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Last Post 20 Aug 2008 03:27 PM by  bmonnin1
V for Victory Aug 17th Course Design Feeedback
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KBroeker
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17 Aug 2008 05:14 PM

    I was primary designer for the course today, although I got valuable input from Bill Headlee via email and Steve Mieritz at set-up as well as opinions from the rest of the set-up crew as we went. Originally, I had no "kink" in the west course "sweeper" (headed south); Steve suggested that the speeds would be too high headed towards the "moors" and the kink was our solution. I think that solution worked and added character to that side.

    My goals were to have a nicely flowing course that avoided the previously patched areas. When we were setting up, we knew that some of the previously unused areas that we had on course now would probably "chunk up" as used. This did happen and the course was changed between heats, although I think that the change, although lengthening the course slightly, did flow even better and the times would be comparable. There was also a time (I mapped out what I thought would be the course during last week) where there was some discussion about running the first lot (the westernmost lot, the one you turned in to after the "island") clockwise and adding a "pivot cone" towards the southeast corner and then running the same course counter-clockwise after pivoting. The experienced feedback I got suggested that a nicer flowing course with a quicker time would be better than a feature that might be hated (I personally hate pivot cones, but the suggestion had some intreague, so I sought input from others). The feedback I got on this issue on site seemed to favor the way we set up.

    So, I am looking for feedback on a few questions:

    1. In general, did people enjoy the course?

    2. Would people have prefered the longer course that may have had a painful feature or did they appreciate the flow of this course?

    3. Did the change to the course between first and second heats make a definate difference in times? (I know it was safer and restricted the wear on the lot)

    All construtive criticism is welcome. If you just want to call me fat, middle aged and bald, although it is true, it is not constructive in this case LOL.

    OneEyeMedia
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    17 Aug 2008 07:29 PM

    1. Yes - It was a blast and flowed with lots of easy. I drove the 07 2.5 Impreza and it was well blance for the AWD system. Then I did two fun runs in Mike D's (HERO) S2000 on his Hoosiers and I dropped 1 sec from my Impreza times out on my first run in it. The course was a blast even more in his RWD beast! WOOT :P Thanks for doing the planning on the course!

    2. I would prefer a 40 sec course like this over a longer more constructive course. Two Reason:

    A. Smooth steering inputs allowed for a rewarding fast course

    B. Less cones on course to mark a more painful course. Cone managment was awesome today and it looked like course workers had a pretty easy day for tracking less cones down.

    3. From the sidelines I did not see where it had changed much at all. I ran the 2 fun runs and really did not feel much different in that section. Actuall did notice it all. (I ran first heat for the race)

    Thanks again Kyle and excellent thread!

    Cheers,

    Jason Massey

    "Co-driving FREAK"

    Dasmopar
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    18 Aug 2008 07:32 AM

    I thought the course was pretty good for the lot you had to work with. The finish was alittle tight and painful but I'm a cry baby if I'm not at the top of 2nd gear so take that with a grain of salt. I think the kink coming back into the first lot was more of a hazard than anything. You where so close to the grass at that point I think it would have been better to just let the cars flow into the next lot in a straight line instead of making people make a fast twitch. Then again there wasn't a real issue with the way it was so it must have been ok.

    All in all I think you guys pulled off another respectable event. Pat yourselves on the back! If I wanted to I could have been back in Toledo and sleeping by 5:30pm so thats pretty damn good IMO.

    mavisky
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    18 Aug 2008 09:41 AM

    Great course setup Kyle, although I'm sure I told you that enough yesterday.

    I'd much rather run a faster more flowing course than one that slows us down just to give us more time out there. Just think a 60 second course out there would've only meant that we would've gotten maybe 4 runs and finished at the same time, or been there an additional 2 hours or so.

    As for the kink that dasmopar brought up, I think the trick there was the fact that it wasn't a kink at all. If you take the right line out of the lefthand sweeper before it you don't have to put any steering input in at all to get through it. I know for one that I never once turned to the right to avoid that cone. This was the kind of course that at first glance appeared to be like any other autox, a bunch of corners linked together by short straightaways, but in reality the west most lot could be taken as one big set of turns back to back if you were on the right line. It was a challenging course in this way as it forced you to find that line and stick to it. Deviating from it would kill your rhythym and your time. It was a fun mentally as it was physically.

    KBroeker
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    18 Aug 2008 08:13 PM

    Thanks for the input both here and on site, Mavs, J. & Lon. I have to say that I did look at the "kink" coming out of the sweeper on the West side of the Western course when we set up. As Lon suggests, no one had any safety scary moments due to it, although possibly some coned there (I did hear something on the PA about Rick W. in his beautiful RWB shark-toothed AMX having an issue near the "island", but I assumed it was on entrance to the West course or else entering the slolom). Apparently, I had a problem with it while running more than once, although one time was as Kyle suggests, where I had gotten "behind in my steering" in the kink, did not have the ideal line, and had stabbed the brakes while turning around the final inside cone before the left diagonal. The result was snap oversteer followed by my mashing the throttle to catch it at all and according to Mavs, it was a drift worthy of an import video highlight DVD (my 5th run).

    Others, keep the input coming. I will probably set-up or help set-up courses in the future and this is where your opinion can be heard to possibly influence future courses. The more I understand opinions other than my own, the more I can consider things outside of my own head.

    Thanks,

    Peppler33CS
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    18 Aug 2008 09:15 PM

    Personally, I did not like the how close the gate cones where to each other entering the sweeper before the tight stuff at the end. Felt like I carried decent speed through the slalom, and then had to dead on entering the sweeper as 1 ft offline would result in cone carnage. Worst still, it was sandy/gravelly so it was sorta on knifes edge coming out of the slalom and hoping the sand wouldn't carry me off course. It seemed a little better after a few runs.... or I just slowed a bit more. I would have hated a big car going through that section. A wider gate would have allowed more manuverability before the sweeper exit at the super slow finish. I just hate would you don't even have a choice about a line, but there were spectators in the grassy area beyond that so I respect keeping things slowed for safety. Or maybe I was just too darn fast through the slalom [:P]

    I loved the first 80% of the course though, I didn't think we would have much grip in the west lot but it turned out a lot better then expected. It at least 'felt fast'!

    Visually, all the cones near the island were confusing at first, I'm sure it was a little intimidating to a novice. I didn't like it visually, it almost looked like there was 4 lanes and you had to "choose" which one you wanted. After I totally bombed the first turn-in on my first run though, I got the hang of it but never was really comfortable with 100% attacking the turn-in either way.

    But again, I know the lot limitations and safety aspect we are dealing with. I did have a bunch of fun, and just got back from a weekend at Grissom Air Force base last week so my thoughts may be skewed.

    bmonnin1
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    18 Aug 2008 10:46 PM

    Well I helped set up the course so I might be a little biased but I thought the course was great considering the parking lot. Of course the lot is pretty limited, the second lot design has been slight modifications on the same theme everytime I have ran at that lot the last two years. Not much you can do about that and keep the course safe though. I personally prefer a faster, shorter course over a tight and painful course anyday. As for my driving this weekend, let's just say I was totally off my game and really haven't been on it for the last month. Just making to many stupid mistakes out there. Hopefully I will come out of it soon. I could have sworn my fourth run was clean but apparently I hit a cone on that run too. Just have no idea where. Did get some good data on the G-Tech though and might be able to start inproving my times soon. I have good G-forces on my turns (1.2 G's) but braking need to be harder (only around 0.5 G's) and I am seeing too much coasting when the car is not at it's limit. But I am digressing. Kyle let me just say it was probably one of the best courses I have seen on that lot althought I think we pretty much killed what was left to the lot. Hopefully we can find some new lots in the near future and don't have to tear up this lot anymore then it already is. In the meantime I am working on the design for the Kruse event. Hopefully it will be as fun as this course.

    Bart

    mavisky
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    19 Aug 2008 10:20 AM

    I'd agree with you about there not being any real braking sections. Other than the last right hand before the finish and coming back into the slalom I never really used the brakes for more than just a fraction of a second and usually that was only slight application to get the car settled. The problem is that if you're looking to have a big braking zone it means a few things.

    1. We need to be going fast enough that it will require being on the brakes more than a second. - most of these cars at the speeds we run can get from 30-0 pretty darn quick.

    2. It means that unless there's a straightaway before the zone letting us get up to pretty high speeds we'll probably be slowing down enough that it may require a downshift to 1st gear to get back out of there - I'd personally rather have a fast flowing course where I'm forced to keep the car between 35 and 45 mph for 90% of the course than one where I'm on the gas, stopping, on the gas, turning, on the gas stopping, etc..

    3. The best solution to a large braking zone to most people would be a very fast section where you're approaching 60mph in some of the medium fast cars and then slowing down to maybe 25mph for a corner. - this would allow you to stay in 2nd gear, doesn't mean you have to nearly come to a complete stop, tests the brakes well, but it now requires a long area to get up to that speed and a safe area beyond the braking zone and track out for the turn for those who may not get the turn/braking points right. One of the best examples of this I think this year was at the autox school where we were running towards the back of the lot at International and then having to enter into an increasing radius corner on the exit. This allowed us to use the brakes heavily, keep the car in second gear, and be able to get back into the power band on our way out of it. Of course this one element was the size of half of the overall course out there.

    Oh and Bart, from the sidelines you were catching the first apex cone we pushed out by the big hole that developed on nearly every run that I saw before leaving.

    bmonnin1
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    20 Aug 2008 03:27 PM
    mavisky wrote:

    I'd agree with you about there not being any real braking sections. Other than the last right hand before the finish and coming back into the slalom I never really used the brakes for more than just a fraction of a second and usually that was only slight application to get the car settled. The problem is that if you're looking to have a big braking zone it means a few things.

    1. We need to be going fast enough that it will require being on the brakes more than a second. - most of these cars at the speeds we run can get from 30-0 pretty darn quick.

    2. It means that unless there's a straightaway before the zone letting us get up to pretty high speeds we'll probably be slowing down enough that it may require a downshift to 1st gear to get back out of there - I'd personally rather have a fast flowing course where I'm forced to keep the car between 35 and 45 mph for 90% of the course than one where I'm on the gas, stopping, on the gas, turning, on the gas stopping, etc..

    3. The best solution to a large braking zone to most people would be a very fast section where you're approaching 60mph in some of the medium fast cars and then slowing down to maybe 25mph for a corner. - this would allow you to stay in 2nd gear, doesn't mean you have to nearly come to a complete stop, tests the brakes well, but it now requires a long area to get up to that speed and a safe area beyond the braking zone and track out for the turn for those who may not get the turn/braking points right. One of the best examples of this I think this year was at the autox school where we were running towards the back of the lot at International and then having to enter into an increasing radius corner on the exit. This allowed us to use the brakes heavily, keep the car in second gear, and be able to get back into the power band on our way out of it. Of course this one element was the size of half of the overall course out there.

    Oh and Bart, from the sidelines you were catching the first apex cone we pushed out by the big hole that developed on nearly every run that I saw before leaving.

    Thanks for letting me know where I was getting the cone. That was kind of a tough corner because the gate was so tight and all of the dirt being kicked up in that area. Guess I was expecting my car to slide more then it actually did. Could still be trying to get use to the new wider tires on my car. I am expecting it to slide more then it actually is because I am use to the old, narrower, worn out tires. I know I seemed to be hitting more then normal apex cones the last couple of events. The cones that wasn't apex cones were typically in the sharper corners where I needed to be at least a little harder on the brakes to get the vehicle slowed down enough to make the corner without pushing out. Either that or I'm just making an excuse for my piss poor driving (probably the more likely explanation). I am still trying to learn how to read the maps on AXAnalyst so I can use it and my G-Tech to improve my driving. Well I'll be over at Toledo this weekend to try to make some more improvements to my driving and hopefully miss all the cones.

    Bart

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