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Last Post 06 May 2008 04:03 PM by  Locked
2008: Indy Solo #1 (April 27th: 16th St. - 'Spring Into Solo')
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Locked
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29 Apr 2008 03:21 PM

DRAG wrote:
Ha ha. I am posting it as much as possible so that people can see him smack that cone! Just kidding. I didn't make the video.

I had a rough day for sure!! The grip level at 16th street is so much different than walesboro that it just throws me. Maybe it's course setup too.. I'm too new to really figure it out at this point. At walesboro I can't seem to GET to the limit of the grip my car has, and each run I progressively make myself drive deeper, brake less, and get on the throttle earlier!

At 16th street it's the complete opposite. I go past the limit in the very first turn. I pushed very badly on sunday, obviously overdriving both the car and the surface. Also, the course looked much faster than it was. I didn't get my speed down enough coming into the first box after the longer straight, into the sweeper (you can see me slide all the way to the outside in the video), into the slalom coming off the sweeper(obviously, if I'm blasting a cone with the dead center of my bumper), and the last "slalom" before the finish line.

So, here's my question: How do you approach a new course in your first run? Do you approach different sites differently, and that comes from experience?

Bobzilla
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29 Apr 2008 03:27 PM
Locked wrote:

So, here's my question: How do you approach a new course in your first run? Do you approach different sites differently, and that comes from experience?

Everybody does it different. Ron says he likes to go nutso overgusto. Will tends to pussy-foot it. I'm more cautious, considering she's still my DD and push forward from there. Ithink it's more of a "What suits you best" approach.

Eclipse2Lancer
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29 Apr 2008 03:42 PM
Bobzilla wrote:
Locked wrote:

So, here's my question: How do you approach a new course in your first run? Do you approach different sites differently, and that comes from experience?

Everybody does it different. Ron says he likes to go nutso overgusto. Will tends to pussy-foot it. I'm more cautious, considering she's still my DD and push forward from there. Ithink it's more of a "What suits you best" approach.

lol.... my first run I am really just trying to remember the course, that's why my first runs are typically a bit slower. Last year I attacked, then pulled back. Trying a different, more cerebral approach this year.
(giving away seckrets here):
1. Walk the course 2-4 times, make a small plan.
2. before first run when sitting in the car, run the course in your head, visualize, relax
3. first run, testing to see if you remembered the course from walking, make mental notes as you are driving
4. after the first run adjust plan in your head as to what you just learned what is different in the car vs. what you thought you saw walking. You will see me sit in the car for a minute and not move while I am doing this. You talk to me and I won't hear you.....Brian has tried.
5. Before 2nd run, visualize your new plan......then run balls out the remainder of your runs.

But.....everyone does it different. [;)] Brian hits as many cones as he can his first couple runs.....then I have to tell him to calm down and run clean. Not that I NEVER hit cones.....but if we add it up, I won't hit nearly as many as Brian this year. [:O]

turbohappy
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29 Apr 2008 05:10 PM
Eclipse2Lancer wrote:

But.....everyone does it different. [;)] Brian hits as many cones as he can his first couple runs.....then I have to tell him to calm down and run clean. Not that I NEVER hit cones.....but if we add it up, I won't hit nearly as many as Brian this year. [:O]

I only got 2 on my first run at this event, pretty weak! Although I did hit the same cone twice, so I think it should count as 3. So that gives me 8 on my "best" Indy runs this year (first run +5 at the fun event). My plan for this year is to hit all my cones on the first run and run the other ones clean. The really good drivers can do what I do on my first run (find the sections where I can't just give it hell) with their walking, so that their first run can be fast and clean.

I also plan to think about the course less this year, especially at big events. Take a couple walks and then freaking drive it. If I think about it too much I start remembering it and don't look ahead enough. It's really just finding what works for you.

Bobzilla
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29 Apr 2008 05:21 PM

I'm thinking I need to take more passengers. Every one of my fastest runs has been with a passenger. Whether it be the wife, or a new member. . . that's it. That's my key!

Fun run, wife in the car. One of the Mt Comforts was with her, the other was Ted Drummond. This week was Cody. . . nice kid btw. . .I think every one has been with someone in the passenger seat.

The Nebulizer
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29 Apr 2008 06:52 PM

First post is updated with summary, racer ranks, links, etc..

I left out Kostya from the Novice rank as he is more experienced than I am (10+ events last year - mostly Columbus) - Robert Richwine is also on the Novice list with lots of experience last year. Both should be removed - especially Kostya who is currently listed 2nd overall.

I have started a new ranking system based on Tovey Cup Scoring. I am using this to create an average for each racer. I will post this up at some point to see if anyone is interested in it. The current Tovey Rank includes both skill and attendance as factors, by using average performance the attendance factor is reduced to focus on skill. (The spreadsheet includes the Fun Run and Event 1, so not much data yet.) Its nice for setting up rivalries and to see how you are doing verses other similarly ranked racers. I made an Improvement rank using this which allows you to see how you are doing compared to your average - the best 3 improvements are listed on the front page (novices excluded - because I didn't know any of them [:P] and their driving tends to be more variant in the beginning and not necessarily a reflection of improvement).

brgmcs
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29 Apr 2008 09:28 PM

Locked wrote:
So, here's my question: How do you approach a new course in your first run? Do you approach different sites differently, and that comes from experience?

Typical courses at Walesboro and 16th St present different challenges and require a different approach. IMO, folks tend to underestimate how fast many Walesboro elements can be taken and overestimate speeds for 16th St.

A lot of it is experience. I walk once, twice if someone I know wants another walk, at most events. That's primarily because I get wrapped up in other things at local events. For the first couple of years autocrossing, I walked and walked and walked. Even when we ran courses at Walesboro all the way around the site (up to 1.2 miles), I'd still walk it 4-5 times. Again, for the first two years I also sketched most of the courses on one of the walks, and paced off the slaloms and garages, again keeping notes. After I ran the course, I'd review my notes to see if I had guessed correctly. Over the next couple of years, I set up quite a few courses for both CSCC and Indy (multiple sites) and helped others with more. For the ones I designed, they were layed out ahead of time. I actually had the Walesboro site paced off and loaded into a basic CAD package on my home computer. I'd design them there, and then translate that to actual course layouts on site. The net result is that I've got a pretty decent handle on what different spacings, offsets, and distances translate to for me.

The other thing that comes with experience is the ability to quickly identify the important parts of the course where good times will be made or lost, and to specifically identify which are the handful of really important cones. Those are the only ones that I make any attempt to memorize. I think that's what lets me get away with minimal course walks now and still set okay times. Even with one or two walks, I can (and do) step through the course in my mind prior to the first run. For the following runs, I primarily focus on the one or two areas that I want to do differently. If I'm serious about trying to do well at an event, I'll try to find a way to walk more. Either way, I believe the key is to take the first run with a plan instead of just reacting to everything. The following runs are focused on fixing anything that I misjudged on the course walks, and looking for areas to get the throttle open just a little bit earlier or longer.

If you or Luke (or anyone else) wants to walk through the course with me, just ask. I don't have any secrets, and will gladly tell you exactly what I intend to do and why. It's up to you to figure out if it will apply to your car (again, I'll be glad to offer an opinion) and to do it or to find what works best for you. Actually, plenty of folks will be happy to give you their opinon on how to approach a course. Some will be right, some will be wrong, some will be right for their car and wrong for yours. You get to weed through the chaff, just like on the internet.

Once you Rally Car drivers figure out your cars your times will be untouchable, at least for me. I think Kevin's there already with his new STi. [:$] All I really care about is being able to go home knowing I got at least one decent run.[:D]

balefire
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29 Apr 2008 10:36 PM
Eclipse2Lancer wrote:
Locked wrote:
So, here's my question: How do you approach a new course in your first run? Do you approach different sites differently, and that comes from experience?

Trying a different, more cerebral approach this year.
(giving away seckrets here):

My big secrets:

1) After walking the course enough to memorize the course and identify my line (read: ALOT), I walk behind the top pax guys and make sure my line matches theirs.

2) Drive the line as fast as freakin possible without leaving the line.

Regarding sites:

1) Concrete rocks, but be prepared for understeer. Asphalt sucks and throttle discipline is important. Oh yeah, I'm jealous of AWD at Walesboro.

jww
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30 Apr 2008 07:03 AM

Eclipse2Lancer wrote:

1. Walk the course 2-4 times, make a small plan.
2. before first run when sitting in the car, run the course in your head, visualize, relax
3. first run, testing to see if you remembered the course from walking, make mental notes as you are driving
4. after the first run adjust plan in your head as to what you just learned what is different in the car vs. what you thought you saw walking. You will see me sit in the car for a minute and not move while I am doing this. You talk to me and I won't hear you.....Brian has tried.
5. Before 2nd run, visualize your new plan......then run balls out the remainder of your runs.

Oh yeah... I forgot to remember the course!

..actually I think I need large cue cards on my windshield!.. I'm a bit dislexic.... Tell me right, I may go left. Seriously! It frustrates the heck outta me, but oh well.

For example, when walking the course I could tell which was the proper way to do the optional salom both going out and after the turnaround, but once in my car. I could not remember at all the first run. duh..

Something I forgot by not competing last year, I used to lean my head one way or the other rather than think left or right when playing the course back in my head. I might do that and play with the steering wheel a bit to emphasize ..I might also try taking a few notes next time when walking .. maybe like little slashes rather than left or right. ...like braille for autoX [;)]

turbohappy
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30 Apr 2008 09:08 AM
jww wrote:

For example, when walking the course I could tell which was the proper way to do the optional salom both going out and after the turnaround, but once in my car. I could not remember at all the first run. duh..

At least that was the first run, somehow I spaced it coming back on my 2nd run! Started to go right, then remembered it was left, and it was way too late so I hit a cone. Would have been 3 tenths faster than my 3rd run (assuming my time through that section would have been the same).

Locked
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30 Apr 2008 09:15 AM

brgmcs wrote:
Typical courses at Walesboro and 16th St present different challenges and require a different approach. IMO, folks tend to underestimate how fast many Walesboro elements can be taken and overestimate speeds for 16th St.

This statement really sums up my last 2 weekends!!

I walked the 16th street course at least 5 times probably 6, and had a plan. I picked the important cones, planned my line, and braking zones. Prior to my first run I could visualize the course and drove it in my mind. Yet, I still had walesboro's taste in my mouth. Knowing the harding I pushed the faster I went.

While walking the course everyone around me was saying how fast it looked. Thinking back my instincts didn't really agree. I know that because I started pacing several sections of the course. My problem with pacing was that I didn't have a reference point. I was kicking myself for not pacing previous courses. Without that reference point I planned to attack the course the way I ended at walesboro. That wasn't the correct approach. My 3rd run was "just make it clean." I slowed down considerably, and wish that would have been my first run. Easy to say in hindsight.

Next event, don't be surprised if I show up with a notebook as I'm walking. Scott, I'll take you up on your offer to walk with me!

DRAG
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30 Apr 2008 01:19 PM
brgmcs wrote:

Even when we ran courses at Walesboro all the way around the site (up to 1.2 miles), I'd still walk it 4-5 times.

You gave me an idea. The next time my wife gives me flak for racing every weekend, I'm going to tell her I am excercising...not racing really!

Nick...I'm not sure if this will help you much, but my master strategy is to drive between the cones.

Locked
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30 Apr 2008 01:55 PM

DRAG wrote:
If this will help you much, but my master strategy is to drive between the cones.

Obviously your first attempt at that was unsuccessful!

The Nebulizer
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30 Apr 2008 02:29 PM

DRAG wrote:
Nick...I'm not sure if this will help you much, but my master strategy is to drive between the cones.

Or, he could just get a lift on his 4x4...

(Sorry, Nick, I gotta enjoy your misery while I can... )

Locked
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30 Apr 2008 03:16 PM

The Nebulizer wrote:
(Sorry, Nick, I gotta enjoy your misery while I can... )

[:'(] It really is all about having FUN! And, I'm having plenty of it. I love the challenge. I love to drive fast.

DRAG
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01 May 2008 01:16 PM
Same here, I am having a blast. Remember when I used to go out and race people on the streets? Sometimes 150mph on the highway. I have ZERO desire to do anything like that now that I have started this.
turbohappy
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01 May 2008 03:31 PM

DRAG wrote:
Same here, I am having a blast. Remember when I used to go out and race people on the streets? Sometimes 150mph on the highway. I have ZERO desire to do anything like that now that I have started this.

Awesome, that's what I love to hear. I wish the insurance companies and site owners just how much we were keeping potential dangers to society off the streets [;)]

schmuk
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02 May 2008 12:01 AM

had fun out there this weekend even though I sucked. My brain kept wanting (and succeeding in getting my body ) to take the long way thru that back slalom coming out of the garage.... no matter how many times I had gone over it in my head I managed to take it wrong on the first and third run. here's the third run:

http://www.vimeo.com/961094

DRAG
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02 May 2008 01:07 PM
Those R32s sound outstanding. I need to get a camera in my car.
schmuk
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02 May 2008 03:35 PM

I do love the sound of the car. Not the fastest thing out there, but one of the funnest all around cars I have ever been in. But you know what sounds better than an R32?

like 30+ of them

http://vimeo.com/873947

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