Thursday, October 25, 2012

How To Drive NHMS Turn 1 (South Chicane)

After driving NHMS for 10 years, it still amazes me how many drivers (new and advanced alike) drive the outside line for the entry into Turn 1 (South chicane configuration).



Look people, Turn 1 at NHMS is a Type III turn (leading to another turn). Yes, the outside line taken by the 'Vette in this video would give you faster exit speed IF you could carry the speed on the way out of the turn (i.e. if it were a Type I turn). But this is a throwaway turn where you compromise the exit to a series of turns, so you could position the car for fastest exit out of 2b, which leads to a short straightaway. If you cannot carry the speed out of Turn 1, your best option is to shorten the distance traveled going into the turn. Taking the inside line cuts distance traveled by at least 40-50 feet compared to going on the outside.

The only (small) drawback to taking the inside line is that you would have to do more turning in a short amount of time when you get to the turn, best accomplished by using aggressive trail-braking. This is not a skill expected for new students to know. But anyone running in the advanced, instructor and even intermediate group should be taking the inside line. Spread the word, so instructors, classroom, and students can all synch up on this. When executed properly, the inside line is the fast line through NHMS Turn 1 (South chicane configuration).

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New Hampshire Motor Speedway: Slippery When Wet