View Full Version : Finmere drifting with Mazda On Track

31-01-2010, 11:35 AM
Short version. It was great fun, lots of messing around, nothing hit and is pretty cheap too.

Met up with Loads of Northloopers, some for the first time, but as usual, everyone was friendly :thumb:

Mazda on Track Car control days. (http://www.mazdaontrack.co.uk/car-control-days-56-c.asp)

Loaded up Friday, that was interesting, I reckon there was 25mm clearance each side of the Nissan between the alloys and trailer sides :o . Drove down to MK to stay with Simon, traffic was awful, what did I expect for a Friday night?

Fitted a remote to Simons X5 so he can turn on the diesel pre-heater from inside the house, then had a lovely Chinese and some beers before calling it a night at 11ish. Breakfast was chaotic.. http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/gifs/4673d037.gif

Short 30 min drive to Finmere then ready to unload the Nissan.

A guy came over and asked if he could borrow my footpump, no problem. He came back 5 minutes later having broken it. "sorry...." :(

Cup of coffee, sign on then time for the most relaxed Briefing I`ve ever been to :thumb:
"don`t crash and have fun" were basically the rules of the day.

31-01-2010, 11:36 AM
Then is was time for some sighting laps behind Al (who drove the quickest signting laps I`ve ever done...), immediately after, we started on the `handling course`, I say handling, but it appeared almost everyone treated it as a drift course.... http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/gifs/whistle.gif

Alex had a check underneath after hitting the `bump` partcularly hard.

Initially, some people were struggling with understeer, including this guy who`d won this car in the Raffle @ Bovington.

cone collecting...

Cone removal team in operation

The Nissan was easy to drift.

Matty was having a great time.

There were spinners too.



31-01-2010, 11:37 AM
Then, it started to come together.

Even Al had a play..

Hands up if you are having FUN

After a morning`s instruction, Helen took to the circuit

Jim had a go and understeered..

Alex was the first to destroy a tyre.

31-01-2010, 11:38 AM
Smoke, we liked Smoke http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/gifs/thumb.gif

Jim drove Ian`s car, and span..

When spinning, the general consensus was that keeping it pinned was a good idea http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/gifs/thumb.gif

Darran all wired up with the Racelogic VBox stuff. Most impressive it was too !.

Just before Lunch, Nick pointed out my rears were down past the canvas and to the metal. Whoops.

Fitted the spare pair of `fronts` to the back, up to 45psi and away we went.

Lou went out for a go on the short track, she span a couple of times, but managed to get the back out and then save it, so for here, that was job done and she was happy :)

Just before Lunch and Floyd arrived, with Rebecca to pick up an exhaust the Northloop express had brought to Finmere http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/gifs/thumb.gif

31-01-2010, 11:38 AM
We`d brought some portable burners, frying pans, bacon, eggs and bread for lunch. Surprisingly, a queue formed.... http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/gifs/whistle.gif

The afternoon was pretty much the same as the morning, lots of fun and wearing out of tyres.

Helen was giggling from the passenger seat as usual.

I knew the tyres were well worn, took Simon for a couple of runs. The last one and I managed to get the transition from left to right in one slide, best I`d done all day, I was chuffed. Went towards the finish line sideways when the rear tyre popped. Ah..

Day over, so I had a few great laps with Alex as he tried to destroy the rear tyres he`d been `loaned`...

Loaded up and left around 4:30pm, back home just under 3 hours later after an awesome day. http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/gifs/yahoo.gif

I`d definately recommend the day, the surface looked bad, but was actually OK, the tyre wear was higher than expected, I destroyed 4 part worn tyres in 22 miles. Most of that was sideways with the tyres smoking, but you are much better going with a set of cheap tyres on an event like this. You`ll have just as much fun. Organisation was very relaxed, so long as you didn`t look dangerous, you were left alone, with advice being offered when needed.

I can understand why people keep using MoT, they are a great set of guys http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/gifs/thumb.gif

Catherine, who spent the morning in the X5, had the inverter plugged in. Unfortunately, just as we were ready to leave, I tried to start the X5 and the battery was Flat ! OH NO !! Fortunately, Alex had a booster Pack we could use.

Couple of videos from the Day, unfortunately, the stabilisation had been turned off :(
The long circuit, filmed from Outside (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfcNIb1D5PE)

Incar, last run of the day with tyre `popping` at the end (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljkdof12Y-w)

31-01-2010, 11:40 AM
Nige, what's this I hear that the lizard 'out gadgeted' the Pinders, Or is that 'to follow' ?


edit - noticed the edit :thumb:

Tim in Yorkshire
31-01-2010, 11:59 AM
Top report, looks like a lot of fun.

31-01-2010, 12:01 PM
Epic write up, thank you very much for coming!

Nige was smoothest driver of the day, by a fair amount I'd say. Possibly helped by a powerful car on part worns, but very impressed.

Everyone else - fine work, I'm not sure I've ever seen a Monaro, M3's, or indeed Omegas - or in fact MX-5's billow quite so much smoke ever!

31-01-2010, 12:08 PM
Great report, enjoyed it! :thumb:

... could have done with more pics though!

31-01-2010, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by Rory@Jan 31 2010, 01:08 PM
... could have done with more pics though!

31-01-2010, 12:41 PM
:laugh: :thumb:

31-01-2010, 12:55 PM
Great report, looks like a day well spent.

Regarding the incar video, was the camera mount vibrating or was the surface really harsh? Nice driving :thumb:

31-01-2010, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by Pedro@Jan 31 2010, 01:55 PM
Regarding the incar video, was the camera mount vibrating or was the surface really harsh?
The quality had been changed and when this happens it turns off the image stabilisation. Thats why the video is vibrating so much :(

31-01-2010, 04:19 PM
Great report, Nige :thumb:

Epic day :veryhappy:

31-01-2010, 04:28 PM
Great report as always.

Fab pictures - any chance you could let me have the Omega and Monaro ones, somehow?

Good to see you, catch up at Rocky in a few weeks, eh?


31-01-2010, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by alclark@Jan 31 2010, 01:01 PM

Nige was smoothest driver of the day, by a fair amount I'd say. Possibly helped by a powerful car on part worns, but very impressed.

Nige, I'd be chuffed to buggery with that comment. :D

31-01-2010, 04:35 PM
Great write-up, and it pretty much sums up my day, it was awesome.

I spent a lot of the day struggling to string things together, but it helped when Jim drove the car and said the suspension was shite and really wasn't helping.

Next time things will be different :thumb:

31-01-2010, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by GVK@Jan 31 2010, 05:30 PM
Nige, I'd be chuffed to buggery with that comment. :D
As you can image, I am :D

Currently sorting photos for you all :thumb:

31-01-2010, 05:45 PM
Whilst sorting the pics, I spotted this :o

31-01-2010, 06:18 PM
Originally posted by Nige@Jan 31 2010, 06:45 PM
Whilst sorting the pics, I spotted this :o
I think I saw that MX bottom out on the dip between the left and right bend on the big circuit. Was a nasty dip.

31-01-2010, 06:36 PM
Yep, that 'dip' had a ridge between two of the concrete slabs - I didn't feel it in the Omega, but Rob's Monaro suffered f/o/s wheel damage...!


31-01-2010, 07:10 PM
I hit that on my first run :o . Stayed well away after that as it made on almighty bang :( . Checked the car afterwards and apart from a bit of plastic undertray trim that Jim pulled clear, it looked fine.

31-01-2010, 07:21 PM
I hit it almost every time.

Definitely something that needs resolving/accounting for next time.

The last thing you want as an organiser is to have someone never come back because they damaged their wheel as above or whatever.

Take note Al!

31-01-2010, 08:08 PM
Looked like a fun day :thumb: I must get my car there although I think I'd do better if it was wet (the wetter the better and all that).

Thanks to the NL express peeps for delivering my stuff (Montana and Neil) :thumb:

Good to see so many familiar faces too. :thumb:

31-01-2010, 09:29 PM
My hat goes off to you sir for that driftin'.

Cool stuff :thumb:

Jim Cameron
31-01-2010, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by Simon@Jan 31 2010, 08:10 PM
I hit that on my first run :o . Stayed well away after that as it made on almighty bang :( . Checked the car afterwards and apart from a bit of plastic undertray trim that Jim pulled clear, it looked fine.
That was after you'd killed a cone, to be fair :D

31-01-2010, 10:03 PM
The bumps a bit of weird one. The gate to avoid it was, in my opinion, pretty well marked, and the only part where you go over the bump never caused the (decked) Silvia to bottom out or ground or anything at all, so I'm not really too sure what to suggest. Not a huge amount I can really do (without billions of extra cones) to stop people taking their own 'creative' route? Suggestions very welcome though. I'm certainly thinking some yellow flag cones to make it even more obvious at key points?

Steve Gill
01-02-2010, 07:04 AM
Looks like it was great fun - wish I could have been there! :D

01-02-2010, 08:43 AM
Flags in the gate cones might be a goods idea, Al :thumb: . After hitting the bump @ speed I never went that route again :whistle:

01-02-2010, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by alclark@Jan 31 2010, 11:03 PM
The bumps a bit of weird one. The gate to avoid it was, in my opinion, pretty well marked
It was ? I`ll be honest, I didn`t see any specific markings for it, it was just something I noticed myself. :fish:

01-02-2010, 09:31 AM
Yup, and it got worse as the day wore on.

Constructive Criticism would be (And I fed this back to Jim and Nick on the day)

* There was a formal sighting lap of the smaller course, then the sighting laps turned into actual usage without a sighting lap of the larger course.
Then after an hour or so, people were just sent to the larger course with no sighting laps and a brief description of how the course ran.
Watching people who HAD had the sighting laps, even they took one of two routes, so it appeared as if no formal route existed for the larger course, of the sighting laps were too fast/weren't repeated enough.

And I watched many people take slightly different routes so it wasn't just a select few people who found the concept hard to grasp.

* Buy some different coloured sleeves for some cones, and mark significant points on the course as otherwise cone blindness sets in.

Other than that, it was a very successful day, but as these days are more likely to attract first timers than full track days, then more organisation is definitely better.

01-02-2010, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by Nige@Feb 1 2010, 10:00 AM
It was ? I`ll be honest, I didn`t see any specific markings for it, it was just something I noticed myself. :fish:
All highly appreciated feedback from everyone, thankees. :thumb:
It's refreshing to have the honest feedback as well from you all, and every event we do we aim to improve. Keep the suggestions coming by the way - I know no-ones moaning or complaining, if you've got a good idea - let me know B)

With regards to the gates and track layout, we have a few options:

1 - A simple cone to cone gykhana style course, which can get complicated to remember where to go, and is difficult to force people to take a certain line to induce oversteer - which is the purpose of the track layouts.

2 - An extremely cone heavy fairly exacting layout; but this is confusing, and the inevitable spins will kill billions of innocent cones who have familes and children. And much time will be lost pulling dead cones out from under Simons car. :D

3 - A sort of happy medium which I what I try to layout - give the driver a fairly pre-determined line for the entry of a corner, and give them space past the apex of the corner - then once they've got round the corner, they should be setting up for the next corner which is marked by a few more cones.

From a very blunt perspective (and this is also totally constructive feedback from another point of view by the way) - here's my thoughts:

It's very hard to achieve a race track in an open area without causing cone blindness, but I also account for the fact that you're all intelligent enough to hopefully work out which way the course goes after 4 or 5 runs. If people can't remember the way round a 20 second course after 10 goes, then quite how they make it round a 10 minute track is anyones guess really! :laugh:

The bump has two aspects: The bit we did want you to cross, and the bit we didn't.

The bit we did want you to cross - my Silvia which was easily one of the lowest and stiffest cars there (mechanically) on the day, plus the fact that my wheels are literally fitted upto the arches. I don't have a very low splitter or anything, so granted body work wise it wasn't the lowest, but mechanically it's on the deck really. However, it doesn't ground out or suffer any rubbing problems over the part where you transitioned right after the first big sweeping left hander. I use my car as a good guide to setup the course, and how to make it as smooth as possible given the 1940's wartime rain gulleys. So far I must have done hundreds of laps there over the last 6 months and no damage or problems at all to the car.
So my only real theory is some people simply don't have suspension setup correctly, or as is often the case with MX-5's and Jap stuff which is simply worn out components and is quite noticeable when you watch them go over the bumps or even just round the corners. Obviously, this is is something that we need to account for, because not everyone can afford to fit posh suspension, and as far as I'm concerned, you should be able to have just as much fun in a stock car as a posh one.

However - the parts were we didn't want cars to cross the bump is a lot sharper and deeper, verging on nasty I would say. This would (and did) cause a few people who missed the gates to ground out - again, perhaps we can fix this by tripling the number of cones along the gulley?

The playpen clearly was a hit - that was a new experimental circuit, and we will run that again.

Perhaps with the other space, instead of a big course, how about 2 smaller, more compact 'handling tests', like a figure of 8 and big right hander to practice big initiations, and big lairy oversteer exits?

xxxx :racing:

01-02-2010, 11:52 AM
oooh, seeing as we are being objective !

I really liked the playpen, but the horrible gulley in the middle was something I drove to avoid. In places it was filled, in others it appeared to be `open`, hitting that when sideways would make a mess of a wheel for sure.

Being able to get a nice long powerslide and then in between the `double cones` was challenging and really satisfying when you straightened from the slide straight between the cones.

However, the next right hander was really tight, I had to stand on the brakes, then right hand lock and throttle to get the back out, again, that was fun but it split the course into 2 parts, there was no way I could `link` the 2 parts together (maybe Al can tell us if this is the case for everyone or just us novices ?). Perhaps a slightly longer right hand turn before the finish, to allow a slow down and link from the left hander?

The entrance to the `playpen` was fine, line of cones on the left that stopped at just the right place.

I liked the larger course, the challenge of linking the first left hander, over the `dip` and to the right was challenging and tricky to get right, but still possible.

However, once done, I struggled to keep the back out all the way towards the finish line, foot flat to the floor and eventually it meant either changing to 3rd or hitting the limiter. 3rd is fine, but then speeds start increasing.

Is there a way you could add a left / right `S` after the first part of the right hand drift, maybe have this as an `option` so if people don`t want to attempt it, they can head towards the finish ?

ie, start > power oversteer left, hold then transistion to right, power oversteer right then transition to left / right sequence before drift to finish?

It just seemed that everyone was making the long last section into 2 parts, it was too long for the mx5`s to hold a drift that long (or we weren`t good enough ...)

I appreciate finding the balance between a novice layout and a more challenging one is difficult and I can`t visualise if there even enough tarmac to try what I suggested without making all the cones to close ?

01-02-2010, 12:02 PM
In my mind, I'd love to have one huge long course, using the gap between the two areas, but I don't want people to hit trees....

01-02-2010, 12:17 PM
Track layout competition? :D

Blank layout.

Saturday's layout:

A twistier variation:

Long and awesome, but limited, and I don't want customers going near trees.

01-02-2010, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by Neil C@Feb 1 2010, 01:26 PM
tarmac the damn thing and have it however you want :whistle:
:D . It looks so smooth from up in the air :whistle:

The twistier version could be a winner :thumb:

01-02-2010, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by Neil C@Feb 1 2010, 01:26 PM
tarmac the damn thing and have it however you want :whistle:
Totally, 100% and absolutely agreed, and in fact, this is in the pipeline. However, planning permission and tarmac is not an inexpensive nor fast process. :slow:

01-02-2010, 12:40 PM
Originally posted by alclark@Feb 1 2010, 01:36 PM
Totally, 100% and absolutely agreed, and in fact, this is in the pipeline. However, planning permission and tarmac is not an inexpensive nor fast process. :slow:
:fish: £500 cash and the local Pikey's will have it done in an afternoon :whistle:

01-02-2010, 02:09 PM
The twistier version is what I was trying to describe.

Thats a perfect example of a picture speaking a thousand words :thumb:

oh, by the way, I`d like to try that layout please :D

01-02-2010, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by alclark@Feb 1 2010, 01:17 PM
Track layout competition? :D

Free MOT Car control day at finmere for the winner! ;)

Blank layout.

hmmm... could you possibly mark out the gulleys?? I can only remember two of them and they didnt really cause too much bother on the layout used on the day I was there?

(*also, yes, I did edit Al's quote with wishful thinking.) :whistle:

01-02-2010, 02:23 PM
Twistier version. :thumb:

And as Nige was saying, the gate between left hander and right hander on the plaype was a bit to tight for me, so it was drift left, straighten up, blip right then exit rather than trying to link the two.

01-02-2010, 06:30 PM
Firstly, I couldn't resist this


Why are you pointing at your Gonads?

Secondly circuit layout. There have been several different layouts we have tried and we have learned things from each one. What we can't unfortunately do, as Al has said is go between the trees, It has several down sides which I would not like to be standing before a judge or grieving family trying to explain. Tyres burst, as happed on Saturday and control can be lost and also cars would be emerging at speed into an unsighted area and the one thing we have learned is no matter what we think can happen; people have a fantastic knack of finding the unexpected. Also it will make for longer queues as there will be more mistakes made, more spins more cones needing repositioning etc.
The exit from the "Play Pen" is also important and we aim this directly at the bank for the exact reason we don't want this aiming at the car park or the area where the tent is. Drivers do forget where they are and do get overly excited, especially if they have messed up and are embarrassed, or euphoric having just done a good run. Even on Saturday there were a few cases of over exuberance leaving the finish gate.
What I particularly noticed on Saturday was that due to the more experienced nature of most of the drivers and that the driving was sometimes more "spirited" and a bit more exhibitionist than other days and that is something we need to account for in future “club” days.

01-02-2010, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by NickD@Feb 1 2010, 07:30 PM
What I particularly noticed on Saturday was that due to the more experienced nature of most of the drivers and that the driving was sometimes more "skillful" and a bit more impressive to watch than other days and that is something we need to account for in future “club” days.
EFA :whistle: :laugh:

Agree about the circuit layout points too.

01-02-2010, 07:29 PM
lol @ the edit :D

People want to play & try things that they would not get away with on the road, Nick. The more you do, the more people will improve (hopefully) so a more technical course will keep people coming back for more :thumb:

08-02-2010, 07:47 AM
Didn't realised I'd missed this report, very cool stuff :D

15-02-2010, 12:19 PM
My view since i also do events and marshell, (im going to be blunt)

Ive lost count of the events ive done there i think i missed 2 since mot STARTED and ive never ever ever damaged my car or ground out, ive hit plent of cones tho. ( i seem to give my tryes death every time i go)

as for trye wear it does depend if you skid the hole track or not ive warn a set of tryes out within the morning or made my road set last all day and for a few months after.

as for the gullys that are old drains i can't coment on that day but i know when laying out in the morning al allways gates them so you can slow down for them.

im sure ill see some of you on the 26th Feb at the next day

ive have some nice stupidly large tryes that are up to 40 psi to distroy