Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Track Day #3 -- 2007/08/03

For this track day, I made a few changes to the car. First, given the brake problems I've been having, I upgraded the brake pads to Hawk HP+ on the front (stock rear pads). I also installed a Schroth 4-point racing harness with ASM (anti-submarine technology).

If you search around the 'net, you'll see lots of people saying that 4-point harnesses are a death trap. Stay away at all costs... and that would be true for Schroth EXCEPT that they use an ASM module. Reading through the Schroth web site, the ASM module is designed to stretch just a little bit in the event of an impact; causing your upper body to rotate slightly. This twists your hips and locks you in place; kinda like a cam lock. This cam lock effect keeps your hips from sliding under the belt. Anyway, after a bit of research, it seemed like a good thing so I went ahead and bought it.

The really nice thing about the belt is that they have a quick-fit version for WRX that clips into the stock harness points (and some new mount points that you install); so you can remove the harness in about 30 seconds. Very nice for track days, or auto cross events.

The driving was good again; no problems to speak of. The brakes are a bit low in the pedal, but held on well with no fading. I had lots of problems with traffic, but that's pretty normal; it's sometimes really hard to get a clean lap, especially in the novice run group. My instructor spent some time getting me to push out of the corners earlier. I still have a lot of characteristic novice habits like overdriving the car on entry -- going in a bit hot and scrubbing speed in the middle of the corner instead of balancing it for a nice clean exit.

My PB dropped down to 1:41.3 right at the last lap of the day. All in all a good day; still lots of room to go, but overall getting better. Here's a comparison of the best for this (red) day vs the previous day (blue):

Here's a track map:

Looking at the data trace and the map, you can kind of line them up. The crests in the plot are the straights and the dips represent the corners. Anyway, I make up most of my time in T4-6 (the twisty bits), which is a reasonable place to start learning because there isn't that much to hit out there if you get it a little bit wrong.

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