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I'm more interested in what the ideal conditions are on track...related to time trials events.
When we are running, for example, in the LCS time trials, around 4 groups of 6 are sent out in their respective orders.
Is it better to be first out when the track is relatively clean, or is it better to be in the middle of the pack after a few have gone out?
Ideal temps on track? ambient temp?
 

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Too many variables... but there are some general "rules" and practise to make things a bit more consistent.

1) Clean track is better, as no dust, oil, water. But, green is slower (green as in "clean" from rain)

2) Some track temp is needed, but the exact ideal temp is dependent upon the tire, suspension. However track temp is not the same as ambient since clouds, time of day, wind, etc

3) I think it's more important to get heat into the tires progressively. Going out and immediately running hard will generate heat in the tread surface, but it takes a few laps to heat the entire tire and the air. Manage your cold air pressures accordingly. Do some experimenting first determine what hot pressures you like and tire temps work best (pyrometer). You can do this by pitting have a good lap and checking. Next put together a consistent routine coming out cold warming up the tires. Again check after 2 laps, then 4, then 6, etc and see how much heat you've put into the tires and change in PSI. Having 2 people around will help when you dive into the pits - 1 to measure pressures and another to take tire temps.

Hopefully the testing/research you'll get an understanding of:
A) What the "ideal" is for you on that day
B) What the optimal cold setting are on that day
C) How many laps are needed to go from cold to "ideal"

Cheers,
Kiyoshi
 

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One key to heating tires quickly is to use your brakes quite hard in the tire warm up process. The friction from slowing down heats up the outsides of the tires quite nicely and the heat from the brakes can help to warm the inside thus getting to your target temps more quickly.
 

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Nitrogen would be good to have in your TT-ready wheel set so you can preset the pressure and forget about that major variable. Just overfill them at home and let pressure out to the ideal hot air temps you were running during practice when you mount them. The most important thing I think that I do in a TT is make sure I pass that first green flag at the highest speed possible which on some track means completely altering your line on the previous turn. At the last TT I was 1 second faster on my 1st lap than my second (probably cuz I didn't have the balls to take T9 at WS like that 2x!) Other than that, Eddie, you really don't have any control of your order or track conditions so why concern yourself?
 
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