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Discussion Starter #1
This is footage from a track day at Nelson Ledges Road Course a few weeks ago... There is quite a bit of passing (mostly me being passed), and I set another personal best during this session! The victory parade was short-lived, though: Two seconds after I completed my PB lap I was passed by a much faster rider. It was a good reminder that 'there's always going to be a faster rider out there.' It's never-ending! Check out my track buddy Simon on the fast SV650 during the first several laps...

Enjoy!



 

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best lap time?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1:12.572, about 1.2 seconds better than my personal best last year. I believe some of the faster riders were dipping in to the 1:07s on this day.

I have 1-2 more days at this track this year and will see if there is a little more room for improvement; if it comes great, if not, that's okay too. I'm just out there for fun--I'm not a racer... do you track or race the car in your avatar there?
 

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That's moving pretty good. I'm still waiting/hoping someone will take a (well-sorted) Formula Atlantic car out for a day to see what the 'ultimate' decrease is from the repave. Track record still stands at just under 59 seconds (122 mph average), set when the track was plenty-well trashed. I'm guessing if someone (that knew what they're doing) spent the time to find a new setup with 'the same car', sub 54 would be pretty easy. Most people don't realize how fast that track is.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's moving pretty good. I'm still waiting/hoping someone will take a (well-sorted) Formula Atlantic car out for a day to see what the 'ultimate' decrease is from the repave. Track record still stands at just under 59 seconds (122 mph average), set when the track was plenty-well trashed. I'm guessing if someone (that knew what they're doing) spent the time to find a new setup with 'the same car', sub 54 would be pretty easy. Most people don't realize how fast that track is.
You might be right about the sub 54... The difference between my pre- repave time and now is about 5.5 seconds, and there's still room for improvement. I can't imagine going around this track at that speed, though--so I'm going to keep a less-loftier goal of 1:10s this year or next! :nerd:
 

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That's moving pretty good. /----------------------/ Most people don't realize how fast that track is.
When I rode Nelson back in the '80s/'90s, I used to call it "America's Fastest Hare Scramble Track".

:wink2:
.
 
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Ground effect cars (like the Atlantic) will see a larger reduction than non-ground effect. Smoother surface allows for two main things - lower ride height and stiffer springs. The latter maintains the gap between the underwing and road surface more consistently which, on its own, means more average downforce from less chassis pitch/roll. The lower ride height also generates more downforce (and a slightly lower CoG). The only corner that stiffer springs are a hindrance is 13. But, whatever loss you (may) see there will be more than made up for everywhere else. More downforce from the underwing means you may be able to use less wing angle and/or Gurney flap topside. That means less drag. These basic changes then lead to others (caster, camber, tire pressures, damping, gearing all come to mind immediately).

When you plan your next trip, let me know. Be great to meet another forum member and hang out for a day (out of the way).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
When you plan your next trip, let me know. Be great to meet another forum member and hang out for a day (out of the way).
Check your PM, it would be great to link up!

I miss the cone they used to set in the pothole in the middle of turn one.

I won't miss the bathrooms.

John
The cone pothole marker days are long gone! Bathrooms are about the same--functional but not too luxurious!
 

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They (track management), came up with a new t-shirt this year that reads on the back: 'The Fastest Road Course in North America'

:smile2:
I think that's been their motto since the early '80s. I had an old t-shirt from '87 or '88 that said something like that on it, but it had a car on it.

It was a real swamp back then.

In the late '70/early '80s, there was a small earthen dam around the outside of the Carrousel turn. It kept the swamp from overflowing onto the turn after a bad rain.

I remember being at an SCCA race one Sunday when a Datsun (610 I think) slid off the Carrousel out into the swamp. It was so far out there that they left it there until the afternoon's racing was over. When they dragged it in at the end of the day, there was still enough water in it that it had to be bailed out. There was a small fish in it. His buddies were joking about having it mounted and presented to him as a trophy. "Largest Fish Caught with a B-Sedan"...

In the mid '80s they backfilled the area outside of the turn and pushed the water back, now you had some run-off room. But the frogs and such would still come out of the swamp in the evening to sit on the warm asphalt. During the 24 Hours of Nelson, there would be lots of dead frogs on the Carrousel. During the 24 hour race in '88 or '89, I almost ran over a turtle at 2am because he parked his butt on the racing line. Someone eventually hit him, there were almost 50 bikes out there!

I hadn't thought of this for over 10 years...
.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think that's been their motto since the early '80s. I had an old t-shirt from '87 or '88 that said something like that on it, but it had a car on it.

It was a real swamp back then.

In the late '70/early '80s, there was a small earthen dam around the outside of the Carrousel turn. It kept the swamp from overflowing onto the turn after a bad rain.

I remember being at an SCCA race one Sunday when a Datsun (610 I think) slid off the Carrousel out into the swamp. It was so far out there that they left it there until the afternoon's racing was over. When they dragged it in at the end of the day, there was still enough water in it that it had to be bailed out. There was a small fish in it. His buddies were joking about having it mounted and presented to him as a trophy. "Largest Fish Caught with a B-Sedan"...

In the mid '80s they backfilled the area outside of the turn and pushed the water back, now you had some run-off room. But the frogs and such would still come out of the swamp in the evening to sit on the warm asphalt. During the 24 Hours of Nelson, there would be lots of dead frogs on the Carrousel. During the 24 hour race in '88 or '89, I almost ran over a turtle at 2am because he parked his butt on the racing line. Someone eventually hit him, there were almost 50 bikes out there!

I hadn't thought of this for over 10 years...
.

Those are some excellent memories! I'm not sure which I would prefer, though: the fish, frog or turtle, LOL!!!

You should come up and ride the newly paved track or just hang out... I love hearing about previous experiences at places like this!
 

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Had a good time today. Met up with xx848xx and his track day bud. Between-sessions chats, some wandering around, nice day. May have to change my riding venue next year (track vs street).
 

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best sounding scoot there followed by crazy HD dude on a Buell.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Had a good time today. Met up with xx848xx and his track day bud. Between-sessions chats, some wandering around, nice day. May have to change my riding venue next year (track vs street).
best sounding scoot there followed by crazy HD dude on a Buell.
Hey SP3, it was great seeing you guys yesterday... Glad you had a good time. Let me know if you decide to come back with one of your motorcycles, it would be fun to link up again!
 

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Man its great to see footage of Nelsons. I did my first Track day lap there on my new to me 97 916. I was hooked on track riding from that point on. I moved to Wisconsin a few years after and have not been back, but have great memories. A gent named Bob Stanley, ran Fast track track days, helped me to prep the 916 for the track. I am forever in his debt. He was more than patient with all my noob questions.
The repave really does look great. I did not see the barn that used to be check in. It should have been just left of the entrance to the carousel. I used to work the corners for Corvette Cleveland track days. The track was built about the same time Blackhawk farms was made in South Beloit. They are very similar in feel. I agree Nelsons is ridiculous fast. The only place u appear to really slow down is the entrance to the carousel. Beautiful flowing curves make for great smooth turns.
You look very smooth by the way. Excellent turn ins and very progressive accelerations. I raced for 12 years so I have a little experience. There are lots of "seconds" to be had. Just keep up the desire to go faster and it will come. Best Wishes Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Man its great to see footage of Nelsons. I did my first Track day lap there on my new to me 97 916. I was hooked on track riding from that point on. I moved to Wisconsin a few years after and have not been back, but have great memories. A gent named Bob Stanley, ran Fast track track days, helped me to prep the 916 for the track. I am forever in his debt. He was more than patient with all my noob questions.
The repave really does look great. I did not see the barn that used to be check in. It should have been just left of the entrance to the carousel. I used to work the corners for Corvette Cleveland track days. The track was built about the same time Blackhawk farms was made in South Beloit. They are very similar in feel. I agree Nelsons is ridiculous fast. The only place u appear to really slow down is the entrance to the carousel. Beautiful flowing curves make for great smooth turns.
You look very smooth by the way. Excellent turn ins and very progressive accelerations. I raced for 12 years so I have a little experience. There are lots of "seconds" to be had. Just keep up the desire to go faster and it will come. Best Wishes Brad

That's excellent, Brad! I started riding track days at Nelson Ledges about 8 years ago. The check-in barn that you mention was still there up until a few years ago. The new owner razed it shortly after taking possession of the property (in 2015, I believe). Now, check-in normally occurs in the tech garage. We are all excited about the new pavement and plans by the new owner to invest even more into the track: I hear there are plans for an air fence and a local news story recently reported that 7 new structures and 16 new jobs will be created over the next three years. This is music to our ears! (link to article: Nelson raceway to see expansions, new jobs in coming years - News - Record-Courier - Kent, OH)

Bob Stanely was before my time, but I have heard a lot of riders make reference to him (I also understand, sadly, that the passed-away in 2006). His spirit lives on at the track and apparently with a lot of riders whom he helped and encouraged over the years!


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I’d like to bump this thread back up.
Anyone has plans for track days there this year?
I’m coming back to track riding after few year hiatus on a new to me 900SS and would love to come back to my old home turf of Nelson Ledges. I’ve been away for probably 15 years ... way too long
 

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I’d like to bump this thread back up.
Anyone has plans for track days there this year?
I’m coming back to track riding after few year hiatus on a new to me 900SS and would love to come back to my old home turf of Nelson Ledges. I’ve been away for probably 15 years ... way too long
Hey AlKay, heck yeah, man! There are a couple of organizations that host track days at Nelson Ledges, and it would be great to meet a new face. Please PM once we get closer and I'll let you know if I'm going to be there. If not, there will be plenty of like-minded riders there to get you back in to the groove.
 

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Hey AlKay, heck yeah, man! There are a couple of organizations that host track days at Nelson Ledges, and it would be great to meet a new face. Please PM once we get closer and I'll let you know if I'm going to be there. If not, there will be plenty of like-minded riders there to get you back in to the groove.
Will do.
I’d like to shake some old Fasttrax and WERA friends out of hiding
 
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