Fast Lap with Billy Johnson – Circuit Of The Americas

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Turn 8: (Uphill Sweeping Right)

This is an off-camber, late-apex, blind corner with no good reference points.  Brake with a 7-pedal and turn-in from the center of the track and get down to the apex.  Hug the apex around and stay to the right until you can see the apex of Turn 9 on your left which will dictate your turn-in and on-throttle point.

Having no good reference points makes Turn 8 a tricky corner.

Turn 9: (Cresting Left)

This is an off-camber, blind, cresting corner.  Turn in from the right side of the road and apex the curbing on the left.  Depending on how stiffly sprung your car is, you might want to avoid the apex curbing which could send the car hopping to track-out because the car will already be a bit light from the slight cresting nature of the track.  Track-out and prepare for Turn 10.

Turn 10: (Blind-Kink)

This is a blind corner which is quite deceiving.  The road drops off and falls away with a lot of elevation change down to Turn 11 which makes it difficult to find a turn-in reference point because you need to commit to a turn-in before you can see the apex.  Because of this it will take a few laps to get a good feeling and look at the guard rail on the left to guesstimate a turn-in point which will keep you on line.  The line is quite important here because in many cars it will just barely be full throttle, but definitely not if you miss the apex.

Turn 11: (Haipin)

This is probably the most important corner on the track because it leads on to the longest straightaway.  It is also similar to Turn 1 because the track opens up from an already wide straight to a very wide track width as you near the apex of the sharp hairpin.  This is another great place for overtaking and has a high potential for wrecks.

Turn 11: Already tracking in and aimed for a late apex.  This turn leads on to the longest straight and is imperative to get right.

The white & red turn-in curbing on the right side of the road is a good reference point on where to gauge your brake point.  Straight-line threshold brake at the limit (10 pedal).  Like Turn 1, you don’t need to turn-in from the edge of the road, especially if you have a high horsepower point-and-shoot type car.  In a momentum car you might open the radius of the hairpin more.  Emphasize a later apex and get to full throttle as soon as you can to start your run down the long back straight.

Turn 12: (Downhill Hairpin)

The braking zone of this corner drops downhill as you get to the brakes, similarly to the heel of the boot at Watkins Glen, just without the bumps.  This is another great overtaking zone due to the width of the track and the sharpness of the hairpin, which is a common trait of this track.

This turn is another heavy braking zone as you enter the hairpin having just completed the longest straight.

Look for the brake markers on your right and the 200 board is a good reference point.  Like Turn 11, Turn 12 is sharper than 90* and to make matters worse, the apex is somewhat off camber causing most cars to give up front grip and understeer at the apex.  Pick up throttle at the apex and track-out.  Bring the car back to the left side of the road to set up for Turn 13.

2 comments

  1. Interesting how time and experience changes things. Everyone does 16-18 now and ignores 17 for example. Fun read anyway!

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