This Arrow Kills Bimmers


Or it frightens them off the track, anyway. See below.

I’m hoping to have an article on the new Performance Data Recorder, or PDR, fitted to 2015 Corvettes up on R&T in the next couple of weeks. But in the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of the kind of footage it captures. Yes, it’s not exactly HD by today’s standards. But it’s integrated into the car, it works flawlessly, and it can superimpose performance data onto the video, as you’ll see.

Note how fast that M3 is compared to the C7. Part of that was that he could get on the throttle while I was still trying to give the Miata room. But those V8 E90s are no slouch. What he did at the end of the straight is a common error made by trackday drivers with no racing experience. They aren’t used to the idea that you need to focus on your braking and watch the traffic at the same time. As a result, they don’t have the bandwidth to process both things:

* the Corvette with the MOVE OVER arrow that’s been totally winning the HPDE up to that point
* the need to brake down from 130mph to about 40 in a compressed space.

Faced with the requirement to process both, the brain reverted to street braking pressure, like you’ve been doing on your commute your whole life. It wasn’t enough.

9 Replies to “This Arrow Kills Bimmers”

  1. Aquineas

    Yeah, I’ll fess up and admit I totally would have made that kind of mistake. If I owned a sports car like either of these, one of the first things I would do is sign up for driver training. I admit I suck, but I also would be willing to learn.

  2. M3ntalward

    Clearly, you need to move up to the faster run group. Because you drive flat out.

    It’s an excellent point. You need to check your mirrors, but you can’t race there.

  3. Gert Frobe Body Double

    Should the Miata have ceded the line and taken the corner wide to allow two cars that are much much faster than him to race unimpeded? Or did he do the right thing by cutting in like that

    • Jack Post author

      Normally, in the driver’s-ed/open lapping day situation, the slower car holds the line (to be predictable) and the faster cars go around. The Miata was doing what he was supposed to do. He waited a little bit to do it, but his motion (to the racing line) was correct.

  4. MrT

    That’s one thing that gave my HPDE driving instructor the heebies when I hit the braking zones at PIR.
    “brake brake BRAKE BRAKE BRAKE!”

    It’s such a completely different type of driving. Thanks for reminding me to get some exercise in before I sign up for my next one!

  5. Athos

    That soundtrack. Is. Glorious.

    I sat in a LS3 recently (bi-modal open) and the sound is intoxicating.

    Picture me lost, I see he had time to brake and you probably weren’t going to reach him in that curve. Why brake late?

  6. Robert

    Is “winning the HPDE” like winning practice before a motocross race? I may have been guilty of that a time or two 🙂

  7. acire

    Hahaha, okay, I had meant to ask you what was the arrow for. Note, that I only noticed while in the paddock, and not when you came up behind me a bazillion times while you were winning all the HPDEs. 🙂

    • Jack Post author

      You had more traffic awareness than anyone else out there… so maybe the arrow needed to be BIGGER!


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