This week's track tip is for the Watkins Glen circuit utilizing the ‘boot’ section. Last week at Laguna Raceway, we focused on several items, and we will build on them in this week’s driving tip post.
Let me be very specific so we can drill down on the learning points. Concepts covered but some of which we did not go into much detail on, some we went deeper. Here they are in no particular order:
· Straight-line breaking
· Curbs (kurbs)
Starting with the last item first we note something significant at the Glen compared to Laguna. It’s the curbing, take note of it. At Laguna, we mentioned that most of the corners had gentle curb’s which can be used to the drivers' advantage during turn-in, apex and track-outs. At the Glen things are not quite as mild everywhere. Most curbs are not too severe, but you need to be aware of where you can take advantage of some and where to be careful about others. Why is this important? Simply because it is easy to upset the car’s balance, or worse you may end up in a spin or crash. In this week’s tip we are going to focus on a series of turns that we reach on the fastest part of the track. Richard’s post in the iRacing forum has the inner loop circled, and I have an arrow pointing to it on our calendar page. The following graphic should help you understand the series of corners.
Okay, slow down and consider the screen capture above. This tip’s focus is at the “Bus Stop,” also known as the inner loop. The green arrows represent curbing which can be taken and yellow represent a more severe curb that will likely impact your lap. Note that at the corner marked “D” it is half green and yellow indicating you can take it but be careful here. The Bus Stop is a very complex series of corners at the end of the fastest part of the track. Our goal should be to optimize every opportunity you face here. It’s challenging, and everything is happening fast.
Any braking here must be straight-line just before the turn-in to the inner loop chicane. You should use the yard markers on the left of the straight to figure out where you are going to begin to brake. Your goal is to maximize exit speed to the curb at “D.” The challenge is to take the chicane at pace without losing control. It is a difficult task. To complicate matters further, once past “D” we enter the outer loop at Turn 5 which is also known as the “Carousel.” This corner is also a complex loop and will not be discussed in this tip, be careful when exiting the turn 5 to stay off that curb at the end. Joel’s setups are often very low, and you may find yourself bottoming out on the undercarriage.
Let’s watch Thomas Jordan’s video and pay attention to his lines. There are many other tricky corners at the Glen. This video is an excellent showcase demonstrating how to maximize your lap times.