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Discussion Starter #1
After last Saturday, tracking my Lotus Elise at Buttonwillow I have some extremely positive thoughts about it. Actually, I'm elated! I was the slowest driver :huh:in the group (lap time-wise) but not slow enough to make a problem. I could keep up with the Ford GT40 and Lamborghini and passed the Ford during the second session. The lap times are fairly close, and with only 5cars on the large track (wow), only one car lapped me (a GT3 Porsche):eek:

This is not the first time tracking (HPDE) the Elise. Usually I do this four times a year on the average. I extremely enjoy this and highly recommend this.

My Elise usually sits in the driveway, covered and safe. I'm nervous to drive it in crowded streets with poor drivers around me. I save the Lotus driving for weekends on the canyon drives nearby my home. But I keep trying to justify this large investment with little use. Sometimes I think about selling it.:sad: Until I drive to the nearby track. There is the justification! This is one of the highlights of my life!:D

There are a few tracking limitations for me. I don't enjoy a crowded track, with ego-inflated drivers tailing me and ready to pass. I'm NOT a racer. I'm here to learn the skills and soak the thrill of the performance of my Lotus. I seek out track sessions that limits the cars on the track. Of course this makes the experience more costly, but for me it is well worth it.

With a small group of drivers, a great part of the experience is sharing the the driving skills and advice with others. Most all there are friendly, great attitudes and have the same goals: driving!

I use a vid cam (hero) on the dash to capture the sessions. I have a small lap top computer to replay the session while I wait for the next session. This helps tremendously. Sometimes there are professional photographers that shoot spectacular still images that you can buy to save the day in pictures.

Next time I'll get a ride-along-instructor for one session. I always look forward to another day on the track.

I never take chances. I follow the rules, follow the messages in the flags and learn from the experienced drivers.

I'm there for fun, while sharpening my skills. I leave my ego at home. When my Lotus is back home in one piece and has performed flawlessly, that is my trophy!

Improving the lap-times takes patience and practice. And more practice. I admire the racers into wheel-to-wheel racing and spec drivers. Although it's exciting it's not for me for now.

Hope to see you at the track next time!:coolnana:

-Hal
 

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Hal, that's a great attitude towards tracking!

I agree with you that overcrowded events are not as fun that have less cars on track.

I have talked to some guys about maybe renting a track out for just Lotus', but this would obviously take more commitment and some work.

The best events that I enjoy most are the LCS series....you should try to come out to one of those. There are all skill levels at these events, and everyone is there to have fun yet compete.
 

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My Elise usually sits in the driveway, covered and safe. I'm nervous to drive it in crowded streets with poor drivers around me. I save the Lotus driving for weekends on the canyon drives nearby my home. But I keep trying to justify this large investment with little use. Sometimes I think about selling it.:sad: Until I drive to the nearby track. There is the justification! This is one of the highlights of my life!:D
Same situation. Know exactly what you mean.
 

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...i understand but don't get folks who treat HPDEs as 'racing' - their stressful attitude takes all the joy out of the zen-like peace when you hit an apex and four-wheel-drift through its sweep just-so...it's like the grace of flight; i'd totally drive tracks solo all the time if i had that luxury...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I DO like HPDE tracking with a small group, as long as we all know our limits and levels of skill. We look out for each other.

For example: Here's the Porsche's driver that knows the track and his skill level high. If he approaches my car, I hold the line, slow enough to allow him to pass when it safe (hopefully in the straight?). He knows that my skills are not par like his, so he gives me some slack. It's a BIG track.

Yes, this is NOT a race. But if there are two drivers have the same skill level on the track, it can be fun too. Passing should be a courtesy, not a competition. :up:

Have you been on HPDE that is crowded with Egocentric drivers, treating the session as a competition? When that happens I do NOT have fun.:mad:

-Hal
 

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...agreed, fully...
 

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My first HPDE earlier this summer opened my eyes on why the Elise is engineered the way it is.

Like the rest have posted, I'm not there to race, or be faster than anyone else, or "prove" anything to anybody but myself. My rewards for the day are better car control skills, better understanding of the line, and the commraderie of fellow enthusiasts.
 

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I'm a big fan of being able to see myself improve. These cars are great at that. There is no huge motor to make up for poor driving. It's wonderful to work on one corner and then finally get it just right and feel that extra mph carry you down the straight. I too would be perfectly happy being alone on the track but I like being able to chat cars in the paddock too!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A empty track with one Lotus will be way too expensive.
But a small group on the track is fine for me. I like to follow the car in front for a while to get to the layout of the track and watch what the driver in front of me does in the turns. I never take chances and tailgate though.

If the drivers know each other's skills and are friends, that would be ideal track experience for me. It may not be as challenging as wheel-to wheel racing, but it would be perfect for improving the skills.

Last time at Buttonwillow #1 CCW config, my driving was so smooth, my arms/hands and steering wheel interaction was one function, without thinking at steering position. There were no one tailgating me all the time, leaving me more time to concentrate on my skills.

One thing that was strange is that in that BW CCW, all sharp turns were left turns and the transition in each curve was smooth. No jerking the steering wheel around. My weak left arm was more comfortable in left turns. Does anyone notice the same thing on BW track?:confused:

--Hal
 

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You should be pushing the steering wheel not pulling so yes, left turns should be easier on your left arm. :)
 

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At my most recent track event I went out last in my run group for the last 2 sessions, took my time getting out there and it was like I had the track to myself. No one in front of me or behind me, just sweeping through the turns, concentrating on the line and smooth inputs, calmly tossing the car around the track, achieving a zen like state.
 

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I find that if I push the steering wheel it is much smoother. This is something I picked up from Jim Hall Kart Racing School. It has worked for me well in my car too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If I concentrate on hand/steering wheel positions, I'll pyche myself out!:eek:

I guess everyone has a different approach that's comfortable for them.
If you saw my steering wheel/hand positions, you'd jump out of the passenger seat!rotfl

--Hal
 

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...huh - i've never given thought to pushing versus pulling, and i can't even visualise which i use, probably both in equal measure, rather than one hand or the other...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
...huh - i've never given thought to pushing versus pulling, and i can't even visualise which i use, probably both in equal measure, rather than one hand or the other...
+1:up:

I don't think about this stuff, I just DRIVE!:shift:
 

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Yeah, its one of those things that will always have two different camps. Some say pulling is more natural while other say pushing is. I think both are fine as long as you feel natural and you are doing it smoothly. There are other more important things to be concern about.
 

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It's a well known fact that if you bounce up and down in your seat, push and pull on the steering wheel, and yell GO GO GO GO GO your car will actually make three extra horsepower.

xtn
 
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