Learning Levels of Grip

Recently my last track day, the forecast called for thunderstorms. This was a good thing because I wanted to feel how summer tires fair in the wet when you are really pushing the limit. I was on worn out Nitto NT05, and on the dry they are great tires. This is actually my 2nd set and the cheapest 200 treadwear tire for my size. I would like to thank Alex from http://www.street-form.com/blog with the dope pics!

Untitled

Unfortunately I didn’t have a tent for my tools and spare wheels so those got soaked. At least I didn’t need to use them. Out on the track its was a challenging to drive clean and being careful not to go off course.

Untitled

What I learned racing in the wet:

1. Don’t go all out in your first run….. I noticed people at the track tend to go all out when its the beginning of the session. For me, thats not how I do it. How can you run if you can’t crawl, right? If you go balls to walls on the first run, you have a higher chance of spinning out or worse crashing becuase you are not familiar with the course or track surface. I like to go smooth and steady first and learn the course before I really push it. Slowly increasing speed and braking later with each run. You got all day, whats the rush.

Untitled

2. Nitto NT05 work well in the rain even in when its worn out! I thought I was going to be all over the place but for the most part my car felt stable and grip was there. There is a long sweeper on the course and I was thinking the NT05 wont be able to turn in the wet but it gripped! I was even adding gas to the sweeper to see if it would understeer but I got oversteer, which isn’t a bad thing. I want oversteer instead of understeer becuase you can turn the car in better and can control it better (if you get it right). When the tires did loose grip, it was still predictable and progressive. The NT05 gave me confidence to push harder. I never had a sense that I was all over the place.

Untitled

Untitled

My tires my before track day

Untitled
My tires after tack day. They wore out pretty fast even in the rain, but I was running nonstop with a couple of 15 mins rest sessions.

3. You can’t go as fast compared to the dry… Duh. I know it sounds dumb and common sense but to actually experience this is something that you really understand. The grip is very low in the wet and its something you have to account for. Your braking comes in sooner, than in the dry, and the pedal modulation is more sensitive to your input. I was learning to control the tires from spinning too much or sliding out of control. Hydroplaning is a big thing to watch out for and trust me when it was pouring, like cats and dogs, it felt like those tightrope walkers. One wrong move and its the end. You have to find that very small window of grip because too much or too little gas, brakes or steering can send you out of control. The faster you go, that small window of grip becomes even smaller. Yes is did go off course a couple of times but that is becuase of driver error and not the car. Here is video of me learning the course then losing it but luckily managed to stay on course.

4. A wider tract makes a difference! So last week before this event I went on to a autocross and I took off my spacers, because I was worried of rubbing. Well since it was raining I didn’t want to get wet removing my spacers, so I kept it on. I can tell the 15mm spacer made a significant difference. The 15mm spacer in the rear made the car feel more stable and planted than without the spacer. I was feeling this in the rain, what more when its dry!

Untitled

Managed to get 0.8g in the wet! I honestly don’t know how accurate that is but I was using my iPhone for my car telemetry.

5. Its okay if your car gets dirty. Maybe I should pull up to Wekfest like this….

Untitled

My fastest time I manage to get with a semi wet track:


 

Advertisements

Throwback Miata

3 years ago when I was slammed and recently bought a Miata. Sure changed a lot since then…. Then last year selling her becuase she kept on breaking down.

Natsukashi Garage Miata from chamba002 on Vimeo.

At her prime: Slammed, lots of camber and BBS wheels.
Untitled

Time in the M3

It been awhile posting here but there hasn’t been updates to the M3. I’m pretty happy the way it is now and I’ve just been going to track events once or sometimes twice a month.

Untitled Recently I installed my 90mm wheel studs for extra strength and it’s nice having the option of running spacers. My Project Kics racing lugs compliment the studs. It about the attention to detail Pro tip: adjusting tire pressures is a very cheap way to improve grip or fuel economy 👍 #te37rt #nittotires #projectkics #natsukashigarage

I found some 15mm FK spacers I had at my parents place when I had my old BMW before I crashed many years ago. I placed it in the rear because I wanted to be more flush to the fenders. The fitment looked good.

Untitled

Couple weeks ago I went to a autocross and I took off my spacers at the track because I was afraid of rubbing. I noticed it would slightly rub in city driving over bumps and steep inclines but noting severe when I had my GTI or miata. The autocross was my first timed event. The fastest cars was running in the 27 sec range at the track and slowest cars were around 40 sec range. The cars tuned for the autocross really killed it, so I knew I wasn’t going to get to their lap times. My goal was to get below 30 secs and I would be happy. There was a CTS-V and a stock 996 GT3 running 29-28 sec range and I figured that would be a good time to get. Unfortunately 30.8 was the fastest I managed to get. The event ended prematurely after a Shelby Cobra replica took out the timer. I was short by 2 runs but honestly I don’t think I was able to get pass 30.8 because I was really pushing it.

Untitled

Here is video of me at the autocross but not of the fastest time… I got soo serious in trying to get below 30 sec range that I forgot to turn on the go pro. Feel good to chip away at your times though.