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lukem

Raising The Pace...

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Hi all,

 

First post here so a small bit of background - Currently racing 600s at club level in New Zealand since last year having been doing trackdays in UK and Aus for the past 4 years. I have completed levels 1+2 at the school and have 3+4 booked at the new NZ school in a few months time. In my racing, I have recently jumped up from the novice class to the main supersport class. My laptimes have remained pretty much the same, only now I have gone from the front of the field to the back! This is a great learning curve but I have found that running in the faster class, I find myself starting to charge turns as I get sucked into corners quicker than before following faster riders and end up late getting back on the gas. Problem is, for the riders in front, they aren't charging - just carrying higher corner speed which is ultimately what I want to be doing.

 

I guess the question is how do you up the pace, yet not fire off all your SR's in doing so!? I record video of my racing and watching them back, it is easy to point to certain corners and say, "should get on the gas early here" or "coasting too much here" etc. but when I get back on the bike it is much harder to do. I can slow the pace down and then things click into place, but when I start to pick it up again, I end up back to square one.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated or is it just a case of patience and practice and taking small steps at a time?

 

Thanks

Luke

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Hi Luke,

I read your post with great interest because in one way or another we are all trying to get to the next level. There is always another hurtle to get passed. My example takes place at Road Atlanta. The fastest track I have ever been on. I was riding in race practice when a friend came up after the session and said I needed to carry more speed into turn one. Wow! more speed I felt like I was flying through there. Turn one at Road A is a right hander that is on camber and goes up hill but it is probably a 100mph corner that compresses the suspension right at the apex and will put your chin in the tank. On the left side of the track was a red cone and about 25 meters passed that was a sign that read 100. My buddy told me I needed to stay on the gas until I got passed the red cone and before the 100 sign. I was using a new reference point.

I came out of turn twelve and headed down the front straight pinned and tried to keep my hand on the throttle but had to let off. I just couldn't tell myself to do it. The second time I willed myself to do it and had to turn in much quicker but took some time off the lap. I was getting out of my comfort zone.

The next test was the back straight, 6th gear pinned through a right hand kink at 170 mph. The first few times I rolled off. But what a dumb a.. I was. What is twenty miles an hour when you are going that fast any way, you know? But to be competitive I had to do it and I did. I used new reference points to stay on line.

SR's are important to think about but...what about a plan to achieve your goals. Why does it seem like you are charging corners and the faster guys are not? Why are they not late on exit but you are? Maybe you are still using the same reference points and trying to stay with in your comfort zone that keeps you from letting go. You have to commit to getting out of your comfort zone, you have to brake later and harder, find more reference points, get on the gas earlier out of the corners, Use your vision to see into the corner look through the apex and trust your machine to take you places you have never been before. Don't get so caught up in riding that you aren't PAYING ATTENTION!

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Hi all,

 

First post here so a small bit of background - Currently racing 600s at club level in New Zealand since last year having been doing trackdays in UK and Aus for the past 4 years. I have completed levels 1+2 at the school and have 3+4 booked at the new NZ school in a few months time. In my racing, I have recently jumped up from the novice class to the main supersport class. My laptimes have remained pretty much the same, only now I have gone from the front of the field to the back! This is a great learning curve but I have found that running in the faster class, I find myself starting to charge turns as I get sucked into corners quicker than before following faster riders and end up late getting back on the gas. Problem is, for the riders in front, they aren't charging - just carrying higher corner speed which is ultimately what I want to be doing.

 

I guess the question is how do you up the pace, yet not fire off all your SR's in doing so!? I record video of my racing and watching them back, it is easy to point to certain corners and say, "should get on the gas early here" or "coasting too much here" etc. but when I get back on the bike it is much harder to do. I can slow the pace down and then things click into place, but when I start to pick it up again, I end up back to square one.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated or is it just a case of patience and practice and taking small steps at a time?

 

Thanks

Luke

 

Hi Luke,

 

Glad to hear you're enjoy your racing, though as you've noted, it can be pretty tough for sure.

 

So, a few observations and questions, (you knew there were going to be right..?). You talked about charging the turns, would that be your definition of "your running into the turns hot and then turning in early" this is then delaying when you can get back to gas?

 

How do you define where you're going on a track? Do you have RP's for your actions? TP's braking markers, and what not? Or, are you a big picture rider, you ride in your available space, but beyond that, it's all a bit vague? When you want go faster, how do you know you can? what do you change to push that little bit harder?

 

Bullet

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Hi Luke,

I read your post with great interest because in one way or another we are all trying to get to the next level. There is always another hurtle to get passed. My example takes place at Road Atlanta. The fastest track I have ever been on. I was riding in race practice when a friend came up after the session and said I needed to carry more speed into turn one. Wow! more speed I felt like I was flying through there. Turn one at Road A is a right hander that is on camber and goes up hill but it is probably a 100mph corner that compresses the suspension right at the apex and will put your chin in the tank. On the left side of the track was a red cone and about 25 meters passed that was a sign that read 100. My buddy told me I needed to stay on the gas until I got passed the red cone and before the 100 sign. I was using a new reference point.

I came out of turn twelve and headed down the front straight pinned and tried to keep my hand on the throttle but had to let off. I just couldn't tell myself to do it. The second time I willed myself to do it and had to turn in much quicker but took some time off the lap. I was getting out of my comfort zone.

The next test was the back straight, 6th gear pinned through a right hand kink at 170 mph. The first few times I rolled off. But what a dumb a.. I was. What is twenty miles an hour when you are going that fast any way, you know? But to be competitive I had to do it and I did. I used new reference points to stay on line.

SR's are important to think about but...what about a plan to achieve your goals. Why does it seem like you are charging corners and the faster guys are not? Why are they not late on exit but you are? Maybe you are still using the same reference points and trying to stay with in your comfort zone that keeps you from letting go. You have to commit to getting out of your comfort zone, you have to brake later and harder, find more reference points, get on the gas earlier out of the corners, Use your vision to see into the corner look through the apex and trust your machine to take you places you have never been before. Don't get so caught up in riding that you aren't PAYING ATTENTION!

 

Hi Luke,

 

Glad to hear you're enjoy your racing, though as you've noted, it can be pretty tough for sure.

 

So, a few observations and questions, (you knew there were going to be right..?). You talked about charging the turns, would that be your definition of "your running into the turns hot and then turning in early" this is then delaying when you can get back to gas?

 

How do you define where you're going on a track? Do you have RP's for your actions? TP's braking markers, and what not? Or, are you a big picture rider, you ride in your available space, but beyond that, it's all a bit vague? When you want go faster, how do you know you can? what do you change to push that little bit harder?

 

Bullet

 

Hi guys,

 

Thanks for your replies!

 

What I mean by charging the turns is: I'm increasing my corner entry speed, whilst retaining the same brake point and turn-point. This increase in speed delays the point at which I get on the gas (compared to previous slower corner entry) because if I do at the same point, it sends me wide on the exit. I can feel myself hesitant on the throttle and I want to roll on, but if I try, I end up wide. Note, this is most noticable in the 3 medium/fast turns on the track (we race at the same track most rounds)

 

I have turn points and brake markers for all corners but admittedly I haven't re-addressed them as my pace has increased. When I want to push, I try and carry more speed into the corner, through mid corner, but this is hampering my roll-on as described above! I know I can go quicker because I see the riders in front carry that much speed and then pull a few bike lengths as they get on the gas. The only thing I could change is to increase lean angle (as I'm not at max lean through some of these corners) However, adding lean angle to maintain a line, while getting on the gas spells recipe for disaster in my mind, so I'm very reluctant that is a solution!

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks

Luke

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Ok, I have been giving this a lot of thought today and this is my thought process.

 

If I want to increase my corner speed into and mid turn then I can't just go faster, while keeping all other parts of the corner the same. Here are some ideas

 

- I will need to turn the bike quicker, as turning it at the same rate before will not allow me to stay on line.

- I might have to set a steeper lean angle with the initial steering action to maintain the line with the increase in speed.

- I "think" I am spending too much attention on riders in front and, losing focus of my RP's so start to turn in too early.

 

 

Got to run out the door now, but will finish this post later!

 

Cheers

Luke

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You have to commit to getting out of your comfort zone, you have to brake later and harder, find more reference points, get on the gas earlier out of the corners, Use your vision to see into the corner look through the apex and trust your machine to take you places you have never been before. Don't get so caught up in riding that you aren't PAYING ATTENTION!

 

Hay fossilfuel, do you write motivational speeches? That is one of the best things I have read!

 

Bobby

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Ok, I have been giving this a lot of thought today and this is my thought process.

 

If I want to increase my corner speed into and mid turn then I can't just go faster, while keeping all other parts of the corner the same. Here are some ideas

 

- I will need to turn the bike quicker, as turning it at the same rate before will not allow me to stay on line.

- I might have to set a steeper lean angle with the initial steering action to maintain the line with the increase in speed.

- I "think" I am spending too much attention on riders in front and, losing focus of my RP's so start to turn in too early.

 

 

Got to run out the door now, but will finish this post later!

 

Cheers

Luke

 

 

Hi luke,

 

Good call on putting in some thought, we like that.

 

So, my usual observation of people who want to go faster, is that they try and make it all up on the way into the turn, so the rush into the turn, normally with more speed than usual. They turn the bike with the same speed (We'll talk about your point 1 in a moment), try and get the bike back to gas harder and almost inevitably run wide. The point is they don't normally change much in their equation of cornering, just I want more speed and i'm going to have it by doing more of the same.

 

Another situation we often see is people start to low line, i.e they turn in earlier as they don't have the confidence to go faster and turn in deeper. Guess what happens in that situation? You guessed it, you're always going to run wide.

 

So, we're agreed then we need to change something? Some part of the cornering equation needs to change to enable more speed. Now the question I really want to ask you is, which part of the turn is more important for making laptimes, and being quick? Entry? Middle? Exit? Once you understand this, you can then work to finding where you need to compromise one thing to get the other.

 

Now as you said very rightly that may well be that you'll turn quicker, it could be you'll agree to carry more lean angle mid turn, it could be leveraging hook turn. But you need to decide which part of the corner is most important, and then work back from that.

 

Now if you have a look at this video of me testing my race bike, you should notice something that's different to many of the riders. Now bearing in mind my race bike is only a little 1997 600 racer, it's massively out powered and out classed in performance and chassis terms, but you'll still be able to make some observations. See what you can see, see if the situation you're talking about is done by many of the other riders. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoPwqwcZMqY

 

Have a think, let us know.

 

Bullet

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You have to commit to getting out of your comfort zone, you have to brake later and harder, find more reference points, get on the gas earlier out of the corners, Use your vision to see into the corner look through the apex and trust your machine to take you places you have never been before. Don't get so caught up in riding that you aren't PAYING ATTENTION!

 

Hay fossilfuel, do you write motivational speeches? That is one of the best things I have read!

 

Bobby

I guess all these Mel Gibson tapes have affected me?

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I just finished level two and three yesterday. I think the last drill on level 3 will help you for sure to get out of that lost feeling when you charge in and get slowed down. Pace comes with practice not with trying to chase down people you just cant catch. Also taking advantage of areas on the track where you are faster than others or simply sacrificing time entering a corner in order to get more drive and ultimately more speed coming out.

I was very concerned about my pace to. After level two I drastically improved my pace. Then with the addition of the tools you pick up in level 3, I found myself getting around the track considerably faster than I ever thought I could.

I would be interested in knowing your impression of your pace once you've finished level 3.

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Hi luke,

 

Good call on putting in some thought, we like that.

 

So, my usual observation of people who want to go faster, is that they try and make it all up on the way into the turn, so the rush into the turn, normally with more speed than usual. They turn the bike with the same speed (We'll talk about your point 1 in a moment), try and get the bike back to gas harder and almost inevitably run wide. The point is they don't normally change much in their equation of cornering, just I want more speed and i'm going to have it by doing more of the same.

 

Another situation we often see is people start to low line, i.e they turn in earlier as they don't have the confidence to go faster and turn in deeper. Guess what happens in that situation? You guessed it, you're always going to run wide.

 

So, we're agreed then we need to change something? Some part of the cornering equation needs to change to enable more speed. Now the question I really want to ask you is, which part of the turn is more important for making laptimes, and being quick? Entry? Middle? Exit? Once you understand this, you can then work to finding where you need to compromise one thing to get the other.

 

Now as you said very rightly that may well be that you'll turn quicker, it could be you'll agree to carry more lean angle mid turn, it could be leveraging hook turn. But you need to decide which part of the corner is most important, and then work back from that.

 

Now if you have a look at this video of me testing my race bike, you should notice something that's different to many of the riders. Now bearing in mind my race bike is only a little 1997 600 racer, it's massively out powered and out classed in performance and chassis terms, but you'll still be able to make some observations. See what you can see, see if the situation you're talking about is done by many of the other riders. http://www.youtube.c...h?v=PoPwqwcZMqY

 

Have a think, let us know.

 

Bullet

 

You know, I actually think you were my level1 instructor back in the UK!

 

Ok, few observations....

 

At the corner exit you are no way as wide as a lot of the other riders. In fact, you have better drive and catch them on the corner exit. You seem to be turning later and quicker which is squaring off the corner helping that drive.

 

Most important bit has to be corner exit speed and drive off the corner (especially at my home track where 3 corners lead onto straights)

 

Luke

 

Oh - Are you sure that is the UK? There is a big bright round thing in the sky which comes into frame every now and again!:lol:

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Oh - Are you sure that is the UK? There is a big bright round thing in the sky which comes into frame every now and again!:lol:

 

That big bright round thing is right above Scotland this morning, time for a bike run I think lol!

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Luke,

 

I'm sorry if you were unfortunate enough to have me as a coach, though you're not alone in that misfortune. I've never drove a student to emigrate to the otherside of the world before, so that's a first. rolleyes.gif

 

Yeah, I think you've pretty much nailed that my friend, drive of the turns is everything in racing, and it's got to be your number one goal, you cannot compromise this aspect if you want to go fast. You correctly observed people on the video low lining, (turning in early), then running wide, I'm later, quicker and can drive earlier in the turn, and you can see the resulting pace of the turns.

 

So, you've got some things to consider next time out, you know you need to change somethings, and you can now think about having a plan, just try it one turn first, see how it works out, then apply to the next, and the next. Pick your worst turn, or a turn where improved drive of the turn will give you the greatest benefit.

 

Yeah, was a rare day that there sun being out, and it not pissing down, Angelsey can be sunny. Sometimes, though oddly never when I race there it seems.

 

Please do let us know how you get on mate, what you learn from the changes you make, I'm sure everyone would be keen to know.

 

Bullet

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What I mean by charging the turns is: I'm increasing my corner entry speed, whilst retaining the same brake point and turn-point. This increase in speed delays the point at which I get on the gas (compared to previous slower corner entry) because if I do at the same point, it sends me wide on the exit. I can feel myself hesitant on the throttle and I want to roll on, but if I try, I end up wide. Note, this is most noticable in the 3 medium/fast turns on the track (we race at the same track most rounds)

 

I have turn points and brake markers for all corners but admittedly I haven't re-addressed them as my pace has increased. When I want to push, I try and carry more speed into the corner, through mid corner, but this is hampering my roll-on as described above! I know I can go quicker because I see the riders in front carry that much speed and then pull a few bike lengths as they get on the gas. The only thing I could change is to increase lean angle (as I'm not at max lean through some of these corners) However, adding lean angle to maintain a line, while getting on the gas spells recipe for disaster in my mind, so I'm very reluctant that is a solution!

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks

Luke

 

Man... I am exactly the same, hence my other thread! if you crack it let me know :)

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What I mean by charging the turns is: I'm increasing my corner entry speed, whilst retaining the same brake point and turn-point. This increase in speed delays the point at which I get on the gas (compared to previous slower corner entry) because if I do at the same point, it sends me wide on the exit. I can feel myself hesitant on the throttle and I want to roll on, but if I try, I end up wide. Note, this is most noticable in the 3 medium/fast turns on the track (we race at the same track most rounds)

 

I have turn points and brake markers for all corners but admittedly I haven't re-addressed them as my pace has increased. When I want to push, I try and carry more speed into the corner, through mid corner, but this is hampering my roll-on as described above! I know I can go quicker because I see the riders in front carry that much speed and then pull a few bike lengths as they get on the gas. The only thing I could change is to increase lean angle (as I'm not at max lean through some of these corners) However, adding lean angle to maintain a line, while getting on the gas spells recipe for disaster in my mind, so I'm very reluctant that is a solution!

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks

Luke

 

Man... I am exactly the same, hence my other thread! if you crack it let me know smile.gif

 

read the thread colin, its all here. wink.gif

 

Bullet

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Bullet makes a great point: You get through the corners to setup the straights. Slow in. Fast out.

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Luke,

 

I'm sorry if you were unfortunate enough to have me as a coach, though you're not alone in that misfortune. I've never drove a student to emigrate to the otherside of the world before, so that's a first. rolleyes.gif

 

Yeah, I think you've pretty much nailed that my friend, drive of the turns is everything in racing, and it's got to be your number one goal, you cannot compromise this aspect if you want to go fast. You correctly observed people on the video low lining, (turning in early), then running wide, I'm later, quicker and can drive earlier in the turn, and you can see the resulting pace of the turns.

 

So, you've got some things to consider next time out, you know you need to change somethings, and you can now think about having a plan, just try it one turn first, see how it works out, then apply to the next, and the next. Pick your worst turn, or a turn where improved drive of the turn will give you the greatest benefit.

 

Yeah, was a rare day that there sun being out, and it not pissing down, Angelsey can be sunny. Sometimes, though oddly never when I race there it seems.

 

Please do let us know how you get on mate, what you learn from the changes you make, I'm sure everyone would be keen to know.

 

Bullet

 

Hey Bullet

 

Thanks for all your help. Also, you must have done something right as it made me want to come back for levels 2,3 and 4!

 

Round 4 is in a weeks time so I'll make a plan and let you know how it goes. If it doesn't look like anything to be ashamed of then I'll post a vid or 2 here so you can have a look. Some sunshine would be good though. I don't mind racing in the wet either. What I hate is when it rains, then starts drying, then starts raining again (which has been the case for my last 2 meetings)

 

Thanks

Luke

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Hi Luke

 

I see the next round is using the long track. This adds some really interesting dynamics!

 

Was thinking about coming down for a look, so if the weather fines up (yeah right!) I'll see you next weekend!

 

Paul

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Hi Luke

 

I see the next round is using the long track. This adds some really interesting dynamics!

 

Was thinking about coming down for a look, so if the weather fines up (yeah right!) I'll see you next weekend!

 

Paul

 

Yeah - definitely pop down and say hello. I'll be pitting in on of the older garages on the right as you enter the paddock. Should be a good meeting, though it would be a nice change get a 100% dry day! Not really expecting much from the weekend - I have done all of 5 laps around the long circuit and can just about remember which way it goes! Qualifying should be fun.

 

Thanks

Luke

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One thing I did not read in "Twist II" or see in the video, is "working up a track." I guess that topic is, and probably kind of HAS to be something for Level 3 or 4, but for people that want to go faster on a race track, I should think it would be very important.

 

I'm not a racer, but from what I've read, one way to work up a track is by measuring all the straight, then working to make sure you have the bike accelerating strongly through the last corner before the longest straight. Then they work on the line for the corner leading to the next longest straight and so on. The theory is that these top 3 or 4 corners have the most potential for high speeds and fast lap times.

 

Sometimes working up a track means grading the corners as

 

1) Corners that lead into straights

2) Corners at the end of straights

3) Corners that lead into other corners

 

On the street, I think of corners as

 

1) Open (I can see the entrance, apex and exit and so can take any line I want),

2) Blind (where I'll usually need to slow down and stay on a outside line), and

3) Compromised (by a truck or kids walking, which means I almost certainly need to slow down, abandon MY line, and take the SAFEST line based on the actual situation as it develops).

 

I just seems to me that having a plan and working on a few corners at a time would be a better idea than trying to follow riders who are too far above your level. (Of course, it's easy to say "ride your own ride" when typing at a keyboard and harder to do when it feels like everybody is passing you by.) B)

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Hi Luke

 

Darren Sweetman here, I run the school here in NZ. When you come up to Hampton Downs at the end of September I will make sure that I hook you up with one of our coaches that has race experience so that we can work on this problem for you. What will be great is that it is a new circuit and you will need a whole new set of RPs and this should help you focus on the problem at hand.

 

If you have any questions etc please feel free to call me in the office or to keep up the posts here on the forum.

 

Cheers

Darren

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Hi Luke

 

Darren Sweetman here, I run the school here in NZ. When you come up to Hampton Downs at the end of September I will make sure that I hook you up with one of our coaches that has race experience so that we can work on this problem for you. What will be great is that it is a new circuit and you will need a whole new set of RPs and this should help you focus on the problem at hand.

 

If you have any questions etc please feel free to call me in the office or to keep up the posts here on the forum.

 

Cheers

Darren

 

Hi Darren,

 

That would be great! Really looking forward to the school - see you in September!

 

As for my initial post - I had a bit of an up and down weekend! Test day was dry. I had had some suspension work done (which may also have helped), but I was running times quicker than before and did not feel like I was going to run wide like before. So success! I looked and reviewed my TP's but in the end, only pushed one of them deeper into the corner. I could still work on a quicker turn-in, but one thing I found the biggest gains were just loosening up on the inside bar on corners with heavy braking forces (6th gear to 3rd gear corners) I found that I was holding onto the inside bar (all right handers) to the point where I was preventing the bike from reaching a greater lean angle. Conscious of this, I eased up, use more lean angle and ran a little quicker through the turn. Most important thing though is I really feel like I have something to build upon.

 

That was the up part of the weekend!

 

The down part was the following race day. Now we switch to a different circuit configuration. Unfortunately, this configuration doesn't get used much and so I had only done about 5 laps on it. Throw into the mix that it was raining!

 

I was completely lost. On the circuit extention I had no TP's, brake points - nothing and the first session out was qualifying! With an incredibly wet track and dirtied visor from spray, I found it near impossible to pick and memorise TP's and instead just felt my way by following the rider in front for the majority of corners (some were the same as the regular ciruit). This obviously felt awful! Laptimes were really slow and I ended up missing the first race due to seriously unbalanced rain tyres. Race 2 was pretty much like qualifying, only a few laps longer. I just counted the laps down until I could call it a day. I was so far out of my comfort zone (on the extension part) it wasn't funny.

 

The thing is, given the situation and so little track time, I'm wondering what would have been the best way to deal with it!?

 

Next month we are back running the regular circuit, so It won't be an issue.

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The down part was the following race day. Now we switch to a different circuit configuration. Unfortunately, this configuration doesn't get used much and so I had only done about 5 laps on it. Throw into the mix that it was raining!

 

I was completely lost. On the circuit extention I had no TP's, brake points - nothing and the first session out was qualifying!

 

This brings up an excellent point that I noticed recently, during latest wet track day: when in the wet, you need to re-evaluate all of your RPs, since it's very likely you cannot see them on the wet asphalt! So not only are you running a slower speed, you are (hopefully!) turning in slower, taking different lines, but your "normal" RP's are visually no longer there.

 

I guess the smart racers make sure to pick a couple of RPs per corner that are highly visible, even when it's wet or the corner has been resurfaced (e.g. curbing).

 

Kai

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