This one is a little hard to do an “apples-to-apples” comparison with - I don’t have any good data (e.g. taken with my Dual SkyPro 10Hz GPS receiver) from any previous Grattan experiences from past years, and even if I did, I only just started driving with the 1.8L engine a couple months ago

(Click any image to view it in full resolution.)

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GPS vs Speed (MPH)

All sessions were done on Hoosier SM7’s (40TW).

Green was from me doin’ my own thing, trying my own line.
Purple was doing lead-follow with a Champcar Miata.

I’m amazed at how much more natural purple felt. Green was a fair best-guess, and in my defense, Turn 1 at Grattan was in desperate need for resurfacing (in fact, it got resurfaced the week after this event).

But by and large, little shifts in when to apex and how hard to brake, how hard to push…it adds up. You can see that the speed graph in 1-7 is almost identical - just shifted up to “faster” in purple. Carried more speed, applied brakes at equivalent rates, but didn’t slow down to as much a speed as green.

That had been my mistake at Gingerman the last time I was there - overbraking and losing all momentum and having to “start over” with recovering any gained then immediately lost time.

I want to draw special attention to turns 7 all the way through 10 - there’s a line that I half-remembered (green), and dialed in (purple, especially noticable in the speed graph from 8 to 10), where instead of feathering the throttle at all, you can pretty much go wide-open (WOT) and carry a ton of speed and let the track carry you.

I know a similar line for Gingerman’s esses (6-10B), and feel way more confident doing that one repeatedly. Still, once I got the hang of it, very fun.

10 here is actually interesting because there’s a point where you intentionally steer towards a tire wall, because it sets you up nicely for 10’s apex. Scary, but it also lets you know if the car in front of you knows this track or not - the ones who aren’t aiming for that wall haven’t been here much.

11 is actually pretty scary, truth be told. It’s a blind corner - you just have to put your trust in the car and that you’re aiming right, and hammer down. I have a “bad habit” of feathering through it - losing time and power, but the car is always guarenteed to make it home at the end of the day by being so conservative.

Plus, I’ve yet to ever do a day at Grattan where the track wasn’t a little wet, and I didn’t spin…