Sunday, May 18, 2014

[Video] Best Lap at Winton 04-May-2014

Video of my best lap from the EXE-Crew track weekend, a little bit messy. Plus the camera needs to be mounted higher I think.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Exe Crew Track Weekend - 3rd/4th May 2014

The Exe Crew track weekend has become somewhat of an annual event at Winton Raceway. Our last one was in November last year and I was signed up again for the track weekend this month - two days of sprints!

Leading up to the weekend, I monitored the weather report and initially rain was forecast in the region for both days. It didn't look good but despite this, I had one goal for the weekend - to drive as hard as I can without destroying the front tyres through plow understeer. To me this meant that I had to focus on smoother entry into the low speed tight corners with a slow-in/fast-out approach.

Photo courtesy of Andy Szeto

The day started off wet, the rain had stopped but the track was very damp. In the first session I forgot to turn off the stability control and the system did not like the combination of wet track, semi slicks and aggressively locking diff. The system decide to give up and my dash warning lights lit up indicating that I had not stability control and no ABS. I drove around cautiously and pushed to about 70-80% of how I normally drove. I clearly need more practice driving with no ABS as I locked up the brakes twice, flat spotting one of the front tyres. In the second session, there was a dry line forming but the track wasn't completely dry yet. Although, I turned off the stability control, the ABS malfunctioned again leading me to drive around tentatively. Fortunately in later sessions, the ABS behaved normally with stability control off and I was able to start pushing the car harder as the track dried up. I ended the day with a 1:41.6, still a whole two seconds away from my PB lap time. My front tyre management approach did work and I managed not to make the car understeer at the hairpins.

Lap times
Session 1 - 2:20.2440 1:55.0890 1:50.0080 1:53.4550 1:51.9970 1:58.2900
Session 2 - 2:07.2980 1:53.2420 1:49.2170 1:47.2280 1:44.9140 1:44.6280
Session 3 - 2:06.1380 1:52.1900 1:45.4130 1:45.1110 1:43.8290
Session 4 - 1:53.6270 1:42.7330 1:41.9970 1:45.0540 1:41.7000 1:41.6100
Session 5 - 1:59.9630 1:43.9200 1:42.6270 1:43.5950 1:42.2070 1:42.4310

During the day I also installed my harness using eye bolts obtained at the last minute. Thanks for the help and sourcing eye bolts, Jim.

Exercising too much restraint...

The weather was much better on Sunday as it was completely dry from the beginning. There was a bit of sunshine too. I went straight out in session 1 and attacked, keeping the tyre management and corner entry in mind. I managed a 1:40.6 in the first session, which I was happy with for a start. Session 2 was red flagged and by the time session 3 rolled around it was past midday. 1:40.5 was the best I could do for the day and I felt the track was going off by session 4. There were at least two more sessions to go but I decided to call it quits as I was a little bit worried about the noise coming from the rear of the car while cornering to the right at high speed after the sweeper. I think the rear left wheel bearing has died so the car needs a bearing and hub refresh before the next event.

Lap times
Session 1 - 1:52.0950 1:41.0370 1:42.2750 1:43.9980 1:40.6060
Session 2 - 1:57.8720 1:43.2640 1:42.2120
Session 3 - 1:54.6040 1:43.0260 1:42.0500 1:42.4270 1:41.0060 1:40.5110
Session 4 - 1:57.5730 1:43.9760 1:40.7350 1:42.7050 1:41.7480 1:46.8330

A comparison of the best lap for the day versus my PB lap shows that I was of course slightly slower through most corners. However, it looks like trying to drive smoother resulted in getting on the throttle earlier out of turns 6 and 7.

Finally, thanks must go to Andy Szeto for these brilliant photos, and there are more in his photostream.