Sunday, June 10, 2012

[6/10/2012] SRTA #2 (DDT)

Event: Sigma Racing Time Attack #2
Track: Mosport DDT (CCW w/ 2 kinks), Bowmanville
Weather Conditions: 24-29°C sunny
Nice to be back in familiar territory for the first time this season. The morning was already warm and humid so I knew by afternoon it would be really hot.

My goal for the day was to break into the 1:08's. Considering my best time last season was 1:09.53 on RA-1's it was an ambitious goal for StarSpecs. But I've come to realize that most of the time it's not the hardware that limits your potential lap times but rather the driver.

The weight reduction, chassis bracing, and brake cooling added a lot to my confidence level in the car this year. I was looking forward to setting a new personal best.

Test & Tune
Since it felt like I was overheating my tires at the last CSCS I decided to drop the hot pressure from 40 psi to 38 psi all around. I kept bleeding my tire pressures until they stabilized around 38-39 psi hot. The balance of these pressures was good but they still felt greasy after a couple laps. I guess that's just the nature of the StarSpecs. I heard these tires were more catered towards autocrossers because of the soft compound. I was positive I was still overheating them. Coming into the pits, you couldn't even keep your hand on the tread for a split second without having to pull it off. They were that hot. They also seem to be wearing pretty quickly after just two events (see attachments).

A friend of mine once taught me the ghetto way of measuring tire temp without a pyrometer. He said you should be able to keep your hand on the tire for 1-2 seconds before having to pull it off. If it burns you right away it's definitely too hot, and if you can keep it on for any longer, they aren't up to temp yet. I didn't bring a pyrometer this time so I resorted to his method.

DDT is a really twisty track. The amount of steering inputs here, compared to TMP, is way higher. There are also elevation changes. I started off with dampers set to +16 all around and eventually settled at +24. Although no setting made me happy* *I wrote up a really long rant about my coilovers but I deleted it to save myself the QQ.

Best Lap Times 
Session #1 - 1:12.46
Session #2 - 1:10.24
Session #3 - 1:10.60
Session #4 - 1:10.66
Session #5 - 1:09.40 (new best)

It was a struggle for me to break into the 1:09's but I eventually did it after running my fuel level down and riding without any passengers.
Differences in my line this year over last:
T1 - braking earlier and cutting more
T2 - braking earlier but with less pressure and carrying more speed while turning in shallower using the curb
T3 - downshifting into 2nd and using the extra torque to carry me out using the full width of the track 
T4 - braking earlier and cutting more (needs work) 
T5 - braking earlier and cutting more, accelerating earlier (needs work) 
T6 - no changes other than hating my dampers 
T7 - more throttle, but stabbing brakes to get the car rotated in the right direction 
T8 - earlier WOT, cutting more 
T9 - higher entry speed due to more confidence but I think I can go even faster 
T10 - no changes but I need to get better at hitting the apex 

In summary, I'm just cutting corners a lot better this year. Here is my attempt at explaining to Gutantag (passenger) on how to cut the curbs lol. As you will see I'm still far from being an instructor  
 Here's a video from my last test & tune run of the day. Somewhere in there is my 1:09.40 lap. I chose to upload this one because lots of interesting things happen, including almost rear ending two cars, a chase with a Porsche 911, and some cars deciding to cut the grass lol. You can also hear how underdamped my car is as I bounce out of several turns. Chug chug chug chug. I need better dampers!  

Official Time Attack 

No footage this time as I was fumbling with my GoPro as Raf was sending us out. When he sent me out I hit the power button instead of the record button by accident :( 

(Unofficial) OTA Lap Times 
OTA Lap #1 - 1:09.18 
OTA Lap #2 - 1:08.94 

3rd Place - Group A (1:09.15) 

 There was some variance between my AiM Solo and the MyLaps times as it showed my official time as 1:09.15. I was happy thinking I did a 1:08 after coming off the track but then instant heart break when they revealed the official times LOL. That just means I need to work harder to get an official 1:08 on the SRTA website... 

 Congrats to MIBAgentQ on his 2nd place with a 1:08.91! Also great to see other TSC'ers Lord_Sid and kwan_1104 setting new personal bests and Gutantag for attending his first time attack. I gotta watch out for Kwan as his lap times at DDT are creeping up on me! 1:09.96 for him during OTA for a 4th place finish right behind me. 

Big thank you to SRTA for putting on yet another awesome event :D 

Next event is CSCS #2 at Grand Bend Raceway. Never been there before so it should be interesting.

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