ETR #2 done!

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John Brown
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by John Brown »

I promise you... E V E R Y one of us DNF'd.... right up to the point we finally listened to the "fast guys" to walk,walk,walk...then walk some more.

I see drivers walk once or maybe twice..(talking most of the time) and am I surprised when they get lost??? no. Are they??? yep.
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Austin Lanz
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by Austin Lanz »

I agree with John, before I was in the current lazy "I'll just figure it out while I'm out there stage" I would walk the course twice and then draw it on a piece of paper while sitting by my car in the pits. IT kind of helped because I could make notes to remind myself of where to or what to look for. Because most of our courses have about 10,000 cones and we usually only need to pay attention to about 15 of them.
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by nicksta43 »

John Brown wrote:I promise you... E V E R Y one of us DNF'd.... right up to the point we finally listened to the "fast guys" to walk,walk,walk...then walk some more.

I see drivers walk once or maybe twice..(talking most of the time) and am I surprised when they get lost??? no. Are they??? yep.
I only walked it twice. I wish I had more time but I was running late. I also very rarely cone, no cones on sunday. I guess some say I'm not pushing it enough. However I feel I am plenty aggresive behind the wheel and I believe Silver Maxima can attest to that after he rode with me once in the Grand Prix a couple of years ago. I only recall one dnf at pelli.
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by integra55 »

JB has a point ... this week end I did in fact walk many laps, thought I had it down pat .... run group 3 + old age + not working out on track ( my choice... no blame) = not actually remembering the course as it lays, but "remembering" it as ... I guess ... I wanted it to be which = 4 consecutive DNF's .... not the courses fault ... actually liked the course .... but I usually "like" most courses .... but my fault, 'cause as JB said, be able to drive the course with your eyes closed .... I forgot to do that :oops:
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John Brown
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by John Brown »

Pro class and running Nats teaches you real quick that you dont have "runs" to figure it out.. You got to go out and get it done now. I cant remember the last time I improved much over .5 seconds from 1st run to 3rd run. unless I do a stupit move...and I can do em! :lol:
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by thrdeye »

Listen to John. A fast autocrosser will have sore feet.

Running registration in the morning, I don't usually get to walk more than twice (locally), but they are GOOD walks - as in, by myself.

What burns me up is that even during the novice walkthorugh when someone experienced is giving GOOD advice, and people herd in the back of the walking group and chew the fat.

Due to my martial arts background, I REALLY like the mental part of autocross. In Dixie, I found something that really helped me was to STOP in an area and just look at the course. I then made notes in my phone about what I thought the most important thing was in that section that would help ME go faster, based on what I know I suck at. These notes allowed be to walk the course about a million times in my head. Allowing me to have a plan and execute the run as close as possible to that plan...you learn to be confident. Here are my notes from Dixie. John, Mark, anyone else that ran - this make sense? This was from Saturday.

Launch HARD.
Get behind first cone in slalom
Accelerate out of slalom asap
Give it up for pinch
Let the car push out, but get back asap
Backside three cones
Sweeper...late apex.
backside first cone
backside third cone
jerky
Backside cone
jerky
GAS
Don't overdrive big chicago
get out to the left for the sweeper
get behind first slalom cone
Accelerate past last slalom cone.
GAS
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by John Brown »

LOL! sound like those lil voices in my head.... except I add fukR and dummazz every now and then

At the Nats or a Tour...I run a hundred runs in my sleep..I wake up at night because I lost a cone that I know is important to a quick time...
This sport is SO Mental... its really unbelievable...
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by ConeEater »

John Brown wrote:Pro class and running Nats teaches you real quick that you dont have "runs" to figure it out.. You got to go out and get it done now. I cant remember the last time I improved much over .5 seconds from 1st run to 3rd run. unless I do a stupit move...and I can do em! :lol:

+1000 on this

My 1st time at a national event my local mentor walked with me and after 5 walks said "ok, close your eyes and talk me thru the course" We went thru it over and over... walking and remembering it.

While I DO feel that for some people, you can walk the course too much, if you don't spend at least 2-3 walks ALONE focused... however you feel works for you... then you're not really going to get it. Granted, once you do this long enough there's only so many elements out there, and it's all about order of appearance, but you still need to be focused and understand what you're looking at.

again, I know I'm new HERE, but I'm not 'new'.

That said... Some courses, no matter how much you walk are either too big or just too much going on to remember it all. It's all about remembering key cones and spots that you feel you need to either be at, or look for and being able to string it all together in your head at speed. Thinking about where you're going next, and at the same time, thinking about thinking about the next section beyond that.

I got caught on film back in 2008 when one of the car magazines (R&T, automobile, etc) was doing a little online story and the main picture of the online article had all these people walking the course... except me.. I'm standing there with my eyes closes 'holding the steering wheel' driving the course in my head.

ugh

PS: I DO apologize for being one of those people who didn't hang out to help after the results. I didn't get back into PA until after 11 last night as it was. I DO think it's a valid idea to perhaps get things cleaned up 1st so maybe more will be inclined to help get things wrapped up. We don't do results or trophies after every event, so we're always stuck with 4-5 people cleaning up.

I think you guys are doing a great job and that new trailer is sharp.
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by MARKP »

ConeEater wrote: Thinking about where you're going next, and at the same time, thinking about thinking about the next section beyond that.
That's a key phrase that most newer people don't think about. When you are driving, you don't need to worry about where the car is. It is where it is and there is nothing you can do about that. The key is knowing where the car needs to be to execute the next maneuver correctly. If you aren't there, fix it so that you are. It's like running a slalom. How many people get late in a slalom. How many have the presence of mind to give it up when they get late to get the car back where it needs to be and finish the slalom correctly?

Locally, we rarely have slaloms long enough to make it a penalty to get late. Go to a national event, especially somewhere like Blytheville, and you will experience the penalty of getting late. :lol:
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Wheelman_13
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by Wheelman_13 »

I completely agree with ConeEater/Brian. Every autocross school pounds away at "looking ahead" on the course, and while that is very necessary "thinking ahead" is WAY more important (looking ahead forces you to do this on a small level). I think of my own performance potential in the same way I think about the car's. Everyone knows (or should know) the basic principle of the traction circle. Now instead of steering/throttle (ignoring brakes...this is autocross afterall :) ) substitute thinking/driving.

If I memorize a course well enough and plan my driving accurately enough, I don't have to devote much processing power to "what's next" during an actual run. This lets me focus on the details during the run. I'm still not to the level of critiquing myself for being 6 inches off-line in a slalom, but I've gone from being worried about where the course goes, to what's the best way to approach each element, to what's the best way to approach each part of an element. Once you memorize a course well enough it's like driving in slow motion compared to if you just took off without walking it because once you've memorized it, you can think through it WAY faster than you can drive through it. I mean, here was an approximation of my mental pace notes from this weekend:

"go go go, turn tight on the throttle, get behind the first cone, (rest of slalom was reflex) mkay, shift to 2nd, GET ON THE GAS AGAIN before braking for the turn around, give it up and then smooth on the gas, get behind first cone wall, stay on gas, get slightly wide on entry to horseshoe, ok, hold it tight, keep holding, get behind 1st "S" cone, add throttle, (2nd "S" cone was in here somewhere, but I mostly ignored it focusing on tracking out) add throttle, smooth arc, brake early, get behind 2nd cone, full throttle flick and hold through finish".

You can probably read that in ~20 seconds, ignoring the italicized comments, at a relaxed scan. It'd go quicker if you were thinking that yourself. Any remaining time, you can devote 100% of your brain to feel what the car's doing and see how much grip you have left, or to concentrate on smooth/fast inputs, or other self analysis to improve your next times. I get pretty annoyed if I finish a first-run and can't pick out at least one specific area where I think I can gain time.

For my own development, I think I would be more consistent driving if I had a consistent mnemonic device for the courses. I'm not sure if JB's brute-force approach to memorization through 10x course walks would be best, or if I should deliberately write down pace notes like Chris, or something in between, but it's something I'll be thinking about and experimenting with this season.
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by ConeEater »

Yeah, your comment on what works for you is key as well. Not everyone takes away the same things from their walks. We have a local FS driver that's been doing this for years and @ every event he walks it alone... and sketches it all out. He gets incrementally better each year, but not where he could be.

Up here our lot we mainly use is 600x300 ish and basically flat. ( slight constant grade ) We can get a decent 5-6 cone slalom on some courses but they're not as fast as a national event.

Back on the course this weekend... I thought it had a good mix of elements and the sections in the 2nd half were where you lost time ( IMO ) because if you didn't setup for the big 'showcase' turn correctly, you got bad angles coming uphill and therefore were late the rest of the run. You get behind and try to make up time barreling thru the top of the hill as you came down... and BAM... you either over cook coming into the 2nd cone of the slalom or you plain MISSED the slalom.

Working in that corner, I saw allot of people DNF there because they either didn't have their eyes up, or they came in way to hot.

Now that I know my videos recorded properly I can go over them and Paul and I can talk about where we compared both good and bad.

Sooner or later I'll be moving down to the region, so you guys will be stuck with me. :lol2:
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by John Brown »

Locals dont really require 10 walks.(depends on how much you want to learn on course) But,if you go to Zmax or Carowinds and especially the Nationals in Lincoln.... you will walk 10 or more times.. promise.

If you have to have 5 runs to get it done,and you are shaving 1-1.5 seconds off your times..you need to walk more. If the walk thru data is properly downloaded into your senses,you improve very little from first run,and that first run is a very competitive run.
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Austin Lanz
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by Austin Lanz »

John Brown wrote: If you have to have 5 runs to get it done,and you are shaving 1-1.5 seconds off your times..you need to walk more. If the walk thru data is properly downloaded into your senses,you improve very little from first run,and that first run is a very competitive run.
My last run was my fastest, 3 seconds faster than my 1st. lol So I guess I'll walk more.
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by Wheelman_13 »

John Brown wrote:Locals dont really require 10 walks.(depends on how much you want to learn on course) But,if you go to Zmax or Carowinds and especially the Nationals in Lincoln.... you will walk 10 or more times.. promise.

If you have to have 5 runs to get it done,and you are shaving 1-1.5 seconds off your times..you need to walk more. If the walk thru data is properly downloaded into your senses,you improve very little from first run,and that first run is a very competitive run.
So....this got me thinking, some math followed, and guess what:

Average improvement from 1st run to best scored run:


Pro Class:

Average improvement was 0.823s or, if you throw Gary out (1st run was dirty and off his pace after that), it's 0.464s

The largest improvement was .742s (not counting Gary's outlier), the smallest improvement was .008s (well technically 0.000 as someone's 1st was also quickest).

Even if you include all of Pro's 5 runs the avg improvement is still .705 (w/o Gary) and .998 (w Gary).

compare that to STM, for instance (another large, class):

The average was 1.387s of improvement, and the range was much larger as well. From -0.266s to 3.935s.
Last edited by Wheelman_13 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ETR #2 done!

Post by John Brown »

Wheelman_13 wrote:
John Brown wrote:Locals dont really require 10 walks.(depends on how much you want to learn on course) But,if you go to Zmax or Carowinds and especially the Nationals in Lincoln.... you will walk 10 or more times.. promise.

If you have to have 5 runs to get it done,and you are shaving 1-1.5 seconds off your times..you need to walk more. If the walk thru data is properly downloaded into your senses,you improve very little from first run,and that first run is a very competitive run.
So....this got me thinking, some math followed, and guess what:

Average improvement from 1st run to best scored run:


Pro Class:

Average improvement was 0.823s or, if you throw Gary out (1st run was dirty and off his pace after that), it's 0.464s

The largest improvement was .742s (not counting Gary's outlier), the smallest improvement was .008s (well technically 0.000 as someone's 1st was also quickest).

compare that to STM, for instance (another large, class):

The average was 1.387s of improvement, and the range was much larger as well. From -0.266s to 3.935s.
speaking of which... Gary, you ever back that time up??? :lol:
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