Monday, June 4, 2007

slow in, fast out

so far, we talked a little about lines, heavy braking zones, using the brakes effectively, getting on the gas more, etc. let's cover the quick transition stuff- mid to high speed slaloms, chicago boxes, etc. my main thought on quick transitions is this: get the car slow (as needed) and stable, BEFORE you enter a transition section. by slow, i don't mean walk in the park slow, but bring it down to whatever mph is needed to make it through at max speed for that section.

i'll use slaloms as an example (salmons as hugo would put it).

steguis didn't have any aerial shots so i stole this gif off some random website. this dude above is actually very late on the slalom cones!

in the past, i'd usually bomb into a slalom, only to have the car all crossed up with tires screaming. over time, i've learned to work on doing what it takes to get the car down to the speed required to maintain max momentum. i sometimes enter just below that threshold as a little safety net- this allows me to get back on the gas as needed if i feel like i could use a little more mph. bombing in all bent of out shape just makes you reactive, not proactive. usually a quick stab of the brake or breathing off the throttle before you enter will do the trick. sometimes you'll have to get on the brakes moderately to make it work. looking ahead allows you to judge what your entry speed will need to be.

case in point- this saturday, i was watching tucker enter a fast slalom after coming out of a small sweeper. he was carrying a lot of speed out of the sweeper, swinging out, and taking a wide line into the slalom. since he carried a ton of speed, he had to check up on the brakes hard as he entered, while taking a wide entry. so i took a quick jog over to him and we had a little chat. on the next run, he slowed the car down earlier and covered less distance in the process. with the better entry speed, he was able to get behind each slalom cone without being all crossed up. his front tires were much happier, and it's almost as if you could see him being calmer mentally in the entry. the car sure was. i believe tucker dropped significant time with the new approach and he got the win against some stiff competition! good job tucker!

it turns out his line was so much better and he carried so much more speed through the slalom that he ended up coning the last one or two slalom cones because he was carrying TOO much speed in the end of it! the good news is, he was on top of the cones in the first part of the slalom. a little throttle maintenance in the middle and he would've been golden. if you're late entering a slalom (or any fast transition element for that matter), kiss that run goodbye. if you start off late, the problem compounds, and you'll never make it up. it's almost as if you know you're doing things right when you're coning the end of a slalom and not the beginning.

give it up early and you'll get rewarded in the end. slow in, fast out!



Steguis said...

Excellent write up Dan. I was watching GJ run this weekend and from what I saw that's exactly what he does. This is where experience counts I guess since knowing what that entry speed should be is all about knowing how you car will respond to these transitions. I'll work on getting a helicopter for an aerial shot next time ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan:

I didn't see a general questions/comments section so I'll post here:

How about a write up of the weekend at Devens? I've read a bit on my other favorite blog ( but I understand a bunch of Holunfie guys did very well there and I'd love to read some first hand accounts. For those like me who can't get away for the event, reading about it is the next best thing.

Thanks to you all for blogging--I really enjoy it!


dan said...

ha, recovering from the weekend. i took today off to relax but ended up mt. biking with tucker and immediately out on the boat for a night of crazy striped bass action.

vids and writeup soon! sleep now!