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It's not the curbs it's the lateral acceleration that gets a toe link. Easy to retorque.

My friend Sandro losing one going into the Climbing Esses at VIR. It broke when he turned.

 

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Tons of great ideas listed.

You may consider taping up a few spots on the car to stave off rock chips. I wish I'd have done that on my old car. Google image search it.

I am in the same boat, my first track day is in 12 days. -with the Lotus, that is. I am a little nervous but I also have the luxury of being familiar with the track and my previous car was also mid-engine. However, I'll still take it slow.
 

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It's not the curbs it's the lateral acceleration that gets a toe link. Easy to retorque.

My friend Sandro losing one going into the Climbing Esses at VIR. It broke when he turned.

Lotus Elise Broken Rear Toe Link - YouTube
Damn that's a scary place for a toe-link to snap, really glad to see he got the car slowed down and it didn't cost him more than a toe-link. That is definitely the scariest part of VIR isn't it???
 

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Damn that's a scary place for a toe-link to snap, really glad to see he got the car slowed down and it didn't cost him more than a toe-link. That is definitely the scariest part of VIR isn't it???
for me.... its is the part that takes the most confidence and balls.... that was a very lucky driver he didn't get turned over there! scary fast up there, i am was always a total sissy girly man through there :)

anyways - to the OP - yes, check your toe links - if you never have torq'd them - odds are you will get 1/4 to 1/2 turn on them... you can torq them just with the tray off, you do not need to take the diffuser off. (with an extension)

tech will likely check torq on your wheels. but do it every morning and in the afternoon doesn't hurt either - just not when they are hot.

if you want to fiddle with tire pressures... just get some white sponge bottle shoe polish. dab it on the side walls. you will see the wear on how much the tire is curbing over. for starters... i would just go with the standard street pressures. not sure how your tires will respond there.

you will have a very short list of things to work on:

-learn the lefts rights, learn 'a / the' line.
-look up and ahead
-find braking points, try to get consistent every lap
get consistent with hitting the apex's (when in doubt, late!) same place and time every lap.
-learn to apply throttle in increments, not on off. always be "on" the throttle unless you are on the brakes. 10% throttle IS still ON the throttle, learn to modulate the throttle.... you will never be able to rotate the car until you learn that.

thats pretty much your to do list - the instructor will continually tell you to look up and ahead and that takes time to learn. a good rule of thumb for that is if you see, and then do it 1 or 2 seconds later... you need to be looking further up - like chess, allways thinking one or 2 moves (corners) ahead. looking up and ahead does not mean thats the ONLY place to look, look up survey the track, corner stations, spot the apex (or turn in point) way before you ever get there..., check the mirrors.. glance at your braking marker, brake, spot the apex, turn in, be looking at track out and beyond as you apex. track out, look down track, far out the road at the next corner. check instruments, mirrors. spot corner stations. repeat. head on swivel and looking up and out but spotting everything around you.


as your braking points get harder and later, come off the brakes smoother (like 1/2 second to come off) - try not to "jump" off the brakes (eventually you want to be able to feel the change in balance due to your input here). again this will help you learn to modulate. if you can keep the car balanced with your feet, your hands will have a much easier time keeping ahead of the car.... if you just start jabbing at the pedals, the car will start to drive you. most people completely sux with their pedal inputs. so don't feel bad... it takes time.

dont get too wrapped up, get out there, open mind, learn. instructor may have you simply drive the track in 3rd with no shifting to just learn the left rights and points. and really thats not a bad way to start. it is a lifetime pursuit to drive fast(er).

oh, and eagerly point cars by. you will learn a lot more from a car in front, than a car behind.
 

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Damn that's a scary place for a toe-link to snap, really glad to see he got the car slowed down and it didn't cost him more than a toe-link. That is definitely the scariest part of VIR isn't it???
Certainly the most fun part once you get comfortable with it! But I've not yet developed confidence/skill keeping it down to and through South Bend just past. With your new set up you're gonna have a lot of stuff like that, arriving at turns way different!

Sandro is quite a driver, very good at maintaining an off. Steering backwards to parallel the wall on basically three wheels impressed me.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I'm all set to go for tomorrow. I can't wait! It is supposed to rain tomorrow but Thursday looks ok. I'll be on road tires so the rain doesn't really matter I guess.

What tire pressures do you guys generally start with on road tires? I have Direzza Z1 star spec's in the rear and Z2s in the front. I run about 22psi front & 23psi rear (hot) when autocrossing, and I'm getting used to those pressures for daily driving. I found this car likes flat tires. Do you run more air pressure on the track for higher speeds?

Again, I'm not looking to lay down the best times just yet, but some ballpark to keep me from sliding around or killing my tires would be helpful.

Thanks!
 

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I have a NA Elise with a stock ECU. I did my first track day last weekend at Sebring and worked on my line, braking points, and looking ahead. I really never managed to spend much time in the power band seemingly always in one higher gear than I needed to be in every turn. Is it wise to really wind the car out from a reliability standpoint and stay "on cam" for the day? Will the car take the "abuse"? I do see a modified ECU at some point in my future but this question pertains to until that happens.
 

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:clap::clap:
for me.... its is the part that takes the most confidence and balls.... that was a very lucky driver he didn't get turned over there! scary fast up there, i am was always a total sissy girly man through there :)

anyways - to the OP - yes, check your toe links - if you never have torq'd them - odds are you will get 1/4 to 1/2 turn on them... you can torq them just with the tray off, you do not need to take the diffuser off. (with an extension)

tech will likely check torq on your wheels. but do it every morning and in the afternoon doesn't hurt either - just not when they are hot.

if you want to fiddle with tire pressures... just get some white sponge bottle shoe polish. dab it on the side walls. you will see the wear on how much the tire is curbing over. for starters... i would just go with the standard street pressures. not sure how your tires will respond there.

you will have a very short list of things to work on:

-learn the lefts rights, learn 'a / the' line.
-look up and ahead
-find braking points, try to get consistent every lap
get consistent with hitting the apex's (when in doubt, late!) same place and time every lap.
-learn to apply throttle in increments, not on off. always be "on" the throttle unless you are on the brakes. 10% throttle IS still ON the throttle, learn to modulate the throttle.... you will never be able to rotate the car until you learn that.

thats pretty much your to do list - the instructor will continually tell you to look up and ahead and that takes time to learn. a good rule of thumb for that is if you see, and then do it 1 or 2 seconds later... you need to be looking further up - like chess, allways thinking one or 2 moves (corners) ahead. looking up and ahead does not mean thats the ONLY place to look, look up survey the track, corner stations, spot the apex (or turn in point) way before you ever get there..., check the mirrors.. glance at your braking marker, brake, spot the apex, turn in, be looking at track out and beyond as you apex. track out, look down track, far out the road at the next corner. check instruments, mirrors. spot corner stations. repeat. head on swivel and looking up and out but spotting everything around you.


as your braking points get harder and later, come off the brakes smoother (like 1/2 second to come off) - try not to "jump" off the brakes (eventually you want to be able to feel the change in balance due to your input here). again this will help you learn to modulate. if you can keep the car balanced with your feet, your hands will have a much easier time keeping ahead of the car.... if you just start jabbing at the pedals, the car will start to drive you. most people completely sux with their pedal inputs. so don't feel bad... it takes time.

dont get too wrapped up, get out there, open mind, learn. instructor may have you simply drive the track in 3rd with no shifting to just learn the left rights and points. and really thats not a bad way to start. it is a lifetime pursuit to drive fast(er).

oh, and eagerly point cars by. you will learn a lot more from a car in front, than a car behind.
 

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I have a NA Elise with a stock ECU. I did my first track day last weekend at Sebring and worked on my line, braking points, and looking ahead. I really never managed to spend much time in the power band seemingly always in one higher gear than I needed to be in every turn. Is it wise to really wind the car out from a reliability standpoint and stay "on cam" for the day? Will the car take the "abuse"? I do see a modified ECU at some point in my future but this question pertains to until that happens.
Car can handle it just fine.
 

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when people say to re-torque the toe links, are we talking about the in-board bolt or outboard? i'm taking my CUP to the track for the first time next weekend and having an inspection done a few days before - I will get them to check this. My car has a toe link brace though so not sure it will be an issue. Do they require a specific torque setting or just put the socket on there and see if it tightens?
 

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when people say to re-torque the toe links, are we talking about the in-board bolt or outboard? i'm taking my CUP to the track for the first time next weekend and having an inspection done a few days before - I will get them to check this. My car has a toe link brace though so not sure it will be an issue. Do they require a specific torque setting or just put the socket on there and see if it tightens?
Inboard. That's where they break. Check out how the various "solutions" brace these bolts together to reduce or eliminate the lateral stress on them.
 

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Inboard. That's where they break. Check out how the various "solutions" brace these bolts together to reduce or eliminate the lateral stress on them.
thanks, my car is a cup exige so it has the lotus sport toe link brace and has had from new. as far as I know this solves the issue...
 

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Yes be smooth, spin where its safe to spin, and I always let the instructor drive a few laps with me at the beginning so they understand the dynamics of the car.
What is this nonsense? There is no safe place to spin on any track.


try to find a Lotus or momentum car instructor because our lines are usually quite different from other cars.
An inexperienced driver, like yourself, has much more important things to focus on. You'll end up being slower and more unsafe.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I just got back from Watkins Glen. My 2 days went AWESOME! I can not believe the capability of these cars! I ran Dunlop Direzza Z2 tires and EBC red stuff brake pads. Both were just barely adequate. The brakes never got spongey or faded, and I was definitely using them, but they did feel a little glazed on the road driving home. The tires are all sorts of melted but they never left me stranded in a turn. Very impressed. I got 250 miles on track and averaged about 16mpg :)

In response to the person asking about an ECU tune. I have a decat pipe Lotus stage 2 muffler, and a CharlieX ECU tune. They almost pulled me in because the flames out the tailpipe were so violent. I'm not really sure what to make of that yet but the backfiring in the muffler was a bit disconcerting. The car ran great and I was on the boards the entire time. I shifted at 7500rpm usually but I accidentally hit 8500 once or twice. It held together! I wouldn't worry about the car at all, they are 100% ready to go for a first timer. After flogging my car for 2 days, you really can't hurt it unless you're very good (or very bad I suppose...).

My overall impression was extremely positive. A big thank you to you guys for inspiring the necessary confidence in my car, and of course a big thank you to the Hudson Champlain Porsche Club of America for hosting the event and allowing me to come.

I don't know if anyone is familiar with Watkins Glen, but I was running ~2:25 laps. Is that any good for a first timer with a bone stock NA Elise?
 

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I wouldn't worry about the car at all, they are 100% ready to go for a first timer. After flogging my car for 2 days, you really can't hurt it unless you're very good (or very bad I suppose...)
This - exactly this. If you're going to go out for your first time and have a stock car ENJOY YOURSELF. You will be no where near any limit, yours or the car. Just go and have fun. Now, let's assume you get addicted (and you will) then it will be time to do things like the toe-links first then you can start modding as you'd like (there are tons of threads on great early mods and great mods for a track-specific car).

Glad you had such a great time!!!!

-Ross
 
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