Thought I would add a page here with some of our track tips. These are tracks we run and how we drive them. Of course these won't work for everyone and every car, but it's an insight to what we're doing out there. We'll keep adding them as we get the time.
Virginia International Raceway VIR Full course
Map of VIR Click to enlarge
Really an odd corner, itís an increasing radius with an extra hook at the end. Like many of the corners itís been recently ground and sealed which gives you a lot of extra grip, like 2 seconds or more per lap. The run up to it is downhill enough to affect your braking so waiting a bit longer to be hard on the brakes works better, you should feel the braking improve just past the 3 marker. I like to turn fairly late but aim for an early apex, this allows me to get on the throttle early and let the car track out quickly to the edge of the track. There is a short period where you can sort of straighten the car a bit before adding a bit of steering at the exit. All of this happens while you are still turning right. Youíll understand after you do a lap, itís odd and visually difficult there, but using the outside edge of the track on your initial track out seems to offer the best visual clue.
They call this one Nascar. It isnít very difficult but the entry is hard to get far enough right for. The tendency is to want to turn in from too far inside and early. If you can find a spot on the outside edge, right side of the track, I use the little patch of dirt out there, it helps you be patient enough and get the car way out before you rotate it quickly and aim for a mid apex. I would think those cars would want to be right up on top of the curbing at the apex.
Pretty simple turn expect it sets you up for the next three turns. I like to get the car well under control here and be very aggressive on keeping it left coming out. I would think those cars wouldnít transition very well and even in the sportsracer, I use a lot of the curb. Anything you can do to make the run through the following right easier is good.
Turn 5 6 7
These are really all one series of turns. I like to be as far left as I can entering the first right, this is usually around mid track or more left. This gives me a better arc up to the second right where you really need to be as straight as possible to the edge of the track. Itís off camber and downhill there and the less you can ask of the car to make the second right, the better you are. This sets you up for the left coming out. You gain some grip after turn in at the second right so use that to get a good run out to the left, use a lot of curb at the left and run as straight as possible here. The speed you can get from the exit of 4 you will carry all the way up to the entry to Oak tree so itís crucial to get your rhythm right from the beginning of this sequence. I find that the biggest key is the exit of 4, get it right and youíll be comfortable right through here.
The uphill esses.
Great set of corners here. You will find them on camber, off camber, uphill and down all the way through. They are also fast, in the Sportsracer they are flat in 6th gear. I like to make sure I get far enough left through the first left. This gives me a much better run all the way up the hill, if you sacrifice the exit there, you will be behind all the way up. I intentionally hold the car left for a fraction of a second after the crest of the hill so I get an almost straight shot through the next corners. I will use much the same technique for the rest of the corners also, a little extra turn at the apex, gets you lined right up for the next. Itís blind until you come over each crest and you have to be pre-turned before you get there. In that car the curbs will be your friend, if you turned early enough. Pay attention to the early part of these and the late parts will be easy.
The left at the top of the esses.
This is the corner that falls over the side of the world when you get to it. The exit is totally blind and the entry is a little off camber, itís also very fast. In the Sportsracer it is flat, gives you an idea of the speed here. You will want to get to the right edge as quickly as possible, aligned with the edge of the track as soon as possible at the top of the hill. This allows you to get the car settled and ready for the fast transition. Find a turn in reference that you can key on early and allow you to get your eyes left to the apex as soon as possible. I use the apex curb here in FWD cars as they usually donít get too upset. Entry speed entry speed entry speed. Again itís fast and blind so finding your references early is key.
The right that takes you up to the Oak Tree is the gap in the braking zone for me. I will use a touch of brakes before the right and then come right off the pedal through the apex. You wonít need too much brake here as it is steep uphill, but you will need some as you donít have a lot of time at the top of the hill to get the car slowed for Oak Tree. I come over the top of the hill and get left and as straight as possible as quickly as I can so my remaining braking is done as straight as possible. The Oak tree turn isnít that hard, just getting your turn in speed right and being as quick as you can through the uphill right are keys. Use the apex curb and sacrifice entry speed if you have to for exit speed.
The downhill esses.
The left at the end of the back straight is much like the right coming up to the Oak Tree. I use some brake before it and then come off the pedal letting the car run through there as quickly as possible. Again like many of the other corners I get the car settled quickly parallel to the edge of the track so I can finish braking and get a clean turn-in. Late turn-in here works well but it has to be aggressive as the track falls away quickly. You will probably want to aim for the curbing but I donít know if you will be able to get to it. You can aim for the left side on exit if the car transitions well enough to get right coming out which you need to do to get your arc right for the left handers. You can run quickly through the lefts here aiming for a straight exit on the left side for the run to Hog Pen, the right at the bottom of the hill. I like to use a lot of the curbing on the left side for the entry to Hog Pen as it lets me get on the throttle early through there. You will have braked a bit after the last left coming down the hill and held the car left for the entry to the right. Off the brakes really early to let the car rebound as much as possible allowing a really early throttle application. You really need to concentrate on when you get on the gas here as it gives you a head start all the way down to turn 1. You will feel like you are too early on the gas and headed off the track before the car hits the bottom and grip goes through the roof, be aggressive and find where you can go full throttle, this is important.