June 20, 2008

Watkins Glen Day 4, let's sum it up.

If there is a measure of how cool Group 52 is it has to be that with 52+ cars, most of them racers and with one of the two days rather nasty and wet, there was not one crash, not one weird incident, not one warning, maybe a spin or two but that's it.
This with a group where pretty much everyone was going balls out...(sorry ladies, I know there were a few of you driving... I blame Stee entirely for my choice of words!) yet it always manages to be utter coolness! I think we all are extremely grateful to be in with this crowd.

On a personal note it was also great to run into more and more of our readers, NICE! Awesome that some of the Nascar truckers read Axis... you guys DO need to bring those trucks to the Nürburgring, they would love you there!

We all had a great time, Stee drove his car with a properly set rear toe and was immediately more confident. Adil drove CG's 997s and loved it and was smiling despite more issues with the Exige S (tach not working, engine weak, a cracked Sector 111 carbon fiber soiled which folded under at speed and required a gaffer's tape repair which I'm sure was infinitely more solid than the original part!).

CG and I both improved our personal best lap times. Pretty close actually, with him just below 2:12 and me just above. On the screen grabs from the Traqmate software you can follow our laps, a battle of a little more grip vs more power, better gearing and I think, much better aerodynamics in the Porsche.

Our lines are a bit different with him driving the classic Porsche line but for example, our braking points are almost identical. The only difference that I carry more trail braking towards the apex in turn 1 and 7 ("the toe").
The other big difference is our line in the "outer loop" (the right sweeper after the chicane). I shift to 4th, carry more speed and stay way inside, cutting distance by a lot. In the end though, I wonder if it's worth the effort as we both have the exact exit speed... I'll have to ponder that one.

I made a side by side video, CG on the left me on the right. The quality is not so great as an embed but if you want you can press the "HD is Off" button and follow the link to the Vimeo site where you can get a pretty quality good full screen of it.

I also added the same on their own just in case the side by side is too annoying!

So the final tally is CG 2:11.997 (ironic no?) and AC 2:12.159. Not too shabby for street cars with radios, air conditioning and navigation.

But check this out, if you cheat a little bit and on the Traqmate software move the lap start from the actual Start/Finish to the uphill section after the "toe of the boot" the best lap times are as follow:

AC 2:11.850, CG 2:11.585.

But that not nearly as crazy as our "Theoretical best lap" times, 2:11.704 for me and 2:11.246 for CG. See, there is always room for improvement!

The Data Overlay was output with TraqStudio software from Traqmate.


  1. So your theorical best lap, is slower than actual best lap? Hmm... that´s a first! Or AC was simply kanckered from going around the Glen endlessly...

  2. HAHA, no more posting when fried! fixed it, tx Andres.

  3. No problem... but now I got an issue with your fastest time: AC 2:2:12.159

    Is that´s two hours, 2 minutes and 12 seconds? You really an instructor? Hehehe

    Quick, name me editor of AOO!

  4. now all cg needs to fix the white balance in his car, can't see the track at all.

  5. all we need is a group buy on a RaceCam system and we are good to go.
    I have to say, Chase cam is very convenient but they really need to step up on their image quality. I saw clips from a $100 goCam which is lower resolution but ironically much clearer than what a PDR100 can produce. Mainly because of it bein progressive video rather than interlaced.

  6. you know, it would take a zen master instructor to lap the Glen in 2 hours and 12 minutes...

  7. The image quality was much better when I put the camera on the front windshield, but then you couldn't see the dashbaord and driver inputs (and my new bling helmet...jeje)

    The checker flag for the lunch break came 1-2 laps too early, those lap times where going down. AC, is the 2:11.5 time on the last lap?

  8. Also, looking at the graph, though the braking points are similar, the 997S brakes relatively later as it is going faster and the deceleration rates is surprisingly steeper despite the less grippy tires (rear engine advantage).
    However, under heavy braking it got really squirrelly thus sometimes hurting corner entry speed, but compensating somehow with earlier - before apex - full throttle.

  9. I was thinking about the braking on my car and I wonder if the 710 actually overpower the brakes. If I press as hard as I can on the pedal would you not expect it to get into ABS? but I never feel any pumping happening (like I would in the wet). Is that what's going on?

  10. In the 997S when the brakes are hot with Rcomps on a dry track I never go into ABS either. There's a ton of rotational inertia on those tires at 120mph+.
    However in the Exige is the mega BBK we have now I can easily engage the ABS.

    It might be different in corners where approach speed is not that high.

    However, what I do notice when front brakes start to give away a bit is that the rear starts to have more braking power and it can turn to be very squirrelly and an easy spin if you trail brake too much as the rear brakes get more "sticky".

    I guess with the MShoe going "bigger" on brakes can improve some braking distances but then you start running into brake proportioning issues. If you really want to have brakes that can lock up anytime any tire you probably better have a brake bias adjuster too, otherwise you will be on ABS all the time (a bit of the issue we are having with the Exige S now if you are not gentle going into the brakes)


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