Jump to content

HPDE in the Rain, Tips?


vitoal18t

Recommended Posts

Going out to Infineon Raceway this weekend, for HPDE 3. Weather forecast promises showers, the "good news" is that I am taking AWD cars there, the bad news is that it will be my first event in the rain.

 

Any suggestions?

 

I plan to ride on my stock tires, wich have threads and for my brother's car, also AWD, we got RA-1 tires, we won't shave them of course.

 

All I know is:

 

- Put Rain-X on the windshield, anti-fog coat helment visor and windshield

- Brake much sooner and much lighter

- Stay of the burms, they are very slippery when wet

- Look out for standing water

- Possibly drive off line to find more traction

 

Anything else I should be aware off?

 

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Driving in the rain is one of the best ways to learn smooth driving techniques. Stay smooth with ALL inputs. Definitely don't let the AWD give you a false sense of security. I've seen a lot of EVO/WRX guys go out in the rain and come back on a flat bed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can I close the windows on track?

What else I should be pay attention to besides vitoal18t inputs?

 

It's going to be my first time driving in rain this weekend in Willows Spring. Hopefully quattro will keep me safe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can I close the windows on track?

What else I should be pay attention to besides vitoal18t inputs?

 

It's going to be my first time driving in rain this weekend in Willows Spring. Hopefully quattro will keep me safe.

 

Windows open on the track.

 

Just always be looking for the most grip--obviously you avoid standing water, but also look for areas that might be dryer. Are you familiar with how to drive a "wet line"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea AWD is not a miracle...it's just better than RWD for someone like me, who is not very experienced in low traction conditions. Less chance of Trail Throttle Oversteer or Power-on Oversteer.

 

AWD just accelerates a bit better in the rain/snow than FWD/RWD, but braking and cornering is the same.

 

It's true that media pumped many consumers full of "false sense of security". AWD cars are just as "safe" as FWD cars, or not any safer.

 

Many people (Audi, WRX, Evolution guys) assume that AWD drive on rails...that is not the case. I can't get over the fact when people I know go on skiing trips in their Audis/WRX on summer max performance tires, full of confidence because they have AWD.

 

I got stuck in a snow storm once at Tahoe, the road was icy and standing cars where sliding off the road because the road had some camber. Those cars were AWD .

 

 

 

My main concern for this event is standing water. I hit puddles at 80MPH on the freeway before, it's a scary feeling to be glidding on water. Just have to stay stil and avoid dailing any inputs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will also be attending Infineon this weekend, and I just got a set of full tread RA1's. Would I be better off on my normal street tires or should I use the RA1's. I am driving a 2001 Mustang with either 245 street tires or 275 RA1's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll be in HPDE at Willow Springs this weekend, too.

 

I've only driven on the track in rain (light) once before and quite frankly, it wasn't too much fun. One thing that I did take away from that experience is that I need to drive off the normal (dry) driving line. I found better traction driving off line.

 

Also, like vitoal said, you need to stay off the berms and other painted surfaces. Painted surfaces will be slicker than unpainted ones.

 

I planned on taking a Mustang GT with track suspension but I might just drive my daily driver Honda Civic Si, instead. FWD might come in handy this weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ran at Fontana in the rain last March. It was a blast. I brought my track tires, but stayed on street tires. We were able to run very fast. As you said, careful on the brakes and accelerating. I just kept my car in 3rd gear coming out of corners, and did just fine. My car has 300+ rwtq from 2700 to 5700 RPM, so it has no problem pulling from low rpm. Also being smart with the throttle goes a long way.

 

We put brand new wipers on our cars, that helped. Windows stayed down, but didn't get as wet as I thought we would. I have a separate set of pads for the track (Hawk Black) and used those. Worked great and didn't have to worry about locking up like I thought I would.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In addition to what has been said:

 

Enjoy the event! Use it to learn as much as possible. You may think I'm crazy, but it is actually a good thing that you'll have this experience. You'll have tons of opportunity to get dry track time, but a rainy track doesn't come as easy. The first time I did a rain HPDE, I wasn't looking forward to it. When I got out there, I slowly progressed with my speeds and comfort level (be careful not to get too confident too quickly). It wasn't until a few years later I ran in the rain again, this time in a race. I was very happy I had this experience.

 

Do not overreact / panic while out on the track.

 

I don't care what group you'll be running in, get an instructor who is familiar with the track in wet conditions ride along with you.

 

Experiment a bit (do be cautious). Depending upon the rain conditions, the track may change and you'll find grip in different places.

 

Bring extra clothes including multiple pairs of socks and another set of shoes. Also, still be sure to drink plenty of water although you may not feel very thirsty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some kind of waterproof jacket goes a long way towards not being miserable on days like it sounds you're going to have. Otherwise, all my would-be suggestions have already been made. Don't be intimidated, but be cautious, rain driving can be a lot of fun!

 

As for the question about driving a wet line, I'm gonna guess the poster was talking about looking for the driest line, even if that line would be offline in the dry. Other things you'll want to consider is pavement surface type. Here on the East Coast we have Summit Point Raceway, which is blacktop with a few concrete patches thrown in. In the dry, the concrete really sticks, but in the wet, man that's slippery. I have no experience with Infineon, but you'll want to be aware of any similar conditions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the course that your driving is dual use (road course and drag strip) be very careful running on the drag strip portion. Wet asphalt with VHT is like driving on ice. There is no traction at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been told by a NASA instructor that the normal (dry) driving line has a thin layer of tire rubber plus whatever oil may have been dripped on it, accumulated from cars routinely driving over that section of track. This makes that part of the track smoother and slicker in the wet. Getting off this line will get you pavement that is coarser and will give you more traction in wet conditions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i was 711 in hpde 3 today, and was very glad i had full tread street tires (yoko neova, bridge re01r) for the big puddles on the straight before 7 (where i saw the white miata and civic mishap) and exiting 10. even so i hydroplaned a bit.

 

ps anyone know the circumstances of that ttu mustang (gray svt?)

 

I plan to ride on my stock tires, wich have threads and for my brother's car, also AWD, we got RA-1 tires, we won't shave them of course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In wet conditions you still have about 70% of traction for acceleration.

You have about 50% of your brakes. Turning traction is down to about 20%. So double your braking zone, go slower through your turn, and do not accelerate as hard coming out of your turn. You will learn more about handling your car in the rain than on a dry track. As already said Smooth is key. Oh run street tires with some good tread will help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...