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Thread: What Gear Should I Use? (And other interesting information)

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    Senior Member apk919's Avatar
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    Default What Gear Should I Use? (And other interesting information)

    I've been working on analyzing and presenting track data in ways that may help me on track. The map below was made by averaging together a number of laps of track data, and then determining (from the average speed at a particular point on track) what would be the lowest gear usable at any given point on track. Each color represents a different gear; a yellow dot on the track represents a place where the lowest gear you can be in at that point is third (obviously you can be in a higher gear).

    From the color map, you can get a good idea of the best gear for a corner; i.e. if the color changes mid corner, you probably have to be in the higher gear of the two.

    Track: Laguna Seca
    Green = 2nd
    Yellow = 3rd
    Orange = 4th
    Red = 5th

    gear_map.jpg

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    So you are always just at redline in the gear the color represents on the map?
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    You might be able to get away with one less downshift into the Corkscrew and just use third?

    You don't seem to stay in second long and there is a lot of gravity to help you there. That one less downshift might allow you to focus on really getting on the gas early before you drop off the cliff. It also eliminates another upshift as you head toward the Rainey Curve.

    I don't know how your car is geared. That might be too far down out of the power, but you can get away with it in a Miata.

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    Senior Member apk919's Avatar
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    I guess I didn't explain the graphic well. The idea is just to show the lowest *possible* gear at each point on the track, based on my speed at that point. Of course I could always be in a higher gear if that was appropriate. I wanted the graph to show me if there was anyplace on the track where I'd benefit from using a lower gear than the one I was in. The question in the title was rhetorical.

    The colors on the graph above (and on the left below) represent the lowest gear that would be below redline for my average speed on that point of the track. For example, the 2-Eleven hits redline in 3rd at about 89mph and 4th at about 113mph. For any speed between those two numbers, 4th would be the *lowest possible gear*.

    Below is a comparison of the *lowest possible gear* for my speed at a given point on the track (left map), and my *actual* gear usage (right map).

    gear_map2.jpg

    Below is a map of my average speed on the track over a number of laps:

    speed_map.jpg

    Light Blue = 40mph
    Green = 60 mph
    Yellow = 80 mph
    Orange = 100 mph
    Last edited by apk919; 08-31-2012 at 05:17 PM.

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