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Thunderhill long track (5 mile)

 
Old 01-27-2015, 03:49 PM
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mark kibort
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Default Thunderhill long track (5 mile)

Has anyone driven the long track?
I was instructing a guy with a 2014 GT3... that was a blast to drive by the way! .... and the group was using the long track. Now, ive been racing the primary track (in a couple forms) for 20 years and the new track for one long instruction day.. but never together! WOW, what a hoot. coming off turn 8 and setting up for the connector section was a wild ride. no video can do it justice as I was reviewing for hours before the event. Really glad I was able to ride and drive the new layout all together, so if I do race it some time, I will have gotten through most of the tough parts of learning it. not too excited about the short course section , but the connector sections are wild rides, especially at speed. In the right seat in a fast car with a newbe, aggressive driver, it's a little uncomfortable I have to say! Was able to dial him back, just a notch so he was back in learning mode and not in "taking out his aggressions" mode. It's always nice when your office for the day is a almost brand new GT3!! What a great day!
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:16 PM
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I did a race weekend on the 5 mile in November. I didn't expect to enjoy it, but I did - a lot. The new section is very smooth, fits together nicely and although it isn't very fast, it *feels* really fast, because of all the little hills close by the track. I found it rather exhilarating.

Lots and lots of braking-while-turning. Especially when you overcook the entries

There are lots of places which will flip and otherwise wreck your car back there. Don't go off.

Very few passing opportunities. Passing back there is especially risky because the newness and complexity of the track means that the other guy is 110% focussed on the track and isn't paying attention to what you're doing.

I fear that the 5-mile will be a pretty rare option in future years. It's expensive. Also it's *long*! A 5-minute out lap and a 5-minute cooldown lap takes a large chunk out of a session. At the August NASA event they apparently cut the course short for the out lap: take a left at T7 and head through the infield to the front straight. We tried to do something similar at the BMWCCA race weekend (at T9) but people screwed it up so we fell back to doing a full out lap.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:47 AM
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Not in a Porsche unfortunately. It was due to be our first outing in the new Cayman, but for a couple of reasons we took the old MINI instead.

I'd like to try the new bit on a shorter course, like the proposed "mid-Thunderhill" configuration where you go directly from 14E to 8E. The big course is a bit long, so you don't get many laps and don't get that much practice, I've done the old side plenty. Just the West course is a bit small and you don't get to do the connectors which are fun.

The new bit has lots of interesting bits.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:10 AM
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I did a DE with GGR there in the fall with the 5 Mile coarse. I loved it. Very technical addition to an already fabulous track.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:37 AM
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I haven't driven it yet. But I have looked at lots of videos and talked with some friends about it. It does not seem that it would be good for racing...especially mixed grid racing where a slower class of cars will be passed by faster class of cars.
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by flink View Post
I did a race weekend on the 5 mile in November. I didn't expect to enjoy it, but I did - a lot. The new section is very smooth, fits together nicely and although it isn't very fast, it *feels* really fast, because of all the little hills close by the track. I found it rather exhilarating.

Lots and lots of braking-while-turning. Especially when you overcook the entries

There are lots of places which will flip and otherwise wreck your car back there. Don't go off.

Very few passing opportunities. Passing back there is especially risky because the newness and complexity of the track means that the other guy is 110% focussed on the track and isn't paying attention to what you're doing.

I fear that the 5-mile will be a pretty rare option in future years. It's expensive. Also it's *long*! A 5-minute out lap and a 5-minute cooldown lap takes a large chunk out of a session. At the August NASA event they apparently cut the course short for the out lap: take a left at T7 and head through the infield to the front straight. We tried to do something similar at the BMWCCA race weekend (at T9) but people screwed it up so we fell back to doing a full out lap.
oh yes, there are several places where I could see some real problems in racing. (on the short section and the approach to the short section )
but , fun for a de/instruction day for sure!

Originally Posted by btwyx View Post
Not in a Porsche unfortunately. It was due to be our first outing in the new Cayman, but for a couple of reasons we took the old MINI instead.

I'd like to try the new bit on a shorter course, like the proposed "mid-Thunderhill" configuration where you go directly from 14E to 8E. The big course is a bit long, so you don't get many laps and don't get that much practice, I've done the old side plenty. Just the West course is a bit small and you don't get to do the connectors which are fun.

The new bit has lots of interesting bits.
the mid idea is interesting.. you get the short course, but the long straights up to turn 14?

I remember when it was just a 8 turn course , and they had a 10 turn version too. we had a mock race and everyone that knew the 10 turn version , went right through the cones ! actually pretty funny. tough to just cone off a course and have everyone remember what they are supposed to do, and ignore the instincts!
Originally Posted by winders View Post
I haven't driven it yet. But I have looked at lots of videos and talked with some friends about it. It does not seem that it would be good for racing...especially mixed grid racing where a slower class of cars will be passed by faster class of cars.
I agree , after taking the course at speed. its a tough one... would hate to be passing lapped traffic , which might not be an issue with a track this long, or in traffic period, in the short section. its like mountain biking single track, if I can use the analogy. DE'ing is fine, but in racing, it would be a little dicy.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:17 AM
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Here's a video of me racing Spec Miata on the 5 mile track. This video shows just how hard it is to pass in the new section.

The problem with the West track is that both of it's straightaways end with narrow, one lined chicanes, which are impossible to navigate side by side. It's a fun track to drive, but it doesn't race well.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mark kibort View Post
I was instructing a guy with a 2014 GT3... that was a blast to drive by the way! Was able to dial him back, just a notch so he was back in learning mode and not in "taking out his aggressions" mode. It's always nice when your office for the day is a almost brand new GT3!! What a great day!
What color was the GT3?
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:17 AM
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It was yellow

Last edited by Hoopumpers; 01-29-2015 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:20 AM
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I drove and raced it with GGR last year enjoyed it after i found how to link up a lot of turns.

Best time was a 3:08

here is a little slower lap of 3:10

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Old 01-29-2015, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoopumpers View Post
It was yellow
Yes it was!
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mobonic View Post
I drove and raced it with GGR last year enjoyed it after i found how to link up a lot of turns.

Best time was a 3:08

here is a little slower lap of 3:10

TH LP 09/06/2014 MOB - YouTube
Nice laps.. that's flying! what is your 3 mile lap time?
Are you working with Bruce and Rob?
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by dp35 View Post
Here's a video of me racing Spec Miata on the 5 mile track. This video shows just how hard it is to pass in the new section.

The problem with the West track is that both of it's straightaways end with narrow, one lined chicanes, which are impossible to navigate side by side. It's a fun track to drive, but it doesn't race well.
http://vimeo.com/99001051
\

that was good to watch too.. yep, as I would expect, it took you 5 miles to get to a place to pass the purple brown car. way to fight him off around 2 to 3.

Not a chance to get around him or probably anyone in the short section. but I agree , it is kind of fund to drive. I especially like the entrance!
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:31 PM
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I've done(and loved) both the 5 mile and the new track.

The 5 mile is friggin intense. With 20-some turns, I never put a lap together with no mistakes. I remember a few laps where I made it halfway through the new track without making a mistake and I felt the most pressure ever to finish the lap clean. Even during TT when I had the track pretty much to myself.

West is awesome for the opposite reason. When you exit a turn, it's going to be less than 90 seconds before you're entering that turn again on the next lap. So when you're working on one corner, everything stays so fresh in your head for the next attempt. Plus with the small size of the track and short times, there is less variance in your other corners, so you can really tell what works and what doesn't.
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