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Discussion Starter #1
This past weekend I took my car to Spring Mountain Motor Resort in Pahrump, Nevada for an ACNA (Audi Club of North America) track event. OMG, this car is capable of doing much more than I ever expected! The weekend started off with pretty steady rain, so we did our exercises (slalom, threshold braking, and lane toss) in the wet, which was great! I didn't do anything to prep for the track--I was still running on the original R888s on the rears and A048s on the fronts from the seller (craracer). The car drove like a bat out of hell and hugged the corners like nothing I've ever experienced. :bow: Granted, this is only the second time in my life I've been on a track (first time was at Buttonwillow with my miata quite a few years ago), but I've been able to ride with instructors in their cars so I know what it feels like to have a super aggressive and experienced driver behind the wheel backed by sticky tires. After driving my car, the instructor told me he wanted one. :D He also added that the car scared him. haha! He described his car (Audi 4000) as a butterknife and the Lotus as a scalpel--and I knew what he meant after being a passenger in my own car! Considering I was running with S4s and R8s, to name a few awesome supercars on the track with me, my stage II exhaust apparently captured a lot of attention on that track. It made heads turn and I received quite a few compliments on it! A guy with a V10 R8 came up to me and told me he wanted my car originally but couldn't justify daily driving it! I told him that I daily drive it with no problem! His response, "Now you tell me--$100K later!". haha!

It was a great event! The camaraderie at these things cannot be explained if you've never been to a track event. Also, despite this being an ACNA event, guess who made the front page of their trackday.net photography home page? Yup! The Lotus! :coolnana: Here's the link to my photo: http://www.trackday.net/images/1a.jpg. The car was FILTHY from the rain (yes, not only do I daily drive this car, but I drove it in the rain AND now I can officially say I track it!), but you'd never guess by looking at the photo!

I have a lot more learning to do with this car, and I'm eager to do it soon before I forget all that I learned from the weekend. I was wondering if there are any Lotus specific events in California that people would recommend. Any other track tips or recommendations are also appreciated!

After experiencing my car on the track, I have no idea why people are so eager to say their car hasn't been tracked at all. This car was built for the track, and to deny it the experience would be a damn shame. :thwack: I'm a believer!

Btw, I drove from Woodland Hills, CA. to Pahrump, NV. (~285 miles) and drove it back to Woodland Hills after the event with absolutely no issues whatsoever. I didn't even have to stop for gas on the drive home. I LOVE this car!!!
 

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Thanks for the post, I'm tracking my stock Elise for the time too this Saturday, I can't wait now after reading your post!! :clap:
 

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Tracking a Lotus is a lot of fun, and confidence building. You walk away at the end of the day saying "Hmmm, so thats what 1G of cornering feels like". You discover you can wait to brake very deep before the corners, long after everyone else has shed their speed. And the car handles rapid transitions with a lot of chassis stability. It is a great place to discover the joys of snap oversteer with minimal risk too!
 

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Welcome to the club!!
I've had more than one person tell me the same thing after going for a ridealong with me on the track. In fact, one user here ditched his Porsche and bought one not long after I took him out. Also love how you pointed out the camaraderie at track events; it's hard to describe to anyone who's never been out there.

Other than LCUSA, I'm not sure there are many Lotus-only/Lotus-centric events in SoCal. GGLC puts on a number of events (well worth that drive up to Laguna Seca to drive with them a few weeks ago). I'm rarely at an event where I'm the other Lotus, though I am pretty much always the only female Lotus driver, and sometimes just the only female driver. Would love to have you fix that!

Congrats on what sounds to be a very successful track outing! :shift:
 

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You might want to check out the group buy Sector111 is having right now on the DSbrace. Track days are just awesome. I remember my first track event, it was at RoadAtlanta. An instructor took about six of us out in a Eurovan (high center of gravity:-0) to "learn the proper line". I almost sh#t my pants! Woah, I was immediately blown away with what a loaded Eurovan could do with the right hands on the wheel, so imagine what our purpose built cars are capable of....Fun.
 

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If you are learning, a supercharger WILL NOT HELP YOU. HP is no substitute for for skills.
I have seen MANY overpowered Eliges off by inexperienced drivers over the past 7 seasons.
It doesn't help you as much as you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
El Dude: I'm sooooo excited for you! You're going to have so much fun! Where are you going? Please post pictures when you're done--I'd love to see them.

Sturgeon: What do you drive now? Whose car is in your avi? I realize that this car isn't for everyone, but I feel fortunate that I can actually daily drive mine. No supercharger for me--I need to learn how to handle this thing bone stock before I graduate to anything more powerful. I realized this is a lot of car to handle after taking it to the track, so I can't imagine dealing with a lot more power before learning the basics. Addertooth is right on the mark as far as confidence building goes. I feel so much more confident in my car than I did before, and I was pretty confident prior to the track. Tracking your car allows you to know your car's limit as well as your own; something you can't do on the streets (safely, anyway).

sb67: Girl, you inspire me! I cannot wait to take a ride with you!

Lotuscc: I've heard of that Eurovan experience--unbelievably cool!

Brgelise: This is exactly why I want to track this car, to build up my skills so I can work into a faster car, if necessary. It would be a shame to have a really powerful car but not know how to drive it correctly. ;oP
 

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Prokchop,
I do see a supercharger in your future (my crystal ball told me so, and it rarely lies). Last track experience went something like this: Other cars powered away on the straights, I would catch back up with them by the end of the twisties, only for them to pull away on the straights again. A thought will enter your brain.. If the car had more power on the straights, and it wasn't falling behind there, it might just pass (if not lap) the other cars.
 

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OR you can realize that there is a lot of fun in becoming a better driver rather than buying faster times. Tighten the nut behind the wheel first :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was having a moment of "understanding" with Addertooth's post and then jds62f's reply brought me back down to reality. :) Dammit!
 

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OR you can realize that there is a lot of fun in becoming a better driver rather than buying faster times. Tighten the nut behind the wheel first :)
This, a thousand times over!
Faster car != better driver. Plus, this way if/when you get the chance to drive other cars, you know you take your skill with you.

Go check out the results from the LCUSA races and time trials. There are some n/a cars there turning sub-2:00 laps at Buttonwillow.
Not to mention how much fun it is when you pass someone, and they come to chat and ask about how much power the car is making, and you can tell them it's stock, sub-200hp.
 

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El Dude: I'm sooooo excited for you! You're going to have so much fun! Where are you going? Please post pictures when you're done--I'd love to see them.

Sturgeon: What do you drive now? Whose car is in your avi? I realize that this car isn't for everyone, but I feel fortunate that I can actually daily drive mine. No supercharger for me--I need to learn how to handle this thing bone stock before I graduate to anything more powerful. I realized this is a lot of car to handle after taking it to the track, so I can't imagine dealing with a lot more power before learning the basics. Addertooth is right on the mark as far as confidence building goes. I feel so much more confident in my car than I did before, and I was pretty confident prior to the track. Tracking your car allows you to know your car's limit as well as your own; something you can't do on the streets (safely, anyway).


;oP
The Elise in my avatar is mine. Over $30,000.00 in upgrades with track in mind. These cars are incredible! Both addertooth and jds62f are correct. More power is great, but learning how to control your car first is the better way to start. I have raced since I was 16. Started with the offroad circuit and been through all types of cars and tracks. I must admit that the Elise is my all time favorite. These are just fantastic handling machines!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
rcuser: I would highly recommend taking your car to at least one HPDE track event. When someone tells me they've tracked their car, I have a LOT more confidence in their driving skills, even if they've only been to one event. It was such a positive experience for me and I really can't wait to go to another one so I don't forget the things I've learned. Some, actually most, of the things I learned can be applied to daily driving, so I make sure to practice them every day. It also takes the monotony out of commuter traffic because you're concentrating on proper form, not resting your hand on your shifter, looking way out in front of you, etc. Really good stuff to make you a better driver overall. I'm waiting for the day when the insurance companies recognize that these track events create safer drivers and that they should lower their premiums. Considering how much you learn at events like these, I'm surprised it's not required before obtaining a driver's license.
 

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rcuser: I would highly recommend taking your car to at least one HPDE track event. When someone tells me they've tracked their car, I have a LOT more confidence in their driving skills, even if they've only been to one event. It was such a positive experience for me and I really can't wait to go to another one so I don't forget the things I've learned. Some, actually most, of the things I learned can be applied to daily driving, so I make sure to practice them every day. It also takes the monotony out of commuter traffic because you're concentrating on proper form, not resting your hand on your shifter, looking way out in front of you, etc. Really good stuff to make you a better driver overall. I'm waiting for the day when the insurance companies recognize that these track events create safer drivers and that they should lower their premiums. Considering how much you learn at events like these, I'm surprised it's not required before obtaining a driver's license.
I can't even count how many times I've said something similar. Or at least just some wet skidpad exercises.
Not to mention how much calmer the average track driver is on the streets. It strips the excitement out of driving fast on the freeway/streets (for a variety of reasons).
 

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rcuser: I would highly recommend taking your car to at least one HPDE track event. When someone tells me they've tracked their car, I have a LOT more confidence in their driving skills, even if they've only been to one event. It was such a positive experience for me and I really can't wait to go to another one so I don't forget the things I've learned. Some, actually most, of the things I learned can be applied to daily driving, so I make sure to practice them every day. It also takes the monotony out of commuter traffic because you're concentrating on proper form, not resting your hand on your shifter, looking way out in front of you, etc. Really good stuff to make you a better driver overall. I'm waiting for the day when the insurance companies recognize that these track events create safer drivers and that they should lower their premiums. Considering how much you learn at events like these, I'm surprised it's not required before obtaining a driver's license.
Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds worthwhile to me
 

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I do not want to take away from the validity of JDS62f's statement, the first step is developing skill. I was stating I saw a supercharger in your "future" (if you continue doing track events). As your skill rises, your demands from your car will rise as well. I drove my car before and after it was supercharged, and it was EASIER with the supercharger. Why?
1. I developed a basic understanding of the car before I put a supercharger on it.
2. No longer did I have a major shift in torque and HP which hit at 6250 rpms, so the car was more predictable (clean linear torque and HP lines) mid turn as the rpms rose. I used to be concerned if I was in a tight corner right at the point where second cam kicked in. It made me timid, and I avoided falling into the cam switchover point mid turn.
This made me either keep rpms 6250 to 8500 constantly (hard on the engine), or stay below the 2nd cam rpm mid-turn (sacrificing speed in a turn). The supercharger creates a smooth progressive power which is more managable, and predictable. I can also let my rpms drop to 4000 rpms, and make as much power as the normally aspirated NA elise makes at 7000 rpms; with less rowing of the gear shifter to stay in the broad sweet spot.
Once again, I endorse developing basic driver skill, but once that step is completed, the supercharger just makes the car better. Some may say you are simply purchasing a better lap time with a supercharger install, but then, this is a Lotus forum, and not a Ford Escort Wagon forum. In other words, you already purchased faster lap times by virtue of your choice of car. It isn't a sin to enhance it further.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Addertooth: thanks for the insight! I totally see your point. I'm not fooling myself into thinking I'm even close to needing something faster, trust me. Believe it or not, I really do want to hone my skills, and that will take time. sb67 spoke the truth when she said ..."when you get the chance to drive other cars, you know you take your skill with you." I don't want to be the idiot that crashes a really fast, expensive, and powerful car because I wanted a better lap time. At this point in my limited experience, lap time is the last thing on my mind.
 

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El Dude: I'm sooooo excited for you! You're going to have so much fun! Where are you going? Please post pictures when you're done--I'd love to see them.
The Proving Grounds at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it was track day for Mfest 2012 and man did I have a ton of fun! It was my first time and on my third run, I managed to snag an instructor from Speed Ventures and he had me pushing the car A LOT more than I was before and I realize too I have a lot to learn. I also used a Gopro 2 cam with an external mono mic, I still need to edit the video and post it on youtube. Here's a preview pic though:



Here's the vid:

http://youtu.be/PD6uklFTXzA
 
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