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Kirkham Motorsports

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  • 1 Post By RUFdriver
  • 3 Post By Tom Wells

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2019, 11:53 AM
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Default Spun my Backdraft!

Was entering a somewhat blind on-ramp that I've never been on before. I wasn't aware that the end of the ramps radius got tighter. I lifted on the gas knowing that was the wrong thing to do, but did it anyway. Instantly, the tail end went left. So I turned into the slide and the tail swung right! I turned right and it came back around to the left again. The last time I couldn't catch it and she came around. Luckily I scrubbed some speed during that process. When I got spun backwards, I pushed the clutch in and it stopped spinning as I was parallel to the wall so I just went backwards in a straight line instead of in to the wall! I probably should have pushed the clutch in sooner. Forgot to do that.

My other fun car is a 870whp e46 turbo m3. I thought I was a decent driver and knew my limits. Cobra ownership is proving otherwise! Be careful out there kids.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2019, 12:10 PM
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Yep, that can happen. Lifting the throttle in a turn can bite you. Are your tires pretty decent?
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubela View Post
Was entering a somewhat blind on-ramp that I've never been on before. I wasn't aware that the end of the ramps radius got tighter. I lifted on the gas knowing that was the wrong thing to do, but did it anyway. Instantly, the tail end went left. So I turned into the slide and the tail swung right! I turned right and it came back around to the left again. The last time I couldn't catch it and she came around. Luckily I scrubbed some speed during that process. When I got spun backwards, I pushed the clutch in and it stopped spinning as I was parallel to the wall so I just went backwards in a straight line instead of in to the wall! I probably should have pushed the clutch in sooner. Forgot to do that.

My other fun car is a 870whp e46 turbo m3. I thought I was a decent driver and knew my limits. Cobra ownership is proving otherwise! Be careful out there kids.
NEVER go agressive into a situation that you are not familliar with or you can not see. the 90" wheelbase car will flip ends before you can react. I have extensive roadrace experience in a 110mph shifter kart. this happens on a kart on the track you spin out and for the most part nobody gets hurt or KILLED but when this happens on a cobra complete different ball game... careful man.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:10 PM
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In my car the engine's torque on off throttle makes the car react as if you have put on the rear brakes only when you lift abruptly in a turn.

The suspension is pretty rudimentary on my car compared to a newish BMW too.

The responsiveness of the steering makes it almost impossible to control if you get unexpected input from the suspension or any unexpected input really. Gas, steering or brakes.

It is fine on the autocross course where you can spin with no consequences but on the street it keeps you focused....the fear, I mean.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:08 PM
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There’ an old saying in the 911 racing world, “ keep your finger in the flame”, never lift in a turn.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:12 PM
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I witnessed those 911 shenanigans many times as a kid when my friends and I use to sneak into Bridgehampton Raceway and hang out at turn 1 for the sole purpose of watching the newbie drivers of the 911s lift and spin.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:57 PM
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bubela,

In road racing terms, that's called trailing throttle oversteer (TTO); very common for a Cobra to do that.

The next thing you learn at driving school is "in a spin, both feet in." That's clutch down and brakes on. It's an attempt to minimize speed for any impact with another object the car may be headed toward.

As a previous poster mentioned, the wear rating of the tires is important (200 is good, 500 is lousy) and their age is also a factor. If they are more than 6 years old, traction loss is highly probable, as traction becomes less as a tire ages.

Hope you have learned something from the episode. If my Cobra tried to kill me that way, and I didn't hit anything at all, I'd go buy a lottery ticket!

Take care,

Tom
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:23 PM
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Let me just say first, glad you are ok One thing to keep in mind sometimes cars stop at the end of ramps and leak oil.I learned this one the hard way on a motorcycle. had it pitched sideways in the street then it caught and highsided. lucky all I got was a concussion and a bruised shoulder. You should have seen my helmet huge scratches in the back.One thing you do not hear to much in the car world is READ YOUR SURFACES .
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:02 PM
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Been there done that, mine was too much throttle on cold tires. No damage and got lucky. It spins in an instant. Glad you are ok
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:02 AM
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My pucker event was a combination of trailing throttle and cold tires. I'd driven about 15 miles and turning left on a cool morning going into work, nothing really out of the ordinary, no excessive speed or anything (same as I turned with my other cars), but the pavement was shaded and the tires broke loose. 360 in the middle of the intersection. Fortunately curbs were quite a ways away.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:10 AM
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Yeah, the tires have tread but are 5 years old. I’m purposefully trying to wear them out so I can get new ones! I knew what I was doing was not smart. Luckily I learned a cost-free lesson.

I’ve not heard that quote RUFdriver. I like it.

I’ve had a few instructed driving sessions on NJMPs tracks with the BMW CCA but in a different car. I guess don’t have enough experience spinning to do it instinctually.

First time a car got squirrely on me was a dozen years ago. I was racing my turbo charged m50 e36 ti (106” wheelbase). I pressurized the coolant bottle towards the end of the mile and got the driver side slick wet. I don’t remember if I clutched in but I was able to save it at over 100mph. Same scenario where I was skidding left and right, looking at one wall and then the other. I know I got lucky then. Hopefully it’s another dozen years until it happens again.
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:17 AM
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I've observed that a significant risk is, when you start to spin... things seems to slow down and become a bit surreal, then that little voice in your head starts lying to you... "Don't worry, you can save it. Don't go both feet in, you can save it and then just keep going like nothing ever happened".

The voice is partly correct... you do end up "saving it", but the problem is that you have done nothing to scrub speed and have no control over the direction you end up being aimed in once the tires regain grip, which is usually at a solid object which very often it results in a hard impact. Hitting a concrete wall at 20mph in a cobra might not kill you. Well... assuming you don't suffer a basal skull fracture because you have no airbag or H&N restraint.

So, if this ever happens again... ignore that voice:

"When you spin... BOTH. FEET. IN."
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