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"The Smooth Line" "The Right Line" "
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ScORcHeR
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:28 pm    Post subject: "The Smooth Line" "The Right Line" " Reply with quote

VIR/FULL

There are definitely different lines according to different instructors. How do you determine which instructor is giving you the best advice.

Example: Up the S's, hitting the plateau/flat section, hanging right just before the apex to South Bend, turning left, pushing out to the right and down the hill. Scene has been set. Question- Stay in 4th or down shift to 3rd and power through South Bend?

Example 2: Down the hill after South Bend (not sure which gear is best...., up the hill at #11, turn to the right, heading for the concrete slab on the left. Get the car parellel with the concrete slab, turn right, hit the last apex at Oak Tree. Scene has been set. Question- Stay in 3rd or downshift to 2nd and power out of Oak Tree?

Last Example: exiting out of oak tree and zooming down the back stretch. Approaching the merging point of North Course and full course #12a. Braking before turning the car to the left as you approach #14. on the gas, down shift into 3rd at the top of the hill. Question- Stay to the left till the last second before turning right to hit the apex at #14a...or after hitting the apex at #14, turn quickly to the right, aiming for #14a? This example is kinda hard to explain.

Hope these examples are coherant.

What's your take?
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shiza40
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming from an instructor...first and foremost, do what they tell you to do. They are there for a reason. If you talk with your buddies/other instructors/etc. and hear different things you want to try, then ask your instructor before trying them.

And remember this...as you said, there are different lines according to different instructors. There are also different lines according to different cars/students/tires/etc. If an instructor has you running lines you haven't done before, view it as a good learning experience to learn more of the track. The "right line" is the line that particular instructor has you running that particular session.

That being said:

Example 1: Stay in 4th
Example 2: Depends on the speed you carry and whether or not you can deal with another downshift there as it can get busy. I'm faster when I drop it to 2nd
Example 3: I think you are discussing the two main lines there at the top of the hill. I usually prefer for my students to run the first line you described as it leaves more room for error and doesn't line you up at the door of the car in front of you as the second line can.

Hope that helps.

Sean
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Skeen
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd echo Sean's first two paragraphs and disagree with everything else.
Very Happy

Sean: do you have data that says you're faster in Oak Tree using 2nd? I'd be surprised if that's true.
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shiza40
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skeen wrote:
I'd echo Sean's first two paragraphs and disagree with everything else.
Very Happy

Sean: do you have data that says you're faster in Oak Tree using 2nd? I'd be surprised if that's true.


Burn.

I really debated on whether or not to even post reply's to Scorcher's examples, knowing all to well that someone would call me out like that. Cool

Data, no. Calibrated seat-of-pants ass data, yes. With my 325is trans and 3.23 rear end, the car really falls on its face coming out of there in 3rd. And I know I get a better run on more powerful cars coming out in 2nd. That being said, it is not a lot quicker, and not something I do everytime.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my run:

Ex1: you should be carrying enuf speed at the top to stay in 4th

Ex2: I jam into 2nd w a 325 and a 3.46 diff- otherwise i get toasted on the back.

Ex3: i brake check before the t14 hard brake after the turn, stay right til last minute and power thru the left turn down the hill letting the car track out naturally setting up the next turn

of course im a newb... i got smiles outta phil for it
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Skeen
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shiza40 wrote:
Burn.

I really debated on whether or not to even post reply's to Scorcher's examples, knowing all to well that someone would call me out like that. Cool

Data, no. Calibrated seat-of-pants ass data, yes. With my 325is trans and 3.23 rear end, the car really falls on its face coming out of there in 3rd. And I know I get a better run on more powerful cars coming out in 2nd. That being said, it is not a lot quicker, and not something I do everytime.


I'm certainly not trying to call anyone out. 2nd could be faster in your car.

My experience in many cars in many similar corners is that the extra shift is not worth it. It feels faster because things are happening to you faster and the engine is screaming, you're fighting power oversteer (maybe), and it just feels right. Still, lots of times it's faster to skip the shift because you subconsciously slow down a bit extra doing the shift than if you're really hanging it out in 3rd.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i hate to do it but i have to agree with skeen here Wink

in general, work on using higher gears in turns - work on carrying more speed through the turn instead of slowing down (even more) to down shift...obviously this doesnt work for all situations

last friday at vir, i was driving an e36 M3 sedan with a bone stock drivetrain (including 3.23 gearing) and had no problem using 3rd in T4 and oak tree, and staying in 4th for south bend...
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you weren't trying to call me out Skeen...hence the smiley.

After thinking about this some more, I typically stay in 3rd through there if I don't have anyone in front of me and can get a full speed run through. 2nd usually only gets used if someone has slowed me down coming in.

Y'all missed the joke anyway....I was just trying to screw with Scorcher. Cool

Sean
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:50 am    Post subject: Re: "The Smooth Line" "The Right Line" & Reply with quote

ScORcHeR wrote:
VIR/FULL

There are definitely different lines according to different instructors. How do you determine which instructor is giving you the best advice.


I'm not gonna touch the specific examples, cause there are just too many variables... but I'll try to answer this question in more general terms.

I think you'll be able to feel when the advice being given is good, quality advice.

1. You should be pushed, but not in an uncomfortable way
2. You should be able to immediately feel the benefits of what you've been asked to do
3. You should be able to repeat what you've done and see the benefits in speed or RPMs vs a different technique
4. The line should not put you in unnecessarily risky situations
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct me if i'm wrong, but a lot of this depends on the car. I'm in 5th coming through southbend Very Happy

Generally speaking, yes, you want to be on the gas coming out of there, downshifting may very well upset the car, and with the downhill and an M3 you're getting some decent power in 4th gear through there anyways.

But really you need to find what works for you, what I do is not assume any instructor is right or wrong, and put a lot of effort into trying what each of them suggest, and then see what works best for me. You can judge what worked by looking at your RPM/Speed at a point further down the road.

Take southbend in 3rd, see how fast you're going when you hit a certain brake marker at the end there, then do it in 4th and check. You may even find it just doesn't matter... but if that's the case, why downshift.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you ain't scurred...you ain't goin' fast enough.

J/K, kind of. Pay attention to the instructor - they know more than you do, in most cases. There will be a day when you have the experience where the instructor will learn from you. Perfect example of give and take. If you have an instructor in the car try and absorb whatever you can from them.
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ScORcHeR
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys for your input.

Has anyone written an essay or paper on the "Line" at VIR?
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Horched
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, check this:

http://tarheelbmwcca.org/virhotlap.pdf
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just what I wanted!

THKS Horched!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with Skeen and David W on this one.

As the guy that wrote the hot lap, numbered the corners, filled in the original "dip" between T10 and T11 (yes, you could bottom out a stock street car), laid out the curbing (except for that god-forsaken error on the inside of T2) and designed some of the corners on both cut-throughs, I can say with certainty that it's always better to try and do the higher gear, even though it doesn't always feel faster. As usual, YMMV.

1) 4th or top is recommended for South Bend, just remember "slow hands" and be on the power (10%-30%) at turn-in. The exit is wider than the entry, so as long as you make it down to the apex (front left on the pavement/curbing junction), you'll be ok.... honest! Very Happy

2) I find that a majority of people overslow for T11 in anticipation for T12 and, by extension, overslow for T12 because they can't see around the corner. T11 is a miniature T6 at Road Atlanta. Uphill and super-elevated (banked, walk it sometime) to the tune of 7-8 degrees, you can scream through there. If you do it right, you'll "slide for life" from the inside curbing at T11 to a point where the car stops moving laterally at the outside turn-in curbing for T12, with the left front at a point bisecting the length of the curb. Then, with one or both downshifts done at the end of the braking zone that is a relatively straight line and on a diagonal between the apex of T11 and the turn-in for T12 from the right to the left, turn-in being decisive and significant for T12. I use third in a 3.23 E36 M3. Almost a big arc in a purpose built race car. The problem with making the car parallel with the turn-in curbing for T12 is that if you have enough time to do that, it means you've coasted through the previous turn (T11) and between T11 and T12. Also, it means you can't open the wheel soon enough to make a straight-line braking zone necessary for bleeding off all that speed and concentrating the weight on the left front contact patch, which is how you get the car to pivot on that point...

3) T14 is a great exercise because if you look at the data, most people start braking before the bottom out and before the compression begins for the uphill entry. Not necessary. I realize that what I'm going to say here will get me into some trouble with the DE crowd, but I am braking after starting up the hill, bending the car to the left under mild braking so that by the end, the left side of the car is parallel with the grass edge after the end of the left side curbing, snap off the multiple downshifts as the car lightens at the crest and trail off the brake and get back on the gas (again, 10%-30%) before I turn in decisively to the right just before the beginning of the inside curbing for T14A.

Yes, it is one continuous braking zone instead of two short straight line separated by a turn to the left. What makes it work is "bending" the car to the left instead of turning and braking less hard for a longer period of time. T14A is a bad, bad corner for people overcooking the entry, simply because the road is crowned and, of course, the entire track drops away beginning at a point before turn-in for 14A. The trick is to treat the apex of T14A as an area, not a point, and to make sure you are the one who decides when to turn left into T15 rather than the car carrying you out too far to the left, too soon. T16 is taken the same way as T14.

I could go on and on <grin>, but I do believe the line is the line, from a Mini Cooper S to my K2500 Suburban with seven passengers! Cheers.

-Peter
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