Now with video!
Day 3 is done. This keeps getting better every day. We started the day with right pendulum turns, since we only did left turns yesterday. I’m starting to get the hang of them. We drove two 4000s that drove very differently. One of them drove like a tank and needed super aggressive inputs to get around. The other one rotated way more and could be driven more like a FWD car.
We also got some sweepers for the first time instead of just single cone turns. I had to exaggerate the late apex to make the corners properly and set up for the next ones. They were really easy to early apex.
Next we moved on to trail braking. Seems simple, stay hard on the brakes and ease off while turning the car. It turns out finding that sweet spot is difficult. Too much brake either causes understeer or losing too much speed. Too little brake means understeering off course. Also with a FWD car, to get the rotation I had to be floored with the gas and really hard on the brake. If I was just on the brake, the car would understeer terribly.
After lunch, we were finally allowed to leave the slalom area. You can (kinda) see in the video above. The loop was down the hill, through the slalom, a left sweeper into a trail brake right, left sweeper over crest, decreasing radius right by the shop, right over crest, downhill left, and back through the cones in the opposite direction back up the hill. I was good on the cones but I had trouble using too much braking on the road corners. Once at the top of the hill, we would do the run again turning right after leaving the skid pad. I was tense initially but I started to get more confident skimming by trees. At least I didn’t crash more than once, and that was just a spin out onto a small embankment in the quattro.
For our last few runs, they added another few turns behind the shop and a chicane. We also swapped out the Fiesta for the Impreza. I drove it a bit ham-fisted after getting used to the 4000. This car really appreciated precision, especially with the brake. I had trouble getting it to rotate in some spots, like before the sweeper. I need more time in the Impreza to learn it better. I also really need to focus more on looking ahead where I want the car to be instead of staring at corners.
We finished up the day in the classroom talking more about rally procedures, like the OK/red cross signs, and had a lesson on pace notes. I didn’t realize that the initial pace notes are generated by a car with an accelerometer and some other sensors and specialized software. A lot of what we focused on was how to simplify the notes to not get overwhelmed as amateurs.
Good day overall. I’m improving slowly but surely. Tomorrow we’re doing more of the roads around the school as well as practicing doing recon of pace notes on some new roads we haven’t seen before. We’ll also get to jump in RWD cars for the first time. Hopefully this will be my time to shine.