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Lotus may not BUT Evolution Performance Driving School will be setting up Lotus ONLY schools as soon as the car starts showing up in the states....
 

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The Clutch thing is bad advice.
 

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I think it could be worse. Pushing in your clutch pedal has the same effect as taking your foot of the throttle pedal, but very quickly. It's a sure way to upset a car in the corner unless you EEEEEAASE the clutch off. You should never remove your ability to apply throttle when things go bad. Unless it's past the point of spin and then both feet in.
 

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Lifting from the trottle will go from power to engine compression braking, whereas putting in the clutch will remove the throttle, but not apply the engine braking. The advantage is that you get to use all grip for cornering, not braking or accelerating, and you won't upset the chassis as much as if you went to compression braking. On the downside, you will upset the chassis more than if you eased off the throttle to a neutral position, which requires a bit more feel of what is going on with the car.
 

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With a mid-engine car, throttle down in a turn remember this chant, dontliftdontlift.... It's a bit more about balance, if you do you'll unload the rear tire and with 60% of the weight on them they prefer coming around. Make the mistake of hitting the brakes very hard it will, then hang on for a fun ride. Really hope those not use to mid-engine cars are very careful about exploring the limits.
 

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And if the back end starts coming around mid-corner with the clutch in???? Clutch in cornering is a really, really bad idea!
 

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Agreed with above. If you're unsure of how to drive a mid or rear engined car, go to the Bob Bondurant school and learn to drive in their Formula Fords. This will teach to you apply throttle when your rear-end gets loose. Rationale: Applying throttle transfers weight to the rear which will help plant the rear tires and increase your traction. Shifting weight to the front during an oversteer condition (through lifting of throttle or pushing in your clutch) will only exacerbate your oversteer condition.

Besides, never EVER push in your clutch during a slide. As Randy stated, this upsets the car's balance and gives you ZERO control. Always, ALWAYS maintain control and anticipate what the car will do. Sorry... that's the race school instructor in me coming out...

Bob
 

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Where I work (Mauna Kea) gets some bizarre weather so I get to drive on black ice once or twice a year. I find "feathering the throttle" works well. One can counteract the drag of the drivetrain. Disengaging the clutch limits your options as it can be hard to match RPM well enough to let the clutch out with out upsetting the car, should you need to.
 

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Is there a good on-line tutorial on the proper way to drive mid-engine car like the Elise? Trying to extract proper driving tips from forums is difficult. Maybe one of the forums could put a section on their website of driving techniques for the Elise.
 

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OneFastMiata said:
Who said that? Jean?
Jean Kinser is my hero ;)

One of the top ten funniest things that I've ever seen is having Jean drive my delSol at the Evolution school back in 2000 with a pillow under her butt because she was too low in the seat.

...and then she drove my car faster than I ever could.

If this Lotus school rumor is true... I CANNOT wait for this.
 

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ChrisH said:
Is there a good on-line tutorial on the proper way to drive mid-engine car like the Elise? Trying to extract proper driving tips from forums is difficult. Maybe one of the forums could put a section on their website of driving techniques for the Elise.
I thought this was a good start. :)

http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=691

Chris, you are in San Diego. I would be happy to work with you.

In fact, karts are an excellent way to learn control. We are going with an Elisetalk group on June 11th. Otherwise, bring the Elise to a San Diego Autocross and I will be happy to help.
 

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darkSol said:
Jean Kinser is my hero ;)
Sweet lady. Nicest thing she ever said to me (perhaps she says this to others) is "teaching you is like teaching comedy to Chevy Chase." Made me feel good anyway.
 

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OneFastMiata said:
Who said that? Jean?
Jenn, not sure if you know that Elise77 is Pat S, one of the main Evolution instructors.
 

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Randy Chase said:
I thought this was a good start. :)

http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=691

Chris, you are in San Diego. I would be happy to work with you.

In fact, karts are an excellent way to learn control. We are going with an Elisetalk group on June 11th. Otherwise, bring the Elise to a San Diego Autocross and I will be happy to help.
Thanks for pointing me to that thread - very good information. It has convinced me to try an autocross someday when I finally get my Elise. I live out in Ramona, where there are a lot of twisty mountain roads. (For example, I can take Highland Valley Road from Ramona to Rancho Bernado every day to and from work.) If I mess up on a curve here, I am likely to go down the side of a steep mountain, hitting boulders all the way.

Your pointing me to that thread also made me realize that I need to go check for sticky threads sometimes, and not just look only at new posts.

Also, I am a physicist, and it is gratifying to see some of the physics oriented explanations that many people added. I can get all wrapped in the physics point of view. Although, I would modify your hammer-head analogy. The behavior of the object is a function of both the distribution of mass and where (and what magnitude and direction) the forces are applied. The flying hammer analogy (that probably most people think of) has the force of drag being mostly equally distributed over the volume of the hammer (ok, a bit more in the head area, particularly if it is a claw hammer), hence the lighter handle will tend to decelerate faster, leaving it in the rear. And then, it gets more complicated when the forces are not equally distributed and rotation gets involved.

This whole subject area is a fun physics thought problem which can be subjected to experimentation - i.e., fun. Of course, I am sure there are papers and books written on the subject of the physics of handling, but the fun is figuring out a lot of it yourself - with pointers of course. Same as in physics lab in college. Hmm, that's how I will sell going to an autocross to my wife - I have to go to the lab and do some physics experiments. ;)

Reminds me of when I was in school and I thought about the question "how does a tire hold up a car?" (I was having tire problems at the time.) It didn't take long to figure out, but I have asked people from time to time (when, for whatever reason, we are talking about tires), and have only had one person (out of about 20) come up with the right first answer. It is counter-intuitive for most people.

Thanks again,
-- Chris
 

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Hey Chris, one surprise I found when I started autocrossing was learning that a very high percentage of autocrossers were engineers.

Let me know if you want to try it out and when. More info at http://www.sdsolo.com/

Randy Chase
Chairman, 2004, San Diego Region Autocross Association, SCCA
:)
 
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