Fast Lap With Billy Johnson : Auto Club Speedway Roval (Video Inside)


Billy Johnson Cal Speedway

Turn 5 (Sweeper)

Turn 5 is a double-apex left hander very similar in concept and line to Turn 2 at Laguna Seca (the “Andretti-Hairpin”). Like Laguna Seca, some choose to make the entire a corner a long, late, single-apex by missing the first apex-curbing by a car width or more. On the other hand, my preference in line is to double-apex the corner which allows you to also brake later.

Start on the right side of the road and then brake diagonally across the road. Get really close to the first apex while still hard on the brakes then trail off the brakes to rotate the car in the middle of the turn. Be sure to stay mid-track and not get suckered in to hug the inside too tight. As you approach the second apex, unwind the steering wheel as you’re rolling onto full throttle, similarly to exiting Turn 4. The exit here is fairly important because it leads on to a good sized straight.

Turn 6 & 7 (Chicane)

This left-right complex is very fast with a bump in the middle that upsets the car in the middle of the transition. Turn-in on throttle, this will keep the weight of the car on the rear which will improve stability especially during the abrupt transition. I often see drivers snap off the gas at turn-in, go back to throttle, lift at the apex, then back to throttle. These aggressive movements upset the platform and throw the weight forward and back making the platform ‘porpoise’ which is unpredictable and inconsistent. Maintaining part throttle will increase mid-corner speeds, lower lap times, and be easier to drive.

Turn 8 (Decreasing-radius hairpin)

Turn 8 is a decreasing radius hairpin with a very fast entry. Exiting the Turn 6-7 Chicane, keep the left side of the car loaded up and turn a little more than you think is necessary to aim further to the right. This will enable you to straighten the steering under braking and will set you up on the left side of the road for a late turn-in for the corner itself. Try to brake as straight as possible since the car will slow down much more effectively in a straight line rather than trying to turn while braking. There are big gains to be had by braking in this way since most people tend to hug the left side of the road and struggle to turn and slow the car down at the same time.

After slowing the car down, trail the brakes down to a late apex (notice a repeating pattern here?). This hairpin is one of the most important corners on the track because it leads onto the second longest straight. It is important to make this straight as long as possible by getting to full throttle as soon as possible. Unwind the steering from apex to track out while squeezing to full throttle. If you find yourself running out of road on the exit, turn-in later and pick up the throttle later.

Turn 9 & 10 (Chicane)

The Turn 9-10 chicane will vary heavily depending on how the chicane is coned-off. It can even vary during a session depending on how many people hit and move the cones out of the way. Because of this, the line and difficulty will vary from being fairly straight and easily full throttle, to a tighter and more aggressive transition that requires a brief lift off the gas. The most important theme here is maximizing exit speed.

billy johnson cal speedway  

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