BTCC analysis

There I was watching the BTCC on tv and they show this flying lap of donny national. Bit bored so i get a recording of it and do some note comparing with one of my laps. Now i reckon my old slr if it was driven properly by someone who's quick could easily match the touring car so i thought it might be interesting to see where i was slower.


click here to Dload 3.5mb wmv movie


Looking at the video you'll see my lap in the top left, the btcc lap in the bottom left and then at certain points along the track i reset the btcc lap, slipping back to match where i am so i can find out how much i'm losing over a given section.

1. Down the pit straight i lose 1/2 second... now this is not in keeping with the back straight where i lose less (but which is a longer straight) so i can only presume that the btcc car's acceleration is not what's at play here. More likely, me exiting the s bend not as quick (hampered by a soft rear tyre - more on this later) and also me having to short shift past the pit wall cos of noise regs .

2. From redgate apex to the old hairpinthrough craners i lose over 1 second. This looks partly to do with an early entry in redgate but also down craners i'm short shifting and holding back cos ive not had enough experience with the car & circuit to take it any faster. It felt scary enough as it was ! Notice that at the first bit of RHS kerb after redgate we are neck a neck but then he completes the apex of craners to the beginning of the old hairpin LH kerb so much quicker so he must be another 10mph+ through it.

3. From old hairpin to exit of mcleans I again lose 1 second. Considering that my speed through coppice is good I can only presume that Mcleans exit speed is ok so therefore time lost here is largely to do with my speed through old hairpin (always felt as if there was more in the car here and notice that i dont use full width of track on exit) and also me feathering the throttle a bit through the last LH kink before Mcleans turn in which i always do (whereas the BTCC car seems totally flat).

4. Coppice we are level.. strangely coppice i always found the hardest bend that day but it was the one bend that i tried to work on and improve through so maybe concentrating on particular parts of a circuit does work !

5. After coppice his car does pull away a bit more (you can notice it going under the bridge). We all know the reason for this ... crappy caterham aerodynamics ! By the end of the straight i've lost another 0.5 second.

6. From the s bend apex to the finish i lose another 0.5. Not only is he quicker through the s but my exit is hampered by a flat-ish RHS rear tyre (hence why my steering is all over the shop).


Obviously braking comes into all this as well but its hard to figure that out from these clips. Anyway, a bit of fun and its very interesting to see how time lost really all adds up on a circuit; 4 seconds or so is an absolute age but on another level the cars are travelling at very similar speeds... every wee mph through the bends and every last mm of throttle travel really can amount to hueg laptime differences.


The Jackals Racetrack    Richard Morris