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So I tracked my CS for the first time last Friday. It was a fantastic experience. Being a member of the Porsche Club UAE, I had the opportunity to participate to a track session at the Abu Dhabi Yas Marina F1 Circuit, utilizing the full 5.554 km track.

I really wanted to share that experience with you guys. Here is a short video of it.


The video was shot using my Go Pro camera, mounted on the roof of my car (with a suction cup). The exhaust sound was recorded by a microphone connected to the Go Pro.

During one of my run, I was lucky enough to have an instructor sitting in the car next to me. That was just awesome. He was really helpful and I have the feeling his advices helped me a lot in improving my driving skills. The only bad news: my front and rear tires are almost dead (after only 1 hour and a half). Not good at all... :( But this will definitely not prevent me from doing that again next time (scheduled in March).

For the next time, I would like to make use of the Harry's Lap Timer Grand Prix application as I would like to add, as an additional display on the video itself, the track map, the actual speed and rev, etc. Has anyone used this app before? Do you know how you can add this additional display on top of a video recorded, not using the phone, but a Go Pro?
 

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Wow! That was cool. and an awesome track too!
 
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You tracked the car for 90 minutes nonstop!!!! And you're complaining about the tires?!!

That must've been exhausting to you, the car, brakes and tires...

Hopefully we'll meet one day in Bahrain's BIC :)
 
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You tracked the car for 90 minutes nonstop!!!! And you're complaining about the tires?!!

That must've been exhausting to you, the car, brakes and tires...

Hopefully we'll meet one day in Bahrain's BIC :)
Actually, it was 3 runs of 30 minutes each... With 30 minutes between each.
 

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Actually, it was 3 runs of 30 minutes each... With 30 minutes between each.
30 minutes is still too long on road tyres. The max I do is about 15 minute sessions on PSS. Great video though and I'm very envious of you driving that circuit.
 

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Awesome video and circuit (especially compared to the ones I have close by).

As to the tires: If you do it frequently, get some dedicated track wheels (18"). Will save some money over time ;).

And there are some threads here about the software, but to be honest, I have not seen anything easy yet (but then I am using a GoPro and the SC recording and RaceRender).
 
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So I tracked my CS for the first time last Friday. It was a fantastic experience. Being a member of the Porsche Club UAE, I had the opportunity to participate to a track session at the Abu Dhabi Yas Marina F1 Circuit, utilizing the full 5.554 km track.

I really wanted to share that experience with you guys. Here is a short video of it.


The video was shot using my Go Pro camera, mounted on the roof of my car (with a suction cup). The exhaust sound was recorded by a microphone connected to the Go Pro.

During one of my run, I was lucky enough to have an instructor sitting in the car next to me. That was just awesome. He was really helpful and I have the feeling his advices helped me a lot in improving my driving skills. The only bad news: my front and rear tires are almost dead (after only 1 hour and a half). Not good at all... :( But this will definitely not prevent me from doing that again next time (scheduled in March).

For the next time, I would like to make use of the Harry's Lap Timer Grand Prix application as I would like to add, as an additional display on the video itself, the track map, the actual speed and rev, etc. Has anyone used this app before? Do you know how you can add this additional display on top of a video recorded, not using the phone, but a Go Pro?
293...:

A few thoughts here, if I may?

1. Novice drivers with Go Pro cameras often get caught up in their cinema photography and neglect their driving skills. Don't let this happen to you! Remember, you can still get hurt out there and the laws of physics don't care a wit about your cameras or your red instrument dials. Do learn the fundamentals if you haven't. ...You know how I worry!

2. If you feel like this track driving is for you, figure out some way to get more negative camber on your car. About 2 degrees in front and 1.8 or so in the back will really extend tire life. Make sure, when you increase negative camber that you also have a full alignment so the toe settings are good. If toe is out and camber is also out, the car will eat the inside edges of the tires, especially in the rear.

To get camber in front, you need to either lower the car with sport springs or with coil-over struts

OR install adjustable lower control arms like GT3s come with. You can install GT3 arms or buy aftermarket ones from several suppliers. These allow you to change camber by adding shims into the arms to make them effectively longer. I have GT3 LCAs and they really do save my front tires. I've experimented with a lot of settings and had many alignments at my local shop. I haven't noticed increased tire wear from doing this, but if you go too far, you will get wear on the insides of the tires and you will also get decreased braking and acceleration times because the wheels aren't sitting flat on the pavement.

These are the sorts of things you start to think about when you do more track days. It's fun!!!

:cheers:
 
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...The video was shot using my Go Pro camera, mounted on the roof of my car (with a suction cup). The exhaust sound was recorded by a microphone connected to the Go Pro. ...
The sound is great. What microphone did you use and how did you mount it so that you didn't get any wind noise?

For the next time, I would like to make use of the Harry's Lap Timer Grand Prix application as I would like to add, as an additional display on the video itself, the track map, the actual speed and rev, etc. Has anyone used this app before? Do you know how you can add this additional display on top of a video recorded, not using the phone, but a Go Pro?
I have a Contour+2 camera, which has an in-built GPS logger and I have played around a bit with Dashware, which does the overlays. Dashware supports lots of data formats, and Dashware themselves have a free iPhone and android logger app. Dashware also has a free 30 day trial.
 

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So I tracked my CS for the first time last Friday. It was a fantastic experience. .......
Yas Marina under the lights?
Very few people will ever get to experience a Formula 1 track, never mind under the lights, count your blessings!

During one of my run, I was lucky enough to have an instructor sitting in the car next to me. That was just awesome. .....
First time on track and you only had an instructor for one session?
Liability law works different over there than in the US.

Run some other track events before March, what you learn will carry over to Yas Marina.
If you're new to tracking, don't worry about Harry's and data gathering, just some simple GoPro footage review with an instructor will be very helpful.

Thanks for the vid, I enjoyed it.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Awesome video and circuit (especially compared to the ones I have close by).

As to the tires: If you do it frequently, get some dedicated track wheels (18"). Will save some money over time ;).

And there are some threads here about the software, but to be honest, I have not seen anything easy yet (but then I am using a GoPro and the SC recording and RaceRender).
Thanks Mike for the tip. I agree with you: having dedicated wheels (rims and tires) for the track is a good option, especially since I am looking to do that 3 or 4 times a year. I will investigate the subject prior to my next track day scheduled in March.

I was surfing on the net yesterday evening and noticed the existence of Race Render. The results looks pretty good, but as you say, it does not look easy. Well at least, you need to get acustomized to the software. I did not know you could download from the SC / PCM. I definitely need to investigate that as well!
 
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293...:

A few thoughts here, if I may?

1. Novice drivers with Go Pro cameras often get caught up in their cinema photography and neglect their driving skills. Don't let this happen to you! Remember, you can still get hurt out there and the laws of physics don't care a wit about your cameras or your red instrument dials. Do learn the fundamentals if you haven't. ...You know how I worry!

2. If you feel like this track driving is for you, figure out some way to get more negative camber on your car. About 2 degrees in front and 1.8 or so in the back will really extend tire life. Make sure, when you increase negative camber that you also have a full alignment so the toe settings are good. If toe is out and camber is also out, the car will eat the inside edges of the tires, especially in the rear.

To get camber in front, you need to either lower the car with sport springs or with coil-over struts

OR install adjustable lower control arms like GT3s come with. You can install GT3 arms or buy aftermarket ones from several suppliers. These allow you to change camber by adding shims into the arms to make them effectively longer. I have GT3 LCAs and they really do save my front tires. I've experimented with a lot of settings and had many alignments at my local shop. I haven't noticed increased tire wear from doing this, but if you go too far, you will get wear on the insides of the tires and you will also get decreased braking and acceleration times because the wheels aren't sitting flat on the pavement.

These are the sorts of things you start to think about when you do more track days. It's fun!!!

:cheers:
Many thanks for the advice! It;s really interesting what you say: I noticed that my tires (especially the rear ones) were more damaged on the edges (exterior) than on the middle... When I tracked the car, there were a few guys there with their GT3. I think I will try to speak to them next time and see what they do and see if I can get additional information from them. All this is very new to me, so again, many thanks for your highly valuable tips! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The sound is great. What microphone did you use and how did you mount it so that you didn't get any wind noise?

I bought on Amazon (for less than 20$) a clip-on omnidirectional condenser microphone for GoPro. See link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Movo-GM100-Omnidirectional-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B00N0EA3NC/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1419230948&sr=1-1&keywords=microphone+go+pro

I couldn't find one in Dubai so I took the opportunity of my last business trip in the US to order the mic on Amazon and get it delivered to my hotel. I also bought an extension (otherwise it is too short if you want to pull the wire till the back of the car as I did).

So what I did is connecting the mic to the Go Pro (it's sold with the Go Pro adapter), had the wire go through the door (above the window) inside the cabin, and then I pulled it up to the trunk. The wire then went out of the trunk and I fixed the mic just above the exhaust, a little bit hidden (and hence protected) by the registration plate. This combined to the fact that the mic is sold with a wind muff, helped to reduce drastically the wind noise. I hope this helps!

I have a Contour+2 camera, which has an in-built GPS logger and I have played around a bit with Dashware, which does the overlays. Dashware supports lots of data formats, and Dashware themselves have a free iPhone and android logger app. Dashware also has a free 30 day trial.
Thanks for the tip. I will also investigate that in addition to RaceRender.
 
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Many thanks for the advice! It;s really interesting what you say: I noticed that my tires (especially the rear ones) were more damaged on the edges (exterior) than on the middle... When I tracked the car, there were a few guys there with their GT3. I think I will try to speak to them next time and see what they do and see if I can get additional information from them. All this is very new to me, so again, many thanks for your highly valuable tips! :cheers:
A great (& inexpensive) 1st step, is get a "good" track tire gauge (preferably one that allows you to bleed off pressure while checking it); record your beginning tire pressures (i.e. "cold") and your tire pressures right at the end of each track session; record them, and then talk to someone about what those temperatures mean & do vis your driving experience.

Oh yes, as others have suggested, a 2nd set of tires for the track, & brake pads appropriate to the temperatures you will start running are a good idea too. From your post about having a coach/guide/facilitator for one session, I don't know how up tight or stringent your local track day hosts are, but . . . . . . here in the litigious US, most organizers insist on a tech inspection sheet for the car prior to allowing anyone out on the track. It's good to know you have at least @1/3rd or more brake pad material; a tire isn't corded, loose or way under, or over pressure etc. and the brake fluid's been changed at least within the last decade or so. Blitzing into a corner at warp speed is a bad place & time even for an experienced driver to discover one or more of his important control surfaces has decided to take a vacation and stop working effectively.

Last, but not least, if you really get hooked, consider spending some $$$ on yourself - go to one of the many performance driving schools that are out there for a 2 - 3 day formal training program.
 
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A great (& inexpensive) 1st step, is get a "good" track tire gauge (preferably one that allows you to bleed off pressure while checking it); record your beginning tire pressures (i.e. "cold") and your tire pressures right at the end of each track session; record them, and then talk to someone about what those temperatures mean & do vis your driving experience.

Oh yes, as others have suggested, a 2nd set of tires for the track, & brake pads appropriate to the temperatures you will start running are a good idea too. From your post about having a coach/guide/facilitator for one session, I don't know how up tight or stringent your local track day hosts are, but . . . . . . here in the litigious US, most organizers insist on a tech inspection sheet for the car prior to allowing anyone out on the track. It's good to know you have at least @1/3rd or more brake pad material; a tire isn't corded, loose or way under, or over pressure etc. and the brake fluid's been changed at least within the last decade or so. Blitzing into a corner at warp speed is a bad place & time even for an experienced driver to discover one or more of his important control surfaces has decided to take a vacation and stop working effectively.

Last, but not least, if you really get hooked, consider spending some $$$ on yourself - go to one of the many performance driving schools that are out there for a 2 - 3 day formal training program.
293...:

+1 on all the above suggestions.

Here's how tire pressure on track works:

If you start with the recommended pressures listed on your door, make sure the tires are "cold" when you set these. That means a cold engine and tires at ambient temp, not driven on.

When you first go out on the track, the car will feel fine. As your speeds increase and time on the track gets longer, the tires get hotter and pressure increases. From this point forward for the rest of your track day, you IGNORE "cold" pressures and only use "hot" pressures.

What I do (I'm an advanced driver and instructor) is tread lightly for one lap or so, then press enough to get the tires hot. Then I pull into pits, jump out and take a reading of all 4 tires while they're hot off the track. My target pressure for ALL 4 tires while hot is 36 to 38 psi. That means, usually, that I'm going to be letting air out of the tires. I use a little plastic "pistol grip" digital tire gage. I like it because it fits in my pocket and is easy for these quick tire checks.

OK, so I've jumped out of the car, set all 4 tires to 37 psi. I'll now finish my first session enjoying better grip and higher cornering speeds. IMMEDIATELY after the end of this session, I'll check the tires again and again adjust them to 37psi. Then, I'll leave everything alone in the pits until the next session.

By the 2nd session, my car has been sitting and cooling a while, so my tire pressures have come down, probably by as much as 6 to 10 PSI. I DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING at this point. I go back on track and again, take the first lap just fast enough to get the tires warm but not driving on the ragged edge. Next lap, a little faster. Next lap, full on. ONLY if I notice that something feels a bit sloppy or wrong after the 3rd lap, will I check tires again. It's back to the pits and repeat the same process.

I'm always very careful not to let out too much air. That way, I won't need a compressed air source for this quick check.

Generally, the tires gain pressure as the day wears on and I'm fighting over-inflation.

When my tires, (Nitto NT 01 - 235/40/18 F & 275/40/18 R...highly recommended for their durability and grip) get above 40 psi, they start to feel greasy and under-inflated, but the opposite is actually going on.

We start our track days about 9AM and the track usually gets hotter throughout the day. If you're driving at night, you may not have this or may have to opposite situation, where the track actually gets cooler as the event progresses. If that happens, you'll need compressed air to keep the tires right. Point is, this tire inflation thing can make a huge difference in the amount of grip available and the car's balance, so pay attention to those HOT, not cold, pressures.

Asking GT3 guys about camber is missing the point. The GT3's come with adjustable lower control arms on the front suspension. You can put shims in these to change the camber. On a Cayman, you have to buy GT3 (or other aftermarket) adjustable control arms and have them installed on your car in order to have adjustable front camber.

The rear camber is adjustable on Caymans with an eccentric piece that is bolted in. If you don't lower your car, you should have enough adjustment. The "magic number for rear camber is 2.2 degrees negative. For the front, the same or up to 2.5 negative should be good.

It's vital that you have a 4-wheel alignment done if you change the height of your car or adjust the camber. These adjustments both will change the toe settings (whether the wheels point straight, inward (toe-in) or outward (toe out). I like about 2/32" inch total toe OUT on the front wheels and about the same amount IN on the rear. I've also used zero toe on both front and rear and it works very well. You do not want a lot of toe either way when you have extra camber dialed in. If you have it, the tires will wear down on the insides while you are driving in a straight line.

One guy we know bought a new set of DOT race tires and changed his camber around on his M3, then drove it down to Putnam Park, in central Indiana for an event. It's about 250 miles, all interstate highway. By the time he got to the starting grid, the nylon cords were showing on the inside edges of his tires. He hadn't even tracked the car yet! This can happen to you if you don't do the full alignment.

Getting some good driving instruction is so critical to really getting the most out of your track days. Do it!!!

:cheers:
 

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Good advice from all above. I will only add that if you wish to keep your car stock yet still track it a few times per year, all that is really necessary is good brake pads that have enough temperature tolerance and fresh DOT 4 brake fluid. The tires WILL wear at the outer corners. (especially fronts) but this can be managed to an acceptable level with tire pressure. I tracked my Cayman 8 days this year (80--90 minutes per day) on one set of Pilot Super Sports. They have about 10,000 street miles on them too now and are still very usable. Yes the corners are rounded, but the rest of the tread looks remarkably good. I use the same procedure that Sixisenuff describes but simply start at a bit higher pressure cold. Most days I would start at 35--36 all around and bleed down to 40-41 hot when I came off the track. Yes the tires get a bit greasy towards the end of the session if I push hard and it is hot, but quite honestly I cant say that it is worse than it is at lower pressures.
I went the route of adjustable control arms, camber plates, lowering springs, poly bushings, Koni Sports, Carbotech race pads, stainless hoses, Nitto NT01s and so on with my previous car. (an Audi) I'm going to leave this Cayman pretty much as is. There is always somebody faster anyway :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
One thousand thanks to all of you for those highly valuable advices! That's just awesome. Actually, before heading to the track, I went to a petrol station where I had my tires inflated @ 33 psi (as per Porsche recommendations for the 20' wheels). Of course, I did that when the tires where cold. I then went to the track (approx. 70 miles drive). Shortly after signing all the paperwork (mostly disclaimers), my tires have been checked by a Pirelli team (they are sponsors to the event). But honestly, I did not get out of my car, so I don't know whether they added more pressure or, to the contrary, if they removed some. What I know for sure is that, at one point (after the first run if not mistaken), I had a quick look on the TPMS and the figures indicated there where incredibly high (in the range of 41-41 psi). So I guess this is where I should have deflated the tires a little bit... I will definitely be more cautious about that next time!
 

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One thousand thanks to all of you for those highly valuable advices! That's just awesome. Actually, before heading to the track, I went to a petrol station where I had my tires inflated @ 33 psi (as per Porsche recommendations for the 20' wheels). Of course, I did that when the tires where cold. I then went to the track (approx. 70 miles drive). Shortly after signing all the paperwork (mostly disclaimers), my tires have been checked by a Pirelli team (they are sponsors to the event). But honestly, I did not get out of my car, so I don't know whether they added more pressure or, to the contrary, if they removed some. What I know for sure is that, at one point (after the first run if not mistaken), I had a quick look on the TPMS and the figures indicated there where incredibly high (in the range of 41-41 psi). So I guess this is where I should have deflated the tires a little bit... I will definitely be more cautious about that next time!
Actually , 41---41 hot does not sound too high for street tires. That is about where I like my 18s coming off the track. Lower would be better if the cars had more camber, but with stock camber higher pressures are needed to preserve the tire shoulders from rollover. Did your tires chunk? , are they just very grainy, are the shoulders corded? Do you have a photo of the tread that you could post? We would know a lot more from that. High performance street tires can be and should be good for 8 to 10 days of 90 minutes track time per day. They wont be pretty though.
 

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Thanks for sharing - I'm so jealous, having watched the F1 races there the last few years on TV, I can only imagine how good it must have felt to be there yourself. The track surface must have been so smooth.
 
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