Once around NHMS
By Ellen Beck
North Country Region – PCA
1.6 mile Road Course – Configuration Using No Ovals/Both Infields
New Hampshire International Speedway is a one-mile NASCAR track with 12-degree banked ovals. The road course utilizes portions of the NASCAR track plus an outfield road course section with several elevation changes. The road course can be run in several different configurations. In the description of this particular configuration, we make use of both the north and south infield chicanes. (Reference attached course map). This narrative describes the student line as taught by North Country Region – PCA.
Pre-staging takes place at the start/finish line in pit lane, and cars are sent down to a complete stop at final staging at Turn 1, the beginning of the south infield chicane. The flagging station at the end of pit lane controls your entry to the track, but ALWAYS check your mirrors before moving off, for once you leave pit lane, you are unable to see oncoming cars. Follow the access lane, and enter the track proper, moving quickly onto the line in the second part of the chicane (2b).
Turn 2 (b)- South Chicane (Esses)
The line is along the right edge of the track with the turn in cone midpoint along the berm. Look left for the apex to 2b, and turn in quickly. The apex is located at the pavement transition from the infield chicane to the track oval, and is a very definite dip. There is no track out cone for this turn, let the wheel unwind slightly, steering under strong throttle toward the wall, looking left down the track. Move to within a car’s width of the wall and be observant, as potentially slippery marbles and track debris tend to collect along the wall.
The stretch between Turn 2 and the entrance to the braking zone “chute” before Turn 3 is a passing zone for all run groups. Passing is usually on the left, with the car allowing the pass staying right. All passing should be completed before entering the braking zone “chute”.
If the line through is driven correctly, the car will be positioned properly along the wall for a straight entrance from the main track into this short “chute”. Enter along the left side, brake early and decisively, and downshift to second gear. Turn 3 can be driven in other gears, but is probably a 2nd gear turn for most Porsches. Be sure to complete all braking and shifting before the last cone on the left, which acts as the turn-in cone.
This turn marks the beginning of the outfield road course section. A 90-degree right-hand turn, it continues another 90-or-so degrees into Turn 4. This corner is the slowest of the track, and with little run-off, potentially the most dangerous. The concrete barriers and tire walls are very solid and very close. Do not carry excessive speed into this corner. As you turn-in, look right, up the hill, reaching around the corner as much as possible with your eyes. Apply the throttle smoothly, placing the right hand wheels on the rumble strip at the apex. Allow the car to track out to the cone located just past the tire wall on your left.
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