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View Full Version : 8/5/06 autocross... the course



kenkamm
08-05-2006, 06:42 PM
Hey guys,

Let me know what you thought about today's course. I tried a couple of new things today to try to make something different and fun with the Bowie lot, and I was wondering if people thought it was good, or a total disaster, or somewhere in between.

I tried to eliminate the typical tight, super-slow chicago box before the curbs and instead create an element which would allow you to carry speed through there without fear of spinning. When I drove it in the Boxster, I did get a little loose in the lane-change before the curbs but by the time I was going through the curbs I was straightened out. I also tried to create some fast elements because in the past I have always heard positive comments about those parts. I also tried to eliminate the painfully slow slaloms by offsetting them a bit to allow the speed to stay up, with a couple of small exceptions for safety reasons. I tried to incorporate some visually different elements into this course as well just to make it feel like a change of pace.

I had to bolt after the first heat; I hope the rest of the day went well.

Ken

bren
08-05-2006, 08:23 PM
I liked the course, it was fun.....faster than usual, that's for sure.

My thoughts:

The kink at the end of the slalom leading into the turn around (at the bottom of the lot) was awkward, not really a big deal at all but the flow just wasn't "right." This might, at least partially, have been a car dependent issue :dunno:

I was getting really loose coming back up into the curbs and really had to hold off on throttle application. There was a lot of gravel which no doubt contributed to this issue.....maybe more of kink exiting the slalom (or a straighter shot up through the curbs?)

Overall, I think it's safe to say that everyone really enjoyed it....even if it did become a drift event by the 3rd heat : p

Gonz
08-05-2006, 08:48 PM
Thumbs up. I enjoyed it. Fun course.

As far as safety, I just had to use a bit of caution crossing the islands on the way down. Making sure any slide was caught before getting back on the gas. This was probably more to do with my car, as it was oversteering quite a bit out there.

I only heard a few of the faster cars reaching the rev limit in 2nd gear, so I'd say the speeds were right on target.

I was driving a very low power car ( 1990 Miata), and didn't feel like the course was 'too fast' or unfair for a low power car.


Gonzalo.

bren
08-05-2006, 09:18 PM
I was driving a very low power car ( 1990 Miata), and didn't feel like the course was 'too fast' or unfair for a low power car.

I don't think Bowie could ever facilitate a course unfair to a small car.

BahnBaum
08-05-2006, 09:59 PM
The course was great, IMO. The fact that a non-M e30 had ftd tells you something about the power un-bias of the course, but like Bren said I don't think you can do anything about that with Bowie.

I loved the way it flowed from the end of the turnaround at the bottom all the way back up, around that blasting right hand sweeper and through to the finish.

Great job Ken.

Alex

Biggins
08-05-2006, 10:15 PM
I really liked the course a lot, so much that I ran second and third heats. I did get pretty loose coming up to the curbs on a few runs, but I got it right a couple times.

I actually had a bit of oversteer today (and not the usual pop oversteer). GREAT JOB on the course design.

BahnBaum
08-06-2006, 06:29 AM
The kink at the end of the slalom leading into the turn around (at the bottom of the lot) was awkward, not really a big deal at all but the flow just wasn't "right." This might, at least partially, have been a car dependent issue :dunno:

IIRC, there was a last minute change to that section in order to really slow cars coming into the turnaround (and curb).

Alex

CAB IN BLACK M3
08-06-2006, 08:46 AM
Ken,

You did a good job with the course....I thoughtit really made you look ahead and I also liked that I could work on my breaking skills or lack there of....Sorry I flew out of there I wanted to gosupport Nick at Summit. I believe he took first in KP inthe sprint race.....Good Job Nick!!!!!

Way to represent TeamWTF?!

hoyabmw
08-06-2006, 10:34 AM
I thought the course was probably a little tight in some areas, especially for some of the larger cars. But it flowed reasonably well, and was clearly just the right length for my car :) I hit the limiter twice, and really only needed to brake 3 places. Probably about as fast as you could make things at that lot.

38 seconds did make for a little bit of a short course, but the full drift into the finish was definitely fun.

Kevin

kenkamm
08-06-2006, 01:16 PM
Thanks for the comments guys. Alex and Bren, you are both right. The end of the slalom at the bottom of the course was indeed a little awkward. I was trying to think of a way to slow things down there at the end without taking away the flow, but I couldn't come up with anything that wouldn't require pretty major changes to the course, so I just pinched off the end a bit. I didn't want to slow the entire slalom down because it was just too much fun the way it was. :) I'm actually glad to hear the comments about it being a little tight in some areas... I often want to open it up but don't because Raf often tells me it's too open. Now I think I have an idea of what's "just right" so hopefully John and I can improve future courses. I agree the course was a little short, but I don't like the alternative... a longer course that's too slow to be fun.

woodym3
08-06-2006, 05:38 PM
Hey guys,

Let me know what you thought about today's course.
Ken
I thought the course was lots of fun Ken, but several comments:
1. I was concerned that the offsets before the first trip through the curbs could get someone into a spin and saw this almost happen during the first heat. Because of this I tip-toed through that area while driving Jason's unfamiliar M Coupe on my first run. It never seemed an issue in my familiar M3 on my 3rd heat fun runs.

2. The kink and slalom after the curbs was lots of fun but quite techical with varying distances and offsets. Us old timers were discussing the excessive use of pointer cones in slaloms these days. The SCCA is doing this too. It used to be that if the course designer didn't want the slalom direction to be optional (a great feature) a pointer cone was placed at the first cone ONLY. Same with the two left sweepers after the 2nd trip through the curbs. You'd never see single cones with pointers. Only two-cone gates to define the same course.

3. The left, right, left sweepers after the curbs were tons of fun (especially for Ben Sarli), but I wondered if the speeds for this whole section were excessive for novices.

4. I liked the lack of a required stop after the finish, but again wonder if fast finish combined with the required sharp right could have led to a spin into the nearby curbing.

AlfaEric
08-07-2006, 08:53 AM
I liked the course but thought it could have been a bit longer.... of course, then it wouldn't have been as fast. I was pretty surprised that I did hit the limiter.

I didn't think the course was tight at all. It might have been my car. :)

I did get a little loose coming back through the islands but I think part of that was just my car's setup.

Although people seem to like the rolling stop, it doesn't seem to be slowing everyone down. A few people really flew through the finish and a couple tried to do it sideways. :rolleyes:

---Eric

bren
08-07-2006, 09:05 AM
Although people seem to like the rolling stop, it doesn't seem to be slowing everyone down.

Everyone likes to finish strong. The trick is to allow enough run off after the lights to let them do it safely.

Pete
08-07-2006, 09:18 AM
I thought the course was great given the physical/dimensional constraints you where working with Ken. The pinch off after the slalom (going down towards the big sweeper (after the first island), was a neccessity, which I didn't think broke up the flow much. I thought it added a bit more of a technical section before the big right.

I did worry about the offsets right before the first island crossing as I thought, if a novice lost it right there it would have been a bit dangerous as I saw a couple of people getting a little squirly there. Thankfully, the warnings at the drivers meetings served their purpose.

I liked the big speed at the end which provided quite a bit of fun.

Pete

AlfaEric
08-07-2006, 09:34 AM
Everyone likes to finish strong. The trick is to allow enough run off after the lights to let them do it safely.
There was plenty of room to slow down after the lights, some people just weren't doing it. :rolleyes:

---Eric

Psi5
08-07-2006, 09:54 AM
I thought the course was probably a little tight in some areas, especially for some of the larger cars.
As one for the few (only?) people in a larger car (540), I thought the course was fine - not too tight at all. I liked the start, the sweeper/slalom at the bottom and the finish. Definitely a "different" set up for Bowie but I liked it. Only two comments, echoing what was said elsewhere:
- There were a lot of pointer cones - I actually found them a bit distracting. Not sure why but I was surprised that even with them, there were so many off course runs.
- The right turn at the of the downhill slalom was interesting. Watching the first heat/first run, we saw a *lot* of cars shudder left-right-left, as if they were trying to figure out how to set up that right hand sweeper. The best ones seemd to ignore the left cone and just went through straight but many drivers danced their way through. It was awkward.


38 seconds did make for a little bit of a short course, but the full drift into the finish was definitely fun.
38! Forgive those of us amateurs with "larger"cars that were happy with our 45s!

David

JimHarris
08-07-2006, 11:14 AM
The best part of the course was the fast left, and semi-slalom, after the traffic islands heading out from the start. Quick and technical, rewarding the drivers who read it right. I'd like to see more of this.

It's tough to design a course around the islands, no question. I'd suggest for novices, and over-eager veterans, alike, that in the future you allow at least another five-ten feet for the double cone wall approach to the island (unless the approach is slowed by a very tight turn, as has been done in previous events on the far side of the lot). Just allow a bit more space for the cars to settle before the island curb hazzard. I almost lost the MINI on the semi-slalom approach to the first island (going out from start) on my second run, and it kind of spooked me for my third and fourth runs. (The second move to the right in the slalom was just a little off camber.)

Of course, you can't think of everything.

kenkamm
08-07-2006, 01:38 PM
You guys are right. The section of the course going through the curbs (the first time) was a bit over the top. When I drew the course I paper, it looked like there was more than enough room to straighten out before the curbs. When I was setting up the course, suddenly the lot looked a lot smaller. My goal was to allow speed through there, but in a safe way. I didn't 100% achieve that, but hopefully we can get there in the future. I was just so sick of the typical 5-MPH-chicago-box-before-the-curbs thing, I had to try something else. In the future I will try to allow more room before the curbs so people have some additional room to straighten out. It's a challenge because you don't want people going through there at the top of 2nd gear, either. Unless you're in Kevin's car or an STi, where 2nd gear tops out at what, about 43 MPH? :)

There was definitely an excess of pointer cones. I meant to take the extras away after a final review of the course, and honestly I completely forgot because I was eager to get the thing chalked and get the party started.

Thanks again guys. I certainly had fun and I wish JV was there because I think he would have had a blast as well. I have some more ideas for the next course...

AlfaEric
08-07-2006, 01:41 PM
You guys are right. The section of the course going through the curbs (the first time) was a bit over the top. When I drew the course I paper, it looked like there was more than enough room to straighten out before the curbs. When I was setting up the course, suddenly the lot looked a lot smaller. My goal was to allow speed through there, but in a safe way. I didn't 100% achieve that, but hopefully we can get there in the future. I was just so sick of the typical 5-MPH-chicago-box-before-the-curbs thing, I had to try something else. In the future I will try to allow more room before the curbs so people have some additional room to straighten out. It's a challenge because you don't want people going through there at the top of 2nd gear, either. Unless you're in Kevin's car or an STi, where 2nd gear tops out at what, about 43 MPH? :)

There was definitely an excess of pointer cones. I meant to take the extras away after a final review of the course, and honestly I completely forgot because I was eager to get the thing chalked and get the party started.

Thanks again guys. I certainly had fun and I wish JV was there because I think he would have had a blast as well. I have some more ideas for the next course...

The next event is at Ripken. There should be plenty of room to play. :)

Just remember to avoid the 'jump'.

---Eric

Pete
08-07-2006, 02:49 PM
The next event is at Ripken. There should be plenty of room to play. :)

Just remember to avoid the 'jump'.

---Eric


Yes, yes. Avoid jump.

In regards to the pointer cones, I'm not all that worried about it as our events should have a novice bias. I rode with one later in the day and it seemed to help her go to the correct side of the cones.

Pete

joenationwide
08-07-2006, 03:03 PM
I didn't have any problems with the gates through the concrete islands. I thought they were pretty much straight aways, no real change in car inputs through them.

In fact, there were so many cones lining the islands, I didn't even think twice about the danger of hitting it, I was focused on hitting the important cones where I had to brake and/or turn.

I liked the course, I agree that if you hit it right, there were 3 straights, and a few offsets, and 2 constant radius sweepers.

bogdan
08-07-2006, 11:04 PM
Ken,

I enjoyed the course. It seems difficult to design around those islands, but I think you were able to tie them in nicely.

If I could make a suggestion about the finish: I am 100% for a rolling finish, since it means I can put one more worker out on course, and not tending to the stop cone. I would like to see the finish maybe angled in a little more towards the center of that parking lot. This way the lights could be a little farther away from the curbs. That way if someone carries too much speed into the rolling stop, or spins out, they would not be in danger of hitting curbs or possibly timing. They would just be subject to cajoling by the announcer.

Overall, kudos! It was great fun, eventhough seeing Kevin [that bastard] Kenry's 38.too damn quick, made my mind up on not wanting to change tires, and wanting to punish the street tires. :D

JimHarris
08-08-2006, 06:59 AM
There was definitely an excess of pointer cones. I meant to take the extras away after a final review of the course, and honestly I completely forgot because I was eager to get the thing chalked and get the party started.


There is nothing wrong with an "excess" of pointer cones, to be on the safe side. As long as things don't get too cluttered to the point of "sea of cones" confusion. I don't think it was a problem at all, really.

BahnBaum
08-08-2006, 07:08 AM
There is nothing wrong with an "excess" of pointer cones, to be on the safe side. As long as things don't get too cluttered to the point of "sea of cones" confusion. I don't think it was a problem at all, really.

I agree with Jim; visually there really wasn't any section of the course that got confusing.

Alex

stevemd
08-08-2006, 08:20 AM
It was a fun course even in my POS Volvo. When will results be posted? It was nice seeing all the E36 and E30 M3's. I owned 2 examples of the former and one of the latter. Great cars.

AlfaEric
08-08-2006, 08:31 AM
It was a fun course even in my POS Volvo. When will results be posted? It was nice seeing all the E36 and E30 M3's. I owned 2 examples of the former and one of the latter. Great cars.
Results may take a while. Adam is in charge of them. I will start posting parts of his phone number each day then everyone can call him. That should make him hurry. :biggrin: I'll give him a couple more days before I start since there were computer issues.

---Eric

hoyabmw
08-08-2006, 09:08 AM
Overall, kudos! It was great fun, eventhough seeing Kevin [that bastard] Kenry's 38.too damn quick, made my mind up on not wanting to change tires, and wanting to punish the street tires. :D

Get it right Booger...it was a 37.8xx :p

Kevin (HENRY)

AlfaEric
08-08-2006, 09:14 AM
Get it right Booger...it was a 37.8xx :p

Kevin (HENRY)
He had it right... Your 38 second run made him not want to change tires... the 37 second run made him want to switch classes for next season. :tongue:

---Eric

Pete
08-08-2006, 12:21 PM
Results may take a while. Adam is in charge of them. I will start posting parts of his phone number each day then everyone can call him. That should make him hurry. :biggrin: I'll give him a couple more days before I start since there were computer issues.

---Eric

I talked to Adam yesterday and he is trying to have them done by Wednesday. I think everyday afterwards, you should post a part of his cell number.

Pete

AlfaEric
08-08-2006, 12:37 PM
I talked to Adam yesterday and he is trying to have them done by Wednesday. I think everyday afterwards, you should post a part of his cell number.

Pete
Well, since he thinks he will have it done that soon....
3

---Eric

hoyabmw
08-08-2006, 02:32 PM
He had it right... Your 38 second run made him not want to change tires... the 37 second run made him want to switch classes for next season. :tongue:

---Eric

So after my first run he wimped out.
After the second run he started looking for NOS
After the third he went home crying :icon_twis

Kevin

bogdan
08-08-2006, 11:19 PM
So after my first run he wimped out.
After the second run he started looking for NOS
After the third he went home crying :icon_twis

Kevin

[note to self:: bring armor-all to next event so I can slick down Kevin's rear tires]

Ehh crap.. was that one out loud?

AlfaEric
08-09-2006, 08:40 AM
Results may take a while. Adam is in charge of them. I will start posting parts of his phone number each day then everyone can call him. That should make him hurry. :biggrin: I'll give him a couple more days before I start since there were computer issues.

---Eric
The next digit is.....

0
:biggrin:

---Eric

hoyabmw
08-09-2006, 10:31 AM
The next digit is.....

0
:biggrin:

---Eric

Can I guess the next digit? (not like I don't know it anyway...)

Kevin

AlfaEric
08-09-2006, 10:36 AM
Can I guess the next digit? (not like I don't know it anyway...)

Kevin
Sure, tomorrow you can post the next digit.

---Eric

hoyabmw
08-09-2006, 01:17 PM
Sure, tomorrow you can post the next digit.

---Eric

Nah...you're having too much fun :)

Besides, I might slip and post the whole thing :icon_twis

Kevin

woodym3
08-11-2006, 08:23 AM
I talked to Adam yesterday and he is trying to have them done by Wednesday. I think everyday afterwards, you should post a part of his cell number.

Pete
I guess we've gotten spoiled by the SCCA's ability to post results for 260 cars the same evening. Is there something about our system that takes so much time every event?

AlfaEric
08-11-2006, 09:05 AM
I guess we've gotten spoiled by the SCCA's ability to post results for 260 cars the same evening. Is there something about our system that takes so much time every event?
Are you volunteering to take over generating the results to make things run faster? :biggrin:

There was a glitch and some of the names were messed up. Adam is going through and verifying things.

---Eric

hoyabmw
08-11-2006, 10:24 AM
I guess we've gotten spoiled by the SCCA's ability to post results for 260 cars the same evening. Is there something about our system that takes so much time every event?

Yes. The problem in the system is Adam :)

Never used to see the problem before he took over the computers...

Kevin

AlfaEric
08-11-2006, 10:27 AM
Yes. The problem in the system is Adam :)

Never used to see the problem before he took over the computers...

Kevin
Would you like to take over again? :)

---Eric

1996 328ti
08-11-2006, 11:56 AM
Should we be using one of those online registration websites that dump right into the autocross software?

AlfaEric
08-11-2006, 12:07 PM
Should we be using one of those online registration websites that dump right into the autocross software?
It was an issue that happened at the event. It has little to do with the post-processing procedure.

---Eric

hoyabmw
08-11-2006, 02:05 PM
Would you like to take over again? :)

---Eric

No thanks. I get enough timing stuff at SCCA.
Kevin

hoyabmw
08-11-2006, 02:06 PM
Should we be using one of those online registration websites that dump right into the autocross software?

Using that for registration would help Eric out (and I'm sure he wouldn't mind that!), but this seems to be related to something else more problematic.

Kevin

mickf
08-14-2006, 02:12 PM
The next digit is.....

0
:biggrin:

---Eric
Hmmm........ You owe us about 5 more numbers! :tongue:

Mick

AlfaEric
08-14-2006, 02:45 PM
Hmmm........ You owe us about 5 more numbers! :tongue:

Mick
Hmmm... where was I?
1...9...4...3Sorry, I was out of town.

---Eric

woodym3
08-14-2006, 04:59 PM
Are you volunteering to take over generating the results to make things run faster? :biggrin:



---Eric
I'd be glad to do it, but I don't think you'd want me to:
1. I usually miss several events a year due to other commitments.
2. I would need a lot of hand-holding to learn the system.

1996 328ti
08-14-2006, 10:07 PM
Hmmm... where was I?
1...9...4...3Sorry, I was out of town.

---Eric
-0

1996 328ti
08-16-2006, 09:36 PM
Results are up
http://www.nccbmwcca.org/index.php?id=15,879,0,0,1,0

JimHarris
08-17-2006, 06:54 AM
Results are up
http://www.nccbmwcca.org/index.php?id=15,879,0,0,1,0

The time of my last run is mixed up. It's recorded as a 49.047 when in fact it was a 40.947.....like someone's fingers got a bit mixed up and transposed two numbers. 49's were about 8 seconds slower than I was running, as you can see.

Doesn't make any difference in the X class standings anyway, so no biggie, but I thought I'd point it out.

Looking forward to Ripken big time, guys.

Cheers,

Jim

BahnBaum
08-17-2006, 07:17 AM
Doesn't make any difference in the X class standings anyway, so no biggie

Damn. Makes a difference to me.

I thought I might have finally beat you.

:p

Alex

AlfaEric
08-17-2006, 08:25 AM
The time of my last run is mixed up. It's recorded as a 49.047 when in fact it was a 40.947.....like someone's fingers got a bit mixed up and transposed two numbers. 49's were about 8 seconds slower than I was running, as you can see.

Doesn't make any difference in the X class standings anyway, so no biggie, but I thought I'd point it out.

Looking forward to Ripken big time, guys.

Cheers,

Jim
I'll have Adam double check it. Some of the results had to be rebuilt (that's why it took so long).

---Eric

BahnBaum
08-17-2006, 09:21 AM
I'll have Adam double check it. Some of the results had to be rebuilt (that's why it took so long).

---Eric

Oh. Then my 41 was really a 14.

Alex

AlfaEric
08-17-2006, 09:34 AM
Oh. Then my 41 was really a 14.

Alex
Nice try, we had backups. :)

---Eric

JimHarris
08-17-2006, 11:23 AM
Oh. Then my 41 was really a 14.

Alex

I didn't mean to start this. Honest.

AlfaEric
08-17-2006, 11:41 AM
I didn't mean to start this. Honest.
...and people wonder why I don't generate the results myself. :biggrin:

---Eric

CAB IN BLACK M3
08-17-2006, 11:59 AM
All the cones I hit must of been a mistake...Can you run an instant replay to find out if their was a visual error and then you transposed them wrong.....LOL