How does the Sports Car Driving Association go beyond expectations to impart the best training and experience to it’s drivers? The same way the SCDA knows how to run a safe and client focused event, by taking advantage of their greatest asset, the instructors. Last weekend at the legendary Watkins Glen International, SCDA’s president and multi-time national champion Elivan Goulart lead a track walk around the 3.4 mile circuit in Watkins Glen, New York.
As more than fifty drivers gathered in the most challenging turns, Elivan deconstructed the section of track discussing braking points, banking, traction changes and where and if to downshift. He brought to life his insights with first hand experience.
Certain insights were particularly juicy and surely changed some driving lines on the following day. In the famous esses, turns 2 & 3, the extreme elevation change and lack of camber at the crest of the hill had drivers thinking about moving their turn-in point a little later to make the most turning on the uphill and straightening the wheel at the crest.
The entry to the BusStop chicane at the end of the back straight is flanked by high and wide curbing which Goulart used every inch of on both entry and exit of the series of kinks. Visual references were highlighted in turns 5 and 6 with a discussion of turn 6, diving into braking, down shifting and turn in. By visiting the turn first hand, observers were able to grasp the camber of the road and risks of a late turn in.
The Toe of the Boot, turn 7, has a dozen different lines, none of which ever feel right, but certain principles will always apply. Don’t over-slow the car, get to your apex, don’t lift after the apex and use all of the road at exit. Re-entering the short course at turn 9, the camber change on entry and importance of patience mid-corner were the subject of discussion in a slow but important turn.
Following the track walk, drivers ventured over to the Jack Daniels building overlooking turn 1 and the esses for further discussion over cocktails at the SCDA’s first social gathering at the Glen. Raffle prizes were handed out and a scenic sunset finished off a great day at historic Watkins Glen. The SCDA will return to the Glen July 15 and 16.