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I've been making great progress this year steadily rasing my driving ability and dropping my times. I placed 2nd in class at my last event and 4th in class today, where I was competing against 1.8t's. I realized today that my times instead of dropping 1 or 2 sec a run in the first few runs I have been starting out very fast and bettering my times by only 1 or 2 sec over the 5 runs. I also had one of those revelations today where I realized I was instinctively braking as hard as I could and then turning in at the last moment, which stopped me from pushing around the corner.
I was quite happy with that as I had found using my brakes particularly hard well thats not the correct word more like complicated. At the start I had to learn to brake before the corner, then how hard I could push without locking up and now how deep I can push the car before turning.

I always go over my runs after the event thinking about how I could have pushed further or where I may have been loosing time. Today I had trouble deciding if shifting back to 1st gear was worth the time. I'm still working on my braking while downshifting and seem to lockup for often tossing away my run. Today I was watching some of my competitors run and 4 out of 5 were shifting back into 1st twice in the run. So my question is what would be the deciding factor to shift back to 1st gear. I was thinking that it would be when I was too low in the rpm range in 2nd gear.


Overall I'm very happy with my progress in the past few months I'm far quicker than I expected. Today I ran against one of my friends who was 3sec faster than me at two events back in July, todays results I was faster by 2sec.

On to question number 2. R compound tires.
I've been told that they are good for 1 - 2sec depending on the track and car. Is this really true? Everyone is telling me to get some R's for next season. I decided after asking a ton of questions of my all a few months ago to get some Azenis as I didn't want to ruin a set of R comps while I was learning the basic stuff.

Thanks for reading all of this as always I wouldn't be doing so well if it wasn't for the help and support of you all!
 

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Question 1....
Remember, your competitors weren't driving Focuses.Eevry car's needs are different, as every make of car is geared a little differently.
We also don't know the experience level of your competitors.
Unless you're down around 1500 RPM, you shouldn't have to drop to First.
DO you LFB?
Even w/o Turbo, I find it helps me keep my revs up, and the transition to acceleration is quicker.
The Zetec has enough torque that you should only have to drop to First in the MOST EXTREME Cases.
If you keep your right foot fairly heavy, and modulate your speed/attitude w/ the Brake, even most hairpins can be handled in second gear.
Second Question....
It's up to you...
Azenis' will teach you more if you're patient enough to take the time to learn.
That's NOT to say that you can't learn on the R's, just that you have to be alot smoother where grip is at a greater Premium.
 

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Question 1....
Azenis' will teach you more if you're patient enough to take the time to learn.
That's NOT to say that you can't learn on the R's, just that you have to be alot smoother where grip is at a greater Premium.
I'm a big believer in learning on street or "STS" tires first, at least a season or so. Street tires force you to be smooth, and most street tires give you a lot of feedback (noise) telling you when your are not being smooth.
I had an event this year where I ran the first 3 runs on street tires (Kumho Ectsa 712) and then ran the last 2 runs on R-Comps (Victoracers) and if I remember right my last 2 runs were almost 3 seconds faster.
 

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Hey Simon, I have some 205/50/15 RA-1s that still have life in them. I could sell them to you for maybe $100CDN or something. They're a little old and hard, but they'd be great to try for your first time. Also, they might be useful for VIR.

Let me know if you're interested.

Alternatively, I could use some half decent speakers for Tina's new car, maybe we could work something out. I've just got these things sitting in the basement and need to get rid of them.
 

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if you buy those, i will have tire softener w/me at vir. really needs a couple of days to work, but maybe. and euro it now looks you are going to be the long distance champ possibly. you are a wild and crazy guy. might cause me to bring the blender. margarritaville in the cold.
 
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