Road America - The Official Racetrack Guide
Road America Racetrack Notes
The best braking marker for turn 1 will be an access road on your left. Typically a good place to start braking is just at the start of that access road, but if we get the car working well I believe we will be able to get to the end of it. Arriving in 6th gear, going down to 4th gear here. Entry speed is the focus here, there is a ton of run off here, and while the curbs in the exit will feel aggressive we can use all of it. It will be important to find out what the track limit rules are here as you can gain time using more of it. Ultimately it is ideal if you can just kiss the inside curb, but if you focus too much on getting down to it you will overslow your entry.
There are no good brake markers here (they are far off to the track on your left, and you will be looking to the right so most drivers don’t even see them) so I use my depth perception. Here the exit is vital, so you will be dropping downhill in the brake zone, but it does compress right before you turn in so most of your slowing down will happen just before turn in, it is very easy to flow too much entry speed in here. 3rd gear will probably work best, but it is often in between 2nd and 3rd. Here your turn in will be just after the road compresses, I really like to kiss the inside curb and hold it for a half second longer than you think you need to. Once you start to apply throttle you want to make sure you wont need any lifts later from running out of room as it will kill you down the straight. You can use absolutely all of the curb on exit.
I like to enter this corner by keeping a little left at the kink at the end of the straight, so I can brake in a straight line diagonally so I am all the way to the right on turn in. Braking marker should be around the 3 board. The apex here is the first place I believe you will find the new pavement, it is much darker and has pretty good grip. I always underestimate how much apex speed I can flow in here and still get back to early throttle. It will be second gear, and similar to turn 1 there is a lot of track exit but the curbs can be quite aggressive. I have found in some cars these curbs will affect my power down too much so I can’t use much of them, and in some cars it is fine so we will have to figure out how much we can use over the weekend.
This is definitely one of the most difficult corners on the track. It is blind on entry and you turn in just after the crest on the road so you will often fight the rear at turn in. This will be 3rd gear, as soon as you feel the car take a set over the crest you will be turning in. There is always very low grip here, but if you can get down to the apex curb that is where most of the grip is. You can use all the road on exit, but hustle it back to the left to setup for turn 7.
4th gear and fast. This will probably be a light brush of the brakes, or possibly just a full lift depending on how much downforce the car has. Here you can also run a bunch of different lines depending on the car. The first thing to figure out is if you can make the apex curb work for the car or not, it is quite aggressive so it may upset the car too much. If you can use it, then run all of it and all of the exit curb, focus more on entry speed rather than picking the throttle back up. We may have to avoid the apex curb, which isn’t an issue just focus on using all the road on exit. The exit curb can have a tendency to suck you out further than you want to be so just beware, and you will want to stay completely off of it if it is wet.
Braking around the 2 marker here, or possibly a little before that. Turn 8 is another corner that always seems to be in between gears, once the track rubbers in I believe we will be running 3rd gear. It also has the newer pavement like the apex in turn 5 has, so has a higher relative grip at the apex than most other corners. Again you will want to nibble the apex curb here, even with the higher apex grip it is still easy to flow too much apex speed in here. You can use all of the exit curb here, but you will want to hustle back to the left to setup for the carousel.
4th gear and long. You will want to try and be full throttle past the bridge, most often you will feel the front give out and that is where you slowly start to lift. No matter what car you are in you always feel like you are so slow through the middle of the corner, but that is rarely where the time gain is, most often it is on entry and exit. I try and setup so I come under the bridge on entry about 2/3rds of the way to the left, and turn it down to the grass so I end up with a big double apex. Your entry speed should carry you to about mid track through the middle of the corner, where you will need some maintenance throttle to keep the speed up. Everything you are doing here is to try and set you up for the perfect exit. I want to be mid track with my eyes up looking for the second apex curb near the end of the corner. I want to position myself to have my front right tire down close to the apex curb and that is where my goal is to try and get back to full throttle. If you nail it you it will take you all the way out to the exit curb without having to back out of the throttle again.
This will be 5th gear, and just a slight brush of the brakes before turn in. Normally I just use depth perception to gauge where I want to brake, but I believe it will be around the 2 marker (that is if they have the brake markers up here, sometimes they don’t). I like to try and be back to partial throttle as I get to the apex, this helps just settle the rear and lock the diff to give you a nice little understeer, which is easier to deal with at these high speeds. You can use the exit curb a little bit here too, but it is a corner to just work yourself up to as it is high speed and not much room for error.
On entry here you will want to setup so you can be braking in a straight line on the left, this happens pretty soon after that last left kink so just be heads up. The braking point should be right around the 4 board, and it is yet another corner that is in between 2nd and 3rd gear. Nibbling the apex curb here is definitely the way to go, and I usually side on using 2nd gear to be able to get a good drive out, especially in traffic. This has the same exit curb that can be quite aggressive, but you can use it (same as turn 1 and 5). The further out you go the more aggressive it gets, but you can definitely put about half your car out there.
4th gear and blind over top of the apex here. This will be a very flight brake at turn in, may even be just a lift depending on downforce levels. It is a slightly later turn in here than you want, and is a corner you will have to work up to as the exit is completely blind. I like to just touch the apex curb as this helps me not run out of room on the exit. There is an access road on the exit that you can use to have more room, and you can use all of the track here on exit but again you will have to hustle it back to the left to setup for turn 14.
Here you will find the newer high grip asphalt so that will help with entry speed and tration out. You will just get the car all the way back to the left just in time to start braking and turn in, here you will want to use absolutely all of the apex curb, you can even sometimes get a little bit of your right front inside the apex curb. It will be a 3rd gear corner, and you have to use all of the exit curb as well. Focus on getting all over the apex curb and early to throttle are the two most important things in this corner.