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Old 09-13-2011, 03:41 AM   #1
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Default Qualifying...

Is it me, or are there others that feel a little "oh no, not the last round of qualifying is here again"?

Everyone is trying their hardest on the last attempt of improving their time, so it's not a question of if, its a question of when will I slip up?

I feel more relaxed in the first round of qualifying, where I am usually going past others who crash...

But then, typically the faster guys get... faster and I can loose out to them as the grip levels increase and the track gets quicker.

I don't think my case is helped by racing on a track that is only 10x15m, so passing someone can be tricky at the best of times. But when you do pass someone, it does feel like you earnt it....

Thoughts?
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:51 AM   #2
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I think that if you are in the right place mentally there is no need to be nervous about any part of a race day - certainly not nervous to the point where it compromises your race.

Qualifying is just against the clock, other traffic should not be a concern - if they are making a nuisance of themselves that is an issue for the race director, not the racer.

The track is usually fastest in the final round so as long as you drive at your normal limit a fast time should come. You should have your eye in by then - I rarely make mistakes in the later rounds of qualifying.
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:07 PM   #3
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tc3team i feel your pain.

the beginning of the day i usually TQ or am very close to TQing, and as the rounds go on my times don't get any better, and everyone around me does!
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tc3team View Post
Is it me, or are there others that feel a little "oh no, not the last round of qualifying is here again"?
you're probably in the majority of racers, here.

like any other competitive game, the guys that embrace the mental side will be the ones that win or succeed. if you let nerves get you down, you should pick up a sports psychology book to get past that hump. it's a common limitation for most of us. some choose to put in the extra work/learning with intent to conquer it, while others choose to deal with this limitation in various other ways. in short, it's part of the game.

or simply turn on espn. every special about a notable athlete has the same theme. we're all great at times, but the great ones are great at important times. and it's largely true.

incidentally, i race with a guy who thrives on 'clutch' situations. he'll be off pace, scraping the paint off the outside boards until things get 'serious'. he's the guy who magically finds those "2 tenths" we're all looking for, and guess what ... they weren't hiding in his chassis anywhere. if it were up to him, every round would be the last!
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:59 PM   #5
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Good post seaball. You are so correct. I've started to work on the mental game of racing and i have to say it's paid off.

Have you ever had that magical race were you where the fastest racer on the track and everything felt right. That's what most call "Being In the Zone". Your concentrating on the track, your car, and how to take the next turn not the current.

This is one of my new tactics; walk up on to the driver stand, close my eye's, and visualizing myself driving around the track for about 30 seconds. It seems odd but after doing it for awhile it started to help.

I'm sure if you did some research there are many other techniques that can help, this is the one I'm currently using.
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
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I would say everyone has a different idea on how they want to run their qualifiers, and everyone has different levels of self-imposed stress for each run.

It is a very mental game, and being on the clock changes your approach, even if you don't realize it, compared to practicing by yourself.

In a 3 qualifier day, I concentrate my first run on being as smooth around the track as possible. I don't battle for position, I just do everything I can to get my car around the track smoothly without contact with other cars, or the car sliding. This usually ends up being my second fastest qualifier of the day, a good, safe run in the books.

My second qualifier, I try to chase down every car in front of me. This means taking more chances with corner dots, charging harder into corners, and more chance for crashes and breakage. But, the whole time, I'm memorizing which corners my car gets out of shape in while driving that way, where I'm on the brakes too hard, as well as where the car is carrying more corner speed than the first qualifier. On a good day, this run is equal to my first qualifier, but usually a little slower.

My third qualifier, I try to put together everything I've learned from the first 2. That means staying on the throttle where the car is good to make good time, and being a little more cautious in the corners where the car is out of shape, and giving the corner dots a bit more respect in areas I got bit in Q2. While everyone else is trying to go flat out and trying to improve their runs, I just concentrate on making passes when I notice them charging in too hard on a corner, doing what I can timing-wise to avoid disrupting my rhythm. If I do my part, this run is by far my fastest of the day, and I'm the calmest I've been all day.

In the main, I just try to repeat Q3, though there's still a bit more nervousness I haven't found the cure for just yet, but I feel the most connected to my car in the main. Something about every position counting gets my elbows and knees knocking on the stand.
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tc3team View Post
Is it me, or are there others that feel a little "oh no, not the last round of qualifying is here again"?

Everyone is trying their hardest on the last attempt of improving their time, so it's not a question of if, its a question of when will I slip up?

I feel more relaxed in the first round of qualifying, where I am usually going past others who crash...

But then, typically the faster guys get... faster and I can loose out to them as the grip levels increase and the track gets quicker.

I don't think my case is helped by racing on a track that is only 10x15m, so passing someone can be tricky at the best of times. But when you do pass someone, it does feel like you earnt it....

Thoughts?
Great thread

Honestly if my car is dialed and I've done my best driving through the qualifiers then I'm happy

I'm only concerned when my car is not dialed

The rest is just forgiving your errors and the errors of other drivers
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double D Donuts View Post
tc3team i feel your pain.

the beginning of the day i usually TQ or am very close to TQing, and as the rounds go on my times don't get any better, and everyone around me does!
That's all a matter of (changing/adapting your) setup.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LasagnaCat View Post
That's all a matter of (changing/adapting your) setup.
Or everyone else calming down and settling in.
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Old 09-14-2011, 04:33 AM   #10
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This is what I like about rctech, so many different view points and good to read them...

I am sure that part of it IS pressure, knowing that in round 2 faster guys get on with it, and I may have had a rough round 2. Stuff happens.

Then, it leads onto trying too hard not to make a mistake, that... yep I do

The setup is pretty much there - the car does feel good on the limit and I have plenty of power. I can find fastest lap quite frequently, or be only 2 or 3 tenths off it.

VERY occasionally it will grip roll, but on 42/40 shore foams, there isnt that much higher I can go before I run out of options lol.

Droop setup seems to be good too, i've looked around other top guys cars and there car seems as planted as mine on the track.

Applied additive is not the answer to that either, as I dose my tyres once before the first quali and that is all. The grip comes up very well....

One thing that really does motivate me is lapping backmarkers.

I can usually do that with ease, but in my mind it is a boost "i've just got past a car, lets find the next one".... I'm sure it is something that helps others too.

You won't find me talking on the rostrum, unless asked something. My mind and eyes are in focus mode

Because our track is so tight and about an 8 second lap, once you have made a mistake, you are chasing down the leader almost a lap, 2 mistakes and you really do need to get the hammer down to catch them up and by no meens will you be finding TQ, just picking up the pieces and hoping the others have also had a dreadful run.

This to me, is the downfall of a small track. You get lapped quick... Not ideal.

This is not helped by the format we use for racing which is 3 minute qualifiers, and depending on the time we have available to us and the number of entrants, mains can be between 4 and 6 minutes, (single round).

So your time to catch up the race leader in any qualifier from your mistakes is limited some what.

I am looking at my laptimes after every race, and adding up the mistakes to see where a true position would be around others had I not made the mistakes.

I rarely have minor mistakes, where 2 or 3 seconds is lost, I go for the big time mistakes

Harry, first run - exactly what is in my mind whenever I race - get the safe time in, don't try anything too crazy.

After this, as said, I look at my laptimes and I remember from the race, ah yes... the less said about that lap the better, err that wasnt a too sharper lap either etc But sometimes I can also suprise myself.... I do find myself with a mixed bag of results.

I am very philosophical about my racing, it takes a lot to annoy me about anything, unless I know it was 100% delibrate. I don't get hit up (no pun intended ) which maybe I should be a bit more - it can be easy to be too relaxed, yet post in some quick laps.

Round 2, I either am following fast guys and sometimes getting past them too, but more often than not I am finding myself making errors.

I guess I need to look at that more and learn from it. Consistant laps is where its at.

Round 3, by then the damage has been done mentally when I see the quali time sheets, but part of me still says "ok ok, it's still do-able"...
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:54 AM   #11
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I guess your reading to much into lap times after each race. Just look at your top 10 and 20 and see where they are compared to the fast guys. Then start looking at driving more consistently. Fast lap doesn't me squat if your not consistent.

FYI, a minor mistake would be .5 seconds not 2-3, those are very major especially on a small track. If you have very many 1sec+ laps from the norm you just need more practice. A good racer will have every lap within .1 to .2 seconds every lap and be within .1-.3 of there fast lap during the entire race. If your not hitting much, this is where the mental part of racing can make you faster.

Also if your having grip roll issues soften the car don't stiffen it. Lighter springs more roll. If you have a smart phone, Android or Iphone, check out this setup app from Martin Crisp a Canadian racer, "Setup Workbench".
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:10 AM   #12
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Good info bkspeedo, I don't look too much into the fastest lap, just as a rough indicator to how good the car can be on the limit.

If I know the car is capable of that in a single lap, it gives me an idea of what the car should be capable of, but only if I am also capable of giving that level of concentration to every qualifier as a whole.

As you point out, a big mistake can cost a few seconds, the longer you are trying to find a way past traffic (or simply crash out), it can all add up in favour for the race leader, or wreck your qualifier.

Bigger, wider sweeping outside, or indoor carpet tracks do make things easier in that you can usually find a way round someone if they are slower, or a good line to overtake someone.

Maybe I do need to go down a rate on springs, but 95+% of the time, the car feels good. There may only be one track layout where it can sometimes grip roll (and maybe only on one or two corners), but i've not looked too closely as to when it grip rolls, just that I do know it happens occasionally.

Indoors on a smaller track, there is little or no room to find your way though, (except by going through the car in front of you ) especially when the lanes are narrower, with 90 or 180 degree corners and track markers that are not so forgiving.
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