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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Took the Liz out for a drive yesterday. I went up to the local racetrack. No, not to race the Elise. I was there to rent a kart. It was my first time in a real kart, and I can tell you that those little things grip like crazy. By the time I was done I was sore from how violently I had been slammed from side to side as I slide through the corners. I will recover and it was fun.

As I headed back to the car I noticed five guys standing around it. My first thought was I hope everything is OK. Then I remembered that the Elise always draws a crowd. They asked several question and we chatted for awhile. Then it was time for me to head out.

As I started on my way I started to realize why so may have commented that the Liz handles like a shifter kart. When I was racing the kart I initially did not trust its level of grip. I found myself stepping on the brake too hard before a really sharp corner. This had consequences however, as the Kart I was racing in only had rear brakes. This meant that it would kick out the rear and spin out instead of going around the corner. This dog learned the new trick eventually, and I started to trust the kart to have enough grip to pull me around the corner. Guess what? It worked like a charm. Granted even karts have their limits, which I found out several times. The most important thing I learned was the difference of when it was near the limit and when it was pushed past the limit. I learned what the kart was trying to tell me.

Now back in the Elise I understood better where the limit were. I could feel things that I had previously not taken note of. To the turnpike I headed. The sharp 20 mph onramp would normally have seen me slow to a daring, but sane 40 mph. I didn’t slow down. I could feel something. I had started to understand the lesson that she was teaching me. 64 mph into the corner, then I realized it was decreasing in radius. Instinct is to lift, or apply brake… Just then a vision of my tail swinging free flashed though my mind. I remembered the lesson of the kart… To trust it... To trust the Liz. As I sped through the corner I could feel she had far more grip than I could have imagined. Then as the corner sharpened a voice in my head said, "just turn the wheel and have faith... "
Sitting at home sipping my tea I thought to myself, “It was nothing for the Elise, I’m sure she could have managed much more.”

The kart allowed me to safely explore what the feedback meant. Once you can interpret the signals you really start to understand the car in a whole new way. It’s kinda like finding money in those old trousers you never wear anymore. It’s a good feeling.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
bellotech said:
Derek,

good story. Did you get the liz w/ the sport suspension?
Nope... Street setup! Handling is phenomenal!
 

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Great story!
I have a 1983 urQuattro coupe gutted and fitted with a roll cage and cantilever Goodyear Eagle racing slicks! As you said when I first built the car I just kept turning in harder and faster and the car just kept showing me what it was made of. I used to dare my students to try to pull their helmets free of the roll cage under heavy cornering...Left handers..
Always remember to only attempt this of cornering once the tires are warmed up. On an after lunch track session I once attempted to corner as I had at the end of the last session and found out how fast the tires would release. Pretty fun spin in turn 6 at Sears pt.. :D :eek:
 

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shay2nak
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cool story.

when did you get your car? this is new to me. what color is it? did you post any pics of it?
 

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appreciate it very much, awesome story. that's what i felt when i went for a test drive 2 weeks ago at foxvalley motorcars.i learned with that 15-20 min. drive, you learned that you really don't have to drive it fast to enjoy it. just by the way other looks at you, you know you're in a very special car.

---------------------------------------
99 pajero turbo
96 honda civic
 

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Discussion Starter #7
shay2nak said:
cool story.

when did you get your car? this is new to me. what color is it? did you post any pics of it?
I got it on July 26th. BRP. Here is the thread where I posted the pictures. There are even more on the next page over.
 

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Derek said:
I got it on July 26th. BRP. Here is the thread where I posted the pictures. There are even more on the next page over.
oh yeah...now i remember. Great color! Congratulations....again! :p
 

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The problem with doing this on the street is road condition -- if you'd hit a patch of dust/oil/water, or a mid-corner bump, your story may have ended a little differently -- damaged car or injury to self/others. You didn't see the decreasing radius coming, so what else might have been 'round the bend?

Better to keep the 'trust the grip' stories on the track, in a 'controlled' environment
 

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spoilsport! :D

actually grudkin, good point.

Great story though Derek!! :clap: It echoes my experience on the Hethel test track the other week. The biggest thing to overcome in an Elise is your own fear. You will probably bottle it long before the car does! Or at least I did, lap after lap, until I decided to trust it and go for it at full pelt and then... Wow. :bow:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
grudkin said:
The problem with doing this on the street is road condition -- if you'd hit a patch of dust/oil/water, or a mid-corner bump, your story may have ended a little differently -- damaged car or injury to self/others. You didn't see the decreasing radius coming, so what else might have been 'round the bend?

Better to keep the 'trust the grip' stories on the track, in a 'controlled' environment
Girlracer made the more valid point. My nerve would run out far before the car's limits were even approached. You don't realize just how high the limits are on this car until you start to understand the feedback that it sends you. I guess what would be fairer to say is that I could finally acknowledge what the car was telling me, but somewhere in my mind I had a hard time comprehending that the limits could possibly be so high. I have never driven a car like this… It is far more talented than me.
 

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Street driving = up to 7/10th

Track driving = 8/10th - 10/10th

but the only way to safely know the limits is to get on the track first.
 

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Autocross = 13/10ths

:)
 

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I recently went around a turn I usually struggle to maintain 40 in my Spyder, and I was at 65 in my Liz. About 1/3 of the way in I pussied out and slammed on the brakes. Thoughts of me being the first one to "run out of talent" and wrap my car around one of the many trees off that curve raced through my mind. How do you trust? Is it a gradual buildup? Do you blindly trust? At some point it will be too much.

Now, I ran an IRL car in Las Vegas last year, and I remember going into turn one thinking that there was NO WAY I wasn't hitting the wall. But I followed the coach in another car, and went through with no problem. As a matter of fact, the next lap I went through wayyy faster. But I had a coach car to show me the line and that it was possible.

My point is that I know the Elise is capable, but how capable, and how do you make that determination? I will take it slow and build up, I suppose.
 

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Surferjer said:
... About 1/3 of the way in I pussied out and slammed on the brakes. Thoughts of me being the first one to "run out of talent" and wrap my car around one of the many trees off that curve raced through my mind ...
Please don't slam on the brakes 1/3 through a turn when you think you've overcooked it. That is probably the quickest way to find yourself wrapped around one of those trees. :no:

Driver training is called for before trying to exploit this car's limits. And the limits should not be approached on the street with uncontrolled and variable situations. Spend some time at an autocross to get a feel for the limits of adhesion, and sign up for a Driver's Ed-type trackday - with an instructor - to learn the fundamentals of weight transfer, proper line and car control.

I don't wanna see that BRP beauty (or you) in a ditch, damnit.

[/soapbox]

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Surferjer said:
I recently went around a turn I usually struggle to maintain 40 in my Spyder, and I was at 65 in my Liz. About 1/3 of the way in I pussied out and slammed on the brakes. Thoughts of me being the first one to "run out of talent" and wrap my car around one of the many trees off that curve raced through my mind. How do you trust? Is it a gradual buildup? Do you blindly trust? At some point it will be too much.

Now, I ran an IRL car in Las Vegas last year, and I remember going into turn one thinking that there was NO WAY I wasn't hitting the wall. But I followed the coach in another car, and went through with no problem. As a matter of fact, the next lap I went through wayyy faster. But I had a coach car to show me the line and that it was possible.

My point is that I know the Elise is capable, but how capable, and how do you make that determination? I will take it slow and build up, I suppose.
AuS4, speaks the truth. DON'T SLAM ON THE BRAKES OR LIFT OFF THE TROTTLE DURING HARD CORNERING! The weight transfer will kick the tail out and YOU WILL SPIN!

The Elise is constantly sending you signals. However you need to understand what the signals mean. You can do this as I did in a kart or by taking your car to a driver education class. Either way the signals being sent are mostly the same. Under safe conditions don't be afraid to push it. Only by going past the limits will you really know where the limits are; and what the signals feel like at those limits.

When I took that corner I knew from the feedback I was getting that I was comfortably within the limits of the car. What I had trouble coming to terms with was accepting the limits were actually as high as the car's feedback was telling me.

If there is one piece of advice I can give you it’s the part about not lifting or braking abruptly. Best not to lift or brake at all. Everything must be done gently. When the car is near its limits you DON’T want to upset its balance.


PS: The fact that you were able to get away with slamming on the brakes without spinning make me conclude you could have probably sped through that turn at a much higher speed (80 MPH, 85 MPH maybe more) without incident. Yes it sounds crazy, but like I said the limits are very high on this car.
 

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Thank you both for your advice on braking. And the conclusions you draw about the Elise's abilities are probably dead on. 65 probably would have been easy given that I survived my stupid move.

Until I have the opportunity to go to a driving school, I think I'll learn slowly and build up my confidence. On roads I know intently, I find I can REALLY push it, but that's because I have been driving them in my spyder so long that I understand the signals back from the car in each part of the road (16 turns in 1 mile). And I have yet to break the rear tires loose in a turn in my Elise.

sigh. I'm lucky to have one of these beauties.:bow:
 

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Derek said:
Took the Liz out for a drive yesterday. I went up to the local racetrack. No, not to race the Elise. I was there to rent a kart. It was my first time in a real kart, and I can tell you that those little things grip like crazy. By the time I was done I was sore from how violently I had been slammed from side to side as I slide through the corners. I will recover and it was fun.

As I headed back to the car I noticed five guys standing around it. My first thought was I hope everything is OK. Then I remembered that the Elise always draws a crowd. They asked several question and we chatted for awhile. Then it was time for me to head out.

As I started on my way I started to realize why so may have commented that the Liz handles like a shifter kart. When I was racing the kart I initially did not trust its level of grip. I found myself stepping on the brake too hard before a really sharp corner. This had consequences however, as the Kart I was racing in only had rear brakes. This meant that it would kick out the rear and spin out instead of going around the corner. This dog learned the new trick eventually, and I started to trust the kart to have enough grip to pull me around the corner. Guess what? It worked like a charm. Granted even karts have their limits, which I found out several times. The most important thing I learned was the difference of when it was near the limit and when it was pushed past the limit. I learned what the kart was trying to tell me.

Now back in the Elise I understood better where the limit were. I could feel things that I had previously not taken note of. To the turnpike I headed. The sharp 20 mph onramp would normally have seen me slow to a daring, but sane 40 mph. I didn’t slow down. I could feel something. I had started to understand the lesson that she was teaching me. 64 mph into the corner, then I realized it was decreasing in radius. Instinct is to lift, or apply brake… Just then a vision of my tail swinging free flashed though my mind. I remembered the lesson of the kart… To trust it... To trust the Liz. As I sped through the corner I could feel she had far more grip than I could have imagined. Then as the corner sharpened a voice in my head said, "just turn the wheel and have faith... "
Sitting at home sipping my tea I thought to myself, “It was nothing for the Elise, I’m sure she could have managed much more.”

The kart allowed me to safely explore what the feedback meant. Once you can interpret the signals you really start to understand the car in a whole new way. It’s kinda like finding money in those old trousers you never wear anymore. It’s a good feeling.
Not to be a smartass/know it all but do you really think that after 1 day in a go kart you will understand the dynamics and limits of your Elise by pushing your car that hard???. Maybe so maybe not. The track is a semi-controlled environment and the streets are not. A pebble here and there will alter your perceptions and roadfeel very quickly. Yes, you will be a better driver and the feel the limits of your car with karting but this takes time and alot of practice and repetition IMO. I have to be honest, I havent driven the Elise yet but Im pretty sure it wont feel like a go kart. A go kart doesnt have a suspension and going down straightaways at 80mph, I cant see clearly cause my head is vibrating so much and I doubt the Elise will feel like that...but I do understand why people say the Elise feels like a go kart and Im sure there is some truth to that...its just a matter of time before someone gets too cocky with the Elise and runs off the road...dont be that guy(it will prob. be me...:))...there is some real risk for lift off oversteeer in the Elise for the in-experienced, esp with the LSS...just my worthless and humble opinion....:eek: :clap: :no: :confused: :rolleyes: :D :huh:
 
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