A LAP OF TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY By Andy Pilgrim The Corvette on the front straight away will be coming up to 165, almost 170 miles an hour before we brake for what is called turn one. We call it the base of the chicane, also. It's a very tight...
A LAP OF TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
By Andy Pilgrim
The Corvette on the front straight away will be coming up to 165, almost 170 miles an hour before we brake for what is called turn one. We call it the base of the chicane, also. It's a very tight chicane with real big curbs- you've got to stay off the curbs there. We cut down to third gear through there. It's barely third, could be second, we're kind of in-between. Go through there as quick as you can without touching any of the curbs then accelerate hard all the away around NASCAR One/Two, which really is kind of a long turn two on the road course.
Very very hard braking for turn three, a hairpin turn. On the Corvette you drop from fifth gear down to second gear. On the exit you get some good help from some camber down at the bottom of the apex and then accelerate hard on sort of a long right hand turn up to turn four. You get a bit of up and down change on this racetrack. It's kind of cool, they've built some up and down so it's not completely flat.
We go up to third gear for turn four and go down to second gear right before turn four. That turn is a very hard turn; you come in fast and you come out slow. You've got to make the car turn down to the inside. The Corvette's doing probably about 65 mph through that turn. It's one of the slower turns, but it's an in-between turn because as you come out of that corner you accelerate up to what is probably the most fun part of the racetrack, which is the turn five complex, it's kind of like an "S" complex. It's a slightly downhill run into a left-hand, right-hand "S." Very very fast, we're at the top of third gear and you're just snaking into fourth gear before you go in there to give yourself a nice clean run through. Very quick in the Corvette- probably doing 135 mph through that "S."
Then accelerate hard down to turn six, which is a very tight right-hand turn on the infield. Heavy braking down there, it's a good place to pass. You get a good shot out of the "S" and a good place to pass down at six. Six is a turn that opens up, as opposed to four, which is a decreasing turn. This one's an increasing radius, so once you get turned in for six in second gear you get back into third as soon as you can, hard acceleration out. By the time you get to the top of third gear turning to the right, accelerating out of six, you've got to do extremely heavy braking for a very, very, very tight hairpin, turn seven. A left-hand hairpin which puts you back onto the oval going into what is NASCAR turn 3/4.
You get out of there as fast as you can and you've got to get the car slowed down. It's important you get the car out of there as quick as you can because it's very slippery. We found there were several pavement changes there last year and it's quite slippery in that turn.
As soon as you get out of that turn you just accelerate through all of the gears- second, third, fourth, fifth. And the Corvette, again up to about 165 or 170 mph, and you cross the start-finish line.