Mastering The Road Atlanta Race Track
Turn 1 – High speed and drastically up hill, entry speed is very important for turn 1 at Road Atlanta. You want to work your brake zone to eventually braking right at the end of the pit wall on your left. Apex is at the start of the apex curb, we also want to be able to get to throttle at this point. Use all the road on exit, should be 4th gear.
Turn 3 – On the way up the hill you want to get about half way to 3/4ths of the way over to the right. Our aim is to bring it back to the left so that we are parallel with the curb on our left when the road crests. We should be braking just before that curb. Turn 3 will be third gear. It is easy to bring too much speed into turn 3, but it is more of an exit speed corner. Our aim is to get to throttle as we get to the apex curb. You want to use the small part of the curb at the very least. The road you can use on exit depends a bit on the car you are in. If you can use all the road on exit and still be flat through turn 4 then do that, if not use about 3/4th of the road or so on exit.
Esses – This section is what makes the Road Atlanta race track! Very light brake before turning down into the esses, it is blind on entry so turn in is before you actually can see the first apex curb. We want to apex right at the start of the very first apex curb. Eyes up are extremely important here! As soon as you can open up your hands to use all the road in the middle of the esses. You can use that middle curb, but that is the only curb to use in the middle of the esses.
Bring the car back to the right and brake parallel alongside the outside curb. It is easy to accidentally touch it, but do your best not to. Getting a good exit out of turn 5 (last corner in esses) is very important. We want to get to significant throttle at apex, use as much road on exit as possible. Depending on your car we want at least half the car on the exit curb. Try to get off the exit curb before it ends thought as the end of the curb can be a big drop down to the road.
Turn 6 – Entry speed is very important here! We want to work our brake zone down to the first white dotted line across the track. The road is very cambered at apex, so we want an early turn in and apex. We don’t care about when we get back to full throttle, bring in as much speed as possible. Use all the road on exit!
Turn 7 – Getting a good exit is vital here. We are braking nearly as soon as our hands get straight. Depending on what feels better for you, you can either get very close to the apex curb and not touch, or use all of it. Both work, it is a total driver feel thing. We need to get to initial throttle as we get to the apex curb, and get to full throttle as early as possible after it. We want to use all of the road on exit as this leads onto the longest straightaway here at the Road Atlanta race track.
Turns 10 A / B – We want to start braking as we get our hands straight after the right kink, but eventually working it down to at least the first white line across the track. We want to use all of the first apex curb as we can, but we need to be careful not to drop a tire inside of it as it is a large gap down and that can hurt the car. We want to be braking through the first apex, and bring enough speed through it so the
car ends up about mid road in between turn 10 a and turn 10 b. We want to try and get slightly back to the left before turning in for turn 10 b, so we are about 3/4th of the way to the left. We want to use all of the apex curb again at turn 10 b and focus on getting a great exit, that is the priority. We need to be getting to full throttle right around that apex curb. You want to get about half your car on the exit curb and as you cross under the bridge you want to be about a car width or 2 from the inside. It is pretty important to keep pretty close to the inside because as you crest the hill it tends to push you to the outside and you run out of road quickly.
Turn 12 – We want to start braking about mid curb on the left hand side, it is also a pretty early turn in. We want to apex pretty close to the start of the apex curb. As the road flattens out we can add steering wheel, we also want to get to throttle at the start of the apex curb. Rolling speed on entry is the most important thing here though!
A great driving technique article Racers360 has that is important for a fast lap is Does A Late Apex Mean A Late Turn In?
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