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Thread: 8/5/06 autocross... the course

                  
   
  1. #1
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    8/5/06 autocross... the course

    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
    Ken K.|'03 Boxster

  2. #2
    Senior Member bren's Avatar
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    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
    Last edited by bren; 08-05-2006 at 08:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    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.
    Last edited by Gonz; 08-05-2006 at 08:53 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonz

    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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BahnBaum's Avatar
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    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
    Interrobanged.

    TeamWTF?!


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    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BahnBaum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bren
    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
    Interrobanged.

    TeamWTF?!


  8. #8
    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?!

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    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

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    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.
    Ken K.|'03 Boxster

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenkamm
    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.
    Woody
    96 328is, 99 M Coupe, 04 330Ci

  12. #12
    Senior Member AlfaEric's Avatar
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    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.

    ---Eric


    Single handedly lowering the pax for MT

  13. #13
    Senior Member bren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlfaEric
    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.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Pete's Avatar
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    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

  15. #15
    Senior Member AlfaEric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bren
    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.

    ---Eric


    Single handedly lowering the pax for MT

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