Friday, October 20, 2006

Confidence



I finally got some track time again. It has been over a year since the last time I had been on a track. I felt very rusty. For company I had Ron and Heather with my. Always nice to have support at the track. I planned for this to be a super causal track weekend to get reaquanted with driving and give some ride alongs to Ron and Heahter in the process. Heather caught a cold, so most of the passenger time went to Ron.

The first of the two days was spent learning the track again, we were running it counter-clockwise, the opposite direction I was used to. I also spent the day working on passing, and more frequently, letting cars by. I was paranoid of holding cars up, driving my mirrors, not looking up... The list goes on. Long story short, I could only improve. :)

Day two went better. I started to pick up the pace and handle traffic better. I got some good instruction from a pair of fellow M Coupe owners, which helped.

But really it all came down to confidence, confidence in my car and my ability to drive it. I set my fastest laps in the final session of the second day. A full 3 seconds faster than the previous session. The difference? Confidence. I just didn't lift (as much). Just look at the graph: The red line is the faster lap, and blue the slower (as seen in the video). The big difference was not lifting through the big sweeping turns. To be honest, I didn't think I was pushing any harder.

This event was the first time I used my new Traqmate data logger. So I have GPS, speed, and acceleration data for my laps. Here is a link to a movie of a (slow 2:26) lap of Buttonwillow in the CCW configuration (30M) with the data overlay.



For the record, my fasted lap from the last session was a 2:23. After reviewing the segment times for the last session, that fastest lap didn't have a single fastest segment time. If I could manage to string together my fastest segments, I would have been turning 2:20s. Yikes. Here's hoping my next track post is titled "Consistency."

[edited to add YouTube inline video.]