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Old 04-23-2012, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default Help me be faster (closing in on spec miata record))

I had my fourth event at Barber this past Saturday and I'm getting faster every time I get a chance to drive the track. I'm 5sec off the spec miata record. I decided that I want to focus on my driving before slapping on bigger brakes and wider tires.

I bet the last session of the day I closed the 5sec gap a little, but I have no proof since I didn't have the camera in the car.

There are two turns in particular that I was being lazy, and not dropping into 3rd gear because I was afraid of jabbing the throttle and getting the car sideways. By the end of the day I was getting into 3rd, but I know I could have been on the throttle sooner. I bet I have 2-3sec alone just in those two turns. I feel like this power level should be capable of 5sec under the record with the right driver. Granted, this track has 15 turns so there isn't a lot of straightaway, but there is enough to have an advantage with the turbo.

What am I leaving on the table to the spec cars that I could remedy?

I'm using 205-50-15 re-11s
450/300 spring rates (tires are rubbing the top of the fenders)
My ride height is ~5.5/5.75
camber is 2.2F/2.0R ( I may have that backwards, it's what was on 949 site)
Full interior (carpet, etc)
Underhood (still have charcoal canister, etc)
1.8l brakes front and rear
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:28 PM   #2
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Get a faster co-driver(to show you where you need help)
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:32 PM   #3
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Your suspension might have some time left in it, but even without parts, on those tires (with stock power) you should be within 2-3 seconds of spec times.

Areas you probably want to work on:

-Compress your braking zones
-Quicker transitions from brakes to gas and from gas to brakes. Don't be jerky, but you should be pretty fuggin quick in this area. This is very important depending on how much you need to improve here.
-Trail braking. self explanatory, but its pretty difficult to get this done right and be comfortable.
-Entry speed. You are likely on the brakes too much, especially if you are in a turbo car (vs. a N/A miata). As one of my instructors previously said "The last thing a racer learns is to get off the brakes".

Also, suggested: Get a competent driver/instructor to drive your car with a camera in it. This should give you a good benchmark for what you can do.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Track View Post
Your suspension might have some time left in it, but even without parts, on those tires (with stock power) you should be within 2-3 seconds of spec times.

Areas you probably want to work on:

-Compress your braking zones
-Quicker transitions from brakes to gas and from gas to brakes. Don't be jerky, but you should be pretty fuggin quick in this area. This is very important depending on how much you need to improve here.
-Trail braking. self explanatory, but its pretty difficult to get this done right and be comfortable.
-Entry speed. You are likely on the brakes too much, especially if you are in a turbo car (vs. a N/A miata). As one of my instructors previously said "The last thing a racer learns is to get off the brakes".

Also, suggested: Get a competent driver/instructor to drive your car with a camera in it. This should give you a good benchmark for what you can do.
That last one is a good idea. I should have Bryan drive my car around Barber. I need to get a ride around the track in his car.

I was definitely working on my gas brake transitions. Trail breaking scares the ---- out of me. I'm doing it more and more, but I'm working up very slowly.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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Don't allow your sense of self-preservation to oppress your competitive drive.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #6
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When braking from high speed, do you guys do one gear change from say 6th to 3rd in one motion, or go one gear at a time to get into 3rd? Any benefit or disadvantage to one or the other?
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgmorr View Post
When braking from high speed, do you guys do one gear change from say 6th to 3rd in one motion, or go one gear at a time to get into 3rd? Any benefit or disadvantage to one or the other?
You can drop from 6th to 3rd in one shot, but make sure you have slowed sufficiently before hitting the gas and releasing to clutch so you don't over-rev your engine.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:33 PM   #8
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Never been to a track where I had to drop from 6th to 3rd but I get what you're saying. I go through the gears, make sure I get the gear I wanted. It's whatever you feel comfortable doing.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
Don't allow your sense of self-preservation to oppress your competitive drive.
This deserved to be quoted. I am henceforth stealing it

+1 for all of Track's suggestions.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:52 PM   #10
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I almost always use every gear. There are two corners at Spring Mountain where I skipshift from 5th to 3rd, but it's because the braking zones into those corners are long trailbraking exercises and the 5-4 downshift midway through would upset the car big time.

@0:45: 6-5-4-3
@2:05: 5-3
@2:25: 5-3



If you have a serious desire to improve, this is the fastest and easiest way to do it:

1. Buy a data system, something like a G2X
2a. Find someone who can put your car under the SM record and have them do it, then compare your data to theirs
2b. Find someone with a Spec Miata who has G2X data, get a track file and a run file from them, and compare your cornering speeds to theirs to find our where you're losing time
3. Go faster
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:57 PM   #11
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The OP's car should be under the lap record with sticky tires easily. 99% of people's problem is driver. A spec miata is about 115-125whp and 2300-2400 with driver. So if a turbo miata with the same crappy RA1s or SM6 on a 15x7 can't match or beat that time then the driver is the issue.

DO what Savington said...get some data aq. and a hot shoe and have them driver the car.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:11 PM   #12
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It appears that my main problem is I'm driving like a bitch.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djp0623 View Post
That last one is a good idea. I should have Bryan drive my car around Barber. I need to get a ride around the track in his car.
Not sure that's what Joe meant when he said competent - all I showed him was cold tires and how to strip 3rd from a 5spd

Next time in august? I hope the 1.8 will be installed by then since I blew the HG this weekend. But yeah, I shoulda taken you for a ride, why didn't that happen? I was stupid slow this weekend though. 60trim + 5spd + 3.63R&P = slow (by 6 secs slow, 1:48). Next time you need to do a 2 day - just doing a single day then not getting back on track for months doesn't help tons you can camp at the house.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:15 PM   #14
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It's funny though. I seems like a couple of days after my track day is when it becomes clear where I need to improve. I've gotta sackup turning into five and getting on the throttle way before the exit. Same thing with the museum. I need to be on the throttle steering the car.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djp0623 View Post
It's funny though. I seems like a couple of days after my track day is when it becomes clear where I need to improve. I've gotta sackup turning into five and getting on the throttle way before the exit. Same thing with the museum. I need to be on the throttle steering the car.
I feel the same way. Matter of fact, I make the BIGGEST improvements between track days. I left RA running 1:58s and came back not even 5 days later and ran a 1:53. of course different day, different environment, but I know for sure its not just that.

same with CMP. I left CMP running 2:01s and came back and put in a 1:56!

I will say with a good instructor and at our experience level, you can easily drop 2-5 seconds in a weekend. Jason spent 4-5 25-minute sessions with me and I went from 2:07s at CMP to a 2:01 (although I did have two 4-wheel offs, 2 two-wheel offs, and a countless number of hairy experiences at the kink).

Anyways, good luck Dave. You seem to be on the right track for sure!
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:46 PM   #16
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The real time shavers are hauling *** through T1, T7 (entering museum), T9-10 (kink), T11 (race line) and flat footed through T13-14 after you crest T12 - then you try not to oversteer into 14 while getting set up for 15 for the front straight! God - don't you just love Barbers Posted video in my build, wish it was you in the passenger seat - it was 24min of tire thrashing.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:34 PM   #17
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First of all, Barber is a freaking awesome track... I used to live right down the road back before I started racing, so I've only spectated there. I can only imagine how much fun it must be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djp0623 View Post
It appears that my main problem is I'm driving like a bitch.
That kind of mindset can be dangerous. Pushing beyond your skill level is a good way to get into trouble (guess how I know ). As others have said, its a better bet to let a skilled driver feel it out for you and see what the car can do, then work towards it.

Quote:
I'm getting faster every time I get a chance to drive the track
This^. If your getting faster, whats the problem?
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:49 PM   #18
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DITTO what handy said....driving like a bitch is good when you don't have the proper skillet to drive fast.

Learn with instruction on how to go fast...then work your way up.
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