Nov6-7 – Summit Point Main – NASA-MA

Hello everyone – welcome to another issue of “Fast Lap” – from your track addicted friend.

Fall means cool temps, extra horsepower, and patience to make sure you have adequate temp in your tires before you try to go “flatout”.

Fortunately patience was mostly on my side along with a set of quick hands. –you’ll see in the video I get a little too greedy with the throttle coming out of T5 – according to the data that “catch” and consequently poor entry into T6 cost me ~.2sec — oh how I would have liked to have come home with a 1:20.x lap…next time!

I hadn’t driven Summit Main since May – I was there for Hyperfest in August but only turned 1 lap before a broken brake pedal sensor put the car out of service for the weekend. Having driven so many nice, smooth tracks with plenty of run off, Summit Point felt a bit more intimidating (and a lot bumpier) than I remembered.

Here is the FastLap video for the week –

I wanted to continue my tech discussion this email with a note about “time dilation” and toss in a bit of projective imagery.

(I’ll keep this short – I’m not actually trying to teach a class here!)

Paraphrased and tweaked slightly from the dictionary definition to line up with what we experience on the track. Time Dilation is the point of view that the clock is ticking at a slower rate than the local clock. When we all first started driving we were “overwhelmed” with everything that was going on at the track and by how fast everything was happening. As we gained experience on the track, things started to slow down — now we had time to look at every flag stand, check our mirrors more often and look further ahead (eyes up, eyes up!)

I’ve read about levels of time dilation beyond time slowing down enough to “become comfortable” driving “at speed”, but never experienced anything near the levels I’ve read about until the past few events. Driving, watching flag stands & watching your mirrors becomes second nature and now you have extra brain cycles — with those brain cycles I’ve been working to intentionality slow time even further providing the ability to look further and further ahead.

Heading down a straight into a corner – you look through the corner to the track out, you envision your car entering the turn, hitting the apex and tracking out all before you’ve even reached the braking zone. Now you have laid out a “ghost trace” trajectory of where you want your car to be, the attitude you want the car to have during each segment of the turn – and time is moving as if you are watching a movie in slow motion – you feel the car sliding beneath you but since it is all happening in slow motion you stay relaxed because it is easy to compensate for a mistake or the unexpected “at this slow ticking of the clock rate”.

I had a car spin off the track in front of me at the apex of T3 this weekend – what I’m sure unfolded in a couple tenths of a second seemed a life time – I casually watched the rear end of this WRX get light, come around, and slide backwards into the gravel trap – to me it felt as if I had all the time in the world to react – analyzing the trajectory of the WRX and being able to determine with good certainty that it wasn’t going to come back onto the track, requiring an evasive maneuver. I simply slowed a bit extra for the turn, watched the WRX slide off the track, drove by the incident and never tensed up.

You can practice time dilation and forward projecting imagery while on the street – it will make it that much easier to implement on the track.

Mary participated in her first TimeTrial Event this weekend. She was very nervous (as I was before my first TT) – I kept reassuring her she would do great and would soon be looking forward to her next TT weekend. 🙂

After a close battle with a Pontiac GTO – Mary took 3rd place in the TTB class both Saturday and Sunday with a fast lap of the weekend of 1:26.49! Way to go!

An on the topic of practicing on the street, then applying to the track. This coming weekend we are headed to VIR with Audi Club. Since this is a non-competitive HPDE event I plan to take the left foot braking I’ve been practicing on the street and begin applying it on the track. Wish me luck! I’ll report back next week how the experience went.

And here are a couple pictures courtesy of Scott Cain – http://kart53.smugmug.com/Racing


For those of you who were at Summit Point this past weekend, hope you had a safe drive home – to those of you who weren’t, hope I see you at the track soon!

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June19-20 – Summit Point Main – Hyperfest w/NASA

After having problems with the transmission coming out of gear on Friday, I continued to try and identify what the problem was. Late Friday night Wayne from RRT Racing came out to the track with his son to help troubleshoot – which was fantastic. We talked through all the troubleshooting I had already done and verified I logically isolated the variables before moving on to the next potential. No luck fixing the car Friday night but we identified that the Fuel Pump Relay was toast.

Saturday Phil from RRT Racing had planned to bring his car out to Hyperfest and was kind enough to swing by BMW of Sterling and pick up replacement Fuel Pump Relay after Wayne and I had verified mine was toast by swapping it with the #67 car — unfortunately the dealership gave him the wrong item — that means another trip for me into town – this time to BMW Fairfax since BMW Sterling didn’t actually have the part in stock. Pop’d the new fuel pump relay in my car and went for a spirited drive – SMG not fixed, car still dropping out of gear. Swapping SMG relays with the #67 car didn’t fix the issue. I noticed during the day that anytime I had my key in the ignition my brake lights would come on – very odd – also we saw lateral G sensor errors on the Autologic but didn’t know what to make of them. More on that at the end of this post.

Long story short I didn’t end up getting any driving in the #72 car during the weekend. Mary was generous enough to give up one of her sessions and let me drive the #67 car with her as a passenger Sunday afternoon. I wasn’t able to go any quicker than she was, but I did take turn 3 quicker than her – so quick in fact she didn’t think we were going to make the turn! haha, we did – and now she knows she can go quicker through that corner! Ride alongs are great!

The #72 car parked between Eric Wong’s Multiple Tracks Record Holding E36 M3 and the #67 car — where it sat parked most of the weekend 😦

We had another event planned for the next weekend with no ability to cancel – so to the RRT Racing shop the #72 went for an all out troubleshooting spree. Was it wiring that got knocked loose? After all this was the first time on the new race stiff springs – seemed logical. Or a broken SMG component? The #67 car was left at the shop as a donor parts car – any suspected bad part could be taken off the #67 and tried on the #72 before purchasing. After 2 days and many hours, Wayne FOUND THE PROBLEM! If you can believe this it was the brake pressure sensor.

HUH? How can the brake pressure switch cause the car to come out of gear in corners? It’s all in the SMG safety programming code.

Car sliding (high speed corner) – CHECK
Foot Mashed on Gas Pedal (on race track trying to go fast) – CHECK
Foot Mashed on Brake Pedal (broken brake pressure sensor) – CHECK

Car ECU & SMG programming thinking you are about to wreck and taking the car out of gear – PRICELESS!

(ok maybe not priceless, but sure was frustrating!)

June18 – Summit Point Main – FATT

Today was a FATT event (Friday At The Track), the day before Hyperfest. I was very excited to get this extra track time and an excellent paddock parking spot for the Hyperfest weekend because we had just finished upgrading my spring setup from a street/track to a purely track spring setup including a true rear coilover setup and adding a Ground Control front bar.

Eric Wong had come out to the track that Friday with me – He was going to take me out in the car with him driving for a session, make sure the car was feeling good, then ride along and coach me the rest of the day.

Eric was still parking and unloading his trailer when it was time for the first session so I went out alone to warm up the car and my brain. Half way through the first session the car started taking itself out of gear everytime I went around a high speed corner!?! Ultimately the car stalled on track and would not start. I got my first tow back to the paddock – the first of many I’m sure, hahaha

SMG woes– or so I thought. I spent the rest of the day troubleshooting the car, even went as far as to drive back to RRT and borrow their autologic diagnostic tool. Sourced a replacement SMG control relay, new fuel pump relay and a few other bits, none of which fixed the problem, car was still jumping out of gear on high speed turns.

NOT the best FATT ever.

May15-16 – Summit Point Main – PCA

Back at Summit Point, our home track. Since we were at a Porsche Club event and massively outnumbered the BMW M3’s grouped together. We arrived early and I quickly slid the trailer into a parking spot longways back just far enough we could all line up together – what a nice showing of BMW’s!

With a few more days under my belt I’m now getting a better feel for the modifications we made to the car this past winter and am ready to shave more time off my previous best lap. Caesar and Preeth were down from New Jersey in their E46 M3’s it was the first event we’ve run together since meeting last fall at NJMP. I knew both of them would be fast, but this is my home track 😉

We started out with some lead/follow – After a few laps Caesar was stuck to my bumper like glue so I let him pass me and he disappeared! Caeser with headers, exhaust, 4.10 gears on BGF’s v/s my stock car (less suspension & cage) was no match! Caesar ended the weekend turning a 1:24.x bettering his previous time by multiple seconds – I managed a 1:25.x nearly a second quicker than my last visit in April so I was quite happy.

Here are a few more paddock shots – Thanks for the great pics Caesar!!!

April 17-18 – NASA – Summit Point Main

Mary writes:
It’s Friday April 16th, 80+ degrees outside and it is real tough to focus at work- I’m thinking about driving with NASA at Summit Main! This is going to be a great weekend!

Summit Point Raceway – Main Track

Kyle, who is always thinking ahead, drives out to Summit at 6am on Friday to drop off the trailer and set up our spot right next to the RRT Racing crew. He then has to make a mad dash back to DC to put in his day of work. Friday after work we head out to the track and arrive just before 9:00pm to squeeze in getting both cars tech’d and ready to go for Saturday morning. I’m so glad he made that decision to secure a perfect spot for the weekend the paddock is already very crowded!

Saturday morning we arrive at the track by about 7am and it is already busy with cars, trucks, trailers, people camping…just a whole lot of action…. I am quickly reminded how much fun this is going to be.

The weather is much cooler than yesterday but my adrenaline is pumping and the sun is out. I hear engines revving and I start to absorb everything around me; the butterflies set into my belly- it’s my first time with NASA in group 3, passing anywhere, and this is a serious bunch of drivers! Now of course I know that I am very capable but I think that the pre-race/game/match time for any great athlete is likely a bit anxious, that’s natural, right?

Classroom– substitute instructor- she has interesting points of view that were a bit different than expected from others but she was open minded to hear different views from all. Funny- Kyle whispers that based on her driving advice he guesses that she drives an older Porsche 911…we later find out that he nailed it right away! “Grey Wolf” her plates read.

Saturday:Session1– solo drive-first time on Main this year without rain- felt it was ok but not great. Our FATT day on Main in March was cold and it rained all day so I have to count this time as my first real comparison to last Nov. I’m not in my groove for sure – I need to be patient and let the car and the track come to me.

Saturday:Session2– solo again- lining up on the grid-Kyle has Michael Dayton (pro-driver in GrandAm for RRT Racing as his passenger and coach), then me, then….what? Why is John McAvoy & Barry Battle (the other GrandAm pro-driver for RRT Racing) behind me? How did I get sandwiched between these two?

My heart is pumping as we roll off the grid! The session ends just fine- I did “ok”, I’m not feeling bad about it, I held my own, but still feel that I can do more. It’s great to be solo on the track but I surely won’t pass up a great driver telling me what to do better! I need to find an instructor and get a few new pointers.

Saturday:Session3– Michael Dayton agrees to go out with me for my last run. He is so kind to offer because he has to rush back to our paddock spot after finishing his time trial session, squeezes out of his race car to hop into my “car” and coach me. He immediately focuses on a few points for improvement- I am listening intensely and making the corrections he points out- it’s working. But- now there’s a problem!

The “low fuel” light come on during our first lap! Oh CRAP! It’s lesson 101! On the beltway- I could ride this notice out for days….but after completing the 2nd lap and seeing the needle DIVE, I have to tell Michael that it’s time to go in- fuel issue…how humiliating is that!? I had to let all the boys pass me through turns 6..7..8..9 as I crawled off of the track being as gentle as possible with the throttle (in the paddock I check and see it says I had 1mile of fuel left, I wouldn’t have made another lap!). Kyle pits before the session is over – says he was worried about seeing me come in early- thought I might have gone off track. I assured him that “the #67 silver car” was just fine….and me too. Haha.

Here are a few of my quickest laps from the weekend, camera mounted via suction cup on the sunroof.

Sunday:Session1– Eric Wong goes out with me. I am so happy to take advantage of his guidance on this session! He gives great advice about where to hit each apex, when to break, when to gas…I tell him that I am at full throttle but can’t get power…all this weekend I have been running with the DSC ON! So once again- I have an embarrassing moment- I thought I turned it off- can you only imagine the difference? Well that at the end of my session with him- hit 1:29.9! Last season best was 1:30.2. Still better!

Sunday:Session2- Michael Dayton out with me again- DSC is “OFF”. Top lap of the weekend….1:29.2!! As much as I wanted to beat Kyle’s best time- I will be happy with mine- he has 500 lb less in the weight of the car-if I go solo- that lifts the weight of passenger- he has different suspension- he has racing seats-(I am sliding across the length of the car), he has tires that stick (r-compounds)!! Mine are slip sliding away and noisy (street tires). I walk away from this weekend feeling like I did well; I know I can do better; but most importantly I am pleased with my results to beat my last by over a second. I look forward to the next time to beat this performance and I’m confident that I will.

Kyle did especially well in this event-he best “flying lap” was a 1:26.8. Outstanding! Under our difference in car conditions- I would like to set a goal for myself to be within 2-3 seconds- feel free to suggest otherwise of what it should be….He is a great driver and I need to figure out the balance of our cars to compare so that I know that I am improving appropriately.

Some in-car video shot from the #72 car with Kyle driving:

We decide that if we were to wait until 5:30 to make our last run, we would be just too spent and make the decision to pack up and head home around 3:30.

The added bonus to the weekend was finding out that we were able to now take out other people with us in our group (as passengers). Kyle’s friend Christy made it out to the track with her son Seth –who was totally into cars. He is 10yrs old but he knew the types of cars, was cheering on his favorites during the races, and remembered the names of people we knew. Very impressive! Clearly one that will be out here with the rest when his time comes and we are all much older! Hahah! Christy had that ear to ear grin when she got out of Kyle’s car after her ride with him during the second session on Sunday as expected! First thing out of her mouth was “when can she could do it again”- yep, hooked! I knew exactly what she was feeling as I am right there too every time I come off of the track! That was awesome because I always tell Kyle that I wish my friends could “get it” when try to explain to them how it makes me feel when I drive!

And now some content from our guest passenger on Sunday, Christy writes:

The last stretch of road (rt611 off 340) to the track was an excellent wind-up to the thrills to come, one of those windy country roads with plenty of elevation changes. My boy (Seth) and I both had fun with it, he made a game of calling every bottom out, of which there were many. We enter in the front gate of the track and pull up to the spectator/participant split, I start to head to the spectator area, but then decide that is not where I belong! I back up my car and turn to head into the paddock. A perfect spot to park is waiting for us.

We head into the mess of cars and trailers in search of the nocabracing.com cars. Seth’s many exclamations, “Look at that,” are exactly what I am thinking as he states them. What a great atmosphere this is! I’m getting so much more excited every minute! About half way down the paddock, we spot Kyle’s massive trailer and parked next to it the nocabracing.com cars. These cars are so much lovelier in person!

The air is chilled, and we warm our hands above the motors that still hold the heat from their previous runs…

The PA announcer says HPDE3 to grid – “Time to get strapped in,” Kyle says, in his ever so relaxed manner. I’m not nervous, which I find weird, but I am almost numb with anticipation. Unnatural leg movements are required to get into the car over and around the roll cage .. that is when I began to realize that it was truly happening. I was going out on a race track! Way! I’ve wanted this all my life. Racing flesh horses around curved barrels and poles can’t possibly compare…With each calculated pull and click as he strapped me in, I felt my grin getting bigger and bigger. My helmet visor was down, and began to fog up. I thought to myself, “I can’t have limited vision! Oh, no!” I must have chilled my heavy breathing, because the fog went away, but the visor was dirty…I don’t want to miss anything!

We pull out and into the grid track lane. As we sit there, the grid marshal holds 3 fingers up, Kyle says “3 minutes to track” … this wait allows me to wallow in my anticipation, he says I don’t have to have the visor down. Yippee! I’m not going to miss a thing!

My boy is positioned in the watch tower near the main flag stand where he has a great view of the main straight. I love being here I think to myself!

Two standing yellow flags, the warm up lap is nice, and Kyle explains the flag meanings to me as I get to know the track. When the yellow flags go down he slams the throttle, I’m in heaven! I must trust this man, as only once did I have the instinct to throw my right arm up to grab the door, or whatever may be there to grab, this car is gutted, no “oh shit” handles, just bare metal and cage. I had my knees up the first half of the session, and when I realized how I was seated, which isn’t how I would be seated if I was driving, I let my legs go to the floor.

That’s when I felt the butt clenching I had on every corner. Ooh nothing better than butt clenching! I had to continuously push the helmet and headphones back up, as the helmet was a bit too big and it slid around a wee bit on my head and didn’t hold the ear phone up. Turns 4-5 are the toughest it seems, and that’s where it was truly tight and I was most thankful for the harness, and had the most fun!

A tight right hand turn after the long straight way, braking from 140mph to 40mph in a couple hundred feet, I felt my heart skip a beat or two! We were seemingly inches from other cars at times. I thought to myself how good it was that everyone kept their foot on the gas as much as possible!

Then we came around turn 10 once to finding his friend in the dirt (gravel pit), we waived at him, he must have been embarrassed, his car was half buried! Kyle explains that the gravel pit did what it was supposed to do and stopped him before he reached a tire wall or barrier. David and his car were both unhurt.

All in all today at the track was more fun than a pecan pie in pants! Seth’s analogy 😉

March 13 – FATT – Summit Main

It’s the first event for season 2010!! Summit Main!

The forecast is rain, rain, and more rain- oh no! I battled with the emotions of being so excited to getting back on the track and at the same time a bit nervous knowing that it was basically 100% chance of rain all day. I have been out in “partial” rain but this sounded challenging.

I had signed up for the FATT event to be in group 2i- my 1st time for passing anywhere. I was worried that this might be too soon although Kyle encouraged me that I was ready. Well, as it turned out, they had placed me into group 1- then of course I was offended- Ha!

The paddock is very empty today. It’s almost hard to believe that there is an event. Little did I know at the time that this was more of blessing to have an empty track.
The 1st session out- a new instructor- I’ve been spoiled with having someone who knows how I drive and what I am capable of (Uncle Al). My instructor tells me before we go that this is the time to become reacquainted with the track.

At the end I feel like it was “ok” but wondered if this day would be wasted due to the rain. Everyone was being overly cautious, including me. He claps at the end and tells me that I clearing remembered- my line was right on.

Session 2- I am still cautious but starting to quickly feel that I can push more. I’m frustrated that I am still feeling timid. I am very comfortable when I am sliding around the turns on dry road (actually- I love when that happens!) but realize that on this wet road- it is very unpredictable. Yellow flag- someone is off the track and at the fence- bummer for him. Black flag is out- he is cleared, and we are off again- speed is increasing in the rain. Instructor tells me he is working the skid pad in the afternoon and I will have someone new. Ugh- another new instructor. I should welcome this prefer someone who knows my strengths and weaknesses.

Back in the paddock- girlfriend of the guy parked next to me approaches. She asks if I was driving the silver M3- she comments that I was going fast and inquires about how long I’ve been doing this. Another female interested in getting involved. I encourage her to go for it!

Session 3- Comfort level increases and picking up more speed. The only real comment from my instructor is how much he likes my car. I must be doing well- not much direction that he needed to provide. He tells me at the end that I should be in Group 2 and that he wants me to have yet another instructor who can also sign me over to Group 2 for the next event that I do with FATT. Yay! Finally moving on up!

Session 4- On to instructor # 3 for the day! Geez! Why can’t I hang on one guy here- are they that intimidated with my skills?? Haha-(seems to be a common theme ) Again- he is not commenting much on my driving other than telling me that I seem to know what I’m doing, I should be in Group 2, and, oh yeah, he really likes my car (great breaks and tires in the rain)! Thanks Kyle!

So as the day ends- I turn in my “report card” and I am confirmed to finally be in Group 2 for my next FATT event! All in all- I was glad that I chose to drive in the rain; I was able to actually walk away with that driving rush that I had hoped for but will still look forward to the next event of sunny dry weather when I can challenge my track times from last year and continue to move up.

Kyle is out on track this year with his newly modified car- 8 point cage, racing seats, suspension, and tires. Clearly he has the advantage but let’s see how well my “skills” can compete as the underdog! We shall see… Go Team NocabRacing!!!

Nov7-8 – Summit Point Main – NASA

Brian Hair is my instructor-Alan Herod sent him a message ahead of time for what he should work on with me. (Alan is awesone-super cool that he looks out for me like that!)
This is the following weekend after my great time at Summit Main.

Kyle and I are in the same group- Blue- he has Eric Wong. Seems that the challenge is on even before it starts. We don’t line up together and don’t see each other on the track. We review our data after the first day and realize that we were consistently on the opposite side of the track the entire time (going close to the same speed). This is good news- must mean that I am doing ok if he hasn’t caught up.

This event is much more crowded and I am frustrated by being stuck behind other cars. I know that I should use this time for learning other stuff but still want to maximize my own speed and skills

Day 2- Brian keeps telling more and more that I need to work on my posture-stop invading his space as I am sliding and leaning too much around the turns. I make a conscious note but it is very hard to control this with my maximum speed (ha!). But true!

Kyle gets solo’d…takes off for the last round- waiting for Brian….I’m not going to be happy about this if he doesn’t give me the option, and then…finally!! I get to go solo too! I finish the weekend finally feeling like I accomplished something that I set out for! I am very comfortable on this track-feel great at pushing my car and working the slide around turns (the butt dance as I call it) as necessary and going full throttle(for me) everywhere that I can!

Overall, I liked the nature of the event, but would prefer not to be in a group this crowded again at a different speed.

I am looking forward to next season on Main!

—Kyle speaks
FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR WEEKEND PHRASE: “Enough brake, GO GO GO!

Looked at my pads after the PCA event, thought I was going to have enough pad for this weekend (3 days), but the brake pad wear sensor came on during the last lap of my session on Friday, the rear pads were done. A quick call to OGRacing and I was able to get Brian Hair (Mary’s instructor who works at OGRacing) to bring a set of PFC01’s with him on Saturday morning.

Saturday morning I did my first paddock brake pad swap *beaming proud*. I had previously done a paddock brake system bleed after boiling the brake fluid back when I was running ATE Super Blue, only Castrol SRF now! Guess that makes me a paddock brake expert now. 🙂

Confession: Bruce the lead Tech from RRT (BMW performance shop in Sterling where I get our tech inspections done) was there with his car for the weekend so he instructed me through the pad swap on the first corner then I comfortably flew through the remaining 3 corners.

Sat/Sun with NASA were good, other than a few cars in our HPDE2 group that should have been in HPDE1. I’ll be sending a note to Jon Felton expressing my concern about that. Literally there were 3 cars turning > ~2:00 laps that Mary and I (as well as others) lapped several times/session, really breaks your rhythm & concentration when you have to slow down and follow cars that slow until the next passing zone (I’ll call it an exercise in patience).

Eric & Brian were great instructors, Mary and I both feel we improved our consistency and were able to work on the corners previously identified (mainly 3,9,10).

*Traqmate shows Mary was able to reduce her “coasting before braking” into 3 and 10 *thumbs up*

*Mary was 4Mph quicker through turn 3 than last Sunday (min speeds through 3 increased from 66mph to 70mph)

*Mary’s average speed through segment 3 which included turn 4 was 5mph higher (87mph v/s 92mph).

*Mary was 4Mph quicker through turn 10 than last Sunday (min speed through 10 increased from 69mph to 73mph)

*Mary turned multiple 1:31’s in her last session Sunday and one flying 1:30.3, nearly repeating her best lap from last week of 1:30.2.

*Traqmate shows she needs to continue to work on her braking into 1, instead of threshold braking then easing off the brake as she turns in, appears she is still jabbing the brakes just prior to turn in. It wasn’t an area she mentioned Brian and her discussed or worked on so no surprise this behavior was unchanged.

*I talked to her about the concept of trail-braking, she isn’t consciously trail-braking anywhere, I told her not to worry about it for now. She is probably doing it a little bit w/out realizing. It is hard to tell via the traqmate data (w/out brake pedal position sensor tap) whether she is trail-braking or simply scrubbing off speed early in the turn.

BTW: Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) tap and Brake Position Sensor tap are both on the winter project list. TPS is easy, I haven’t research BPS yet.

*Maybe turn 4 @ VIR would be an appropriate time to introduce conscious thinking about trail-braking, but I’ll leave that up to you as her instructor. 😉


*We both exercised caution entering 4 but were able to enter w/only a lift (ie no brake) prior to entering 4.

*Eric and I worked on Turn 3 quite a bit. He had me move my turn in point back about a car length…now the turn in point I’m using is about a car length prior to where the second entrance way starts, we worked on entry/corner speed. Minimum speeds through Turn 3 increased from an average of 62Mph to 68Mph which resulted in .6sec quicker segment times through there.

*Nailed consistency through turn 8/9 resulting in high level of comfort through that area now. .3 sec quicker through that segment and picked up 5Mph by the time I passed under the bridge (107Mph v/s 102Mph).

*We played with 3rd gear v/s 4th gear through turn 10. Didn’t seem to be able to carry enough speed through 10 to be high enough in revs in 4th gear to power out. Carrying 73Mph through that corner (which is the max either Mary or I have done) puts us about 4500rpm in 4th which is significantly below ideal power band of the M3 (I have RPM tap installed in my car to traqmate so I’m confident of this RPM #). Traqmate ultimately confirmed 3rd gear was best for us now on street tires. Maybe sometime next year on r-comps we can experiment with 4th gear again.

*I turned a best lap Sunday afternoon of 1:30.5, a full second quicker than my previous best.

This week Mary is scheduled to complete her 4 x 20 min sessions on the simulator lapping at VIR, essentially giving her a day worth of track time prior to heading down Friday night. Good enough to memorize the direction and relative speed of all the turns. Same drill we followed before her first time at Summit – Main…ie a great jumpstart!