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Old 11th September 2008, 00:14   #16
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Thanks!

VIR is really an AMAZING track. its got a lot of elevation changes and that really changes the driving dynamic as the cars move around on the suspension as they get light over crests and as they bottom out in the dips.

It looks so easy in the video! I have in car vides of my runs but really you cannot recreate any of the feeling of being there yourself because video reduces the sensation of speed, braking, acceleration, elevation and camber changes, etc

That video you linked to which shows the corner names is very useful.

Climbing Esses are fricking tough. South Bend is hair raisingly frightening and incredibly rewarding to get right. If I crash at VIR, I am sure it will be at South Bend. Oak Tree is great, and roller coaster/hogpen section is deeply satisfying to get right.

That video is the full course. this below is the grand east course. You will see that on the back straight, instead of going straight, you make a right U turn (the Bitch), go through a very windy dropping, then climbing section, before you join up back at the top of the Roller Coaster. This added section is horribly tough. The Bitch is off camber and the G forces feel like your head is going to come off your shoulders, and then you go pounding through very tight left right left sections that are dropping steeply that you can't even clearly see them till you're in them.



Its just a great great track
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Old 11th September 2008, 01:00   #17
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That video is the full course. this below is the grand east course.
Oh ok, got it. The grand east is even longer and more challenging than the full course.

Wish we had a track like this here, would have been great fun.

BTW what were your laptimes like? The BMW in the vid did it in 3:30 (average speed - 72mph/115kmph). He might have prob been even quicker if he hadn't caught up with that slow car towards the end.

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These events are not timed, in fact timing is strictly forbidden by insurance rules (both my insurance and the event organizer's insurance).
Oh ok. But what is the reason behind this? Is it to prevent their clients from pushing the car too hard to beat their personal lap record? Higher chances of an accident...

Shan2nu

Last edited by ajmat : 13th September 2008 at 19:25.
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Old 11th September 2008, 03:21   #18
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Because that counts as competition, which changes everything. Competition insurance is priced differently according to the risk. Also laws and liabilities that apply change for competition.

In the high cost, litigious environment of the US, they can run these events only by specifically saying that this is not competition. People still sneak laptimers in, but so far I have not been tempted.

And your reason is also right. Except in the advanced and instructor groups, participants need to focus on learning to drive instead of watching the lap timers. The pressure is so high, the need for concentration so intense, that your job is to learn technique, lines, and smoothness. If you get those down, then speed will come, and as you get consistent, you can start studying your lap times.

People who have never been on the track, they think its just like the street, just faster, that they will be atleast as comfortable and capable as they are on the street. WRONG!

Grand Turismo is just a video game. Its not like that at all in real life.

Last edited by Harbir : 11th September 2008 at 03:29.
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Old 11th September 2008, 12:59   #19
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In the high cost, litigious environment of the US, they can run these events only by specifically saying that this is not competition. People still sneak laptimers in, but so far I have not been tempted.
If you have an incar vid of the lap, you can get a pretty good idea by timing it. Let us know, it'l be interesting to see how quick the Elise is.

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Old 11th September 2008, 17:22   #20
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Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
it'l be interesting to see how quick the Elise is.
Like I said, any times that I get from my in car videos will tell you how fast I am, not how fast the Elise is.

I am not a good enough driver to max out the abilities of the car.

THis is true for anyone not in the advance groups.
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Old 11th September 2008, 18:06   #21
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Like I said, any times that I get from my in car videos will tell you how fast I am, not how fast the Elise is.
Thats ok man, post the lap times anyway. Track day is all about the learning process, none of us are driving gods here (even though we'd like to think we are, haha).

Pardon me but im a sucker when it comes to lap times. LOL.

Even if you let me drive a Wagon R i'l be as interested in knowing the lap times as i would if i were driving a perfomance car.

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Old 11th September 2008, 18:13   #22
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ok, will do. the footage is on the camera which is with my Wife in New York, but when I get my hands on it, I'll take a look at the times.
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Old 12th September 2008, 05:24   #23
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Harbir, looks like VIR is a lot of fun, I've heard its quite a challenging track too.

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What really interests me is that I have never seen another Indian at these events. I see the american kids of Indian immigrants, but never do I see immigrant Indians like myself.
I am going to do the NASA TT in the Midwest, i.e. Mid-ohio, Grattan, Gingerman and Putnam Park. I might come to VIR for the GRM Ultimate Track Car Challenge, so hoping to see you there.
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Old 13th September 2008, 03:17   #24
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Dude, nice track, nice experience and nice videos.

BTW, don't know about the others, but I could actually feel the inclines and differences in elevation. My stomach was on its own trip when I watched your video!
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Old 13th September 2008, 15:34   #25
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Sweet writeup, thanks for sharing Harbit. Man, its been a long time since I have been on the track. Your post has gotten me all worked up. What I wouldn't give for a track in Western India....the south boys have all the fun. Tempted for a weekend trip down. Or get some track time on an upcoming trip to the States.

A lap timer is the most vital tool on the track, if you can't track your times, how do you know that you are indeed faster? Or that a different line is actually making you go faster? Some questions:

1. Which affordable cars do particularly well on the track? Outside of the EVO's & Scooby's?

2. How does the new 'Vette fare on the track? And the erstwhile Dodge Viper?

P.S. : A mustang and a PT cruiser on the track!! No wonder they are off the racing line and giving way.
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Old 13th September 2008, 17:24   #26
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In the high cost, litigious environment of the US, they can run these events only by specifically saying that this is not competition.
Even in India, the usual insurance we have for our cars does not cover racing and rallying.
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Old 13th September 2008, 21:17   #27
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Harbir, that was an awesome write-up. Please do share more. God bless you for starting this thread!
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Old 13th September 2008, 21:32   #28
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Sweet writeup, thanks for sharing Harbit. Man, its been a long time since I have been on the track. Your post has gotten me all worked up. What I wouldn't give for a track in Western India....the south boys have all the fun. Tempted for a weekend trip down. Or get some track time on an upcoming trip to the States.

A lap timer is the most vital tool on the track, if you can't track your times, how do you know that you are indeed faster? Or that a different line is actually making you go faster? Some questions:

1. Which affordable cars do particularly well on the track? Outside of the EVO's & Scooby's?

2. How does the new 'Vette fare on the track? And the erstwhile Dodge Viper?

P.S. : A mustang and a PT cruiser on the track!! No wonder they are off the racing line and giving way.

GTO,

thats no PT Cruiser. That's a Mazdaspeed3. 263hp hot hatch, regarded in the US as the best car in its class (which includes the VW 2.0T GTI, Subaru WRX, etc). In the right hands, they are very fast and excellent on the track.

About Laptimers, it would be convenient but is not necessary at my level. For me, the deficiencies in my driving are so clear I know when I've done it right. So when if lots of things happen well, its a good lap. and if things are going wrong, then the lap time doesn't matter.

I don't know how much expereince you have on the track, but for me right now the lap times are irrelevant. What matters is to gain correct what I am doing wrong, improve what I am doing right, and increase consistency.

You know why Top Gear got the Stig? because Jeremy Clarkson and the others are not consistent enough to put down reliable meaningful lap times. WHen I get consistent and repeatable, only then will I worry about lap times.

The best affordable car for the track is the 1989-2005 Mazda MX-5. It is by far the single most common car you see at these events, from beginners to advanced racing level drivers.

Also popular are the E30 and E36 BMW 3 series cars which are quite affordable now. The mini is quite good, so is the first generation Nissan Sentra SE-R. The Dodge SRT4 is very potent.

Really, anything that is sold to the enthusiast market is suitable.

The Corvettes and VIpers are really fast in the hands of the advanced drivers. but in my group, the last time there was a 600whp C6 corvette and I was way faster than him.

Again, I don't know how much experience at the track you have, but i have learned that most people who have never been to the track think like they are close to the advanced group in their skill and speed. THey have no idea.

Also, the Mustang and the Mazdaspeed3 are not as far off line as I am. the corner that is coming up requires you to be on the right of the track, so if you want to pass there, you have to pull off line towards the left, make the pass, and then if there is enough room, get back to the right to be on line for coming left hander. If not, then you go into the curve offline.

Last edited by GTO : 15th September 2008 at 11:24. Reason: No inappropriate words please, not even indirectly (****).
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Old 13th September 2008, 23:14   #29
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Well, Gran Turismo Planet has made a wish list of all the tracks they would like to see in GT5 when its released in 2010. This track is on the list. I really hope the GT guys give it a serious thought coz it would be an awesome experience for people who can't make it there for real.

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Old 14th September 2008, 02:12   #30
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I actually believed it when they said that GT is a realistic simulation. It isn't. I've been a GT head since 2001 and I really thought it was more than just a video game. It isn't. Its just a video game. The threat to life and limb that you feel on the track, the responsibility for your own life that lies in your own hands, the massive feedback of G forces, steering and suspension reactions that bombard you with information, the difficulty in realizing the right line, the difficulty in actually making the car follow it at elevated speeds, the confidence and accuracy to let the car flow out towards the outside edge of the track but not go over it, GT doesn't recreate any of that.

us GT heads, the way we drive in the game, thats the way very advanced drivers drive in the real world. But it takes a very long time for newbies to work their way up to the advanced levels. Keep in mind that the people who show up at the track in the newbie groups are not some random jokers off the street. They are already part of a tiny fraction of enthusiasts who have taken the initiative and interest to go to the track. THey all show up thinking they know whats in store, as did I, because of what they've read or vids they've watched or the games they've played.

They have no idea.

Also, GT does not accurate represent the elevation changes, camber deflections etc that are out there on the tracks that are supposedly represented.

Its good for a videogame, but its just a video game.
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