Skip Barber 2000 at Mid Ohio

August 27 2011

I’m a bit late with my initial Mid Ohio thoughts.  Being on holiday this week I grabbed the track on Tuesday, when it switched.  I love learning new tracks.  It’s a great feeling to take whole seconds of your previous time as you find braking points and sort the line out, then tenths as the setup is honed.




Mid Ohio is an undulating track with cambered corners, both off and on camber, making for some very interesting driving.  It’s perhaps the most challenging for me of all the tracks I’ve raced so far because of this.  Include the behaviour of the Skippy and it’s even more interesting.

After 2 hours of practice I’d got my time down to the low 1:40.3’s and when I returned later that night I dipped down to 1:39.7’s.  For comparison, the fastest times I’ve seen are 1:37.7’s but that’s only by the aliens, most others that are “competitive” are scattered between mid 1:38’s and 1:39’s.    My current qualifying time set on Wednesday night is 1:39.305, which usually puts me about 3rd or 4th on the grid.  From there I can hold my own for a few laps but half the time I go backwards.  If I can stay spin free I usually finish up anywhere from 3rd to 5th.



Turn 1 doesn’t look like much but a lot of speed can be gained or lost here



Turn 4: Getting the braking point right for this corner can make a lot of time

Turn 4 is one of my most hated corners.  I approach it with fear (as I do most turn on Mid Ohio) every lap and I often find myself accelerating up to the apex, having braked too early.  I get my braking started at about 175m, but I’ve seen others 50m later.  Don’t know how…



Turn 12 is probably the biggest time sink

Turn 12 is the worst for wasting time.  I can easily lose half a second on incorrect entry. This turn is made extra difficult because it’s another turn with an unsighted apex when you turn in. There’s a few of these at Mid Ohio, but in my opinion this is the worst.  Turn 12 is a blind right hander, hidden behind the crest of a hill (crest seen in the above image).  Brake slightly too late and you understeer off the track as the corner tightens for a very late apex.

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