Chuckwalla Valley Raceway - The Official Race track guide
Chuckwalla Valley Raceway Race Track Notes
Turn 1 + 2
Rolling entry speed and a deep trail brake through turn 1 and into turn 2 is critical to be fast at the start of the lap at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway.
In most cars we will try and work to turn in and then start braking. Ideally apexing turn 1 about mid curb and then holding it left about a car length or 2 past the turn 1 apex curb before turning back to the right.
In turn 2 we need a late and slow turn in as it is very easy to apex too early. We want to apex about 2/3rds of the way around the curb. It is still more of an entry speed corner. Picking up throttle at the apex and working back to full throttle around the exit curb.
Turn 3 is a very light brake zone, some cars may even be able to turn in flat before light brakes. It is very easy to roll in too much entry speed here, which really hurts you on the run down to turn 4.
We want to apex mid curb and be able to pick up the throttle aggressively at that spot. We want to open our hands as early as possible and get out to the exit curb just after it starts. If you are not able to be back to full throttle before the exit curb than you likely rolled too much apex speed or apexed too early.
Turns 4 + 5
The turn 4 and 5 section here at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway is one of the most difficult sections on the track. Racecar drivers need to have their eyes looking through the corner, as it is very easy to get behind the car here.
A typical late braking point is around the 1 board. We want to attack the initial brake hard, but start trailing off quickly so that we can roll entry speed and carry a light trail brake deep into the turn.
We want to turn into turn 4 about mid curb on the right, our focus here is a somewhat early apex so the car pushes us all the way out to the right between turns 4 and 5. We are apexing about mid apex curb and holding there for a while. We want to try and only pick up the throttle as we start to let the car drive away from the turn 4 apex curb.
We want to get out to the exit curb in between turns 4 and 5 right around where it starts and be able to get a squirt of full throttle before turning in to turn 5.
We want to turn into turn 5 about 1 car length before the end of the curb on the right. It is mostly a lift into turn 5 or a very light brake. Turn 5 is a slightly late apex, just passed mid curb and it is important to start opening our hands as early as possible and use all the race track at exit.
We will have to hustle the car back to the left and will likely start braking while still going left. A good deep brake zone comes around 1 car length before the start of the curb on our left, but that is very dependent on your car.
It is a corner we want a very deep trail brake into so release off the heavy brake pressure very early. We are apexing just passed mid curb and then immediately starting to let the car drift out to the left so we can use all of the road on the left before turn into turn 7.
Turn 7 has an earlier turn in than most racecar drivers think. We are turning in roughly 3 car lengths before the end of the curb on the left. In turn 7 we want a later apex so that we can get back to full throttle earlier and a good run down to turn 8.
We want to apex about 2/3rds of the way around the curb and we will be picking up initial throttle as we are approaching the apex. We want to be back to full throttle before we get out to the exit curb and we want to get out to the exit curb right as it is starting to maximize our exit.
Turns 8 + 9 + 10
A good braking zone will start roughly around the 1 board into turn 8. Ideally in this section we trail brake all the way past turn 9. So, it is a late brake into turn 8 and one where we trail off heavy brake pressure early so we can roll entry speed and trail brake deep into the corner.
We are turning in for turn 8 just past the start of the curb on our left. Rolling in entry speed here is more important than having the perfect apex in turn 8. We want to get decently close to the curb on our right but if you miss it by a little bit that is okay. We want to keep the car about mid road before turning into turn 9.
In turn 9 we want a late apex as it gets very tight on corner exit. It is VERY easy to fly off the road on the right hand side at the exit here so be aware, especially on your first few laps at the track. We want to apex just before the road starts to crest.
Use all of the road on exit here, no need to sacrifice for turn 10. We do want a very short squirt of throttle out of turn 9 before turning into turn 10, but don’t overdo it, the most important thing here is setting ourselves up for a good exit out of turn 10.
Turn 10 is a very light brake or even lift at turn in. We want roll enough speed so that mid corner the car ends up about 1 or 2 tire widths off the apex curb and we only want to start applying the throttle as we start to head back towards the apex. We want to then get back to full throttle right around the apex and use all of the road on exit.
Turns 11 + 12
Entry speed is very important in turns 11 and 12. Into turn 11 we want to typically brake around the 2 board and start out turn in right around the middle of the curb on our left. We do want a trail brake here but if you need to coast to roll in enough entry speed that is okay.
We want to apex about mid curb for turn 11 and that is also where we pick up a squirt of throttle. We want to lift and turn into turn 12 right around the small crest in the road.
Apexing turn 12 about 2 or 3 car lengths passed the start of the apex curb and get back to full throttle right around that apex.
There is a ton of camber we can use to help slow the car down for us. So, this is either a very light braking zone or just a lift at turn in. We want to get about 2/3rds of the way back to the left before turn in. The key to this corner is having enough speed so that we do not have the car close to the apex curb until we apex, which is very late around the corner.
Ideally we only start picking up the throttle as we head back down to that apex and get back to full throttle right around the apex.
Into turn 14 we want to brake right around 2 car lengths before the start of the curb on the right hand side. The key to turn 14 here at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway is a long trail brake and opening our hands as early as possible to use all the road at corner exit.
We are turning in about mid curb on our right hand side and trail braking all the way down to the apex, which is a decently late apex here. We want to be getting out to the exit curb right around where it starts.
Turn 15 has a short and light brake zone that starts right as the curb starts on our right. We want our turn in to come about 1 or 2 car lengths passed the start of that curb.
This is another decently late apex and we want to only start picking up the throttle at that late apex point.
Turn 16 + 17
To be fast in this section a good trail brake is critical. We need to bring in lots of entry speed and slowly blend that down to pick up throttle decently early in 17 and have the correct car angle due to that trail brake to be back to full throttle early as well.
In turn 16 we don’t care about getting super close to the first apex curb. We want to bring in enough entry speed to be about a half car width off that apex curb when it starts.
In the middle of the corner we want enough apex speed to take us even further away. The perfect spot to end up is having our left side tires right where the pit entry blend line starts and that is where we start heading into the apex for turn 17.
We want to start applying the throttle as we get close to our turn 17 apex which comes just before where the curb sticks furthest out to the left. We want to be back to full throttle just passed the exit and use all the road on exit to get that drive onto the front straight at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway!