I'm still a noob (been to MSR 3 times,1.7 CCW 1x and 1.7 CW 2x) and ECR once (Saturday). Here's my hot sports opinion:
- the surface at ECR isn't as smooth. Rough braking points, rough "off the line" points, rough transitions, etc. On your first go rounds, be sure you know where they are an be prepared for it.
- runoff is extremely limited in some areas. If you are going to go off, make sure you do it in the right place. And go off straight! An M3 went off this weekend and bent his lower control arm.
- The track is FAST, but you have to slow way down in order to make the turns. Be prepared for it. Ask altain how "exciting" it is when you don't slow down enough.
- Make sure your brake pads are up to snuff. I burned about 40% off of my Ferodo DS 2500's this weekend. Stock pads would have crumbled (the stock pads are a Ferodo OEM).
- Brake fluid! I flushed on Friday with Amsoil DOT4 and never boiled them. Another Evo did, but he's got 500hp and was on Hawk DT10 something or other blue pads.
- Tires! If you're on street tires, don't be surprised if they let go 15-18 minutes into a session. When mine did it was apparent because things for very drifty!
- the pit out is very dangerous/slick/dusty. I drifted around that corner once (even though altain warned me about it). Take it carefully.
- gas is a touch more expensive than the station 12 miles away (this weekend it was 2.50/gallon for 93). At 24 miles round trip, it was cheaper for me to just pay the extra 45 cents a gallon.
- the facilities aren't nearly as nice as MSR. You might be on gravel where you're setting up your car, so bring a mat/rug/whatever if you really need to lay around your car.
Where are your shift points? There are 3 places (#3, #5, #9) on the track where I was on the rev limiter in 3rd for a second (no sense in shifting). 3rd is ~88mph. There's one place (the back straight) where I was on the limiter in 4th (~112mph). Shifting to 5th there really jacked up the speed but made the braking MUCH harder since it was coming over a rise and bumpy. Experiment a bit but don't focus on the speedo lol.
On a turn by turn basis (again, remember, n00b):
1/2: Have you ever been skiing? There are two "ridges" that you can either avoid or use as little moguls to orient the car. When you hit the grooves right, it REALLY makes you fast. If you hit the ridges, it really upsets the car. The braking zone into #1 is pretty rough. So be ready for it. Turnin to #1 slower than you'd expect and you can really put the power down through #2.
3: like all the hairpins, brake hard before it, but not too early, and power out of it (there's a lot more runout room than there appears). When I did a session with altain I learned this corner well. You really have to almost "drift" the RR wheel onto the curbing.
4. Really not much of a corner, and the turnin cone is about 20' too deep for my car. Tap the brakes, turn in, and then power around the apex.
5. brake hard into this corner, to the cone/stripes, then turn in well and hard. You are going to be going up the hill, so use that to your advantage to make the corner nicely. Use all of the trackout because there's a straight here that's a fun one Note that it's downhill into this corner, so it will take a touch longer to slow than you expect. The transition here is a bit rough and you might skip over it if you are on a stiff suspension.
6. The temptation will be to brake early. You'll cook your brakes if you treat this like a red light and coast in. Get to the rise/over the rise and brake hard (depending on your comfort level). It's a little rough and you're going to feel like you're going off. Learn your limit and take the hairpin nice and smoothly. Don't exit hugging the apex or you'll waste a lot of speed. The transition on the line is rough, so expect a little sidestepping. The exit is rough too, so be prepared for it.
7. Rough rough rough braking zone. You come to a rise and have to turn. This is ******* pucker #1 corner, so get it right and you'll feel great. Get it wrong and you're not going to be happy. Turn in is later than you think, hug the apex/inside corner to setup 8. Brake a bit earlier than you think you need to because the rise is going to lift your car. I started braking earlier, then hitting the brake again, right before turnin to replant the car.
8. Fun corner, slingshot type. Lots of runout, so make sure you use all the track.
9. ******* pucker #2. Brake hard, then learn your car's handling here as you try and get that RR tire onto the stripes. You don't have to track out all the way, but this corner will setup #10 in a big way.
10. This section is a bit slick (it's where I went off). Be wary on cold tires. High HP cars seem to hug the inside line. Altain showed me to take it about 2/3 out, turn in before you can see the apex cone and really power up the hill to the trackout cone. I think this actually is the faster line because I was carrying a LOT more speed out of this corner than the cars I followed out of it.
11. Rough braking zone and if you screw it up you're going off into something hard. I constantly overcooked the entry here. I think it's downhill, definitely downwind. Brake a bit harder than you expect and you can be on the gas the whole way though the turn. Don't hug the apex exit onto the straight as you'll burn unnecessary speed/momentum.