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Shuka

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After posting on the thread mentioned, I had to think about this in more detail. I like your description of "several turn complexes requiring a non-intuitive path to correctly execute". 

 

I'm still kinda thinking out loud here, but I can almost narrow it down to braking zones. When I think of highly technical turns, its the ones with tricky braking zones. For example, turns like 6 and 10 on the Cresson 3.1 are technical to me because they are very hard to hit the braking zone to maximize speed. Wagon wheel on the Cresson 1.7 CW is very difficult to maximize. You can brake much deeper than what you initially think. That is another turn @@JBJones and I have discussed. I know I'm still not doing it right. Steve Hill says you should be trailbraking until you get on the gas to turn up the hill to rattlesnake. 

 

Good question though....

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To add to Dave's post I think wagon wheel and horseshoe are more interesting going CW because they go more off camber further out in the corner. This makes them more technical because maximum grip is found tighter in the turn and require more trail braking to get the car to point out of the corner.

 

When you compound multiple factors into a single turn or a string of turns it makes them less intuitive and more technical: off-camber, decreasing radius, double apex, blind, elevation changes etc.

 

Then there are also other things like less than ideal track surfaces with bumps and dips throughout corners you have to factor in.

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I'm also thinking NCM - it's a fast track, with a lot of gutsy high speed sweepers and significant elevation change. But is it "technical?"

 

There's a turn called Deception; a part or full throttle turn over a hill so you can't see track-out when you turn in. If you apex where your intuition tells you, you fly right off the track. Instead you have to take a much later turn in, which lets you stay on the gas without finding a wall. As long as you remember to turn in really late, it's not difficult to execute. It doesn't draw on balancing skill sets, just remembering. I wouldn't call it "technical" but it will bite you hard if you mess it up.

 

There's also Sinkhole, which is a massive elevation drop and rise mid-turn that goes off camber as you crest a hill. You don't have to manage the brakes so much as attitude, throttle, and position of the car, since it's light and pushy until it settles. The key is to get the exit set up, which ultimately determines your front straight speed. I would call it technical, despite not being much of a brake zone critical turn.

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Also, I rarely heard TWS described as technical, even though it has a few turns which definitely meet the criteria.

 

But TWS very much rewarded fundamentals... so maybe the antithesis of "technical" would be "fundamental"? 

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I tend to lump "busy" and technical into the same category, which may or may not be accurate.  Old school tracks like Road America are neither busy nor technical, as you have frequent periods of the only major input being throttle/brake and most corners are straight forward.  Short tracks with minimal straights I tend to call technical, because by nature they have more complex braking zones / corner types.

 

 

Elevation and line of sight can have a major impact as well.  A short and busy track that is 100% flat isn't as technical as a track with elevation / camber / etc...  

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I don't consider TWS technical at all. It's just fast. In fact, I think that is what made it so popular among the masses: with relative ease, you could learn to "haul ass" there. Going faster was really just a matter of getting braver, and as Shuka said, getting the fundamentals right.

 

A technical course is one with many "non standard" corners. Off camber, tricky angles, displaced apexes, etc. I'd call Hallett, Harris Hill, Cresson 3.1 (for sure) all technical tracks.

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I also think the type of car you drive changes how technical a turn is. Turn 1 at tws in a miata is not too technical, but if you're in a 1000 hp viper, its pretty hard to get the braking done as late as possible. 

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If I have any chance at all of keeping up with your high horsepower pony car in my 1.6 liter miata then it is a technical track.

 

Kinda my thinking too . . . if a guy fresh off the street in his GTR can just mash it the skinny pedal and let the computers keep him on track, it's not technical enough.

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I tend to think of a technical track as the opposite of a flow track.  A flow track tends to have corner exits that line you up for the next corner entrance or at least has a straight that gives you time to get on the on the correct side of the track for the next entrance.  A flow track also usually doesn't have corners with hard, long braking zones that require 3-4 downshifts.  I think TWS is a flow track as well as the Spring Mountain East track that Ron Fellows uses for the Corvette owners school.  Both can be quite fun though.  

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I tend to think of "technical" tracks as short and not much room to stretch legs.  Not saying I am right but that's how I think.

 

If you add flow into the equation then VIR, WGI, Hallett, and TWS would be anti-technical tracks IMO.  

 

Tracks like Circuit Grand Bayou, MSRH and GSS would be technical.

 

That being said the least flowing track I have ever driven to date is COTA.  Maybe in time I'll learn to love it, but right now it's meh.

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That being said the least flowing track I have ever driven to date is COTA.  Maybe in time I'll learn to love it, but right now it's meh.

 

Interesting. I don't consider COTA a technical track.

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Interesting. I don't consider COTA a technical track.

WGI and COTA are the same length yet I am 25 seconds faster at WGI. I don't know if that makes it technical but it is definitely a less flowing track than WGI or VIR or TWS for that matter.

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That being said the least flowing track I have ever driven to date is COTA.  Maybe in time I'll learn to love it, but right now it's meh.

 

WGI and COTA are the same length yet I am 25 seconds faster at WGI. I don't know if that makes it technical but it is definitely a less flowing track than WGI or VIR or TWS for that matter.

 

Agreed. COTA has no flow. I personally don't think that makes it technical, just a shitty track design.  :biggrin:

 

I think the word technical, in this context, has the same meaning as challenging. I agree with you that Hallett has a good flow, but I still think it's pretty technical. 

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I dunno' about all this, but I know when I'm having fun and when things get boring and repetitive.  Love Hallett, especially when I get to run both directions to mix it up.  Loved TWS.  Really glad I live so close to MSR-C.  My favorite configuration is the 3.1, and I think 1.7CW is more fun than 1.7CCW.

 

Not a huge fan of ECR though.  Very repetitive, like a string of drag races, braking zones and 180 turns.  The two sections that go through the canyon are the interesting parts.

 

Mind you, this is for HPDE or TT.  Add in wheel-to-wheel and the challenge focus shifts from the track to the competitors.

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If I have any chance at all of keeping up with your high horsepower pony car in my 1.6 liter miata then it is a technical track.

I guess that makes TWS a technical track.

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I guess that makes TWS a technical track.

 

Right, no... not sure that's a good definition at all. MSRH is hard for a low power car to keep up with a high power car, but it's far more technical than TWS. We're talking "momentum track", which doesn't necessarily mean non-technical. Or something.

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My interpretation of technical is a layout or sequence of turns that requires precision from the driver with very little room for error. Typically that means passing is very difficult or next to impossible on 4 wheels and even challenging on two wheels without initiating contact or requiring a competitor give up the challenge or submit the position. Also fast/flowing and technical are not mutually exclusive so tracks such as Road Atlanta, Barber, Nurburgring I consider both fast and technical.

 

Note on COTA...its a point and shoot track so another category entirely which is why most of us (including myself) don't like the layout. However to be fair it was designed for F1/MotoGP rocketships and promotes lots of overtaking opportunities which makes for better racing, not for plebs like us putt-putting our jalopies around at a minute plus slower per lap. The esses are flowing/technical and therefore enjoyable but that's about it.

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I guess that makes TWS a technical track.

Parts of tws were more technical but in general it favored cars with big hp.

 

Parts of msrh are technical. It seems to have the back section much more technical than the front.

 

Then I consider Harris hill more technical than either tws or msrh. So instead of a black and white evaluations they are all shades of grey.

 

Therefore I will stick with my low hp good handling vs high hp poor handling simple explanation

 

If you are driving a pony car and there is a 1.6 l miata on you back bumper consider that you are in a technical section of the track. [emoji3]

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What I am hearing is we just need to stop using the word "technical".  While we are at it, another pet peeve, let's ban the word "best".  Come to think of it, lets drop "momentum", at least in the context of performance driving.

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What I am hearing is we just need to stop using the word "technical".  While we are at it, another pet peeve, let's ban the word "best".  Come to think of it, lets drop "momentum", at least in the context of performance driving.

Bryan, TJ is a site with lots of Miatas, technically it is the best momentum car out there. :ph34r:

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What I am hearing is we just need to stop using the word "technical".  While we are at it, another pet peeve, let's ban the word "best".  Come to think of it, lets drop "momentum", at least in the context of performance driving.

Agreed. Except I hope we can keep the 'World's Greatest' moniker cause if not that would shut down just about every Pizza, BBQ & Burger joint in Texas and I haven't gone vegan yet.

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Agreed. Except I hope we can keep the 'World's Greatest' moniker cause if not that would shut down just about every Pizza, BBQ & Burger joint in Texas and I haven't gone vegan yet.

How about "________ Capitol of the World"? That can go right?

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