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Try this approach... (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ E36 M3 Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Mike Chiang on June 20, 2000 at 14:31:01:

In Reply to: Re: The Red Mist. posted by Mr. ///M Slump on June 20, 2000 at 12:10:37:

Most autocross courses have a combination of fast a slow turns. As an experienced autocross driver, you will not have a problem with the fast turns. But note the slowest turns on the course as you walk it --you know where they are. HERE are the places where you can make or lose time. Add the M3's stock tendancy to push like mad in slow turns and you have big trouble.

This is what works pretty good for me:

Let's say you autocross on a medium sized venue and you notice 4 places where you can get into trouble (very slow compound turns). Burn them in your memory.

Let's say on your 1st run you mess up the 2nd slow turn and understeer out of it. FORGET IT. Fight the urge to speed up and concentrate on the NEXT trouble spot.

Be clinical as you make your way through the rest of the course, concentrate on trouble spot 3 and focus your attention on nailing it just right. Even if you fudge 3, forget it.. look to 4, and so on. Stay cool and keep driving a turn ahead.

It does take a lot of effort to detach yourself and stay clinical. I like to envision a surgeon's casual effort when on the operating table--and try to approach the course the same way. Measure and cut.

I understand what it like to be in the Red Mist. It used to happen to me quite a bit when I first started. Sometimes it still bites me when competition is fierce (you should have seen me and a SCCA American Sedan prepared Mustang go at it in ESP last month --in my eagerness to beat him, I ran a faster raw time than his best run and another ESP car, but JUST tipped a cone in a fast chicane-- I had to settle for third place!) but you gotta let go of your ego and be cool.

I hope this all makes some sense, and that it'll be helpful.

Oh, one other thing. Keep in mind this: through-out the day as you drive the course, you will start taking the fast turns MUCH faster, so you will need to adjust your braking points further back as the day goes on. Sometimes I forget to monitor this and end up *flying* through a fast section only to commit mass cone slaughter at the next 120 deg. turn. --the same turn I did perfectly last run because I came through 8-10 mph slower.

Mike Chiang

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