Leaving the "Green Hell", so aptly named, we move on to Week 8 at Road Atlanta. This week the tip will focus on the critical series of corners before and just after the Esses. That will be Turn's 2 thru 5.
For newcomers to this track you will find this series of corners very challenging but so satisfying when you nail it within your own limits. What the above graphic does not show is the drastic elevation changes you face when confronting these corners. Turn 2 sets everything up and will determine your speed through the remaining bends. The turn in to apex is blind and it is important to get it right. I will pull together a graphic with what I hope is a good tip to get you thinking about how to approach the corner.
This is the entry into Turn 2 as you crest the hill. If you are carrying to much speed and don't get the entry angle right odds are you will follow the purple path in the graphic above. If you do that you are now in a very poor position for the next corner. It is imperative that you hit the apex at the proper angle and speed to end up where the green box is. At that point you will be gearing down and breaking and you will have the best angle to hit the next apex at corner 3.
This is the proper place to be as you set up the next corner.
The next corner (4) is a double apex corner leading into the Esses. Have a look at Jos van de Ven hitting the apexes of 2 & 3 perfectly.
Those of us who have driven Road Atlanta have found ourselves missing Turn 3 occasionally and ending up in the run off area. As you practice finding your marks you can use this alternate layout of the track to get things back under control if needed.
The next corner where you will find a lot of wrecks is Corner 5. You want to line up for corner entry near the curb as you leave the Esses.
You can tell the best path to apex by the dark rubber on the track. When you hit the apex get hard on the throttle...
... and let the car track out to the low curbing at the far edge of the hill. Great care must be taken here and many will loose control if they get off the throttle. The throttle will keep you grounded on this hair raising corner.
There are other corners at this track we could spend time on but for the sake of these tips you should have enough to work on this time around. Good luck, Road Atlanta is a favorite of many drivers.