Decibel (decibel45) wrote,

You spin me right round, baby right round...

(no, I'm not talking about Erica, thought it's still fitting ;) )

Last month I followed Nugget and equiraptor's example and did a Driver's Edge event at Texas World Speedway. Had a blast, and made serious improvements to my driving. Good enough that my instructor didn't even join me for the last 3 sessions on Sunday, and I was recommended to move to blue for my next event.

So... I signed up for the next event that was available, which is happening right now at Eagle's Canyon. Holy cow, what a different track. This is setup to be a FIA/Formula 1 type track. Lots of straights, but more importantly, lots of *very* interesting corners, and lots of elevation change.

Most important, this course is *very* demanding! You have to be on top of your game here. Almost all the turns are off-camber (meaning that the track surface falls away) and/or have an elevation change. And the course is *very* hard on brakes. At TWS, I could get away with modulating my braking somewhat, which meant that I didn't have to be very accurate on when I started braking for a turn. Absolutely not the case here, and it's been causing me trouble all day. I spun three times today, from screwing up my braking and going into a corner too hot. That's something that an NSX won't forgive you on, especially on this track. To make things more interesting, there's several places where if you go off-track, you're almost guaranteed to hurt the car. I did manage to do just that, though luckily it's just a small paint scratch (I must have gotten a rock between the apex cone and the car...).

Also, the brakes on the NSX are just not cutting it. Apparently, this is a known problem on the "1st gen" NSXes; the front brakes are very prone to overheating. Not only am I boiling some fluid (and this is even DOT4 stuff), but I'm actually cooking some pad material onto the rotors. I'm told there's not really much that can be done for the stock setup, though perhaps I can get it on the lift and find a place for some ducting. Long-term, I'm probably going to have to upgrade, and that means new rims. And in reality, it probably means 2 sets of rims, because I don't want to take nice rims to the track. What sucks about that is if I do that, I want race tires mounted on the second set... but those aren't good for the street, and I have no good way to get them to the track, unless I start trailering the car. Ugh...

On the bright side, I definitely feel like I'm improving. My lines are decent, at least when I'm not dealing with traffic that's unpredictable (this track has a lot of people off-balance...). But I think they're better than when I was at TWS. I've definitely gotten threshold braking down; now I just need to allow myself a buffer-zone so that I won't be going into corners too hot. I also need to get better at adding throttle when the car starts to let loose. I probably could have saved at least one if not all three of the spins today had I done that.

Now I just need to convince Erica to do an autocross... :>

Oh, and Paradox and Leto need to get out here; no excuses about cars not meant for the track! There's plenty of Audi's here (including an S4), and several Lexi (including an SC400 driven on hand controls).
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