Sunday, August 17, 2014

Thanks for Forcing My Hand, Mike

Yeah, if you read Mike's post, I drove at Dub Deliverance 4.  It was my second track event stateside.  I had fun but I can't do Shenandoah in my sleep like I can Summit Main (yeah, when I was riding with Mike during his morning FATT session, I had my eyes closed and I know all of the turns and lines by heart because I've ridden along so many times on that course.

The first time I rode shotgun on Shenandoah, it felt like it was 100 degrees and with the twists and turns (22 of them), I was either going to lose my lunch or pass out.  In the spring, I was better able to stomach the course since it was a frigid day in March.  Yesterday, the weather was beyond perfect for a Spraugust day.  :-)

The biggest thing for me driving Shenandoah is that there's a very different view and understanding of the track from the left side of the car than the from the right.  Sure, growing up, we learn to mimic the actions of our parents driving, who are there as we attempt to gain our drivers licenses as teenagers.  The problem with mimicking someone as an adult is that there is a better understanding of what the car can do.  I don't drive the Rabbit often, but being shotgun so much, I do know the courses, in a sense; and I know what that car can do, because Mike does it.

What I'm getting at is that I was trying to use his lines.  His braking zones.  This is a bad idea for someone's first time driving the course.  I know that going into 20, he brakes probably 150 feet before he tracks in.  My skill level isn't to that point; yet that was the lead I was following.  I know going into the Karussel, he brakes at this darker spot on the pavement, about 100 feet going into the sloped turn.  Again, not appropriate when I wasn't quite hitting the line.  Like Mike, I carried up in my last run of the day and skid across the top of the concrete and asphalt on the car's belly pan (aluminum sub frame protection FTW), although it didn't result in a four-off like his.

In general, I had a great day.  I had good instructors.  And got to catch up with the usual faces of these kinds of events (like Dubs on the Boards, SCCA, NASA, FATT, H20i...) for VWs.  I know where I have problems following the line (aside from the Karussel and turn 20; I was hitting the others pretty spot on by the end of the day) and I know that I shouldn't be following Mike's lines and brake zones.

The event on the new Jefferson in early June was probably better for me.  I didn't have any experience on that track before.  Mike didn't have any experience on new Jefferson.  It was a blank slate.  Nothing to mimic.  After I got over my nerves going into the Jefferson event, I did great.  I probably would have done great, if not better, on Jefferson if the event venue didn't have to change for logistical reasons.  I knew I wasn't ready for Shenandoah because of its turns.  Yesterday was proof of that.

On September 12th, I go out on Summit Main for my last event of the year.  After yesterday, I know that the turn 1 braking zone for me is the 3.5 marker and not the almost 1 like Mike's.  I know that turn 4 is a PitA.  Hopefully, I'll do better in September.  We shall see.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Going into Turn 1 on main, my braking point is actually at the 3 marker....Chrissy's will be closer to the 5 (if she stays on the gas all the way down the straight).