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The ColorChange Question

 
Old 08-15-2004, 04:50 PM
  #61  
Robert Henriksen
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(Oh, I meant, 'to further solidify the dogma'. Sorry about that.)
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Old 08-15-2004, 04:57 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Robert Henriksen
If it's okay with you, Anir, I'd like to print some copies of the picture you posted along w. your description of what happened. Nagging my students not to pinch the car at the exit hasn't been very effective at changing their behavior; I'd like to try using the above as a teaching aid.
Robert,

No problem. Here's another pic. Guardrail kiss is pretty self-evident, as is the structural integrity of our 993's. I would guess that I hit at about 60-70 mph. The engine was still running, and the doors were still perfectly aligned. Great little cars.



If I remember correctly, 3 or 4 other 911's were totalled in the Kink that weekend. I think the HWFMR sticker brought me good luck. My car is driving better than ever now.
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Old 08-15-2004, 05:08 PM
  #63  
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As long as we're sharing:



I was taking the "fast left" at the Glen at ever-increasing speeds, and at one point, I experienced understeer at turn in. I didn't realize it/react to it quickly enough. I lifted and pinched a bit toward the track out to try and save it, and almost did, but I didn't get back on the gas to conmplete the save.

It was funny (?) that I thought I was back on the gas, after the crash and I as explained what had happened, until analysis of the video (and sound especially) showed what really happened. When I think about what happened, I realize that I made about six mistakes.

However, what is relevant here (maybe), is that I KNEW what to do. I read many books about driving (Skip Barber, Ross Bentley, etc) but, due to lack of seat time and experience, I didn't actually execute.
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Old 08-15-2004, 05:12 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by ColorChange
Chris W. If I overrreacted, please prove me wrong. You proclaim yourelf as a DAS expert. Please prove it. Present some data and show how you do it. Specifically, show me (or tell me) how you analyze driver performance as this is our main topic. If you do so reasonably and rationally, I will apologize, unless of course you use g-sum like I have been advocating and you did not support my approach.

I'll respond to the rest later.
CC, I am out of town at the Denver GP this weekend. I return home August 20th after a test (Vegas ChampCar test). I can gladly provide you with a full season of Data for your dining and dancing pleasure. I will check on what software is required to run the Pi data. I may not include Michigan or Fontana data as at 240mph for 500 miles make for some really boring data

In fact, since we did play with some race simulation programs, I will try to dig up some info on that. Nothing like sitting on a plane, make a camber or wicker change and get a predicted lap time delta.. Then again, this stuff was more for the race engineers.
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Old 08-15-2004, 05:33 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Jack667
It was funny (?) that I thought I was back on the gas, after the crash and I as explained what had happened, until analysis of the video (and sound especially) showed what really happened. When I think about what happened, I realize that I made about six mistakes.

However, what is relevant here (maybe), is that I KNEW what to do. I read many books about driving (Skip Barber, Ross Bentley, etc) but, due to lack of seat time and experience, I didn't actually execute.
Jack,

Well said. I also had a totally bogus recollection of events until I saw the video. I thought I had dipped my two left wheels into the dirt by tracking out too wide, but I was still on the track with about 2-3 feet to spare.

The only thing I did correctly was "both feet in" once I realized I had lost it. I managed to scrub off enough speed as I was flying backwards down the track to keep my car from being totalled.
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Old 08-15-2004, 06:02 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Anir
I had actually never been off track in my 993 before (once took a benign slow spin into the grass in a Skippy car at VIR), but I'm sure the warning signs were there - even if I didn't see them coming. Fishman had warned me about unwinding sooner on several occasions.

My times had dropped from the low 2:40's to about 2:38 just before I ate it. I kept thinking about having read that inexperienced drivers tend to take slow corners too fast, and fast corners too slow. So, every time I had gone through the Kink previously, I had a few feet to spare on the trackout. I made a conscious decision to push a bit harder through that corner, and paid the price when I choked up on the wheel.

Interestingly, I saw the video of the incident in the control tower later that day, and I had plenty of room to track out still. I just chickened out and tightened up.
And in that story, lies the crux of the problem for new track drivers (not picking on Anir).

1) It is realatively easy to build the skills that allow you to get into trouble (going faster). It is much harder to build the skills needed to get out of trouble. A novice driver can go very fast, early apexes a corner but does not realize it until they are out of room at the exit. With experience, you identify that there was an early turn in and can correct before it is a big problem. DAS may help show you this, but only if you have steering angle and most novices would not have a system with that channel.

2) And I feel this is even more important than #1 - Only with experience, and plenty of mistakes, do you learn when you can save it and when you can't. Recoginizing early that the car is gone will result in an early spin because the driver does not try to push a bad situation. I think Chris C mentioned something along those lines. Better drivers spin before the apex because they tend to know early on that the car is gone. They go both feet in and often the spin remains on the pavement. With less experience, the driver thinks they can save it, forcing the spin to happen well after the apex when there is no track to work with and little time. I don't know anyone who has this skill that has not spun a bunch of times. Perhaps someone has an idea, but I don't see how you can learn this without the first hand experience.

Some get lucky and learn both these lessons with no damage. Others get to visit the body shop or become an expert in fiberglass and welding. Personally, I think the best way to learn this is to decide where and when you are going to push it. Pick open tracks and open corners to find the limits. Many people just keep going faster and faster, never learning lesson #2 until it catches up to them in a bad place. If you push it too far in a good place, the pemalty is getting up close and personal with a shop vac.
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Old 08-15-2004, 06:09 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by ColorChange
Chris W. If I overrreacted, please prove me wrong. You proclaim yourelf as a DAS expert. Please prove it. Present some data and show how you do it. Specifically, show me (or tell me) how you analyze driver performance as this is our main topic. If you do so reasonably and rationally, I will apologize, unless of course you use g-sum like I have been advocating and you did not support my approach.

I'll respond to the rest later.

Hmmm. I must have missed the part where Chris W claimed to be a DAS expert. I said he knew a lot and that I listen when he speaks. I don't need to see data from him. If CC does, then that is his loss and I hope that Chris doesn't waste his time trying to make a case for expertise.

As far as proving you wrong, I have done that time and time again. You have promised to post the data or math or ?? to prove your point, but never have. You started with trail braking in the ABS to apex. Now you seem to be backing away from that.

Then is was g-sum. Except that didn't work out so you changed it to max g-sum with no extra g creation and on the right line. Well that is trivial and many of us pointed that out early to you. Now it appears that you are again changing history to imply that your g-sum theory is to drive the max combined g along a line. I am telling you, as have others, that is pretty meaningless unless you are on the right line. Who cares is there is one solution to drive the fastest along a bad line?

I don't see that Chris needs to try to prove you wrong. Anytime that has happened in the past here, you change the theory - generalize it to the point that you are right, but is has no value in helping to train a driver.

I'm done. I'll go back to making fun of CC's posts as he continues to insult everyone that does not agree with his view.
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Old 08-15-2004, 06:40 PM
  #68  
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Hey, I'll share in the battle-scars department.

Moment of impact:



Aftermath:



I've certainly made worse mistakes on the track than I did that day. For better or worse, there's no 1:1 correlation between degree of error and degree of damage in track driving. Fortunately, nobody got hurt.

It's funny that this long thread should end up with a discussion of accidents -- something that never figures in to ColorChange's analysis of his methodology.

Now, I'm going to read this whole thread and try to come up with some final advice for him.
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Old 08-15-2004, 07:04 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Jack667
As long as we're sharing:

...

However, what is relevant here (maybe), is that I KNEW what to do. I read many books about driving (Skip Barber, Ross Bentley, etc) but, due to lack of seat time and experience, I didn't actually execute.
Exactly. I suspect that all of us were taught to hold it straight and gently take the car back on when we go four off. I was taught that a number of times. What did I do the first time I went off? Tried the hero save and yank it back. Big spin. I was lucky - it only required shop vac time. I don't know anyone that really learned this lesson by 'book learning'.
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Old 08-15-2004, 08:47 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by SundayDriver
Hmmm. I must have missed the part where Chris W claimed to be a DAS expert. I said he knew a lot and that I listen when he speaks. I don't need to see data from him. If CC does, then that is his loss and I hope that Chris doesn't waste his time trying to make a case for expertise.

I don't see that Chris needs to try to prove you wrong. Anytime that has happened in the past here, you change the theory - generalize it to the point that you are right, but is has no value in helping to train a driver.

I'm done. I'll go back to making fun of CC's posts as he continues to insult everyone that does not agree with his view.
Mark, thanks for the compliments, your making me blush Really appreciate it!!!

You are right, I never claimed to be an expert in DAS, but I will say I spent a few years at the track as a DAG (data aquisition geek) for a ChampCar team. Although my job was not to interpret data as this was the chassis engineers job, although, I have had the fortune in gaining valuable experience in chassis tuning with an emphasis on aero. Really, most of my time was spent calibrating and 'running' the DAS etc. Then I got into gearbox, but thats another story..

Its sad that people can decide how intelligent others are via the internet. No, I am not a genius, just a humble Porsche enthusiast
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Old 08-15-2004, 09:36 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by chris walrod
Its sad that people can decide how intelligent others are via the internet.
I think you can often decide that someone is intelligent by what they don't say on the Internet. OTOH, you can almost always tell the opposite by what they DO say.

I didn't know you had that much background in data, but I'm not surprised.
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Old 08-15-2004, 09:46 PM
  #72  
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All right, I read through most of this thread. Well, skimmed it. It's long. Whether ColorChange cares or not, here's my take on his situation.

According to ColorChange's first post in this thread, his background is in skiing. His goal is to track his car, 2-3 times a year. He has no plans to race or even time trial this season. He wants to be a "fast driver," and he considers himself very competitive, and wants to get as fast as he can in the context of his 2-3 track visits per year.

Now, how is he typical? And how is he not typical?

ColorChange is like about 90% of track newcomers in that he believes he is bringing a much-better-than-average level of skill and determination to the project of driving his car, and is probably going to surprise everyone with how good he is. Racing is a funny sport in that what most of us see when we watch it, whether at tracks or on television, doesn't show us much of the basic skills involved in actually doing it. Most newcomers would probably say that things like focus, courage and determination are important factors in who is faster, in addition to having a comfort level in dangerous situations that allows a driver to keep his head and not panic.

So, most guys show up at the track with a kind of lottery-ticket fantasy in the back of their head. They're focused, brave and determined, deep down -- right? They just might be Schumacher -- you never know.

As the more experienced guys have learned, some newcomers are better and some are worse -- but none of the yellow group is going to get an F1 seat anytime this week. The thing that differentiates the faster drivers from the slower drivers in a novice group is, frankly, all over the map. Real skill takes a number of visits before it starts to show itself -- or not.

ColorChange says: "Watch my video, I drive like no newbie." Well, based on the Gingerman TT video, and also the previous ones I've seen, I have to say he drives exactly like a lot of newbies. He has a very forgiving car, which keeps him from looking too goofy. But he apexes too early, often, and pinches his exits, often.

Now, ColorChange is not a terrible driver, at all. Judging by his videos, I'd encourage him to keep going to the track and working on his skills. And in this respect, he's also typical. He shows a certain amount of promise. He's probably better than average.

But now comes the point where ColorChange goes in his own unique direction. As he puts it: "I think the reason I have advanced so quickly is because I am not following the "party line" if you will."

Well, two things. He hasn't 'advanced so quickly' at all, and his skills have nothing to do with any "party line." Far from it. The distinctive thing to me about ColorChange is his hostility to the idea of letting instructors into his car. There's a low-level antagonism toward authority figures in general, in his posts, and it results in what comes off like a vague sort of persecution complex in his responses to other guys offering advice and help. He sees the whole project of driving on a track through a very narrow lens -- a myopic vision. He wants to be 'fast' and he's got some measuring equipment he's going to use to hone his skills. That's about the extent of it.

Is he going to be fast? No, not any time soon. The biggest factor in his lap times will continue to be his massive overkill with regard to the car he's built. He's put over $50,000 into a 996 Turbo after a single weekend at the track. He'll no doubt continue to spend money (some of it wisely, some not) on going faster. He's 150K deep into a project, so far, turning lap times that could be accomplished for 15-30K by other drivers.

Any classification scheme from just about any time trial group is certainly going to guarantee that he does poorly, relative to cars of similar capability. Maybe he won't see that as pertinent to his goals, though. As he's said, his own standard of successful driving on a track isn't even about lap times. It's about "maximizing g-sum along the optimal line."

Okay. Go do it. This is America, and you're allowed to be whatever you want to be.

Does it matter to most of us if ColorChange is fast or not? No. Most of us don't race in the Chicago area. And very few of us drive cars that would be put in the same class as ColorChange's Turbo, even if he did time trial or race. If this were only a question of how quickly ColorChange could lap Gingerman, I'd say we're all wasting our time typing. He's got an odd methodology for an odd car, and he has no plans to start racing a production-class Porsche at any time in the future.

More power to him with whatever he wants to do, right?

Well, not exactly. Tracking a car is very different from downhill skiing in at least one important way. Tracking a car is primarily a social experience -- we're operating heavy machinery in dangerous conditions right alongside other guys and their cars. As the crash pictures in this thread show, it can get really dangerous, really quickly. The Chief Driving Instructor for the POC in Southern California, Joe Kunz, recently got one of his legs badly broken because a less-experienced driver lost control right in front of him. If Joe Kunz can't assume he's going to be safe in a DE environment, who can? Every time we drive on the track, we're putting out lives (and our cars) at risk from not only our own mishaps, but the potential mishaps of everyone else who's out there on the track with us.

To ColorChange, tracking his car is a compelling -- and mostly solitary -- engineering project. If he were alone on the track, I'd say he'd be right in seeing it this way. But of course, he isn't alone -- so his idiosyncratic fixation on a particular way of seeing the project of driving has consequences for anyone who shares a track with him. In this context, his inability to 'get along well with others' plays an entirely different role than he understands. To him, it's too much to even have an instructor in the seat with him. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how he sees the project of tracking a car. I don't think any of his posts have made any mention of what he thinks about his interaction with other cars while he's out there on the track. It's an important perspective issue, to me. I think his context for what he's doing is like that of a downhill skier trying to get his line down the hill just right. It's not.

Broadly speaking, I think ColorChange's fundamental attitude -- that his method of learning to drive is an individual decision that is marked by an antipathy to conventional wisdom, and that sooner or later he's going to surprise us all by the way he's done an end run around our lap times by ignoring our "party line" -- is dangerous to whoever he shares the track with. If he's willing to invest some of his upgrade money in paving his own track, or renting all of Gingerman for himself for his 'training,' then this wouldn't be an issue. But I think event organizers and instructors who encounter him at his 2-3 events per year ought to treat him with caution. He'll be out there, trying to perfect his at-the-limit g-sum performance, not listening to an instructor, and -- accordingly -- not focusing, rpimarily, on the project of sharing a track with other drivers. A 996 Turbo is a heavy car that can do a lot of damage if ColorChange loses control while perfecting a mathematically-indisputable g-sum moment.

Now, the final odd thing about ColorChange is that there seems to be an inverse relationship between his 'quiet loner' attitude at the track and his 'attention *****' personality on-line. He may not want to talk about his driving with his instructors, but he likes to talk about his driving -- a lot.

I can't really understand this, except to see it as ColorChange's desire to be known as a 'fast driver' even when there isn't a chance of that happening with the guys he's sharing the track with. I don't know much about human psychology, but it seems that the sense of persecution entails a need to rationalize his methods with the ranks of anonymous Rennlisters. Odder still, with only a handful of track days on his resume, he wants to play the role of teacher more than student when he's online. He doesn't believe those with more experience (or lower lap times) have anything to teach him. He's made that clear again and again.

As such, the rest of us are left bewildered -- worn down by his lengthy posts and personal attacks. He's a neophyte who wants to be regarded as an authority. Most Rennlisters will simply roll their eyes at his posts, and move on. Unfortunately, other newbies might mistake ColorChange's obsession for expertise. This, I think, is unfortunate and potentially dangerous -- even for the guys who aren't sharing a track with him.

Is ColorChange as dangerous as GhettoRacer? No. Absolutely, not. Honestly, he's probably not all that atypical among newbie track drivers. He's just more vocal than most, and more resistant to input from others. But I wish he could take a look at the reaction he's getting online -- from a lot of smart, skilled drivers and engineers -- and try to think in terms of a bigger picture about his driving.
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:10 PM
  #73  
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EDIT...I got drawn in again...

Last edited by FormulaOne10; 08-16-2004 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:37 PM
  #74  
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Jack,

Beautiful summary. You've got to be able to trust those on the track with you. There's simply too much at stake for misplaced bravado and arrogance. To draw on the skiing parallel, I was once run over at Crested Butte by a guy with more guts than talent. Suffered a concussion that took several days to recover from. A 996TT is indeed a fast and heavy projectile.

I think many D.E. newbies take instructors for granted. Instructors assume a lot of risk when they ride with total strangers sporting unknown agendas and uncertain abilities / psyches. I understand why CC's attitude is unsettling to some.

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Old 08-15-2004, 11:01 PM
  #75  
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Jack, I think you summed it up very well. I think this has somewhat changed my mind on setting up DE run groups. I now see why experience needs to be the key focus of individual run groups in DE settings rather than lap times alone. I would not want to share the track with CC given his attitude. He would also likely be an instructor's worst nightmare. In life, I suspect he is very successful, but also lonely and that is why he seeks out all the attention much like some other very narcissistic people I have known.
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