Oct24-25 – NJMP – Lightning – Audi

Headed to NJMP – Lightning to drive with the Audi Club. Mary stayed in Vienna, her friend Danielle was running the Marie Corps Marathon and Mary stayed in town to show her support.

This was my second time to Lightning (days 3 & 4). I wasn’t overly excited because the last time I was there I didn’t think the track was that exciting… however by the end of this weekend the track had really grown on me and I was having a ton of fun chasing Audi S4’s and RS4’s around the track.

I drove in Audi’s red group which is their Advanced group. They don’t have Open Passing (ie passing in corners) in their advanced group which I kinda wish they did, I’m ready to try that out!

The first day started rainy and cold but the weekend ended with lots of sun. End of day 1 I was running consistent 1:24-1:25’s. By the end of Day2, I concluded that this is definitely a 4th gear track and managed a 1:21.2 although I was shooting for a 1:20.

On my way home picked up Mary @ Danielle’s (she had driven Danielle’s car home after the marathon). I think Danielle was grateful for the ride and I was happy to have the company for the remainder of my ride home.

Saw a pimp Audi AllRoad, rockin Porsche brakes and racing suspension, I think it was running in the instructor group, but never actually saw it on the track.

Revised Track Walkthough
Entering Turn1 from the back straight, hard on the brakes at the faded white line between start/finish and the #3 braking marker, last part of the braking zone is uphill which means you can save yourself during those late braking moments by holding the brakes just a bit longer and digging into the incline before turning in late for Turn1. No need to hug the inside apex, ½ a car width away is fine, up over the crest then tracking out all the way to the left (caution not to begin unwinding until after cresting the hill, it feels weird to be turning and cresting but believe me, you’ll run out of track if you unwind before you crest).

Having downshifted into 3rd from 5th during braking you can wind out 3rd and shift into 4th before a quick but firm brake before entering turn 2, a sweeping right hander. This is another corner best not to tight apex, a car width from the curbing feels about right, heading about ¾’s down the track before turning in harder for turn 3. Once up to speed this will feel like a double apex v/s two turns both of which can be taken in 4th.

Import to get parallel with the right hand side of the track to set yourself up properly for a tight left hand turn 4, down to 3rd gear and once turned into 4 crossing the apex tight knowing you are in the clear to track out just as the right side of the track comes in you can put the pedal down and start winding out 3rd as you head for the turnin point (left side curbing) before turn 5. You want your turn in point to 5 to be closer to the first part of the turtles than the center or second half, this will allow you a proper apex into 5 and you are able to get on the throttle before the apex w/out fear of the offcamber portion of the track on the left. Use a medium 1second brake before turning into 5.

Previously I had tried to apex 6 on the inside, but Ralph (instructor) had me stay 2/3 left to mid track and I was able to carry much more speed, holding the wheel to bring you back to the right side of the track as you pass under the bridge. Passing under the bridge I had previously only been hitting 105mph, the traqmate says 112mph (close to 120mph on the speedo) by the end of this weekend.

On the brakes hard midway between the bridge and #3 braking marker, downshift to 3rd, late apex the sharp left hander and track out at the end of the right hand curbing, wind out 3 going uphill, shifting into 4th as you run out of gear and head back a gradual decline toward turn 7, the lightbulb…hitting about 110mph, medium braking for a second to pull speed down below 90mph (at least this weekend), entering the lightbulb about ¾ track left, looking around to the very late apex at the bottom end of the lightbulb, if you are looking there you will naturally and gradually turn in to meet the right hand apex at the curbing as you move from maintenance throttle to WOT at the lowest point on the track. Previously I wasn’t getting to WOT until the lowest point (apex), this weekend I was WOT a good 2 seconds before which significantly increase my speed onto the back straight.

Trackout all the way to the left (you’ll need to with the speed you are carrying if you are WOT as early as you should), then keep holding the same arch and you’ll crest the hill three quarters of the way to the left side of the track, pass over the blend line into the pits and down the main straight,
winding out 4th until the speedo says almost 140mph (traqmate says 131) before braking hard and returning to turn #1.

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