Driving at Motorsport Ranch Houston
Went driving with The Drivers Edge at Motorsport Ranch Houston this past weekend. It was my first time at this track and also my first time driving an almost fully prepped Spec Miata. The weather held up very well despite the forecast predicting rain the entire weekend we only had about 20 minutes of rain. In summary I made a couple of mistakes with my driving but all in all it was a great weekend.
First Time on Racing Slicks
I will say it is surprising how much better racing tires perform over street tires. Corners that were slow and slippery became fast and controllable. Going around corners faster and faster and finding out that there is still more traction available. It took me several sessions to work up the courage to push the tires to their limit.
However with all good things come the bad. Racing tires do not provide much feedback when mistakes are made and they suffer worse from it. For example, as I was reaching higher top speeds on straights and braking later on corners I eventually started locking the tires up under heavy braking. Not realizing this was happening or how bad this was for the tires I did it several times throughout the event finally resulting in a blowout during one very aggressive braking zone.
The lesson is, don’t lock up the wheels especially in cars without ABS. Flat spots occur quickly they mess with the tire’s balance and are generally not reliable afterwards.
The only major issue we had was due to camber bolts on the lower front right arm jolted loose on track. The resulting change of camber caused a loss of control and a quick end to my session. This was a confusing issue to resolve as the car was aligned just last Wednesday and these bolts were not suspect. Never the less we found the problem bolts Sunday morning in time for the first session of the day.
My fastest time on Saturday was a 2:01.07 see video. Unfortunately my fastest time, 1:58.74, this weekend occurred after I ran out of space on the camera.