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First track day at Laguna Seca, any advice?

 
Old 03-02-2011, 01:58 PM
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sundog
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Default First track day at Laguna Seca, any advice?

So I've done numerous DE's at Thunderhill, Buttonwillow, and Infineon. Mid March I will get a one day chance at Laguna Seca. Any advice from the pros about how to prepare, what to expect different from the other tracks?
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:30 PM
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jrgordonsenior
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Bring clean shorts for after the corkscrew....
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:57 PM
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PJorgen
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Drive flat out!

Seriously tho' what group will you be there with? Listen to your instructor/coach and have a good time.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:59 PM
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mark kibort
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dont hit the walls.

If you like Infinion, Laguna will be a walk in the park.

enjoy it.

early apex 2 and double apex the turn overall.
no brakes after the corkscrew, get up high to the right after the "screw".
early apex 6
dont hit the big birms.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by PJorgen View Post
Drive flat out!

Seriously tho' what group will you be there with? Listen to your instructor/coach and have a good time.
I'll be in intermediate group. Never been at the track to Central Coast Driving will give me an instructor for the first session. That will be great. I've been there for many races, but it always looks easier when you've got Bergmeister racing.

At the ALMS a few years ago my 18 year old daughter fell in love with the one of the Ferrari racers. She had lunch with them before the race.

I'll check YouTube for some 964 in car footage.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mark kibort View Post
dont hit the walls.

If you like Infinion, Laguna will be a walk in the park.

enjoy it.

early apex 2 and double apex the turn overall.
no brakes after the corkscrew, get up high to the right after the "screw".
early apex 6
dont hit the big birms.
The only wall that bugged me at Infineon was the one at turn 11, but that's just because you are staring at it for the whole turn.

I suppose with all of the deep gravel for the Motorcycle racers I should have 2 tow hooks just in case I get a little overzealous!
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:10 PM
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Laguna will use more brake than the other tracks.
Make sure your brakes are in top shape
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:11 PM
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va122
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Originally Posted by sundog View Post
I'll be in intermediate group. Never been at the track to Central Coast Driving will give me an instructor for the first session. That will be great. I've been there for many races, but it always looks easier when you've got Bergmeister racing.
You're doing the right thing getting an instructor to show you the line. You can watch videos read the forums etc but there's no replacement for in-car instruction
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:38 PM
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You will be driving with one of the best groups in the country and amongst the best instructors. I have many friends that drive and instruct with CDS. If he is still active, you may get lucky and get Hank Watts as an instructor. It does not get any better than that. Well maybe Evan Williams or Chris Murray...

Don't listen to what Mark said... he has no idea where and how much you should use your brakes.... those details depend on too many variables. Mark knows better than that. Whether you should or should not double apex 2 is something to discuss with your instructor(s) Pay attention to what your instructor(s) tell you. They are not likely chiming in here on the internet. You might be able to contact the CDS and through them find out who will be working with you ahead of time.

Make sure you understand where your car stands with respect to the the sound limits. Do not take this lightly. If you have any concerns, check in with folks in the CDS... try to find folks with similar set ups. Be prepared.

As stated here, Laguna is much tougher on brakes than the other nearby tracks. Make sure you know the condition of your brake system components.... fluids, pads, rotors. If possible, bring stuff along to bleed the brakes. If you haven't yet, consider installing some ducting to help cool the brakes. This is especially important if you have a street car, like a nearly stock 964. I cannot emphasize this enough... I have rescued many an ill-prepared student that lost brakes at Laguna Seca and had to flush out the fluid. I remember one nephrologist back in 96 or so...

Laguna is a really fun place... but I suggest that you refrain from getting advice on line, technique and so on here as it may conflict with your instructors. I have seen many instances of folks getting bad information on the internet. After you have had the experience, then maybe report back and ask folks to comment on specific things.

Have fun, go fast and be safe...

- Mike
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:40 PM
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DO NOT early apex Turn 3

I repeat.. do not early apex turn 3

other than that its my favorite track on the west coast
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:27 PM
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Yeah, God forbid you listen to someone that has more race days at the track in question over the past 10 years than most anyone in the world.

Listen, its not rocket science here. he is in an intermediate group, excited to visit the track, will have some instruction handy, and the track is not that complicated. There are a few places where many of us have found safe routes through, and it doesnt hurt to offer some suggestions.
a lot of instructors have bailed out students when they havent instructed them to use their brakes properly. . If I had a dollar for every slow street car that burned through brakes or had brake failure, I would be a rich guy! Its hard, smooth, and short duration on the brakes.
I havent bled my brakes in a couple 1 hour pro races at laguna and they are still good, and all stock stuff!

He is a big boy, he can take the advice or leave it. none of it is dangerous.

good advice though. enjoy it. It will be a lot of fun running at one of the most famous tracks in the world.

Mark



Originally Posted by Mahler9th View Post
Don't listen to what Mark said... he has no idea where and how much you should use your brakes.... those details depend on too many variables. Mark knows better than that. Whether you should or should not double apex 2 is something to discuss with your instructor(s) Pay attention to what your instructor(s) tell you. They are not likely chiming in here on the internet. You might be able to contact the CDS and through them find out who will be working with you ahead of time.Laguna is a really fun place... but I suggest that you refrain from getting advice on line, technique and so on here as it may conflict with your instructors. I have seen many instances of folks getting bad information on the internet. After you have had the experience, then maybe report back and ask folks to comment on specific things.

Have fun, go fast and be safe...

- Mike

Last edited by mark kibort; 03-02-2011 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:28 PM
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Ive probably seen more problems with folks trying to late apex 3 though.

Originally Posted by mobonic View Post
DO NOT early apex Turn 3

I repeat.. do not early apex turn 3

other than that its my favorite track on the west coast
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:36 PM
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You should be "bugged" by the wall at turn 10. Thats the one that claims more cars than your neighborhood cop does for speeding!

Dont go off track at laguna, you will ruin the session for your competitors. Just drive under control and feel your way around the track. There are lots of room on most all turns to blow apexes and still stay on track. In fact, the guys that insist on "line" rather than control (see Mike's emphasis of instruction) will more likely get in trouble. Drive the car at its capability for a few laps, and aim for the apexs but forget about nailing, or insisting on the apexes. (big difference)


Originally Posted by sundog View Post
The only wall that bugged me at Infineon was the one at turn 11, but that's just because you are staring at it for the whole turn.

I suppose with all of the deep gravel for the Motorcycle racers I should have 2 tow hooks just in case I get a little overzealous!
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:40 PM
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Just like any new track...keep it in 3rd and get a feel for the track.

Corkscrew is not a difficult turn, but a heavy braking area going into it. Just need to get a feel for it after a couple sessions.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:10 PM
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The dangers of bad information....

...no brakes after the corkscrew...

A few years ago I was at a semi-private day at Thunderhill. One of the organizer's friends was giving a new to the track talk about the line. Without knowing anything about the folks in attendance, he stated that not a car in the paddock needed to brake for turn 1... the goal should be to go flat through there by the end of the day. I was sitting in the back and raised my hand... and stated I needed to brake for turn 1. He said... well, you think you do but you probably don't... "no car here really has to brake for 1." What an idiot-- he had no idea what I was driving... could have been a 1000 bhp, 3,000 street car, an Indy car, or whatever. After the meeting, 4-5 of the folks there asked me to stay behind and go through things properly. One was a semi-pro mazda driver. This was a Friday before a race weekend. He came over and thanks me a second time on Sunday afternoon.

Years ago in a group instruction meeting at Laguna, I witnessed the leader tell the group that turns 3-6 at Laguna were all basically 90 degrees. Just a lazy instructor in my opinion. Lazy, sloppy, and inappropriate. In the next session, some kid put two off at the exit of three, jerked her back on, came across the track and totaled his car. As pointed out here in this thread, turn 3 is actually an acute angle and turn 6 is an obtuse angle. The natural apexes are therefore sometimes referred to as late and early, respectively.

Know your basics, and question advice given with high detail when assumptions/variables/et cetera are unstated.

I have to brake for turn 9 at Laguna in my car.
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