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Older but getting faster
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I'll be at Lotus Performance Driving School in Nevada next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Who are my classmates? :shift:
 

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Failed at Self Control
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I'll be there! :up:

...sent you a PM.

- z
 

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Failed at Self Control
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How are the cars 'issued' to the drivers?
 

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When I went last Feb they weren't assigned, it was kind of left to what ever car you walk up to in the morning. If you spot a car you really want, then zip over to it in a polite way, maybe you could walk out back before class in the morning and get an idea of what they have. When I went. I grabbed a touring car because that is what I own, and I tried to stick with it all day, then on the last track runs I asked the guy driving the Exige if I could swap with him just because I wanted to try it and he switched no problem. Also at one point the instructors grabbed my car to use as the oval track cornering car for about an hour, every student used my car for that hour

When I went I was the only person who was on Lotus Talk there, and one guy there was a corvette owner who just wanted to try something new. Most of the people did not seem to care which car they were driving, so you probably won't have much trouble switching around if you want or asking people if you can stick with a certain car all day......

Next Tues/Weds 99° & 98° :eek: glad it was 47° when I went, would rather be cold than sweating and hot but have fun you guys !!

PS: Be sure to read the fine print of your agreement, you are responsible for the first (I think it was) $4,000 of damage to your car should you go off track or crash, so you can't just go out there and go crazy!
 

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Failed at Self Control
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Thanks for the inside scoop! :up:

I'll try to grab the KG (if it has good tires) ...I'll feel right at home in there. :D

- z
 

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Older but getting faster
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Discussion Starter #7
No one else? :(
 

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i'm tryna go when i have my own exige :D
 

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+1 to checking the tires. I had an exige for a bit that no one wanted to touch because it was slipping all over the place with a damp track. It wasn't until after I drove it a session and then looked at the tires and saw them to be completely completely bald.
 

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Make sure you get the cars that have the freshest set of A048s! :)
Why are they actually allowing you to go over 30MPH? They pretty much contained us when I was there. Though when I was the last car (only 3 of us) I stayed back then caught up, they never said anything.
 

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Why are they actually allowing you to go over 30MPH? They pretty much contained us when I was there. Though when I was the last car (only 3 of us) I stayed back then caught up, they never said anything.
We had open lapping on the second day. Did you do the one day school?
 

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We had open lapping on the second day. Did you do the one day school?
Yeah, I tried to buy the second day, they wouldn't do it. So, watch the tires on the second day. Though the instructors were great.
 

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Well, it's all done! WOW...he had a BLAST!!


Zen Dude was a little under the weather this AM, but that allowed him to do some pics and vids! Thanks ZD!! :clap: Hope you are better now!

He learned SO much...now it's my turn! :D

Well worth the money...I'm so glad he enjoyed his other BDay present!:coolnana:
 

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Failed at Self Control
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What a blast that was!! :clap:

For those of you who haven’t done this class, I offer this brief rundown and comments.

First, my drive from Los Angeles to Pahrump, NV took about 4 hours. I skirted along the edge of Death Valley on the way up and my AC kept me nice and cool on the first & second fan setting. It was pushing 100+ in that area. The two days that the class took place I think it was somewhere in the mid to lower 90’s … hot …but not completely intolerable.

The first thing we did was some general classroom orientation and then specifics about braking. Then we got in the cars and heading for some braking exercises. The cars were all wrapped in various themes from a recent event so that made the cars that much more special and fun. I drove the “Tao” car the first day and the “Lambo” car the second day. The cars were definitely ‘used’ but overall they weren’t that bad. I would have been VERY happy if the AC would have worked ;)

The braking exercise was first done without the ABS to learn about 4 wheel lock up and threshold braking. It consisted of a series of runs down a straight-away at about 35-40 MPH into a watered-down patch. At first it was all about sliding :D …and then attempting to turn and avoid an obstacle in the path. …after 4 wheel lock up. Very interesting and educational. Then they hooked up the ABS and we did the series of wet pavement exercises again. We wrapped that up by increasing our speed down the straight and then just prior to the lock up point we were directed to turn either to the right or left of the obstacle at the last minute. I was up to about 50-55 MPH on my last run. :up:

After that we split into two groups, one did the skid car and the other group started the oval track. The skid car was some sort of 4-door sedan with some rigging on it to induce oversteer and understeer. Everyone got a chance to be coached through how you handle over and under steer … while everyone else in the car vomited on each other. :crazyeyes That exercise was okay, but it was so “over-simulated” that I found it mostly difficult.

The “oval” ROCKED!!! :coolnana: Rick, one of the coaches, sat shotgun and guided your every move around the oval. He was basically pointing out the turn in points, braking points, throttle points, trail braking, correct apexing, throttle steering, creating and manipulating the tire contact patches around the turns and all the other stuff that goes into turning in and out. Man, I was cranking that Elise around that oval!!! :evil: What a blast!! I shocked myself that I could not only do that, but that the car could do it.

After some classroom time we did some Heel – Toe practicing with some instruction on seating position and shifting. They have a pretty nice gradual system for teaching Heel – Toe which made a lot of sense. I had a bit of trouble (like most people) mainly because of the 05 Elises and their pedal position. My 07 is SO much better for Heel – Toe and the instruction that I had at the school has definitely improved my Heel – Toe in my car. We did the Heel – Toe on the track on the back straight.

We ended the first day with some excellent lead-follow around the track as an orientation to the track time on day 2.

I don’t know exactly what happened but I woke up at 2:30am the next morning and puked. :( … I couldn’t wake up on time to get there in the morning and missed the first couple hours of the second day. When I got there everyone was doing laps on the track. I watched from the tower and took some pics.

Day 2 was mostly all just track time. We took a short break when the Bull Run folks came in with their exotics. And they opened up the track for them to do a few laps. There were some News people there as well as a blonde gal from some car show.

The track time on day 2 was where everything was supposed to come together and we had some fun cat & mouse games with each other at times. I was breaking 90 MPH on the back straight and having a great time with some throttle steering around some of the corners. I missed being in my car, but at the same time it was a real treat to not have to worry about it. :) The great part about the whole second day was that you could (or not) have an instructor ride with you and coach you through the course. I know a few of us had notable gains riding with one of the instructors in particular, Rick. Rick ROCKED!!! :bow:

Enjoy the pics.

- zen
 

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Failed at Self Control
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The 7 attendees of the class made the class very fun.

- Chris (Man of Steel)
- Zen Dude (me)
- Guy, French Canadian who didn't have a Lotus
- Chi, had a Lotus but was a motorcycle rider
- John, who drove his white Elise from Palmdale...and was a Drag Racer... and was heavy on the pedal at all times. :evil:
- Thomas, who also didn't have a Lotus
- Randy, who also didn't have a Lotus

It was interesting that there were people there that were experiencing the Lotus for the first time.

The Pics below are:
- The Crew on the first day getting basic car orientation
- The Oval track just beyond the cars defined by the cones
- Day 2 driving through the Essess
- Chris (Man of Steel) in the Blue Exige with an instructor on his a$$
- Chris (The Man...) nailing the Apex under pressure
 

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Failed at Self Control
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Bull Run Pics

The Bull Run had a stop at the track on their way along their route.
 

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Thanks for the great pics and write-up, ZenDude.
Could you elaborate more on their approach to heel-toe instruction?
 

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Older but getting faster
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Discussion Starter #19
Here's a pic of Zen Dude in Krypton Green



If I was an engineer on the West Coast I could wear a ponytail too :coolnana:
 

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Failed at Self Control
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Could you elaborate more on their approach to heel-toe instruction?
You asked for it. :D

As I was writing this I think I may have a couple parts mixed up but I think you’ll get the idea. Chris, feel free to correct me on any of this if you see something not stated right.

They broke down the Heel-Toe into specific parts and then had us practice each part, adding one more component at a time. We practiced this on the afternoon of the first day. This was also done on the track at the start of day 2 but I missed that part.

1) Brake
2) Clutch in (Continue braking)
3) Shift into Neutral (Continue braking)
4) Blip the Throttle (Continue braking)
5) Shift into Lower Gear (Continuing to brake if necessary)
6) Clutch out and engage lower gear while the revs are up from the blip

Leading into this they had us do the following:

1) First we just sat in the cars in the parking area and practiced blipping the throttle. Because there is so much variation on pedal position (between the brake & throttle) and foot size differences everyone had to come up with their own blipping technique. The variation really came in mainly on foot position. Basic ball of foot on the brake pedal with enough ‘side of foot’ to rotate onto the throttle for the blip. Sometimes when the brakes were applied (on my car) the throttle was above the brake pedal. That took some tricky footwork where you had to apply the brake with the ball of the foot but at an angle so that the right side of your right foot was hovering above the throttle. Then by twisting / pivoting the foot (pointing / rotating the ankle and / or knee toward the throttle) catch the throttle and give it a good rev. One thing that was stressed was that we should not be putting the heel of our right foot on the floor. This was tough for me because that’s how I have been practicing my blips in my car. My pedals seem to be well suited to my placing my heel on the floor and pivoting on it to blip while braking. But with the throttle position being higher than the brake pedal on these cars I just couldn’t do that …but they didn’t want you to rest your heel like that anyway.

After everyone was getting some good blip action in the parking lot (while standing still) we headed onto the track.

The Heel – Toe track part was broken down into distinct parts. (We just practiced on the long back straight)

Heel Toe Diagram.JPG

Part 1: (Braking only)
1) Get up to 4th gear on the straight at around 60 MPH or so
2) Three cones were placed at the ends of the straights
3) The first exercise was to just practice applying enough brake pressure to slow down to about 15-20 MPH (During braking they didn’t want us to put our heel on the floor but just to apply pressure with the ball of the foot on the brake with the heel lifted.)
4) All 7 of us when back and forth on the back straight (spaced so we wouldn’t hit each other)
5) We did this over and over, back and forth, until we got the feel of the correct brake pressure that would slow us down within that braking distance between the first and third cones.

Part 2: (Braking & Blipping only)
After the correct braking pressure was being routinely done the next step was to do the same thing and include a blip.
1) We were supposed to accelerate down the track, apply the correct braking pressure, and then ‘blip’ at each cone
2) …or at least blip at one of the cones.
3) Again, this was done over and over, back and forth, until we figure out how to maintain a consistent brake pressure and also blip the throttle.
4) During this exercise the clutch was just kept in during the braking and practice blips.

Part 3: (Braking, Blipping and Neutral Position only)
Next we added a step to put the gearing into Neutral
1) So the sequence was to accelerate down the track
2) Apply braking pressure
3) Clutch in (continuing to apply brake pressure)
4) Gear shift into Neutral (continuing to apply brake pressure)
5) Blip (continuing to apply brake pressure)
6) Do it over and over until you’ve got it

Part 4: (The whole thing)
1) Accelerate down the track
2) Apply braking pressure
3) Clutch in (continuing to apply brake pressure)
4) Gear shift into Neutral (continuing to apply brake pressure)
5) Blip (continuing to apply brake pressure)
6) Shift into the lower gear
7) Clutch out
8) Keep practicing

During this whole time there was absolutely NO emphasis on the speed that these actions took place, just as long as each one was done. As we practiced this we were pulled out of the circuit and an instructor hopped into the driver seat of the car. He took us back and forth a few times showing us what it looks like when done correctly. Then he took us for a lap around the track showing us how it fits into a downshift while approaching a corner.

- zen
 
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