Monday, June 9, 2008

Exe Crew Track Day - Winton Raceway

This was another track day packed with new experiences. First of all, I was trying out my OEM 18" rims with Yokohama A048s. Secondly, this was my first time driving on a wet track. Thirdly, I wanted to try some different lines and braking to see the differences from last time.

Session 1
A drizzle was starting and the track was becoming slightly damp. I was apprehensive about going out and drove very cautiously. I was also getting used to the new tyres and the extra weight of the 18" rims. I felt like I had to brake earlier and that the A048s were less grippy than the RE55s.

Session 2
The rain was coming down steadily now and the track was soaked. I took it extra slow and braked much earlier than usual. Feathering the throttle around corners helped maintain the grip. On some corners, I turned to aggressively and the tail of the car flicked out slightly, but the lower speeds allowed me to recover safely. After getting home last night, I read some advice from DavidM and was glad that I did something right.
DavidM wrote:
"Most important thing is to brake early and smoothly, and also slow the car down for corners more than you need to, and then pick up speed through the corners and you'll be fine.
If it's wet, and it's a new experience for you, then it'll be a good learning experience as rain/wet rewards smoothness."

1:56.2700 *WET PB

Session 3
The track started drying up in this session but it was still quite damp. I tried pushing a little bit more, but it felt unsafe. The day appeared to not be going well for me. The weather seemed like it was taunting us with patches of rain and then allowing the track to dry up partially only to begin raining again. After this session, I was just hoping that the rain would hold off and let the track keep drying. As the group E cars went on for their third session, it looked promising and my hopes were raised.

Session 4
The track had dried up nicely and I figured that this was my one and only chance to attempt anything remotely close to a PB. After a few laps of trying a higher corner speed through the double apex sweeper and later braking on the main straight, rejoice! 1:43.6 - 0.2 faster than previously. A very marginal difference, but I was happy that I matched it again.
1:43.6000 *NEW PB

Session 5
I took Jally out for a leisurely drive. Hope you enjoyed it.

Full results:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Track Day Preparation

25th May 2008
Changed engine oil.

1st June 2008
Brake bleeding part 1 - Bled the brakes and added some fresh Motul RBF600 with the help of Shaun. On the drive home that night, the "bite" point of the brake pedal felt lower than it was prior to bleeding. I thought that was strange as we used a one way bleeding hose. After discussing with Shaun, we realised that at one point, the brake fluid reservoir had become empty and some air may have entered the top of the master cylinder. Thanks Shaun for all your help. I monitored the brake pedal feeling throughout the week and the bite point seemed to become a little higher. I don't know for sure whether this was a placebo effect or not.

7th June 2008
Brake bleeding part 2 - Just to be on the safe side, I bled the brakes again with the aid of Sheepo's foot. Thanks Sheepo. All calipers were fine except for the front right which had a couple of bubbles.
Also chucked on a set of fresh (slightly used) Yokohama A048's - 235/40/18 all around.