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Discussion Starter #1
This is the thread to discuss the experience and results of driving Honda Insights on race tracks. :twisted:

This year in addition to competing in autoslaloms, I have started competing in Solo 1 time trials, also known as Autosprints, with my 2000 Honda Insight. These are timed events on real race tracks.

High Speed Time Trials
You, Your Ride, The Track...The Clock Is Ticking...
Catch the Competition

Solo 1 competitions are time trials on real racetracks, using everything from street-driven cars to full-blown racecars. The competition is against the clock, with the aim being to record a faster lap than all the other drivers in your class, and to be more consistent than all of the other class winners.

The track is where the 'bull' stops and the stopwatch rules! You've got to have power, but you've also got to be able to turn. The racing is one car at a time, and your best lap counts out of a day's worth of runs. Solo 1 allows everyone to 'Take it to the Track'....
Quote from this web site:
http://www.casc.on.ca/solo1.php

The event is structured as follows:
In the morning there is 1 or 2 hours of lapping to learn the track and warm up the skills.
During competition, one car at a time starts on the track, there are several cars on the track at any one time but they are all spaced out so nobody should catch up to anybody else. There is absolutely no passing allowed that's why it's called a SOLO event.
Each session consists of 1 warm up lap, 3 timed "hot" laps and 1 cool down lap. Each driver gets 3 or 4 sessions per day at a typical solo 1 event.
If someone manages to catch up to another car, the marshals raise a yellow flag to ecknowledge this fact so the car that caught up is allowed to do an extra hot lap.


The Insight is in the lowest (slowest) class which is called Touring 5 (or T5 for short). Unfortunately because there are so few cars in that class they group the T5 cars with the T4 cars for calculating the overall PAX score.
This means I am allowed to add 10 preparation modification points to the Insight and it would still score under the T4 class :shock:

Oh well, it's just for fun anyways.
And besides being an electric assist hybrid my car gets weaker and slower after every lap :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ontario regional Solo 1 event #1

The first Ontario regional solo 1 event took place on May 28th at Shannonville race track east of Belleville Ontario (2 hours east of Toronto).
The 2.47 km Pro Track was used.
http://www.shannonville.com/body.php?section=track&page=maps#

Since this was the first event of the year and there were a lot of entries registration took much longer then normal. This allowed us to have about 2 hours of lapping in the morning. I went lapping for several sessions of about 5 jor 6 laps, letting the brakes cool between sessions. Opal was my passenger during my practice laps.
When it was time to start the competition they put me and my Insight second last in the starting grip with the slowest cars.

Start of timed events:
I put an experienced driver in my passenger seat to give me advice and feedback on technique and improving my racing line.
On my first session, I caught up to the 1981 Datsun 280ZX (Nissan 280) at the end of my second hot lap so I got a yellow flag :D

Photos of my Insight in action:
http://www.soloontario.com/gallery/album23/solo1_May28_267

My 1st hot lap was 94 seconds and it was my fastest since my battery drains quickly and by the end of 3 hot laps my battery gauge is down to 2 bars :roll:

After the session I drove in circles on the skid pad in 1st gear at 3200 RPM to recharge my battery and cool my brakes etc.

On my 2nd session they grid my Insight in front of all the cars that had slower lap times then me 8)
Here is a photo showing all the cars with slower lap times then my Insight after the 1st timed session.
http://www.soloontario.com/gallery/album23/solo1_May28_206
http://www.soloontario.com/gallery/album23/solo1_May28_207

During my 2nd session I didn't have a passenger to weigh me down and with the advice I got during my 1st session my 1st hot lap was 91.7 seconds.

Later in the day on my 3rd and final session, my first hot lap was 91.5 seconds.

The Insight always felt weaker on the 2nd hot laps and much weaker on the 3rd hot laps because my battery drains so much. But surprisingly my lap times only get slower by 1 or 1.5 seconds after each hot lap. The fact that the race compound tires get hotter and sticker after each lap must help.

At the end of the day my fastest lap time was faster then those of 4 cars in higher classes.
Here are the results:
http://www.soloontario.com/events/2005/results/may28-29/OfficialResultsEvent1.html
 

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Thanks for posting this. I've been thinking of running similar events myself, so you inspire me!

BTW, in my last autocross I had to charge up the battery before my third run by running the car at 3k rpm at a standstill for 5+ minutes. It was a long course and they were doing 2-lap runs, which really hurt the battery after the first two runs.
 

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Pretty cool.

As much as the battery is a problem, I would be more concerned about the tiny brakes. Did you swap out your brake fluid? I suppose you wouldn't have needed to if you ran one lap at a time (& not enduro).

Cool beans.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Using high temperature brake fluid is essential on a race track.
I use ATE 2000 high temp synthetic brake fluid.
With race compound tires the brakes are not used for longer then 1 to 3 seconds at a time before turning. The OEM Insight pads are pretty decent at lasting about 5 hot laps before beginning to fade. So 3 hot laps is not a problem. Very experienced racers that have driven my car have commented that the brakes are stronger then what most cars come with.
 

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yes, 3 hot laps shouldn't be a problem. But, with decent aftermarket pad, you can only get better. Also, don't forget the rear drum setup. Too bad these cars don't come with 4-wheel disk brakes. But, they are very good for an economy car.
 

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Congrats Guillermo.
Looks like you guys had a great time!

We had a lapping day at Shannonville on the 27th and ChrisP, Hanif and Frank were there. (HADA guys)

I'm hoping to come out and watch or run with you guys in the future!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
cmb said:
We had a lapping day at Shannonville on the 27th and ChrisP, Hanif and Frank were there. (HADA guys)
I know all those guys, so why haven't I seen you yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ontario Regional Solo 1 events #3 took place on June 18 at the Mosport DDT track counter clockwise configuration with a kink.
The weather looked like it was about to rain but it never did. Because my large 235/45R13 Kumho V70 R-compound tires are so old and hard I decided to use my 185/60R13 Toyo RA1 R-compound tires instead this weekend. These are the tires I bought new last year and used them for 6,000 km of street driving as well as over 30 auto-x events. They are down to their optimal dry tread depth, but because they are 1 year old they are not as sticky as fresh tires. I cannot afford to use my new Kumho 710 tires on the track because they would wear out so quickly. I'm saving my 710 tires for the Ontario Regional Autoslalom series where they are essential to be competitive.
The Toyos proved to be much better for the track because they only weigh 26 lbs with rims and the compound still sticks well specially when hot.

Because there are so few T5 cars they are grouped in with T4 cars.
I still have 9 preparation points I could use and still be in T4.
But my car is fully prepared for H-stock class in the Autoslalom series so it's far from being maximized for T4 class in the Solo 1 track series.

For Solo 1 I have used only 1 point so far that's for the large torsion/sway bar in the rear of my insight. It's fantastic on the track, where I can get lift throttle oversteer at will to rotate the car mid corner correct the placement of the car when i'm understeering a little too wide. The technique required to race with the stiff rear sway bar is to brake in a STRAIGHT line BEFORE the corner (If braking when just slightly turning the car will try to swap ends). As the brake is being released the steering wheel must start to be turned in. The brakes should be fully released in about 1/2 a second, at this time the throttle is pressed quickly (but not instantly) to the floor. This will straighten the car if the back end has come loose and will allow the car to start accelerating early in the corner to achieve the highest corner exit speed possible. If the trajectory is too wide and the car is understeering then throttle steering is utilized by smoothly lifting the throttle to increase weight transfer and grip to the front tires. It's all about looking far ahead, learning how and when to precisely apply smooth inputs to the pedals and steerings to utilize 100% of the grip of the tires while driving the ideal racing line. I still have lots to learn on the finer details of all this.

More on Braking:
Braking requires pressing hard so 100% of the grip of the tires is utilized and the ABS starts to engage. Most of the turns require braking for less then 1 second. The corners that require the largest drop in speed also require downshifting from 3rd to 2nd gear so braking time will last no more then 2 or 3 seconds to complete the heal and toe downshift.

For more info on the rear sway bar I installed on my Insight look at this thread:
http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3146&start=0

Driving my T5 class Insight I managed to have faster lap times then the following cars in higher classes:
2000 VW Golf in T4 class (uses summer street tires)
2001 Hyundai Accent in T3 (uses race tires)
2004 Acura 1.7 EL in T2 (uses summer street tires)
1991 Honda Civic CRX Si in T1 (uses race tires)
1990 Volkswagen Jetta in GT1 class

Results:
I won 1st place out of 2 cars in T4

Click on "Official Results" and other links on this page for details:
http://www.soloontario.com/events/2005/05_June18.html
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ontario Regional Solo 1 event #4 took place on June 19th at the Mosport DDT track counter clockwise configuration again but this time they removed the kink so it was straight all the way down hill. I reached a top speed of about 138 km/hr while the day before my top speed was only about 120 km/hr.
In this event there was another T5 car finally.
It was a old 1.6 L Plymouth Laser (basically a very old mitsubishi eagle talon with a tiny engine , overweight chassis and FWD).
T5 cars are grouped with T4, not fair I guess but since i'm winning T4 anyways I can't compain.

Results:
1st place out of 3 cars in T4.
Because the class was considered full with 3 entries I got 100 points. The backup times are Paxed in such a way that for some strange reason I managed to finish 3rd in the overall ranking of the day!

Click on "Official Results" and other links here:
http://www.soloontario.com/events/2005/05_June19.html

Photo of my Insight on the Mosport DDT track:
http://www.soloontario.com/gallery/album24/june21_16
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I put together a video of one of my timed driving sessions during event #4.
The video link is on the http://www.insightracing.ca
web page under the heading "Solo 1 Regional Events 3 & 4"
Trust me, this is a must see video :wink:
 

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Guillermo said:
cmb said:
We had a lapping day at Shannonville on the 27th and ChrisP, Hanif and Frank were there. (HADA guys)
I know all those guys, so why haven't I seen you yet?
I don't know? Probably because I haven't been out to any Solo events yet. I hope to.
I usually frequent alot of the private track day events, especially the club I'm in: DSCR.

I met Rick, Taylor and Michael as well this weekend at the lapping day we just had (Friday)
If you're ever in need of more track time you are more than welcome to come out to any of our private events.
We keep the car totals to 15-20 cars usually, thus allowing all to have a decent amount of track time. It's basically 5 sessions of 20 minutes each for every driver, so you get about almost 2 hours total of seat time each even.

I am planning to run my Insight in one of our next 2 lapping days at Shannonville.

If you're interested at all, just check out our forums at: http://www.dscr.net
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Evening Lapping at Shannonville Long Track

On August 10th, 2005 I joined some friends on a weekday evening private lapping session at the Shannonville race track. This was a great opportunity to practice driving at Shannonville because the Canadian National Soloprint Championships will take place here on September 10 & 11, 2005. I drove a total of 111 km on the track that evening on my old 185/60R13 Toyo RA1 race compound tires. We had the whole track to ourselves so the 4.03 km Long track configuration was used.

Link to in-car Video of Insight lapping
and link to track maps of Shannonville here:
http://www.insightracing.ca/index.php?p=78
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Solo 1 Regional Event 6

Opal and I went to the solo1 in Dunnville Ontario on Aug. 27th.
This was Opal's first timed autosprint event on a race track. She has lapped other race tracks before but this was a timed solo competition motorsport event.

Results of day 1 were:
My fastest lap time was 90.639 seconds (0.2 seconds behind my Touring 4 class competitor in a 2L VW Golf)
Opal got a 93.313 (that's faster then 4 other cars!)

See in-car video and read Opal's words on the event here:
http://www.insightracing.ca/index.php?p=79

Official results here:
http://www.soloontario.com/events/2005/results/aug27-28/OfficialResultsEvent6.html
 

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Pretty cool! I wonder if you could get a remote microphone and hang it out the back so we could hear the exhaust?
 
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