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  • Mark Gilbert 2:13pm on Monday, April 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , race, Road And Track, track days   

    The Miata Is the Perfect New Track Car For Novices 

    Track day novice from Road and Track Magazine takes the new RF to Lime Rock for a day of racing.

    https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/a19732471/nd-miata-rf-club-track-test/

     
  • Doug Quara 7:20pm on Thursday, August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Track Night PBIR September   

    Track Night at PBIR September 19 

    My stepson Danny Davis heard about the positive experience at the SCCA Track Night in America event Steve Dillon and I had this past Tuesday. Not a bad deal for a fairly low entry price for an hour’s worth of track time. So I’m hatching a plan to have Danny drive the Track Rat Miata in Novice (he’s had experience at PBIR but on a bike – he’s a pretty accomplished “knee dragger” road racer on a bike), along with me in the Advanced Group. My son DJ might come in his ’99 (member Brian’s former car now sporting a similar VVT 2001 motor and same suspension). So we might make it a family affair. Of course, we’d love to see other SFMiata Club Members come out either as participants (c’mon, YOLO!), or for sure to do the no-charge parade laps which usually happen around 6pm.

    Check it out. Here’s a link to the event site on September 19:
    https://www.tracknightinamerica.com/events/1987564-track-night-2017-palm-beach-september-19

     
    • Steve and Tracy Dillon 3:45pm on Friday, August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m in,
      Tom or any other first timers, feel free to ask Doug or I what you can’t figure out. Things that I had questions about a few months ago:

      Helmet? (I bought one on amazon, PBIR might have a rental) RollBar? (Not needed for NC and ND Miatas with the built in roll hoops). Insurance (Google ‘lockton HPDE insurance’). Discount Code: (Ask Steve or Doug for $25 off code)

      The car inspection, which you or your mechanic does is here:
      https://dk1xgl0d43mu1.cloudfront.net/user_files/tracknight/downloads/000/002/998/TNiA_Tech_Sheet.pdf?1491947146
      SCCA won’t go over your car, you sign that you have looked at it all.
      Go over your car, check the brake system, take all the lose stuff out.

    • Doug Quara 4:11pm on Friday, August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      It appears that Danny won’t be able to make September but is shooting for the October event. So I’ll be skipping September. Sorry if that screws up anyone’s plans. I’ll advise if anything changes.

  • Tom Hall 2:50pm on Thursday, August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Track Day   

    Track Day at PBIR 

    It was a great time. I attended the Novice meeting which explained safety and track rules. Yes, I did exceed 90mph on the back straight as I was doing my best to keep up with the BMW in front of me. I had no idea where the lead train was as I was focused on being safe and cautious, accelerating hard on the straights and extra cautious in the corners. This may not have been the norm, but I had a blast!

     
    • Robert Burr 2:57pm on Thursday, August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing your experience and your video. If you first upload future videos to YouTube or Vimeo, you can easily add that link to your post here on the Miata we site and share the video with all.

    • Doug Quara 7:25pm on Thursday, August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, Tom. Sorry I didn’t have more time to spend with you after you came off the track’s parade laps. You caught Steve and me right when we were trying to switch cars and go out for the next session, apologies if we kind of ran off on you. Glad to hear you had a great time. I just posted about the same event scheduled in September. Hope you will consider entering as a novice to feel the Full Monty experience!

  • Steve and Tracy Dillon 1:55pm on Thursday, July 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: TNIA Track HPDE   

    Track Night in America July 18 report 

    At the beginning of the day Tuesday I was worried about the track day. It had thunder-stormed all day Monday, and the forecast called for a clear morning and afternoon rain. By 11am we had thunderstorms coming from the south and coming through. Just before I left for the track, another cell had just rolled through Palm Beach Gardens on its way north. I threw an umbrella in the trunk — which is not a good thing to pack for a track day.

    I arrived and it had just finished raining at the track. Luckily, that was the last heavy rain of the day. We had some small drizzle on the low speed practice lap. You get four sessions: the first is a pace car guided low speed 25 minutes on the track. It was drizzling for that, but that was the last of i. By the end of the afternoon, the track was dry.

    Here is an excellent write-up here about how the format works and what to expect.

    https://www.tracknightinamerica.com/forums/1963286/posts/2159258-scca-track-night-at-pbir-8-23-review-long

    I’m very new to this club and the website so I didn’t recognize anybody, but there were half a dozen Miatas there. Pictures from the Track Photographer: (I am Mazda/White) http://www.photosbyjuha.com/ALL-2017-EVENTS/ALL-TRACK-NIGHT-IN-AMERICA-EVENTS/SCCA-TRACK-NIGHT-AT-PBIR-JULY-18

     
    • Doug Quara 9:09pm on Thursday, July 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Nice! Have you had much track experience? Was this your first time at PBIR? Because it sure didn’t look like it. 🙂

      May I be so bold as to offer a few suggestions?

      In general, if you use more of the track you’ll be able to exit faster. That goes for entry and exit. Also, again, in general, you can move your turn in points back a few feet. The Miata does not have a bunch of power, and changes direction well, so you don’t have to use such a late apex as you would in a heavier, high horsepower car. Miatas need to maintain momentum.

      I know most HPDE groups encourage late turn in and apexes since it reduces the chance of running out of room at the exits, but here are some suggestions.

      You can turn in sooner at T1. You were turning in at the last yellow cone. If I recall correctly, you can turn in half way between that cone and the previous cone, just use slow hands. That segues into the next comment: you can use more track out at T2. If you turn in sooner at 1, you’ll naturally use all of the track out at 2.

      The two times I ran PBIR I noticed there was more grip half-track entering T6, rather than going all the way wide from the left side of the track, at least that’s how the track was seasoned when I was there. I was actually able to have higher entry speed into T6 from mid-track than I was from the classic very wide entry into T6.

      I notice you didn’t get down to the apex at T7. Turn in sooner, get down to the apex, then accelerate and use all the track just touching the left curbing at T8.

      Ditto using all of track out at T11.

      Your lines were really good. These suggestions are tweaks.

      Couple of other ideas: If the tach in the display was accurate, you were shifting at 6k. You’re giving away plenty of ponies, After the first out lap every session, after the engine is all the way warm, wind that baby out to redline, what is it in the ND, 7K? You won’t hurt it.

      Do try to practice heel-toe on the street (not at the track!). Your clutch and synchros will thank you and you’ll be able to go in deeper under braking, and concentrate better on turn-in point without having to worry about how you are clutching.

      Anyways, thanks for the video! Hope to talk with you in person at a meeting or gathering soon.

      Doug Sr.

      • Steve and Tracy Dillon 4:14pm on Friday, July 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I really appreciate all the feedback, I’m new at this and absorbing information like a sponge and appreciate all the advice I can get. I didn’t know HPDE events existed until my wife bought me 3 laps at PBIR in an Audi R8 V10 in February of this year. That was pretty fun and I turned around and bought 3 more laps in a Porsche 911 GT3 on the spot. That started the addiction, I then did just parade laps at a TNIA and have participated in 2 Track Nights since.

        I like the turn by turn advice. I was doing the late turn-ins cause that’s what a lot of the cars where doing, but a lot of them are very high horsepower heavy cars. I’ll try all the advice offered on each turn.

        My current two problem corners are the carousel’s T4 and T9. I’m fighting a lot of understeer getting to the apexes. Aside from the obvious like slowing down, keeping off the throttle until the apex and being a patient learner. I keep thinking I should change the car setup a bit. Googling said I should put more air in the tires for track day, so I went to 32 psi cold (door says 29). I think I’m going to stick to 29 all around next time, or at least leave the front at 29. I’m also on the factory alignment, which is reported as pretty variable by the people on miata.net, but I don’t want to blame the car yet.

        Intentionally shifting at 6k on advice of instructor who said not to bother red-lining for what we were doing. I think as I get better, I’ll probably get more aggressive. I only get out of 3rd on the straights now (almost running out of 3rd at T4).

        I’ve been playing with heel toe on the street for a couple of months, but the car is a DD for my wife, not me so it’s a slow learn. (And finding a corner to practice on is tough in s florida, I’ve been caught blipping the throttle slowing down for red lights).

        Thanks for all the advice, look forward to meeting you at one of the events.

        • Doug Quara 5:23pm on Friday, July 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          Oh, OK, sorry about contradicting your instructor. I get it.

          Regarding understeer, yes, do play with the tire pressures. I don’t know what tires you’re running, and I’m not too familiar with the ND. See if you can find recommended track tire pressures on roadster.net or Miata.net. Don’t be afraid to experiment, too. Try dropping pressures 1-2 PSI on either end of the car (start with the front), and if it gets better you’re heading in the right direction.

          Another way to reduce understeer is to brake deeper, easing off the brakes as you initiate turn-in. You probably know this is known as trail braking. BUT HUGE caveat: this is an advanced technique and if done wrong can VERY EASILY result in a spin because of the weight transfer from rear, which goes light under braking, to front, which will turn in harder if staying on the brakes while starting to turn. Keep this in your back pocket for later after you’ve got a bunch more track days behind you.

          (P.S. I think you meant T4 and T10, not T4 and T9. T10 USED to be called T9 when it was Moroso.)

          I taught myself heel-toe in regular traffic. (It doesn’t need to be done only approaching a turn.) Problem is normal traffic doesn’t require much pedal pressure for braking unless you want to get rear-ended. But if you can learn the dance when it’s hard to reach the gas pedal because the brake pedal is fairly high since you’re not standing on it as you would heavy braking on a track, it will be relatively easy on the track. When you do start trying it on the track, do it in low- to medium-speed turns and only where there is really good runoff, and without anyone else following you. A bad heel-toe downshift can result in missed brake point, an unbalanced weight transfer, and even a spin.

          Don’t worry, it WILL come. Based on your initial video posting, you’re well on your way. Welcome to the hobby!

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