?' which i reply an RX-7 and yes if you arent watching the speeds, she will kick out on you. he drives around a couple laps and feels my car out and then starts to push it a little harder as the laps progress. on the 4th lap hes trying to attack it with more aggression. around the esses i feel hes pushing it, just a little too hard. we come out of the esses take the right and turn into no name straight squirrely. the rear end kicks out, he tries correcting, and with the fd having a shorter wheel base, the cars rear end kicks out sending us into a 360. im reaching for the oh sh** bar, but i stuffed a towel in the door panel due to the open window and rain, so im pretty much grabbing for nothing. my heart comes close to everything but stopping as the world slowly stops spinning as im watching in slow motion the art of the 360 done by a proffessional. he punched the clutch and punches the brake and we do a (from a amatuers point of view) a perfect manuever. the car stops spinning in the exact spot that we were heading to and he keeps going like nothing happened. 'well sometimes that tends to happen. if it does you want to...........' im half listening while trying to collect myself. 'your tires might have a bald spot, but at least i kept it off the walls.' again, still collecting myself. oh yea, how can i forget the 2 cars right behind us as we were doing this trick of magnificant proportions. in the middle (180 degrees) of our turn, i looked out the windshield into the eyes of a gentlemen in a red hard top miata, wide eyed and startled, staring at me going with 'oh sh**' eyes just as i was. (the miata driver later came up to me and we had a good laugh about the situation.)

so eventually we finished up the walkthrough and i literally fell out of the vehicle shaken still after 7 or so laps with him. i drove it back to the paddocks and told the story to my pit crew (zach) with a shaky voice and shaky hands. it was hard trying to show a line with your hands while shaking like a crackhead

my first couple of laps were on a wet track, but as i earlier mentioned, it stopped raining right as i was lined up to head out. I was ran in a novice class with a full grid, so i had at least 10 cars on the track at the same time as me. in my novice class were: 2 AMG Mercedes', Z06, 2 240z's, Integra, Fox Body Mustang, 2 WRX STi's, 2 Evo VIIIs, some Fieros and a couple more. so i had to fight for my line sometimes. they sent us out and i got my road racing fun on the way.

first couple of laps i felt out the course and took it easy. i quickly found that this is not the track to take it too easy on, especially with cars taking up your rearview forcing you to speed up or move over.. i had cars up my a** within the first lap. i did the gentleman thing and drag raced them down the whole front straight just kidding, i moved to the side and let them go and watched their line. i figured it would be a great experience to see when they brake and the line they took. the cones that were placed at the 'chicanes' to tell where you should be placed at each turn helped a lot. i seriously used them to play connect the dots. i would look ahead, look at the upcoming cone and turn my car a general sweeping motion towards it.

i found the 'general' line of the track in the first practice heat. i didnt get creative just yet, so i stuck to where i should be. during the heat i had a corvette slowly catching up to me. so what did i do: pushed it harder. by the 4th or 5th lap i was attacking each corner like i meant it. i was done ***** footing and that corvette in my rear view kept taunting me. i didnt necessarily block him on the straightways but i never broke my line to let him pass, as i was told not to. it is the responsibilty of the passer to safely pass the vehicle in his way. he eventually caught up to me on the downhill and by the time the front straigh came up, he was on my a** and gone. i watched and followed his line for as long as i could. i actually kept up with him in the corners and couldve passed him on no name straight. i just wanted to see how he came out of the down hill and into the front straight with soo much speed. by the time we got to the bottom of the hill, he was gone. so that was how my first heat went, pretty much.

by the time my second heat came up, i had a general feel for my cars reactions to the corners and the line of the track. i found quickly that if you are out of the line, the track let's you know quickly. too much gas, you're out of the pace and you're trying to make up for it throughout the next chicances; too much brake, you dont have enough speed to fully carry yourself through the next corner. but when you're driving the line as it should be, it does truly feel like a dance with you, the car and the track. it's just a smooth motion connecting you from one turn to the next. it feels like nothing else ive ever felt before. i cant even describe it (anyone who has raced lime rock or any road course im sure knows how i feel when it just feels right). so i had 2 heats with about 9-10 laps each and then i came in and they started time attacks. as the day progressed, the heat slowly rose. as the heat rose, my car was more vulnerable to the heat. i actually ran the car at upwards of 110*c. not for more then 2 laps though, when i saw the heat rise, i laid off the boost, upshifted, and just cruised the track. i couldve pitted in and let the car cool down, but i wanted to get as much seat time as possible. the car was fine after i brought it in, just needed some time to rest and cool down. the track store had water wetter, so i grabbed some and got some water from the bathroom and put some in. did it help; no, not really, but that's ok. a valliant effort was put forth in the struggle against high temperatures in a rotary powered vehicle.

later in the afternoon, we had time attacks. they set the time attack session up in order of numbers. i was number 72, so i had some time to prep the car and watch how others rode the line from the towers. my tires, as expected, rose in pressure since the morning. so i sprayed them off to cool them down and i lowered the pressure to 33 in the front and 31 in the rear. i pulled out of my paddock and headed over to the line up and got in my place. we had some difficulty in times due to cars catching up to vehicles in front of them, so we had to deal with re-runs.

i lined up behind a 240z and i had a turbo charged sentra behind me. so im thinking 'ok this is fine. i shouldnt catch the z for a while, and i should pull away from the sentra.' hahahaha, yea right, never underestimate any vehicle you see at the track. ANY, no matter if its a ford fiesta with your grandmother driving it, underestimating can be youre biggest mistake. anyway, back to story time. so im lined up, i get pushed out onto the track for my time attack. they have it set up so there is 1 warm up lap, 2 time attacks, and 1 cool down lap. i pull out of the pit, gradually get up to speed and warm up the tires a little bit with a little tire squeal here and there and i ride the line. i go through the big bend on the inside of the line to work the left tires a little more to warm them up. so thats how my warm up lap went. i came out of the down hill and into the front straight with ample speed to turn out a good lap time.

i let off the throttle by the time i hit the starting line and i am tapping the brakes by the 6 and full on the brakes between 4 and 3. i stay tucked to the left and late apex the big bend and hit it in the middle of the turn on the inside and follow the middle of the track with my left wheel hanging out of the smooth pavement. i come out of big bend with a late brake into the short right turn on the wheel and into the begginning of the esses with a left hander. i run a late brake and late apex on the left hander and hit the corner right at the middle of the turn and head straight to the right hander's left side and again attack it with a late apex. i come out of the right hander with my car floating to the left side of the track and tuck myself to the right side to catch the end of the bumps to set myself up for the no name straight and then the up hill.

i downshift to third and late brake to prepare for the next right hander. i pull on the uphill, and the car squats as i hit the angle increase. i lay off the gas ever so slightly as to not spin the tires too much as i come off the hill. i 'land' and settle and upshift to 4th for the short straightaway and then quickly downshift to third. i pull left then quickly right to set up for the right hander before the downhill. i put myself to the far left of the downhill to set up for the front straight. i late brake as much as possible to set up for the downhill. i brake just enough on the down hill to set me up for the end of the hill and into the front straightaway. i come out of the bend at 85mph and i keep it throttled and push it as hard as i could. i hit 117-120mph (the last thing at that speed was looking down, for all those concerned with how fast i got on the front straight, im sorry, it was in that vicinity) on the straight, and let off the throttle as i cross the starting line and tap the brake at the 6 and get on it at 4-3 and am set up for the big bend. and thats how my time attacks went.

by the end of my second time attack lap and begginning of my cool down lap, i had the turbo sentra in my rear view, so i had pushed it a little bit but not fully all out on the last warm up run. i figured my car can cool down in the paddock. my best unofficial time of the day was a 1:13.1. it could be slower or faster, im not sure. my friend Zack (basqueinmyzachism) timed my laps for me, and thats what he had for best time. thanks zach, it was great meeting you and i appreciate your support. and me being the stubborn *** that i am had to see what everyone was talking about on the uphill.
so on my second time attack, third lap, i push it up the hill and over the crest without fully letting off the throttle (:warning-this is not how it should be done! if you push it too hard over the crest, your car's suspension will fully extend and your steering wheel will fill light, causing you to turn more. when you land and your tires catch, your car will go where your steering wheel was pointed, which can send you to the inside of the track at full speed. so again do not do this.). it is quite the rush when all you see is blue sky and you get a tickle in your stomach. just like a roller coaster ride. i landed and rode it out and my car caught a little bit, but i straightened it out quickly. everyone warned me about it, but i had to feel it first hand (again see above mentioned warning)

so thats pretty much how my day went. i met a lot of nice guys full of enthusiasm and advice and learned a hell of a lot. my day ended with a Subaru/RX-7 meet at Hooters on the Berlin turnpike and my girlfriend waiting for me at home. i keep putting myself in the drivers seat and going for laps on the track throughout my day, recreating in my mind how it went. i really cant wait to get back on the track and after road racing, autocrossing's not looking like as much fun. im still a begginner, as most of you who have seen me race would clearly know, and im still sticking to autocrossing. i feel i can learn a lot about myself and my car through autocrossing, but roadracing is where i want to be. with that said, i have to prepare my car a lot different then how i was planning on. I need to change the intercooler/radiator set up and a single turbo is definatly in the long shot picture. with my temps running as hot as they were, it would not be smart to leave it as it is. the suspension is awesome on the road race, so im gonna leave that as it is. i am hoping to get back on the track at least one more time this year on Lime Rock and hopefully once at Pocono.

so thats how my first day on Lime Rock went. i have a video of my Time Attack session including warm up and cool down laps, but i cant find a way to upload them. once i figure out how to, ill put them up. i am going to the american le mans series on the 1st with hopefully my little brother, so if anyone from the club is planning on going, let me know and hopefully we can meet up. sorry i went on forever, it was seriously a breathtaking experience that i hope everyone can one day feel and this thread does not truly express how it was, but it gets a little feel and a teaser that should hopefully push anyone who wants to race Lime Rock to take that first step and get out there. If you've read this far, thanks, and im sorry it took forever.
Rick
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Old 06-27-06, 01:00 PM
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i didnt mean to come off like i was bragging with the cars i passed. i actually learned more by getting passed and watching the line that other cars took, especially the z06. as for the lap time, i just used it as a reference of where i was. thinking of the line i took and where i want to be, i already know where i can shave time off. i took the big bend too close to the iside and as someone pointed out i took too much time upshifting into third on the uphill so i shouldve left it in forth. my next paycheck is going to CART CT in october, and i cant wait to get back out there. irregardless of what happened with my instructor, i still learned a lot from him.
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