Cresson CW Analysis

 

The primary point of this exercise is to begin to understand how to analyse my captured data.  Only to a lesser extent is it to attempt to get faster at Cresson on the 1.7 CW track.  It will be another 6 months before I might be back on that track going CW again.  This was my second time to drive the track in this direction.  My first being the very first time I drove on a track.  That was in a turbo-charged miata.  Not exactly the same.

My data logger is a Racepack G2X.  I don’t have any additional sensors at this point, just the internal GPS, lateral, and longitudinal accelerometers.  In addition, I borrowed a cheap digital video camera from my Dad that he uses on his motorcycle days.  It records in 640×480 (4:3)…well, it can.  Unfortunately, somehow I managed to get the stupid thing into low res mode (320 x 200).  It serves its purpose, mostly.  But, it certainly isn’t stunning quality.

Cresson is made up of 9 named turns:

  • Big Bend
  • Tombstone
  • Boot Hill
  • Horseshoe
  • Buzzard Neck
  • Little Bend
  • Ricochet
  • Waggon Wheel
  • Rattlesnake

My intention is to review my approach to each of these turns at the start of the day, how I adjusted through the day, and finally what the G2X data and video suggest I should have done to do even better.  As I said above, the primary point of this exercise is to learn how to use the G2X to analyse laps and make the most out of the limited track time available.

In the end, this may turn into a series of posts.  It just depends on how much information I have to put together for each turn.  If it turns out to be fairly repetitive, then it will all probably remain in a single post.  I’m not exactly sure where this will lead, so here we go.

Big Picture

I started this analysis by looking at lap times from all of the green session, and comparing best laps from each of the sessions.  There were three primary green session of the day.

In session 3: my best time was 1:41.821, with a fastest theoretical time of 1:39.835.

In session 4: my best time was 1:38.388, with a fastest theoretical time of 1:37.726.

In session 5: my best time was 1:39.175, with a fastest theoretical time of 1:37.125.

Taking best segment times from sessions 4 and 5 combined, my best theoretical lap for the day as 1:36.197.  My car is not yet a spec miata: I do not have R-compound tires, thesuspension is not maxed out in camber, caster, or ride height.  And the engine is bone-stock down to the air-cleaner I bought it with.  So, these times can’t be compared to SM times at this track.  That’s okay, because that’s not my point.

I’m trying to see if I made valid adjustments during the day (did I learn something), and are there further changes I can learn to make when I get to drive this track configuration again?

As you can see, it was kind of a mixed bag between sessions 4 and 5.  I made some big improvements on the first 3rd of the track, but I gave it all back through the middle section of the track.  Between the two session though, there is a good 2.2 seconds available on the track if I can just string all the good sections together.

A quick note on the track sections.  I divided the track based on primary braking zones.  So, each section is a turn and the following straight.  That way the section times can be mixed and matched with relative validity (as long as conditions don’t change too much).  Here is my map with the sections that correspond to the times above:

 

My first big self criticism is that I did a particularly poor job of managing engine RPM.  Here are the three BEST laps of the day:

I’m quite frequently in the wrong gear.  I’m shifting early on the straights, and downshifting late (or not down-shifting enough).  I almost spend more time outside of the power-band, than in it.  Further, I wasn’t very consistent in my gear selection from lap to lap.

 

As the posts for each turn seem to be fairly long, I’ve decided to break this up into multiple posts with links from here.  As I complete each turn analysis I’ll add to this master list.

  • Big Bend (turn 1)
  • Tombstone
  • Boot Hill
  • Horseshoe
  • Buzzard Neck
  • Little Bend
  • Ricochet
  • Waggon Wheel
  • Rattlesnake

 


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