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10/9/11 Course Design

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lotar_6 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lotar_6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 10/9/11 Course Design
    Posted: 08-Oct-2011 at 9:38pm
We had to work around various obsticles in the lot, but this is how it turned out...



It's tight in a few areas, but mostly b/c we had little choice w/ weird little rebar sticking up all over, humps in the pavement, and little room for pushing the course out when it would help. It should be fun, though...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote conewagon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2011 at 8:38am
let's make a note about that bump, although it was fun to drive and watch, I think at least 2 people broke something so it is a problem that needs to be addressed somehow.

Thanks to everyone for an awesome season of racing and I'll see you at the Banquet.
it's not a Subaru.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scootin159 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2011 at 11:34am
The trick with the bump is it traverses the entire length of the lot from north to south, so at some point you're gonna have to cross it (or waste half of the lot). Unfortunately Sunday we crossed it four times, although three of them were significantly less harsh than the big one the final time you went through the cone pile.

We have a similar problem with one of the lots we use (the NYS Fairgrounds) - it has a dip that goes the entire length of the lot that is in spots very similar in 'roughness'. What we typically do there though is limit the crossovers to just a single time at the end of the lot where the dip is the smoothest.

We also try to make the slowest corner of the course be immediately before the dip, so while the cars do cross the dip straight-on, they are doing it exiting a low-speed corner. This does a few things: 1) by having the cars be slow there, they aren't getting airborne when the hit the bump and 2) because everyone is at WOT there, the nose of the car is 'up' due to the weight transfer to the rear, making it so cars with a low nose are less likely to make contact.

At WGI I'm not sure where the smoothest crossover point is, but I would suggest doing something similar there - only cross once, and when you do cross have it be at the exit of a lower-speed corner. It doesn't need to be ridiculously tight, but something comparable to the cone box in the bottom left of the course map would be good. Ideally you want the bump to fall about 10-20 feet after the apex of the corner so that everyone is at WOT, but not really up to speed yet.

===============================================

However, outside of the bump issues, I was pretty happy with the course itself. A 10 fold improvement on last year IMHO. Some of my notes:

1) The crossover point had way too many cones IMHO. The racing lines through there were great, but the visual cues were so confusing that even when working course we couldn't tell if people went the right way through or if there were any cones down.

2) The following sweeper into the 'cone box' on the concrete pad were great. Easily the best part of the course and something I hope to copy next year. Visual cues were obvious and cone impacts were few and far between (all good things). However, it was tricky enough that it drew a LOT of drivers to take a 'head on' entrance into the cone box, while the faster drivers learned the trick about not being drawn in by the cones, and taking the wide and fast line through there. Watching drivers on course, you could clearly see those who 'got it' versus those who didn't.

3) The next section (the 'cone box' by station 3) was also good in that the course was dead simple to navigate, and yet tricky enough that I know it took me at least two runs to learn just how fast that corner really was.

4) I liked the 6 cone slalom, although I would've preferred it be optional just for another twist. I also would suggest putting a worker station near the middle of the slalom (when a safe location is available) - it seemed cones 3 & 4 of the slalom were the most frequently hit of the entire course, yet were the furthest from any of the worker stations.

5) The remainder of the course was pretty good as well, although a bit less challenging (for better or worse). The visual cues were all good, and the racing line was real simple to find (with the exception of the final hairpin - that was a fun and tricky corner). The only exception being the crossover, which was a simple straight for most cars, but was visually confusing.

6) One other note: We probably should have moved the start line back towards the paddock more. There's no reason it couldn't have even been just 5-10 feet beyond the opening in the fence. Where it was though left the car at the start line a little exposed to the car on course (in particular when it was coming around the exit of the slalom). I wouldn't go so far as to say it was unsafe as-is, but it would have been safer to wait behind the chain link there, and would've made the course longer.

Also - Love the way you guys did grid and the three heats (run, work, rest). Wish all regions would take note...
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pats View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pats Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2011 at 11:29pm
Some comments...  Next year perhaps we'll try working one side, then crossing over the ridge and finishing on the other side.  I think we have enough room without absurdly tight turns.
 
The placement of where we crossed the ridge was intended to be a straight crossing.  Last year we had a turn right after the ridge with the result that you would catch air, then land as you tried to turn.  Not good for cars, and brutal for karts (and ribs).  So, we placed a tight turn just before it with just enough room to get settled in a straight line before hitting it.
 
Not sure we could have slowed folks down a lot more without a really tight turn.  I thought folks were fairly slowed down...  and there was enough room on the other side that WOT was the norm.  That ridge is nasty.
 
I'll take a walk around next year to try to find the best places to cross.  Maybe there are some milder sections.
 
The one bump we all missed on Saturday was the one in the center of the chicago box at the far end of the course (just after the concrete patch).  Had no idea that was there until I hit it - and that hurt! Eventually found a safe route.
 
Good suggestions...
 
About the starting point... yeah that could have been backed up a lot making for a little longer course.
 
Perhaps we did use a few too many cones in the crossover.  I should have taken a walk through after we were done and looked for extraneous cones.  Used to have a guy named Les Echols (drove an X1/9) years ago who was great at walking the course and picking out cones that were of little use.
 
In any case, sorry about your bent axle... 
Pat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scootin159 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2011 at 10:17am
Originally posted by pats pats wrote:

In any case, sorry about your bent axle...


Eh, the risk of doing business. Should be a pretty simple repair, so not really a big deal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nadelewitz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Oct-2011 at 3:14am
As a newbie this year, I was finally getting the hang of looking well ahead and knowing where I'm going in the previous two events. I was terribly cone-fused in the crossover area of this course. When I try to look several gates/turns ahead and what I can make out is a dense forest of cones, it's all over. I'm pleased to see that it wasn't just me.
 
If you want a guy to walk courses and pick out extraneous cones next year, count me in.
 
Alao, the course maps we see are deceptively simple. They don't show all the cones we see on courses.
 
Norm 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scootin159 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Oct-2011 at 10:10am
Outside of the "key cones" (i.e. those cones that actually define the course), it's really as much an art as it is a science on which other cones should or shouldn't be there. There are certainly times when pointers are useful and even nessesary, but without careful thought it can be real easy to slip into having too many cones (I'm as guilty of this as anybody else).

FWIW, I'm sure many of you have seen this, but Rodger Johnson's guide is considered the bible of course design by many: http://www.houscca.com/solo/courses/Course_Design_4-1.pdf
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