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Discussion Starter #1
Heya all,

I must be the first to get home from DECA (or one with least amount of things to do in life ;) ) so here is my review: it was awesome!!! :)

The great thing was that I learnt so much about the car and just how easy it is to slide, handle etc. Loved it.

The highlight for me was a slalom shoot out which was basically two cards line up and do a slalom (on a semi-wet) track. I beat 5 cars before a HSV GTS 300 beat me (I was on a much wetter track tho). Anyway, it was great! I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the car's characteristics.

G'nite all.. :shiftdrive:
 

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Yeah, was great fun (again) and the weather was perfect also so it made it that much better. The only complaint I had is that there were to many cars (ie. aorund 60) and therefore only about 1/3 of track time one would expect. Still, the track time (or more so 'skid pan time') that I had was great ... and you can't complain too much for $40 ;-)

I'll write later a bit more about how I found the 350Z there this time, as first here are all the results that I took down during the day:

- Morning cone-dogging exercise (ie #1):
This was a pretty long cone-dodging exercise which was not easy to remember and we all (but the white S2000) got 3 runs at it. Some of us took most of the runs to make it without any mistakes in terms of sequence of cones (ie. getting lost), but all of us got at least one clean/good run.
- 350Z Track (me) = 1:02.1 (1 wrong cone), 1:07.3 (1 wrong cone), 55.1
- 350Z Track (Iggy) = 1:07.1 (1 wrong cone), 1:03.5, 1:00.0
- 350Z Roadster (Gary) = ?:??.??, 1:16.0, 1:02.6
- 350Z Track (Yun) = 1:24.5 (few wrong cone), 1:17.0, 1:13.07
- S2000 = 1:19.3 (few wrong cone), 1:04.10
- RX8 = 1:13.6 (few wrong cone), 1:06.5, 1:04.2, 1:07.4

Quickest HSV/Ford (ie. quickest other vehicles) returned 57 and 58sec times. Rest of them were above 1:02 from what I could tell.

- Morning acceleration/stop exercise (ie #2):
This was kind of simple as you just take off as hard as possible, run for 20m (or so) and slam the brakes to stop in another bay in front. You barely reached 2nd gear. We had 3 tries at this and these were the quickest times:
- 350Z Track (me) = 5.69sec
- S2000 = 5.83sec
- 350Z Track (Iggy) = 5.94sec
- RX8 = 6.04sec
- 350Z Roadster (Gary) = 6.08sec
- 350Z Track (Yun) = 6.47sec
- S15 200SX = 6.66sec

Not sure what times the other guys (in other cars) were getting, but I think one of them matched my time while we were still there.

- Afternoon slalom knock-out exercise (ie #3):
Like Iggy said, this was a started from stop, then you slalomed across to the other side, made a 180deg turn, and came back through the slalom into the starting gate. There were two of these next to each other so that two cars could run at the same time. It was a 1-on-1 knockout competition where only the winner advanced. The quickest person was the winner, but if you were not clasified as 'finished' untill you stopped in the gate/bay (ie. if you overshoot the gate then you had to reverse back in). Also if you knocked a cone down then you lost. The finishing order of us (ie. the poeple who got furthest) was:
- 350Z Track (Iggy) = got into final 10 and lost to a HSV GTS Coupe. And not by much.
- RX8 = got into final 20 and lost only because of a mistake on the way back where he had to almost stop to recover.
- S2000 = out in the 1st round even though he won the race. Lost because he overshot the stopping bay.
- 350 Track (me) = out in the 1st round even though I won the race. Lost because I knocked one cone over.
- 350Z Track (Yun) = out in the 1st round (I think) ... not sure why? What happened Yun?
- 350Z Roadster (Gary) = out in the 2nd or 3rd round as the other car beat him. Not sure what car ... what car was it Gary?

Competition was won by an old VK (?) Commodore that has a Vortex Supercharger and was very good at doing hand-brake turns to make the 180deg turn. A ~'88 Prelude driven by a girl did really well and made it also into the top 20.

- Afternoon big-circle exercise (ie #4):
This was notn-timed (ie. non copmpetition) as the idea was to go around a big semi-wet circle a few times and have some fun. Made for some nice footage as most of us spun here (at least a few times). Personaly I spun 2x here and those were my 1st ever spins in the 350Z ... I should have them on footage.

Also as I mentioned, there's footage to come as well as a few of my thought on how the Zed went there.
 

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ok on the Slalom run during the U-turn thing. I overshot the power. Because i though i can just do a quick turn by power. But I ended up went wide open understeer. :(

I had not so good. yet was hoping i could do much better job. :(

But oo well.

will do it again sometimes ;)
 

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I've converted all the clips that I have of all the Zeds to 'internet friendly' format/size, and I have 60Mb of footage already. I have only 10Mb of space available so I can't upload it all. I uploaded 3 clips (ie. close to 10Mb), but there's another 20Mb worthwile uploading so if someone can host the rest then let me know and I'll get the clips to you (somehow). Anyway, here are the 3 clips from the morning excercise #1. They are the quickest (and last) runs for all of us ... please, don't run them directly from here, but right-click and save them first.

- Iggy on a 1min flat run thought exercise #1 (3.03Mb)

- Gary on a 1:02.6 run thought exercise #1 (3.53Mb) Gary has an automatic Roadster.

- Me on a 55.1sec run thought exercise #1 (2.79Mb) This was my best run at this exercise and even though I was very happy with it, by looking at it there was still room to go quicker and shave another couple seconds.

Sorry Yun that I did not put up your run as well, but I'm out of space (and your files are the largest) ... we'll figure something out. Also I have footage of the other cars we taped (like S2000, RX8 and S15 200SX), but that's not compressed yet ... I'm guessing that'll be another 20Mb.

on the Slalom run during the U-turn thing. I overshot the power.

So I take it that he beat you into the gate?

But I ended up went wide open understeer. :(

From the footage that I looked at, it looks like that the reason for the understeer was not slowing down enough (ie. brake hard enough) for the corners/cones. Looks like you carried too much entry speed, which in turn generated undertseer and once in that situation you can't overcome it with power as it will only understeer more.

I had not so good. yet was hoping i could do much better job. :( will do it again sometimes ;)

I think you did plenty well enough. You had fun, you got the car crossed up and got some feel for the car at the limit. That is the most important thing ... speed will come with practice and experience.
 

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thanks David. I should have slowed down because i was nervous :(

Btw Sam if you want to hear my Exhaust you can meet up with me in person if you like :)
 

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Thanks for the videos David.

Looks like everyone had lots of fun.

BTW, nice car control David - you looked very smooth with your correction of oversteer, while maintaining speed - not an easy thing for a novice to do.
 

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Iggy has hosted at the clips that I got from DECA. Here are a couple to keep people tied over:

- Yun on a 1:17.0 run thought exercise #1 (3.9Mb) Not Yun's quickest run but his 2nd run instead. You can probably see from it what I meant about understeer and too much entry-speed.

- Me doing the wet-circle ie. exercise #4 (2.4Mb) Here's me having a bit of fun and trying to go sideways ... which I could not queit hold on to and looped the car. No sign off VDC interference no matter what I tried, so I'm very happy with my VDC-disable switch. Worked like a charm and the car only did what I told it to ... be it looping me around when I stuffed up too much.

Generally speaking I found the 350Z excellent on the skip-pan and on the limit. Too much entry speed will generate understeer, in particluar in tight situations like this, but then I don't know any car that will not. Even the S2000 will understeer here in that situation, and I still would say that it has the mosty front-end grip from any car I've driven. So, the trick is to not enter corners/cones too quickly ... which is still a lot quicker then what your other 'everyday' cars can do.

Once you know that the front is hooked-up then you can very easily control the back of the car with the throttle. Even the speed of the tail-slide can be controlled with how much thottle you give it, which is great. Once sliding the car was efforless to steer in the slide and point where one wants to go. Of course, being too abrupt with the throttle or wheel will have the car snapping all over the place, but when you apply both smotly then the car is very friendly.

The car talks to you really well when sliding and I found it (literaly) intuitive to steer myself out of the slide. Good example was on my 55.1sec run through exercise #1 (ie. the clip hosted in the previous post). Not sure if you can see it from the low-res clip, but my car steeped out at the back where we needed to do a semi-circle around 6 (or so) cones (ie. the furthest point from the camera). I came in with a lot of speed and felt the front starting to wash out so I backed off the power (relatively abruptly). This made the back of the car step out and point me right where I wanted to be heading so I just steered gently into it and got back on power (gently). I made a nice controlled slide all the way around even though it was not my intention to slide the car there in the 1st place. That really showed me how controllable it is at the limit. And so stable as well ... the back of the car is very much planted on neutral throttle. Though as I said before, if you get too violent with any of the controls then the car will bite ... that's what happened around the wet-circle when I spun.

- Iggy doing the wet-circle ie. exercise #4 (2.4Mb) Here's Iggy having some fun on the weet-circle.

When Iggy updates the server/files, I'll put the links up to the other files.

thanks David. I should have slowed down because i was nervous :(

hehe, nothing that more practice will not cure :)

BTW, nice car control David - you looked very smooth with your correction of oversteer, while maintaining speed - not an easy thing for a novice to do.

Thanks. I found it pretty easy in the 350Z ... not sure if it's the car it'self or the combination car, springs and alignement. 3 months ago I was there with the CV8-R and I could not do what I was doing with the 350Z .... well, at least not as comfortably and consistantly. The CV8-R needs you to make all the correction even before the slide 'cos if you wait for the slide then it'll just loop you around. On the other hand I drove the 350Z literaly with my finger-tips and right toe (ie. sensitive throttle). I did not need to make corrections until the car was sliding ... well that is expect for when trying to go sideays around a big wet circle (where I looped the car a couple of times). Not easy thing to hold those long controlled driffts that you see the pros do ... could not really pull it off myself.
 

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DavidM - Deca looks like so much fun and gives the ability to learn car control, that I want to attend a course in Sydney.

I checked the Deca website and it does not give any info on events. Actually, looking at the website, I get the impression that the Sydney arm of Deca may only cater to trucks!

I realise that you join other car clubs to participate in these Deca events, so how would I go about finding out which car clubs are organising these events in Sydney so that I may participate?
 

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Here's more clips:
- Gary doing the 'circle work' (5.27Mb)
- Yun doing the 'circle work' (7.06Mb)
- RX8 doing the 'circle work' (4.04Mb)
- S2000 doing the 'circle work' (4.65Mb)

ps.
Anyone who wants to see the rest of the clips (which are really just more clips of us making attempts at exercise #1), then let me or Iggy know and we'll point you to them.

id really like to try the next Deca, i think the WRX club are doing one next weekend

Yep they are doing it with the Skyline club. Though, that one is a CAMS event so you will need a CAMS L2S license, club membership, extinguisher in the car and a helmet.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sydney has a training ground like DECA too... up around St Ives area or thereabouts. I think it's called HART... it's where they also do the bike training.

"HART for Drivers


Honda Australia continues the tradition of Honda driver and rider training facilities found worldwide, including Japan, Singapore, Mexico and the United States, with the opening of Honda Australia Roadcraft Training (HART) at St Ives in Sydney.

Honda Australia and Honda Motorcycles and Power Equipment (MPE) have jointly invested $1.4 million in the redevelopment, to produce an innovative centre, already attracting thousands of subscribers.

The HART site was originally a police driver training school. More recently it had been available for hire from the local council to private motorcycle rider and driver training companies.

The centre was opened in November 1999 and includes Australia's first motorcycle rider training simulator.

The simulator incorporates the latest Honda technology, complementing HART's training philosophy of safe driving and riding, and survival skills, rather than speed or performance.

The facilities at HART include training rooms, vehicle and motorcycle preparation areas, office space, additional parking a 1.6km road system, skid pan and motorcycle rider training range.

The primary mission of HART is to provide the best possible road safety education."
 

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Iggy - I've sent an email to the Sydney Deca division and will also have to research HART to see if they include driver training as well as rider training.
Thanks for the info.
 

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just wondering Will the car understeer with the VDC turned on, during the Wet-Circle run?

Oh yes, absolutely. There's no amount of computers/electronics to overcome the laws of physics and stop you from understeering when the entry speed is too high. Look at an extreme example - let's say you're traveling at 100kph and want to make a u-turn (ie. like around one of those cones at DECA) so you yank on the wheel, apply full lock and don't touch the brakes. The only outcome of that is the car going straight-ahead even though your front wheels are pointing to the side. There is nothing that can make the car make 'that' u-turn at 'that' speed.

The only solution to the above example is less speed. Though, there're more options when looking at a more realistic scenario where your speed (or turning angle) is not that extreme, but the car is still understeering (ie. the understeer that people experienced at DECA). The things you can combat understeer are:

a) Wind-OFF some of the steering lock that you have dialed in. This way you coose a wider arc and hence give the car less cornering forces. If you wind-OFF enough lock, then that will make the front tyres regain grip (ie. stop understeering). Also the bonus of this is that it will make the back even less likely to step out on you (if that is what you don't want).

b) Reduce some of the power going to the wheels (ie. lift off). This will transfer weight forward (ie. on the front wheels) and hence give the front tyres more grip. The more you lift off, the more weight you transfer to the front, but at the same time more weight you take away from the back which makes the car more likely to step out at the back.

c) Which brings up the next 'method'. When/if the car does step out at the back, then the back will be sliding and hence will also overcome undertseer. Though if you don't want your back to step out then make sure that your 'lift off' the accelerator is not abrupt (ie. extreme) ... you don't need to lift all the way off as just reducing some of the power will transfer some of the weight forward. It's just that the more agressive/severe the lift-off, the more weight will be transfered to the front. Also slowing down in itself will eventualy turn the car in (ie. once the speed drops to the 'acceptable' turn-in levels). You could even apply the brakes to wash-off speed but keep in mind the weight transfter.

Though generaly speaking, under-steer is combated by combination of all of the above 'methods'. ie. lessen the steering-lock, slow the car down a bit, wait 'till the front regains-grip and then use power to balance the car again. Number one mistake that people make is to try and overcome understeer with power/throttle. Afterall, understeer is due to lack of grip at the front, and how will braking the traction at the rear overcome that? You will just end up with the front tyres sliding as well as back tyres and hence continue heading straight. The way to 'flick' the tail around is by braking traction of the rear tyres while retaining traction of the front ones.

Here is a hi-res version of my 55.1sec cone-dodging run (ie. same fottage as I posted before, but in 640x480):

Hi-res 55.1sec exercise#1 run (7.08Mb)

Take a look at it and pay close attention to where the front-tyres are pointing at all times and also which tyres are doing the sliding (and when). Then compare it to your run (posted before) and notice the difference.
 

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ok. this is a bit of embarasment now for me. U know on the wet-circle run. I spun out and stalled the car.

Then i turn the engine on and go straight away. i think i had the VDC left on ARGH.

No wonder i felt soo much understeer during the wet circle run.

But i didn't notice the VDC lights on or off lol.
 

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ok. this is a bit of embarasment now for me. U know on the wet-circle run. I spun out and stalled the car. Then i turn the engine on and go straight away. i think i had the VDC left on ARGH. No wonder i felt soo much understeer during the wet circle run.

Come to think of it, VDC/TC will make the car understeer even more. These features are designed to stop oversteer and they do it (in a way) by changing the additude of the car to understeer.

I just watched the footage from your circle-run, and it looks like it was after the 2nd spin that you left the VDC/TC on. Before the 2nd spin you're sliding the tail all over the place, and after it's really just understeer with the occasional slight tail wobble at most.

Last time I was there with the Zed I did do one run where I forgot to switch the VDC/TC off. It was a cone-dodging run and I noticed that I left it on more or less as soon as I hit the 1st cone. Happens to everyone ... in particular easy thing to do when you stall.

ps.
Here's some nice sliding around the wet-circle by a worked Commodore SS Wagon:
SS Wagon doing the 'circle work'
 

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David, it was great that day. Yeah, I brought the car to Nissan today to check out the funny sound from the driver side front wheel, they said the problem is 1 of the 5 stud on the specify front spacer is not suitable for Nissan, and one of the wheel nut been force turn onto the stud, they suggest I should ask the guy who install the spacer to replace the stud and nut and fix it up. Anyway, now I drive with 4 wheel nuts and the sound seems gone.

Yeah, the day in DECA I was worry about my front wheel will come off the car. So I didn't go crazy when doing the big wet circle at the end. But for sure will come again.
 

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I brought the car to Nissan today to check out the funny sound from the driver side front wheel, they said the problem is 1 of the 5 stud on the specify front spacer is not suitable for Nissan, and one of the wheel nut been force turn onto the stud

I don't quiete follow - so was it a fault with the spacer, or with your wheel-nuts? Also do you know what was it that actually made that squeaking noise?
 
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