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Caterham to Exige track driving pointers


MartynB

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My wife and I been driving our Caterham (R300 SV Duratec) on track since we built it back in 2010, and have got driving it pretty well nailed. We did Andy Walsh's Car Limits full day in the first year which really helped start the process well.

Bearing in mind that in a couple of weeks we have our first trackday in the Sport 350, which is my first mid engined car, I'm conscious that there are going to be differences in how to get the best out of the car.

Seeing that quite a few folks on here are also Caterham drivers, and some racers, I'd be interested to hear other peoples' takes on how the driving styles differ for the two platforms.

I'm happy trail braking, H&T and blending inputs, but I'm no driving god. For a reasonable example of my style (annoyingly missing the sound for some reason) see below. Also, is the Cup R anyone here?

 

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@LF1 might be able to help and is that @550superfast in the Exige?

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Thanks Jonny. It'll be the first none analog car I've driven fast on track so I'll be interested to see how the Bosch system feels in action. Points taken on the ABS and the torque, though with the basic 2.0L Duratec in the 7 I'm somewhat used to that approach, just not in quite such a mental way. One thing...

4 minutes ago, The Pits said:

It also manages the car really well in terms of trail braking.

... just wondering what you meant by this, I'm used to feathering the brake in the trail up to the apex, are you talking about leaving the full boot on and letting the brains work it out?

Cheers

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Pretty much yes! Though I think through instinct I would find it hard not to ease off the brakes when turning in. That and not wanting to over slow the car. It really is a breeze with such a good ABS system, feels like cheating after the Seven!

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Sorry @Bibs been away with the Caterham :)

Not really a lot to add to that of @The Pits comments really. The lack of toys in the R300 will naturally have made you more aware of the traction and braking limits, this will apply to the V6. You will be amazed how stable the car is - you won't be rewarded for chucking it about like you can the Caterham. The brakes on the V6 are another level, but you'll probably find braking points about the same due to the extra weight. I'd have thought an R300 would generally have similar pace to the V6 over a lap, the 420R (rebranded R300 Superlite this year) were doing 2:39 around Spa in yesterday I think some guys have managed mid 2:40 in the V6 Coupe there.

Interestingly I pretty much did the opposite, V6 Exige to 125hp Caterham. Looking forward to hearing how you get on.

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2.39 is off the dial for the horsepower, Danny Winstanley is a very experienced and quick Caterham racer (also R300 racer) and was untouchable in the Mag7's at Spa last year. His pole in a 300+Bhp race Seven was 2.38. We run on treaded tyres, were the 420Rs on slicks? They also run in Mag 7's but not normally at the front due to the power deficit.

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Thanks Tom. Yeah it'll be interesting to see the differences. Our 7 is the SV so a bit more stable than the S3 and has the AP big fronts and ZZRs, so that may have spoiled me a bit. I'll be needing to short shift at Bedford, but I'm expecting crazy pace along the back straight, given that the 7 hits the rev limiter at 125 having started to hit the air wall around 110.

Really looking forward to it now. Need to charge the GoPro batteries.

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140 is the most I've seen down the back straight. It hits a bit of a wall once you change to 5th, and top of 4th is about 130.

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16 hours ago, The Pits said:

2.39 is off the dial for the horsepower, Danny Winstanley is a very experienced and quick Caterham racer (also R300 racer) and was untouchable in the Mag7's at Spa last year. His pole in a 300+Bhp race Seven was 2.38. We run on treaded tyres, were the 420Rs on slicks? They also run in Mag 7's but not normally at the front due to the power deficit.

Just been updated from this weekend:

http://uk.caterhamcars.com/sites/default/files/content/2017_lap_record.pdf

Lost the Roadsport to a recovering driver in race two... gutted.

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That's Luke Stevens, owner of Team Leos, he runs cars in the Mag 7s. Freakish time for what, 220bhp? I'll be asking him about it when I next see him! 

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Looking forward to hearing how you get on. Sold my old roadsport and now I've got an exige. Can't wait to get it on the track but work commitments mean that won't happen until the end of August.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ha ha. I'm about 10s slower round Bedford in the Lotus than the Caterham. Seems once I've got the quiet exhaust options sorted, I have some platform learning to do. Interesting, as I had assumed it would be 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. It will be very interesting to see if I can push the Exige beyond the Caterham.

It's not a totally fair comparison though, as the Caterham is on ZZRs vs the somewhat "rain tyre" like Corsas, and while I have around 20 trackdays in the Caterham under my belt, I'm a total mid engine newbie, driving a car that I really don't want to bend.

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