Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Back at Monday Night Lapping

I was able to attend Monday night lapping at St-Eustache on Monday for the first time this year. My friend Mazen met me there and I lent him my car so he could get some instruction in the red group for the first time ever. Before he arrived, however, I headed out in a green/black session and it wasn't long before I beat my best lap time from two weeks earlier. My new record is 1:03.63. I felt pretty good about the lap, until I got home and looked at the data... I was extremely slow in the two slow corners (like almost 15 km/h slower than I had been two weeks earlier) on my fastest lap, and there is definitely room for improvement in the driving department. After Mazen's first session, I took him as a passenger in another green/black. Apparently, the driver of the Lotus Exige in line behind me complained that my Civic seemed to be in the wrong group. I guess he was worried that I would hold him up. Well, it took him a couple of laps to even catch me, and though he had been filling my mirrors at the end of the back straight, I left him in the dust in the esses. He passed me on the following lap, but I easily stuck with him through the esses after that. Don't judge a book by its cover dude! Even though my best lap of that short session was only a 1:04.63, I had much better speed through the bus-stop and hairpin. It seems I am only able to do my best in some corners when there is some external source of motivation, like another car. I am confident that if I can get in the right mindset, I can get into the high 1:02's with my current setup.

Here are a couple of photos taken by JAG Imaging:

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 photo 13217576_10154128867877145_6729743946572853141_o_zpsc9cqxwyl.jpg

I also got to drive a student's Shelby GT350, the track-oriented Mustang with the 526 hp flat-crank V8. It was a very pleasant drive, and the motor was not a torque monster... rather, it felt like the torque would come on nice and gradually, making the car seem easier to drive. Of course, I was not pushing it in a student's car, and actually did the whole lap in third gear. I have often said that Mustangs can make great track cars with only a few modifications, but this is the first time I try one that would need nothing more to be a track star.

I am heading to Tremblant to instruct next Monday, and I am eager to see what the Civic can do on a big track with lots of high speed corners.

A student's GT350
A lovely Exige

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