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Last week was my second time at Laguna and my first track day with my 100% stock Elise (with street tires; Star Specs). Was just wondering if I could get some tips from you veterans. I know, pointless without vids, but I've been busy and they will be uploaded this weekend.

Keep in mind I was feeling out the car so I wasn't aggressive as I usually would be. I was probably at 6/10ths. Hence why I stayed in gear most of the time.

I am coming from an underpowered FR so a lot of adjustments on braking points, turn in, and acceleration are in order. Based on my last platform, I had to be very aggressive just to keep up so I really need to change my style with my new platform. The biggest issue I have is knowing when to roll back on the throttle with this MR layout.

-For the second apex on T2 (I omit the first apex), as I am clipping it and exiting, I find it very hard to get back on the accelerator quickly. If I get back on too soon, the car understeers and I cannot get a good set up for T3. What line do you guys take? Should I be more patient with the throttle?

-T3, I've tried to turn in early and turn in late. Both have their issues. Early turn in leaves me with no run off. Late turn in makes the car squirrely. Any tips?

-T5, I brake hard and take the early turn in. Everything is fine, but as I am completing the turn, the car is too underpowered to carry me through to T6. I am still in fourth, do you guys downshift before or after T5? If before, do you guys rev-match? Since I am getting used to the car my rev-matching could use some work, but I feel it'll take too much time for T5 to rev-match. Not to mention I'd rather modulate my braking setting up rather than rev-matching.

-T7, I rev-matched and went into third in the beginning sessions until my brother (instructor) told me to keep it in fourth. Would you guys advise otherwise? He's coming from a C6 Z06 so I'm assuming he has plenty of power to power him through whereas I do not.

-T9, I'm used to braking before the crest just to settle the car (much like T6 at T-hill, just a light tap to settle everything). My brother advised against that and instead of breaking to just keep the throttle exactly where it is then roll back on towards the apex. Thoughts?

-T10, I was used to turning in late with my FR, but I found out (pretty rude awakening) that you can't do that with MR. So I began to turn in very early. I wasn't going very fast but noticed that when I turned in early and tracked back out naturally, I was almost running out of run off.

-T11, I would brake hard and downshift to third. Would you guys recommend second?

Also in the morning, for the first session and a few laps of the second, whenever I broke hard, the car would dive and shimmy. But later on, it went away. It felt very unstable under heavy straight line braking. Could this have been attributed to cold pads and tires?

I know choice of line dictates everything so vids will be posted shortly. All in all, I was pretty discouraged, but it was a great learning experience and I had a blast. No outtings and no spinouts so that's a good track day in my book! :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also, is rev-matching even necessary for this car?!?! (at my level)

I'm used to my old platform that was slow as a hog so I really HAD to rev-match. Not that a stock Elise is blistering fast, but it has enough go and short enough gearing. Am I wasting my time rev-matching or opting to stay in a higher gear because I think it'll take to long?
 

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Without any video of your runs hard to give input. Based on what you’ve outlined:

T2- 1st apex I generally take a good 5-6 feet out the 2nd 1-2 feet out, with a late apex, with a bit of banking and deep throttle to help rotate the car, for an n/a Elise it’s common to drop to 2nd gear.

T5 has a fair amount of banking at the apex and exit so power can be put down as you go into it.

T7 ( the kink before the corkscrew) am usually still near full throttle (in 4th) and don’t brake until I turn in and before the crest for the approach to the corkscrew.

T9 You’d have too much speed and with the downhill approach the norm is some light
braking before turn in.

T10- fairly late apex, then use the heavy banking in the apex to put power down and rotate the car.

T11- for sure in 2nd gear.

In general for Laguna use the banking and throttle to help rotate the car, where you can.
 

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Just some thoughts...

General - straightline braking. Don't bother to try trail braking until you're very comfortable with the car. Slow more than you think and then use the throttle through the apex, slow in - fast out.

Rev-matching - a must if you're downshifting. Learn how to heel-toe. Heel-toe will make everything smoother.

Corners -
T2 - I use a double apex. Initiate brakes at marker 3 and start pointing the car in towards an early apex. Still on the brakes as I go past the 1st apex, then roll off the brakes and onto the throttle and rotate the car. I'm at mid-track at this point and set for a late apex on the exit of T2. It's full throttle, clip the 2nd apex on the left and continue to the berm on the right. This is a 3rd gear corner.

T3 - bring the car to the left edge on entry. Brake gently and set for a LATE apex (where the inside berm ends). Feed in throttle as you pass the apex and be at or near full throttle by the time you get the berm on the left on corner exit. 3rd gear corner.

T4 - Slight brake tap just before marker 1 and turn-in at marker 1. As soon as you're pointed at the mid-apex feed in throttle so you at or near full throttle at the apex. Go all the way out to track left at exit. 3rd gear corner, shift to 4th on the way to T5.

T5 - brake at marker 3, start turn in about half way to marker 2, downshift into 3rd. This is a mid-late apex corner. The goal is to carry as much speed as possible to get up the hill. For an NA Elise this is one of the most important corners at Laguna. Full throttle at the apex and out to track right.

T6 - You may find you run out of 3rd gear just before T6, shift before the bridge, but you'll downshift again as you enter T6. Again you need to carry all the speed possible. Slight brake just before marker 2, turn-in at marker 2 and aim to apex at the red high curbing. As soon as you feel the car compress get back on the throttle HARD (banked) and accelerate up the hill to track right. Shift to 4th.

T7 - car on track left as you pass the worker station on the left. As you as you see T7 point the car straight at it and keep going straight. You'll need to brake slightly just before the crest at T7.

T8 - 8A - Straight entry with brakes, 3rd gear. Use all the track on the left as you exit 8A, the Corkscrew.

T9 - Enter slightly right of center (about a car width from the right edge). Brake slightly before the crest and let off the brake as you go over the crest, then dial in more steering as you get into the banking. Back on throttle as you apex and exit with the about a car-width on the right. Shift to 4th.

T10 - Mid-late apex, brake on entry, sweep the corner with lots of throttle on exit.

T11 - Staightline braking on the right edge of the track starting just before marker 3. Late apex corner taken in 2nd gear. Turn in is between marker 2 and 1 (late turn in). Back on the throttle as soon as you turn in.

Have fun!!!
Kiyoshi
 

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Last week was my second time at Laguna and my first track day with my 100% stock Elise (with street tires; Star Specs). Was just wondering if I could get some tips from you veterans. I know, pointless without vids, but I've been busy and they will be uploaded this weekend.

Keep in mind I was feeling out the car so I wasn't aggressive as I usually would be. I was probably at 6/10ths. Hence why I stayed in gear most of the time.

I am coming from an underpowered FR so a lot of adjustments on braking points, turn in, and acceleration are in order. Based on my last platform, I had to be very aggressive just to keep up so I really need to change my style with my new platform. The biggest issue I have is knowing when to roll back on the throttle with this MR layout.

-For the second apex on T2 (I omit the first apex), as I am clipping it and exiting, I find it very hard to get back on the accelerator quickly. If I get back on too soon, the car understeers and I cannot get a good set up for T3. What line do you guys take? Should I be more patient with the throttle?
It's hard to say without seeing, but you could be coming onto throttle too quickly, you want to smoothly blend it in as you begin to unwind the wheel. I generally double apex this turn, but there's no one perfect way to get this one right, IMO. You just want to come out pointing as straight at T3 as possible and fiddle around with what feels best for you.

-T3, I've tried to turn in early and turn in late. Both have their issues. Early turn in leaves me with no run off. Late turn in makes the car squirrely. Any tips?
T3 is more of a mid-apex. You don't want to be early here, since going off in T3 is bad news.

-T5, I brake hard and take the early turn in. Everything is fine, but as I am completing the turn, the car is too underpowered to carry me through to T6. I am still in fourth, do you guys downshift before or after T5? If before, do you guys rev-match? Since I am getting used to the car my rev-matching could use some work, but I feel it'll take too much time for T5 to rev-match. Not to mention I'd rather modulate my braking setting up rather than rev-matching.
T5 is a great place for a heel-toe downshift into 3rd under braking. Until you get that legwork down, start braking, and as you are braking, shift into 3rd and let out the clutch before getting off the brake and onto the gas. Gently let the clutch out since it will drag up the engine RPM, and make sure to do it in a straight line. Coming out of T5 in 4th gets you out of the power band, for sure.

-T7, I rev-matched and went into third in the beginning sessions until my brother (instructor) told me to keep it in fourth. Would you guys advise otherwise? He's coming from a C6 Z06 so I'm assuming he has plenty of power to power him through whereas I do not.
I don't think it really matters here. Your speed through T7 will depend more on how you went through T6. The camber in T6 lets you floor it in 3rd right when you feel the "dip", which takes you to the top of 3rd gear before T7 and you'd have to be in 4th. If you're going slow enough in 4th that you're not in the second cam, you're definitely losing time, even with our little piddly engines.
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-T9, I'm used to braking before the crest just to settle the car (much like T6 at T-hill, just a light tap to settle everything). My brother advised against that and instead of breaking to just keep the throttle exactly where it is then roll back on towards the apex. Thoughts?
Coming out of the corkscrew, keep the throttle fairly neutral, since that's about the right speed for T9. The kink in the road here gives you an enormous amount of grip, and you can corner with some serious G's here. You'll be pulling more G's in this turn than any other.

-T10, I was used to turning in late with my FR, but I found out (pretty rude awakening) that you can't do that with MR. So I began to turn in very early. I wasn't going very fast but noticed that when I turned in early and tracked back out naturally, I was almost running out of run off.
Yup, this is basically a mid apex. Generally, if you have little "oh ****" moments which make you doubt whether you're staying on, you're apexing early. In this car, on the correct line, you're usually full throttle before the apex using understeer to help you out to the outside of the turn.

-T11, I would brake hard and downshift to third. Would you guys recommend second?
Definitely 2nd gear in an N/A car. In supercharged one, it's a wash. I'm about to link a video below, but I was using 3rd since my synchros were dying :)

Also in the morning, for the first session and a few laps of the second, whenever I broke hard, the car would dive and shimmy. But later on, it went away. It felt very unstable under heavy straight line braking. Could this have been attributed to cold pads and tires?
It could have been. This car shimmies a little bit in some places pretty much constantly (T10 at Thunderhill, for example), it all depends on the pavement, tires, temperature, etc. If it's still going straight under braking, I'd not worry too much. Cold tires and brakes certainly contribute. Being smooth with the brake pedal helps it not shimmy too, since slamming the thing upsets the car, but gently loading up the suspension seems to get it into the braking nose dive better.

I know choice of line dictates everything so vids will be posted shortly. All in all, I was pretty discouraged, but it was a great learning experience and I had a blast. No outtings and no spinouts so that's a good track day in my book! :shrug:
It sounds like a good day given you drove the car home and learned something. I'm no Laguna Seca expert, since I've only been there five times, but here's a vid of my last outing that's pretty reasonable for pretty much a stock elise SC.

 
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