Buttonwillow Raceway Park CW Full track guide
Buttonwillow Raceway Park CW Full track guide
The start of the curb on our right hand side just after the access rode is a great brake marker for most cars. It is vital to get your eyes in early to the apex as it is really easy to over-slow turn 1.
Hard hit of the brakes at the start of the curb and immediately start releasing off of brake pressure. We want a slow turn in here so that we only apex after the start of the apex curb. Our goal is to trail brake down to the apex and only pick up the throttle as we can start unwinding the steering wheel. Getting your eyes up and opening your hands as early as possible to get out to the exit curb early is vital to be fast at turn 1.
We want to be turning in just at the end of the flag stand on our right hand side. For most cars you will be turning in flat and then braking towards the curb on the left.
As you go past the curb on the left add just a little bit of additional steering angle so that you can open up the radius of the corner. We will be trail braking all the way down the apex. Being patient to throttle is critical, need to wait until we can start unwinding the steering wheel. Use all the road on exit so you can get back to full throttle as early as possible.
Turn 3 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park is actually a complex of three corners, all of which have a little bit of sacrificing to them.
For the first right hander we want to trail brake all the past the apex curb. Since we want to hold the car to the right at exit of the first right hander that longer trail brake will allow us to do so at a higher speed.
Get a squirt of full throttle and then it is time to turn in for the next left. We don't want to fully sacrifice this next left and have the car all the way left, we also don't want to use all the road on exit of the left. You will want to end up about mid road to get a good run through the exit of 3.
For the last right here it should be just a lift or a very light brake. We want to apex about mid curb and as soon as the car is settled enough get aggressively back to throttle and your eyes looking at the apex for Grapevine.
Turn 4 or Grapevine
Grapevine comes up quick, so eyes up is really important. It has a good bit of camber, so we want a decently early turn in to take advantage of that extra grip. Apexing just at the start of the apex curb and getting back to throttle around there.
A lot of drivers will sacrifice speed in turn 5 to keep it slightly right to setup for the beginning of the bus stop, but we don't want you to do that. Maximize your speed through turn 5 and use all the road at corner exit, but make sure you hustle the car back to the right to setup for turn 6.
The Bus Stop
If you do turn 5 correctly and hustle it back to the right you should be slightly more to the right than mid road before turning in for the first left. Apex about mid curb and then use all the road on corner exit.
The exit of the bus stop is much more difficult. We want to start braking about a car length or two before the start of the curb on the right hand side. It is hard to trail brake here, so a small coast is okay. Most cars will want to stay off the apex curb here. We will want to apex the middle of the apex curb and try to be back to throttle just after the apex. The bumps at the apex makes it very difficult to get to throttle at the apex.
Turn 8 or Riverside
With as much banking as riverside has there is a ton of grip. If you can hold the inside line all the way through it is a good sign you over over-slowing. We want enough speed so that after we apex initially the car pushes us about a half car width to 3/4ths of a car width off the inside white line.
There is a really big bump on the inside where our second apex is (where the black patch you can see is). If you are in a stiffer sprung car this bump will really upset the car, so you may want to run about a car width wide of the apex. If the bump doesn't effect the car then apex as usual and you will want to work back to full throttle as you arrive at the apex.
Here it is better to avoid maintenance throttle. You are better off driving it in hard on entry, coasting thru the middle and getting back to full throttle early.
Use all the road on exit, but hustle it back to the right to setup for the next kink left. We will want to apex in the middle of that apex curb and use all the road on exit.
This corner is steep uphill and totally blind, so you will want to work up to it. We typically will want to start braking about a car length before the start of the curb on the left.
The turn in happens about mid curb, but we want to slowly turn in so that we can roll in good entry speed and only apex mid apex curb. It is pretty steep uphill here, so roll in that entry speed and let the hill slow you down.
Our goal is to apex right at the crest of the hill, which right about mid curb. As the car settles after the crest we want to get back to throttle aggressively and use all the road on exit.
Turn 10 is a difficult one. It is really easy to out brake yourself or brake too early and get to throttle too early. There is not a great brake marker here, so get your eyes into the apex early and use depth perception.
We want to hit the brakes hard initially, but start lightining up on the pressure right away. The apex and initial throttle application spot is far around the corner, so a nice slow turn in is very important. It is very important here to be patient to throttle and only pick it up once you can start to unwind the steering wheel. It is really tough to find the right balance to bring in enough entry speed to allow yourself to be patient, so discipline is important.
What is important in the esses is to set yourself up spend as much time at full throttle, this means avoiding maintenance throttle as much as possible. You will be better off by holding full throttle deeper into the esses, having a full lift, and then getting back to full throttle as early as possible.
Turn 12 or Sunset
The exit is the most important thing here, but with all the camber at the apex it allows us to roll in a good amount of entry speed.
There is not a great brake marker here, so try and pick up that flag station to the inside with your peripheral vision - but make sure you are not focusing on that! We are turning in about mid curb on the right, but we want another slow turn in.
We should only apex mid curb and absolutely no throttle until that point. Because of all that camber at the apex, we can get aggressively back to throttle here. Make sure you get your eyes up looking for that exit curb as early as possible so that you unwind the wheel early and get out to that exit curb early as well.