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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/3/16 4:49 p.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: Yeah, for some reason the "heroic" behaviour seems to be especially prevalent at MRLS.

The first time I went to MRLS was with a non-marque track day. Lots of everything. My previous experience had been with Miata club track days at Pueblo, which were truly open - no run groups, no point-bys, just "don't be stupid". I never saw anyone be stupid.

Then, that day at MRLS, carnage. Cars going in to walls all over the place. I'm not sure if it's because of California (you're right, I don't remember seeing it at T-Hill) or because everyone's so wound up to be on the mythical Laguna Seca that they try to make the "most" of it. But I do know the A group at Miatas at MRLS is one aggressive bunch. Luckily, the majority have the skills to back it up.

Hallett is such an excellent track, and the one time I visited it seemed like it was a friendly place. I wish it was closer. I'd love to have that facility on my doorstep.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
4/3/16 5:18 p.m.

I ran a lot with a Corvair club , so no real problem there. There would be two or three really fast cars. If I got stuck behind a slow car, I just used it to let things cool down for when I hit the last corner. They were really good about getting out of the way. With another group, I got stuck behind a Corvette, fast on the straight but I was all over him in the twisties. After about three laps of flashing my lights and waving to the chief flagger, they gave him the passing flag. Just remember, it is not a race, so just bide your time and relax and let things cool down. So if a faster car is passing, don't try to beat him to the corner, just lift if necc. and let him go.

I have a picture on my wall of me in my ZX2SR passing a 911 on the straight at Lime Rock.

hhaase
hhaase New Reader
4/3/16 7:08 p.m.

Any input on the typical crowd at RPM/Mid-America or Brainerd? Those are the two closest tracks for me, and I plan on heading to one of both with my AW11 this year.

I was already nervous about it, for exactly the reasons you guys are discussing, good to know I wasn't just thinking crazy thoughts.

imgon
imgon Reader
4/3/16 7:48 p.m.

I run with two different TT clubs, one group has two licensed groups based on car HP, Group 2 is momentum cars and Group 1 is HP cars so that the disparities between cars/drivers is minimal but we still have the issues of bunching up so as others have said you just do a quick pass through the pits to let things spread out. The other group I drive with forms groups by driver experience and that gets frustrating sometimes as the "fast" cars tend to have the attitude that they are fast everywhere and don't give point bys. The one advantage with these guys is that the advanced group does not need point bys and at some tracks allows passing in corners. Both groups run mostly in the northeast and most of the tracks are technical, tighter tracks that keep the speed differential in check. As for the OP you may need to search out a different group to run with to find the style of driver you want to share the track with. Depending on where you live that may be a challenge, we are lucky around here in that we have many clubs and tracks to choose from and can find the people who play nicely with each other.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad UltraDork
4/3/16 9:19 p.m.

At the National Corvette Museum track they ran TNIA last year and I felt the "small bore disease" both times. Stockish NA Miata (on slicks) getting walked at every straightaway by ZR1 vettes and Turbo 911s and then crawling all over them by the end of the first corner.

It's frustrating for sure and maybe the owners of these six figure cars would learn to be better drivers if they didn't have SIX FIGURES tied up in their track toys.

nderwater
nderwater PowerDork
4/4/16 12:13 a.m.

If HPDE is about driver education and not lap times, I can't imagine why car clubs aren't setting speed limits for their student groups. Top speed on the back straight at Road Atlanta is maybe 110 in a stock Miata and maybe 125 in my M3. In a late model 911, GTR, Vette or Viper it's something like 150 or more. I don't want to be in a car when something goes wrong at 150 mph, and I'm not sure that students travelling these speeds are learning anything that makes it worth the risk.

MCarp22
MCarp22 Dork
4/4/16 12:26 a.m.

Some of the best battles I've had on track have been with cars that blow me away on the straightaways.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UltraDork
4/4/16 1:29 a.m.
sesto elemento wrote: In the movie "rush" they are arguing about if it's safe to run the ring in the rain, during this argument, someone says that Lauda is just scared, to this he replies that he has the track record, close to 7 mins flat (I don't remember exactly what his time was). That 's in a formula 1 car on slicks.

I was just talking today about this at a show with some s2K guys that run at Willow.

Niki did a 6:58 ring time in 1975. Most cars of that era like had like 500hp in race trim (1975 Ferrari 312T) I imagine that some privately owned cars on this forum can do that time at the ring. I am betting one of mine can do it on slicks with the AC running and a much better driver then me. So yeah completely different idea of speed now. The tech is just so good, drive a modern Z06 with everything on in terms of the computer and then turn everything off. Its the computer keeping the car on the road. The tech is just astonishing, plus with actual aero on cars being tested properly and materials science for tires as well. The top speed is just astonishing of some of the modern cars in the straights. Plus all the manufacturers are going for lap record times to sell cars instead of feel. Not that I am complaining.

Frankly I am scared to go to the track with some of the exotic guys as it might as well be a drag race from corner to corner and I have no idea how they are going to react one to the next.

codrus
codrus GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/4/16 3:31 a.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: Then, that day at MRLS, carnage. Cars going in to walls all over the place. I'm not sure if it's because of California (you're right, I don't remember seeing it at T-Hill) or because everyone's so wound up to be on the mythical Laguna Seca that they try to make the "most" of it. But I do know the A group at Miatas at MRLS is one aggressive bunch. Luckily, the majority have the skills to back it up.

I think it's because Laguna is a moderately high-speed with a lot of walls that look like they're nice and far away (but actually aren't). Thunderhill basically only has one wall (protecting the paddock), so you can go a long way off track without hitting anything. Sears Point has lots of walls, but they're visibly much closer than the ones at Laguna, so it acts as a visual deterrent to pushing too hard.

Also, some track groups seem to have institutional problems with crashing. Around here, the Audi Club (even when it was known as the quattro Club) has a reputation for carnage-filled events. I did one event with them at Sears Point 15 years ago and they crashed more cars that day than the previous 10 tracks day I'd been to, put together. I dunno if Miatas @ MRLS has that as an institutional problem, it's hard to say since it's only one track event per year.

Looking at Pueblo on google maps and youtube (at least, looking at 'Pueblo Motorsports Park' -- is that it?) it appears to be flat and very open with few walls.

As for stock-engined Miatas being too slow for mixed-group track days, that's been a problem in the beginner/intermediate groups since I started doing track days in 1999. The whole reason I put the turbo on my car in the first place is because I was tired of not having the power down the straight to get by Corvettes, Vipers, and assorted other badly-driven but high-powered cars. In the more advanced groups the drivers are more aware of the cars around them and will lift when required.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/4/16 8:45 a.m.

Miatas at MRLS doesn't have a crashing problem, IMO. It's basically a Trackmasters day, but it pulls cars in from all over the country so it has a high number of novices and people who don't have a lot of time at that track. But the number of accidents has never struck me as high. Nothing like that first day at Laguna with the (now defunct) organization. Debris everywhere.

Miata at MRLS A-group is a pretty wide speed range, with the same basic chassis but power levels that range from 90 rwhp to north of 450. The group keeps it together (if the fast drivers have brains) but the passes are more aggressive than I've seen elsewhere. I think it's the SoCal drivers. We get complaints about slower cars (95% of all cars and drivers are in the fastest 5%, it would seem) but little carnage.

It's hard to damage a car at Pueblo, but the one wall is in an awkward place. Usually you get tires popped off the bead after a trip into the dirt. I've never seen anyone destroy a car there - but I've also never seen anyone drive a car in a manner that would destroy one.

Kreb
Kreb GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/4/16 9:30 a.m.

I think that a fundamental problems is that there are a lot of organizers who allow people to go fast without proving their skills first. My region's NASA is having a problem attracting new drivers because they make you work your way up through the levels, whereas other groups will just throw people out there. It makes me wonder how long it will be until some asshat kills himself going way over his head - or a skilled driver gets taken out by someone who fits that description, and the survivor sues the hell out of the presenter and the track - and wins.

Let me ask you guys: It seems to me that if you've got experienced, skilled drivers, slower cars should rarely have to point others by. A Miata shouldn't be that much slower than most anything else in the corners, and if the other cars outpower it by that much, they should be able to easily pass on the straights, where anyone who understands their roles shouldn't need a point by. In my limited experience, the biggest danger zone is in hard braking, where everyone has to merge, and that hotshoe in the GT3 has to reel in the speed differential while funneling into the racing line.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/4/16 9:51 a.m.

^Again my experience at Hallett in a Miata, the faster cars have no problem getting by on even the short straights and point-bys aren't required.

However, I always give a point-by so the passing car knows that I have seen and acknowledged them. And it's always been greeted with a thankful wave and/or comments in the pits for being courteous.

WingZombie
WingZombie New Reader
4/4/16 10:16 a.m.
MCarp22 wrote: Some of the best battles I've had on track have been with cars that blow me away on the straightaways.

Agreed. I love running down someone with twice the hp in the twisties :)

chuckles
chuckles HalfDork
4/4/16 10:42 a.m.
z31maniac wrote: ^Again my experience at Hallett in a Miata, the faster cars have no problem getting by on even the short straights and point-bys aren't required. However, I always give a point-by so the passing car knows that I have seen and acknowledged them. And it's always been greeted with a thankful wave and/or comments in the pits for being courteous." This. In a Cobalt SS, I spend plenty of time in both roles. If you can pull up to me, I'm glad to let you by. Nobody wins a track day.
Storz
Storz SuperDork
4/4/16 10:59 a.m.

Sounds like we need more tracks.

WildScotsRacing
WildScotsRacing Reader
4/4/16 11:01 a.m.
z31maniac wrote: At Hallett before I stopped going, they had my 1.6 open diff Miata out in the A group with the big boys because I can handle myself on track. Never an issue for me to be on track with Viper/'Vetter/BOSS 302's shod with Hoo-Hoos. Hallett is a tight, techincal track so with those cars talking about a perhaps ~13s a lap difference. But stil 40mph difference closing speed into a braking zone is exciting.

Ahh, you must be refering to the braking zone for Turn 2 (counter-clockwise). Hit the center ridge of Cimmaron Straight (with a blind 5 kink to the right just to make it more fun), go from looking at nothing but blue sky to suddenly looking down hill at the braking point for a 160 30 mph hairpin. Yeah, Turn 2 is a great equalizer of cars and drivers. Even formula cars have to take it at less than 40mph. For HST (HPDE) days, if you have a good-handling and braking "momentum car" and you nail the very late apex for 2 and are on WOT just as you reach Rich Fast Guy's bumper by the time you apex 3, you can flat out-run him to the turn-in for 4. I've seen it done plenty of times to know it isn't a fluke.

Keith, you should try to get get back to Hallett for another HST day! Stephens Racing definately runs an informal, but very tight ship when it comes to on track driver behavior. They now have camaras covering every inch of the track so nobody can hide from being a track jerk. And Lord help you if another driver makes a complaint and track mom Connie finds it to be true on the camara playback! End of last season several really quick "momentun car" drivers complained about a certain Fast Rich Guy in his tuned CTS-V for refusing to acknowledge the corner workers giving him the "let car behind you pass" flags and actively making his car "wide" at several points to prevent some Miatas and Twins from getting past him on certain corner exits. Connie told him off semi-publicly and threatend to make him take an "instructional" session in the passenger seat of his own car if he didn't knock it off, LOL. Hallett runs a really good set of workable rules for their track days, and they enforce them.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/4/16 11:34 a.m.

It's barely 900 miles each way

steronz
steronz Reader
4/4/16 11:53 a.m.
Kreb wrote: Let me ask you guys: It seems to me that if you've got experienced, skilled drivers, slower cars should rarely have to point others by. A Miata shouldn't be that much slower than most anything else in the corners, and if the other cars outpower it by that much, they should be able to easily pass on the straights, where anyone who understands their roles shouldn't need a point by.

This has been my experience. As I moved up into the more advanced run groups, the typical "fast car slow" guys became fast enough in the corners that it stopped being an issue. It actually makes it fun trying to catch up in the braking zone and twisties, but I don't really feel hindered anymore.

Where I have an issue is trying to learn a new track, I still take things nice and slow if I'm somewhere new and that can be hard if my left arm is constantly hanging out the window. But that goes away after half a day. I think the bigger issue is definitely not having speed limits or HP limits for novice/intermediate.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/4/16 12:04 p.m.
WildScotsRacing wrote:
z31maniac wrote: At Hallett before I stopped going, they had my 1.6 open diff Miata out in the A group with the big boys because I can handle myself on track. Never an issue for me to be on track with Viper/'Vetter/BOSS 302's shod with Hoo-Hoos. Hallett is a tight, techincal track so with those cars talking about a perhaps ~13s a lap difference. But stil 40mph difference closing speed into a braking zone is exciting.
Ahh, you must be refering to the braking zone for Turn 2 (counter-clockwise). Hit the center ridge of Cimmaron Straight (with a blind 5* kink to the right just to make it more fun), go from looking at nothing but blue sky to suddenly looking down hill at the braking point for a 160* 30 mph hairpin. Yeah, Turn 2 is a great equalizer of cars and drivers. Even formula cars have to take it at less than 40mph. For HST (HPDE) days, if you have a good-handling and braking "momentum car" and you nail the very late apex for 2 and are on WOT just as you reach Rich Fast Guy's bumper by the time you apex 3, you can flat out-run him to the turn-in for 4. I've seen it done plenty of times to know it isn't a fluke. Keith, you should try to get get back to Hallett for another HST day! Stephens Racing definately runs an informal, but very tight ship when it comes to on track driver behavior. They now have camaras covering every inch of the track so nobody can hide from being a track jerk. And Lord help you if another driver makes a complaint and track mom Connie finds it to be true on the camara playback! End of last season several really quick "momentun car" drivers complained about a certain Fast Rich Guy in his tuned CTS-V for refusing to acknowledge the corner workers giving him the "let car behind you pass" flags and actively making his car "wide" at several points to prevent some Miatas and Twins from getting past him on certain corner exits. Connie told him off semi-publicly and threatend to make him take an "instructional" session in the passenger seat of his own car if he didn't knock it off, LOL. Hallett runs a really good set of workable rules for their track days, and they enforce them.

I couldn't out run them or even keep up into 4 (1.6 Miata lol), but by the time we were exiting 5 for the run down to 6 I'd be all over the bumper for them to park it in 6 and kill the entire run up to 7/8/9.

Running backward 6 to 2 was also a great way to make the high HP guys feel bad. But as soon as we left 2 they were gone again.

JBasham
JBasham New Reader
4/4/16 2:31 p.m.

I'm running regularly with Founders PCA and National Capital BMW, less frequently with Tar Heel BMW and Del Valley BMW. Doing a variety of tight tracks and Big Dogs. All these clubs are still doing a good job of managing the issue (I drive both fast and slow cars, depending on what isn't broken that weekend) but it takes some focus. I've seen Miatas running with a Daytona prototype (regularly) at PCA.

It's not tension-free but the clubs facilitate driver-to-driver relationships out of the car between sessions, which seems to encourage people both to work together more and to cut each other some slack. The instructors seem to exercise some kind of Vulcan mind control on the novices with 500-HP cars; I'm not sure what it costs them pucker-wise to get through the sessions though.

WildScotsRacing
WildScotsRacing Reader
4/4/16 3:28 p.m.

In reply to z31maniac:

OK, I'll grant you the lack of BOTH torque and horsepower

WildScotsRacing
WildScotsRacing Reader
4/4/16 3:33 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: It's barely 900 miles each way

Hey, if the Bandit and Snowman can do it in only 28 hours... "Keep that hammer down and get it done!"

mazdeuce
mazdeuce PowerDork
4/4/16 4:57 p.m.

I think everyone should load up their low power cars and meet Keith at High Plains. That place is seriously cool and I need an excuse to go back.

codrus
codrus GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/4/16 5:23 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: I think everyone should load up their low power cars and meet Keith at High Plains. That place is seriously cool and I need an excuse to go back.

It's a long tow from Santa Clara. Also, I don't have a low-power car. :)

chuckles
chuckles HalfDork
4/4/16 9:01 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: I think everyone should load up their low power cars and meet Keith at High Plains. That place is seriously cool and I need an excuse to go back.

In.

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