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Thread: Auto Club Speedway

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    459

    Default Auto Club Speedway

    I finally got back out on to the track yesterday, after having injured my hand three months ago. This car is so much fun. I'm a little cautious on the bank of the oval, but was very happy with the car's performance. There's no way to keep up with the big downforce cars on the oval, but it held it's own on the infield. Here is my first attempt at making a video. My fastest laps were kind of ugly - scooting the tail out around a few corners, so I used this lap instead. I know the lines are not perfect!


    Justin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y--4GWTbyM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,622

    Default

    Downforce isn't what matters on the banking, it's horsepower. Our little cars suffer from so much drag at speed that takes an enormous amount of power to overcome. I found that a Caterham can dance all over the banking, going up and down at will. But being power challenged I learned that the best thing to do is to hug the bottom as it's the shortest way around.
    Chris
    ------------
    A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    459

    Default

    You're very right about that, Chris. I should have said less aerodynamically challenged. Which would be everyone including the tow truck! At high speeds, it's much more about horsepower to drag than horsepower to weight. There was a very sleek Daytona Coupe there that had only 350 HP, yet would get up to 165 coming into the bank. She would carry more speed through turn two than I ever reached on the straight. Assuming my speedometer is calibrated correctly, my max speed was 135 at the end of the front straight. As I've found (and expected), many cars with much less HP/Weight out-accelerate my car at speeds above 80 MPH.

    Nonetheless, I'm very satisfied to have fun on the lower speed parts of the track and give up the high speed parts. Call me chicken, but in the last few years I've set out to maximize my "fun/safety ratio!" I had a scary mechanical failure on the bank about 5 years ago, and have since slowed down through that section. And I don't think anyone out there came in with a bigger smile on their face at the end of each session!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,622

    Default

    Yeah, we get it all back starting at the braking area for turn 3. I can brake so much later than just about anybody else it's not even funny, excepting the full-on downforce race cars (like Stokes these days) of course. Exiting 4 on the way to the carousel is big car chomping area #1 and continues throughout the infield, which is so very Caterham friendly in every way. I can go fully welly, accelerating right through 4th gear from the exit of the carousel down the short straight and through the kink on the way to the (often difficult) guitar neck hairpin. And braking through the right-left at the end of the "back straight" (its chicane is a flat out hoot!) is another spot where I eat other cars for lunch, and that continues on through the last sequence of corners entering onto the oval. Whereupon I have to give it all back again...

    All in all it's huge loads of fun, that track. I really really (2 reallys!) like driving there and I'm looking forward to next year. NASA's going there twice a year now and that's OK by me. It's even close to home!
    Chris
    ------------
    A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    696

    Default

    Oh Boy, That looks like fun! Thanks for sharing Justin!

    Tom
    Tom "ELV15" Jones
    http://PIErats.com

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