March 30 – ProFormance Lapping

30 Mar 2009    racing

The 3.5 hours of driving time that you get at the ProFormance lapping days are a great opportunity to review your past material and push yourself slowly and steadily. I was still on stock tires and brake pads as I didn't have the budget to upgrade these critical parts but plans are in progress.

I started with reviewing the lessons I learned from the race school and found that I was consistently on line.  My instructor wanted me to focus more on being smooth and linking the throttle, brakes, and steering so that they add up to 100%. On a more personal side, I also focused on being smooth with the shifting and found that I had definitely improved quite a bit from the last session.

As the day progressed and I gained more speed through the corners, and unfortunately ran into a little incident at T5a. As I was letting go off the clutch while adding throttle and steering, I realized that the clutch hadn't fully engaged yet. I felt the chirp in the rear and braced myself for trouble. Looking straight far ahead, I keep the throttle down while the car tank slapped around a bit. Unfortunately, the turn in the road combined with my  proximity to the edge to start with led me into the gravel where jumped on the clutch and the brake before hitting the tire wall. I was lucky and managed to get out with just a dent in the rear quarter pannel (which I bent back into shape by kicking from the inside). It may have been a lot worse if I hadn't started taking evasive action right when I felt the glitch.

After taking a break and calming myself down, I was out on track again to see what I had done wrong and how to fix it. Folks were saying that it may have been because of the tires but since I was stuck with them, I changed my brake and shift zone to be a bit littler earlier than before for T5a and that seemed to do the trick. 2 more hours of practice later, it was time to quit and recall the days events to plan for the next event.  Despite the little incident, I learned a lot from the process and looking forward to the lapping session next month.