Originally Posted by The HACK
One of the lessons I always try to teach, is forget everything you've learned up to this point and ADAPT. You'll quickly find that the fastest way around a track is to get on the throttle as soon as possible and get to FULL THROTTLE as quickly as your traction allows. Any instructor that continue to preach "don't drop the hammer" to an advanced student is probably afraid said student does not have the required skills. The "don't drop the hammer" speech is what I give to C and D students. A & B students, I'm asking "why aren't you at full throttle yet?"
Once you advance past a certain basic skill level, you need to learn to figure out what feedback is right and what is wrong. The guy I was talking about has close to 100 track days under his belt at the time and I trust him implicitly when sharing a track...That should say something about what he knows and don't know. The fact is, when he had reached full throttle as he exited a turn, the automatic transmission dropped down one gear on him and caused him to spin out of control.
Again. If you're not in full control of your vehicle at all times, you're not in control, period. If you have to feather the throttle longer because you're afraid of the car downshifting on you unexpectedly, you're not going to be able to extract that last 1/10th of a second out of said corner.
Put the transmission in manual mode and control what gear you're in, don't let the car do the guesswork for you.
Good info. I didn't mean to sound like I doubted your friend's experience if that's how it came across. I'm not an advanced driver, but like many of you who frequent this area of the forum, I'm sincerely interested in improving my driving. When I read your post, I was trying to relate to my own personal driving experiences for context. In my mind, "putting the hammer down" is how I would describe mashing the gas as the light turns green while brake torquing at the drag strip.
I drive my AT in DS mode with DSC off during autoX and track days. However, I've found that the car will still downshift if your revs are low enough and you hit the kick down switch.
Mashing the gas and hitting the kick down switch coming out of corners caused me to spin my car several times when I first started out (fortunately during autoX and never on a road course). Instructors would tell me I was over driving the car, too eager to stomp the gas, too jerky with my hands, etc.
Over time I've found that when I'm pushing hard on exit, "rolling into the throttle" can be done quickly, but not so quick as to trigger kick down or spins. I'm not trying to imply that I'm afraid of the car downshifting, but rather I'm working to find that perfect balance between maintaining traction while getting back to full throttle as quickly as possible.
By the way, the rubber grommets really are a good idea, and I may try that out.