I think I was 'had' at a 'race experience' ;)


#1

Hi all!
I went to a ‘race experience’ event where they let you drive a manual transmission race car at a
specific maximum RPM (hard limiter kills all ignition above 4850 RPM) in top gear, around a real
banked oval 2-mile track. Cool, eh? At the speed (no speedometer) this car could go at 4800
RPM, I could just hold it right there droning the whole way around for several laps, exactly at the
mandatory line, 3-5 ft from the apron border line. No braking, no lifting. When we’re done, they
give us each a certificate saying we reached 150.XX mph (the two I saw). I had the ‘video option’
where they click a GoPro on the dash. When I went home, I timed my laps via the video, and each
was about 61-62 seconds. I know the track is exactly 2 miles long, so this calculates to about
117 mph. I am thinking they are goshing us on the certificate… :wink:
I am an engineer, so I have some rigid opinions, but the customer relations person for the event
has some printed ‘splaining’ that tries to make a case for the 150mph figure being credible, even
approximately, even for a second. I think she may be trustingly repeating information she’s been
given, and is being gulled by her employer as much as they are trying to fool the customers. I
asked her if she could drive a stick, and to try driving around safely at some posted speed limit,
and then switch to keeping her RPMs where they are, and see if her speed ever changed, say, by
33%. I haven’t heard about her trying this yet… :wink:
Please comment! I’m going to send her the link to this thread when there is enough popular consensus…
Regards,
Joe


#2

Is this the $400 minimum NASCAR racing experience thing? If so, I’d be pretty irritated that the cars are limited. I can pay $50 and go 117mph on my local track in my own car any time I want, and it lets me turn left AND right. I’m not paying $400 to do the same thing in a circle while I fight to stay awake.


#3

2 mile track/60 sec lap 120mph. Avg. what was ur corner speed vs straightaway? U may have hit 150 at some point?


#4

Hi Cavell, I am saying the RPMs never changed anywhere on track. The wheels are mechanically, directly connected to the motor, so there is exactly one speed per RPM value. Constant RPM=constant speed.


#5

I agree with your logic. I’m afraid I beat your speed in a little rental car on the Autobahn a few years ago for a much lower price!


#6

And ShadowFax, I’m not surprised at the principal of being limited. They are handing over
race cars to anyone who doesn’t stall them in the pits. I’m not even surprised that the limit
is so low that there is no challenge to the car to simply steer it around the track at the top
speed they will let the car go. They need to be safe and remove as many possibilities for
accidents as possible, and one first step is to remove the possibility of going too fast to make
the corners. I’m just miffed that they talk up repeatedly in the class and ads and T-shirts
about 150mph, and give you less than a buck-twenty.


#7

Insurance. Are you sure it’s not 150 KPH? ; )


#8

If it’s an oval track, wouldn’t the distance around the inner lane be shorter than the distance around the outer lane? If you’re traveling 150 mph around the outer lane, it might take a bit longer than you’d expect.


#9

I’m in agreement with your math and think you were had. It’s also stated by the OP they were hugging the apron and foot down with no lifting at any time.

A 117 on a 2 mile track would seem like a snail’s pace to me and I’d think that a 150 near the apron would at least generate a tiny bit of white knuckle grip instead of droning around.


#10

I think you were indeed “had” on this one. I did some motorcycle Keith Code classes and we used Pocono Raceway, Watkins Glen, and and a track north of San Francisco that is very well known. I rode my own cycle and no governors. The bikes had to have some special prep for track use, but we got way over 120 mph. I be disappointed in a governed car that couldn’t really test any limits on a banked track. Sounds like over promising in the promotion of this overpriced track day.


#11

Maybe you were ‘had’, maybe you weren’t.
If the only thing you can complain about about the whole experience is if you were doing 150 or 120, then I’d say you had a really good time, regardless.

You might call the place up and try explaining your reasoning to them, see what they’d tell you.


#12

A 147 MPH might be tolerable but a 33% discrepancy is a bit much.

I would feel the same way about a 600 Horsepower crate engine that coughed up 400…


#13

Did the video play back at the same speed as recorded? Probably so but just asking.


#14

Ok, I’ll go a different angle,

Iasked her if she could drive a stick, and to try driving around safely at some posted speed limit,and then switch to keeping her RPMs where they are, and see if her speed ever changed, say, by33%. I haven’t heard about her trying this yet…

I certainly hope you are not upset by her non response. Yes, she is most likely regurgitating info fed to her but she is not the problem solver on this ( I am not suggesting you are blaming her ). I would want to talk to the head cheese for an answer.


#15

Yes, you were a but ripped but for $400 what do you expect? This has to be safe for any Tom, Dick or Harriet to do. For the same money you could take your own car to the track with the BMW Club of America and get an instructor and 3-4 hours of track time. You wont hit 150 either but its the most fun you can have with your clothes on.


#16

@JoeDubya

So let’s see if I got this . . .

You went pedal to the metal

There was no danger of a speeding ticket

Nobody got hurt

You got your memento . . . certificate, actually

Sounds like you had a fun time

I don’t really see a problem

No offense, but perhaps you need to LITERALLY shut off your inner engineer when you go to these kind of things (race track, roller coaster ride, sky diving, etc.) and . . . JUST GO WITH IT


#17

Next time, put your GPS in your pocket so it can record your maximum speed. They don’t have to know you have it. Even the GPS on my four year old smart phone will do it.


#18
And ShadowFax, I'm not surprised at the principal of being limited.

As you said, they said you would go 150mph, and you didn’t.

I can pay $50 for a “track tour” at Road America, and go as fast as I want as long as I don’t pass anyone in a corner. Coincidentally, the last time I did that in my non-turbo MR2, I got it up to 117 on the front and back straights. So, if I had to pay $350 to do the same speed on a much more boring track, I absolutely would be irritated. Especially if they told me I’d be driving a race car at 150.

The point of paying the extra money is that you should get to drive a car that is faster than your daily driver. The things you drove can’t manage to wheeze past a 20 year old 4-banger Toyota. That would irritate the hell out of me, especially since that $400 could be put into my car to make it even faster. :wink:


#19

Anyone else temped to do this should bring their own GPS along so speed and lap times can be accurately monitored…But you can’t blame the promoters for making sure there was no way to “break traction” and get into trouble. How many laps did $400 buy?


#20

Hi db4690. no we didn’t get to go pedal-to-the-metal! Hard acceleration wasn’t allowed. They coached you slowly onto the track into 4th gear, and once you reached 4750 RPM or so, at about 1.5 inches of gas pedal movement, if you went 1 RPM higher, the limiter killed all ignition till the revs went down again.