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Opinion on my priorities please

Discussion in 'Tracking & Driver Education' started by Chadwick Ferrari, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Chadwick Ferrari

    Dec 22, 2017
    118
    Full Name:
    Chadwick
    Hi everyone. I am looking to more deeply pursue a racing education, and I could use some feedback on my priorities and whether that’s aligned with reality.

    I have a 458 and will likely have more cars in my future. An F80 M3 is my DD.

    I have taken limited “training” in an Indy car experience, Porsche (GT3, Turbo) and some HPDE events. I have a decent sense of a car’s capabilities, management of its weight, oversteer/understeer and how to negotiate a track. By no means would I say I am a good driver by any qualified racing standards.

    I am thinking of signing up for the Radical 3 day, because I would learn a lot and it looks fun. I would like to do some moderate racing, but I don’t see myself committing a lot of time and money to be really competitive.

    I want to be more experienced on the track, really know how to push a car to its limits and manage it safely and have fun.

    Thoughts on what I should do? Any feedback would most appreciated.
     
    Shahaf likes this.
  2. LVP488

    LVP488 Formula 3

    Jan 21, 2017
    2,365
    France
    Entering a competition series is really putting you in a different level - the problem is the cost (for people being money limited like myself).
    Otherwise, generally speaking, driving more with some coaching is the way to go. The drawback of many trainings (including Ferrari Pilota courses IMHO) is that they have a "lifestyle" part that degrades their value for money when purely considering driving improvement.
     
  3. Chadwick Ferrari

    Dec 22, 2017
    118
    Full Name:
    Chadwick
    Appreciate the feedback. I don’t think I would really want to go deeply into competition. Perhaps buying a Radical that I keep at the track or perhaps even tracking the 458 at some point would likely be my limit.

    Agree on the whole premium of the lifestyle side of things. I really want to learn more about driving, chasing lap times more than branding.
     
  4. DougDish

    DougDish Karting
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 13, 2010
    136
    Northern NJ
    Full Name:
    Doug
    Seat Time.

    Based on my years of HPDE experience driving and instructing the best advice I can provide is for you to spend money on seat time. Keep going to the track with your BMW and make sure you have an instructor sitting right seat with with. I mostly drive and instruct at BMW CCA events but based on where you live that may not be an option so attend club events who focus on education.

    There will be moments in your driving career/hobby when you feel you have plateaued and this is OK, just keep driving and you will make it to the next level. When trying new things on track remember to try them in small increments, nothing too drastiic.

    I do drive my 458 on track once in a while and I am no where near the limit of the car. It’s still fun but very few can drive it at that level. Just remember to buy track insurance, just in case and be safe.

    Doug
     
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  5. C50

    C50 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 19, 2016
    671
    808
    Which organization are you considering for the Radical training?
    It’s something I’m interested in but I have no insight into the pros and cons of the different groups.
     
  6. Chadwick Ferrari

    Dec 22, 2017
    118
    Full Name:
    Chadwick
    Makes sense, thank you for the advice. There are good HPDE events around Atlanta, and I am part of BMW CCA. I just haven’t been that active.
     
  7. Zalfor

    Zalfor Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 31, 2013
    44
    Chicago
    Full Name:
    John
    i have a radical and i raced in the series. i think radical is not as good as the first car to race with. you're better off with something that has no aero, but whatever around you that has a school is best.

    race car > normal car for track time. you learn much much faster in a race car because you get more of the feeling of the traction.

    you want a balance of track + school, because if all u do is drive, you wont learn anything or learn the wrong habits which take time to undo.

    ==edit== moderate racing = go karts or miata racing. there are some gentleman radical drivers as well but the overall average of the guys that race those is going to be higher than the slower cars.
     
  8. Chadwick Ferrari

    Dec 22, 2017
    118
    Full Name:
    Chadwick
    It’s the Primal Racing School. They use Radicals.
     
    C50 likes this.
  9. blkfxstc

    blkfxstc Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 30, 2016
    157
    TX
    Full Name:
    Eric
    More HPDE time first (with an instructor in the car with you) until you are one of the fastest or fastest out there, then decide if you want to go further. Make sure the cars out there with you are as fast or faster than you so you can improve.
     
    Caeruleus11 likes this.
  10. rlips

    rlips Formula Junior

    Jul 29, 2011
    897
    New Jersey, USA
    Seat time. Then more seat time. If possible, hire a pro coach who utilizes a data driven approach as early as you can in your training. Then get more seat time.
     
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  11. Zalfor

    Zalfor Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 31, 2013
    44
    Chicago
    Full Name:
    John
    #11 Zalfor, Jul 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    coming from a different angle, i actually wouldn't recommend doing too many HPDE days (if you can afford to do more professional racing instruction). (it's fun but most of the stuff you learn there isn't very scientific). rather having racing school is incredibly useful. (and driving a car with more feel).

    track time is useful ofc.

    ==edit==

    amp looks like a sick track. if you're driving SR1's at their racing school theres not much df.
    looks like do a school => buy a SR3 (no one buys an SR1). join the track, drive every week, win races :)
     
  12. Chadwick Ferrari

    Dec 22, 2017
    118
    Full Name:
    Chadwick
    So... consensus around more seat time?


    I like the way you think. Having an SR3 within 30 minutes of me and time on the track would be a ton of fun.

    What the hell.. I think I’ll do the Radical program and get in some more HPDE.
     
  13. gatorgreg

    gatorgreg Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 13, 2004
    1,714
    NAPLES
    My advice would be hire a real good driving coach with the 458. Do a weekend with a coach. This will give you an idea of the lack of skill that you have. It is humbling. Make sure he is using a data based system like AIM.

    The next step is a track use only car. This is another level of commitment. Then do track days with the driving coach.

    Your next step would be racing. This is on another level.

    I have never been able to get excited about the Radical cars. They are so primitive and old. They are not reliable at all.
     
  14. Ky1e

    Ky1e Formula 3

    Mar 4, 2011
    1,182
    FL
    I agree with above posters. Get seat time thru HPDE track days in your own car. Then after having instruction from the free HPDE instructors you can hire your own coach for professional instruction (costs about $500-$1200/day, most are $800-$1000). That is the best way.

    Then after that if you want to continue you can goto a 3 day racing school and get your race license and do arrive and drive races like lucas oil racing.

    If still want more buy a track car like a race prepared cayman and do PCA and other AM series.
     
  15. ersatzS2

    ersatzS2 Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2009
    791
    Norfolk VA
    Dusting off some ancient opinions, but I feel they are more relevant than ever: Nothing and I mean nothing builds car control and racing skills quicker and more safely than karting. If you are lucky enough to have a serious kart track nearby, and can connect with someone who runs a team and can do preparation and support, you'll learn far more about the line, weight management, setup, racecraft etc in one weekend than a month of weekend HPDE.

    I doubt there is any longer any race series where pro drivers didn't come from a karting background. It's not necessarily cheap; when my son was racing, we and plenty of other families had $100K/year budgets. But cost per hour, even with a constant flow of stickers, fresh engines each weekend, and full time support there is nothing on a cost per hour basis that will get you higher up the learning curve quicker.

    https://www.margay.com/race-with-us/where-to-race.html
     
    JV's89 likes this.
  16. Zalfor

    Zalfor Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 31, 2013
    44
    Chicago
    Full Name:
    John
    100k/year in karts? do u have 10 engines or seomtihng?
     
  17. Chadwick Ferrari

    Dec 22, 2017
    118
    Full Name:
    Chadwick
    I appreciate that. There’s a karting track about 30 minutes from here. I’ll give that a closer look.
     
  18. J. Salmon

    J. Salmon F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Aug 27, 2005
    4,181
    VA
    Sim racing, with a coach. Best way to get extremely valuable seat time. Even the pros do it.
     
  19. absostone

    absostone F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 28, 2008
    4,139
    Fchat
    Spec Miata, learn there. Rack your brain for .010 sec. momentum, keep the car free. learn there.
     
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  20. ersatzS2

    ersatzS2 Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2009
    791
    Norfolk VA
    Yep. In a national program when you are taking off ~4 days every couple weeks to race, you race multiple classes at each venue. We would race Yamaha Sportsman, Light and heavy, HPV (as it used to be called) light an heavy, and TAG. So ~3 karts, at least two engines per kart, with multiple configurations per kart. For national race events; call it six per series, you’d want a fresh engine for each event, not to mention new tires all around. Lots of other consumables, but factor in hotels, transportation (we raced the eastern seaboard, as far west as IL, north to WI, South to FL, and all the east tracks including Charlotte, Daytona (yes they all have karting tracks in the infield)
    We raced with the Margay factory team, so used their hauler and support, but it’s no cheaper to do it yourself. You’ll need at least one other person for support each event, and if you yourself are not wrenching, then two support people. Google Spencer Pigot, Sage Karam, Julia Landauer, Trent Hindeman, we raced with them all for a decade.
     
  21. Speed and Angels

    Dec 24, 2015
    19
    Dallas, TX
    I went a little different route than some. I took the Corso Pilota “Sport” course at COTA and got the bug (worth every penny by the way), I figured my 599 was not the ideal track car and I did a lot of comparisons; Spec Boxter/Miata, GT3, GT3 RS, 488, Viper and all versions of the Corvette C7. I ended up buying a new 2019 Corvette Grand Sport and dedicating it to the track, girodisk brakes, carbotech pads, Castrol SRF brake fluid and two sets of wheels and Michelin cup 2 tires, everything else stock.

    Reasons - warranty, manual transmission, cost of entry, drive modes, cost of an off track event, drivable to the track, pretty darn fast, did I mention the warranty?

    I read once that the two things you need to be fast are Smooth and Fearless, as much as I look at getting a GT3 RS I think the Fearless part of my equation would take a pretty big hit. I would also agree with the previous posts that very good data is an extremely important part of getting fast.

    On most tracks up to and including a GT3 RS, excluding 720S, GT2 RS, Radicals and in most cases a ZR1, the driver makes more of a difference than the car, back to the comment about data and private instruction.

    YMMV,
    Spice
     
    Thecadster likes this.
  22. Ky1e

    Ky1e Formula 3

    Mar 4, 2011
    1,182
    FL
    I wouldnt drive on the limit on the track regularly or to improve race craft unless I was outfitted with the proper safety equipment-- roll cage, halo race seat, hans, fire suppression etc that can only be found on a proper dedicated race car. If you do a couple DE days/year that is a different story. Road cars are simply to unsafe to be pushing the limits on. I started with HPDE in my Ferrari 458 spider and when 3 instructors (all in one day, where I had zero spins nor ever lost control) declined to get back in the car with me at Sebring due to safety concerns, I got the point and bought a proper race car.

    It pays off. When I let my son take one of my race cars out at Daytona (with me in the passenger seat), he lost control at 154 mph, we hit the wall at 125mph (both documented via motec data), and both we both walked away (I did crack ribs), minus a $150K race car. We would be dead if we were in a street car. After feeling a crash in a race car, I would not get in a street car unless it was at a considerably lower pace threshold, in which case, it is not worth the time.
     
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  23. Speed and Angels

    Dec 24, 2015
    19
    Dallas, TX
    Your decision matrix is that if you cannot push 100% it’s not worth your time to improve your race craft, not true with us amateurs. I can tell you if you know your track well you can push the limit to 100% in many turns, I drive COTA and MSR Cresson mostly. There are turns at both courses, COTA more specifically that you drive at 95% maybe 90% (turn 4, 10 and 19) and feel comfortable but turn 1, 7, 8, 11, 13 and 14 you can push as hard as you want and not have a car with a roll cage in order to feel comfortable, even a four wheel drift in turn 18 at COTA is well within the comfort zone.

    Wheel to wheel or trying to set a lap at 100% the entire way I agree you should take extreme caution and protect yourself accordingly, HPDE events where you can back it off where you want is a different story.

    Most of us want to drive a street car to the track have fun and go home. Before you throw darts, safety is more important to me than most on this thread, my hair is thin from wearing a helmet most of my life, my back is shot from wearing a harness that locks me into the seat probably a bit to tight and Lewis Hamilton’s top speed is a yawner.

    YMMV,
    Spice
     
  24. schao

    schao Karting

    Mar 31, 2013
    158
    Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    S Chao
    THIS!!!
     
  25. rlips

    rlips Formula Junior

    Jul 29, 2011
    897
    New Jersey, USA
    I won’t track a street car anymore. Totally agree with Kyle.
     

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