Well, brothers and sisters, in these difficult times I was finally able to get a vacation day aligned with Frank Kinsey Racing School and had my instructional track day at Palm Beach International Raceway (Moroso). All I have to say is WOW! I knew from the minute I started my MSF course, to the minute I got on the 9er to pick her up over in Naples that this was all I wanted to do AND IT WAS EVEN MORE RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME THAN I IMAGINED. It scares the piss out of me and I CAN'T WAIT FOR MY NEXT TRACK DAY. My brain is still vibrating from being so dialed in for about 11 hours yesterday (see below).
By the way, I know Thank You's go at the end, but I don't want this missed---my 919 is my first bike in 25 years. I knew nothing when I started this stuff last summer. This day wasn't possible without the folks that make up WT. Particularly Brian (barton664) and Mike (LDH of Dan Kyle Racing). Both have given me their time far beyond what a normal person requires (more on this in Politics and Prostitutes).
An additional thanks to Ryan and Bobby, whom I met during the day in the paddock area (I think Ryan is admin/moderator for floridasportbikers.com). Those guys were super friendly, super helpful, kept me out of the sun, offered up some water, etc.
Man, you meet some really good people in this community.
First off, PBIR is about 75 miles from my house. Naturally, the last parts I needed for my ramp were not available locally so I ended up having to ride the 9er up there. Worked out well, actually,-75 miles of south florida morning commuter traffic and you show up to PBIR race ready, jack, LET'S GET IT THE F*** ON!!!
Frank Kinsey is set up for 5 x 20 minute sessions, on rotation with the CCS and USGPRU groups. First session is single file, getting the line of the track, rotating groups of two behind Frank's lead. Rest of the day you run at your own pace. The critical part is to run one gear with no braking allowed. The goal is to be comfortable with turn lines and understanding how much speed you will scrub off just going through each turn. Rule of thumb is to enter the turn 10 mph over where you want to be at the apex.
Frank worked primarily with one or two people he was familiar with. He gave me exactly two pieces of instruction: 1) to get my feet back on the pegs (I went off track the first time I started scraping peg and boot), and 2) to shift weight I need to ensure my bike is straight up and down and my ass has to get up completely off the seat, then over and down (really can't slide on the seat in leathers!). Other than that I was on my own the rest of the day.
Oddly enough, I'm not saying that I didn't get enough instruction. Between trying to incorporate visual reference points, data logging for entry speeds/turn lines/exits etc. even if the guy told 50 more things, I wouldn't have had a real good organized context to put all of it in. Just trying to work those two physical points in smoothly with all of the mental stuff going on kept me more than occupied during my sessions.
Last session I went ahead and screw the whole no brake thing because I wanted to experience coming in a little harder, log some time experiencing braking decisions, etc.
Here is the PBIR track diagram (there are better pictures of it on the home page, if you ask me) Track Diagram
. I believe Turn 1 is the entry to the chicane on the front stretch in front of the paddock /pit area and then turn 9 is the right-hander off the 0.6 mile back stretch. I went to fifth on the back stretch because the one-gear rule, in my opinion, needs to be discarded when faced with a half mile of straight track. so fourth gear-fifth gear to about 120-125 uncorrected speedometer, roll off at the "4" sign, down shift by "3", throw yourself into turn 9 and heat up those foot pegs. Can't wait to hear how this is supposed to be run. Frank has the entry speed here at 70-72 mph, I was running more in the low 50s, trying to get myself into the low 60s by the end of the day. TRUST YOUR MACHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course, then I had the ride home in the south florida commuter traffic, giving me about a 250 mile day in total, covering about 11 hours. I pulled into the driveway, huge smile, absolutely spent. And in my own quietly relentless way I'm kind of a tough guy--I don't spend easily.
But this was one helluva day.
PS-one last bit of track talk. On the diagram, the 6 degree banked turn is called the bowl. If I understand what was explained to me, you can run this as a double apex if you come in wide, are tight in the center at the light pole, then on out and on the throttle high and outside heading down the straight into the right-hander turn 6.