Once around NHMS
- Published: 23 February 2009 23 February 2009
Continue looking up the hill to the right to see the next apex cone, you will be under strong throttle and the exit of Turn 3 transitions quickly into Turn 4. The apex on the right is centered on a short painted berm. Allow the car to then track out fully to the left side of the track. Be careful not to drop a wheel off the left side here, as it is soft dirt and may catch your wheel.
This uphill is a passing zone in the upper run groups, particularly needed for horsepower differentials. Passing is done on the right, with the car allowing the pass moving out along the left side of the track early and staying in the middle of the track over the hill to allow right-hand pass completion before the crest. (Cars allowing a pass will find it easier to stay a bit wide of the Turn 4 apex, cars passing should be accurate here.)
Midway up the hill, start looking for the Turn 5 apex cone on the right, which is hidden by the crest of the hill at this point. Driving blind over the top of this hill, you will want to find some visual markers to smoothly transition from the left to the right side of the track in preparation for the downhill. Move the car toward the center of the track and follow the right hand edge of the pavement with your eyes. The point at which this pavement edge meets the horizon is a good visual marker. Keep aiming at it with your right front wheel as more of it appears in your field of view. As you crest the hill, your right hand wheels should be perfectly placed at the apex cone along the berm on the right edge.
Continue under strong throttle down the hill toward the bowl. The right edge of the pavement bows out several feet here, and there are two approaches to the downhill. Some choose to follow the slight curve of this pavement edge, straightening out at the bottom for braking. It is also possible to drive in a very straight line, from the apex at the top of the hill (turn 5) looking straight toward the turn-in cone (turn 6) at the bottom, allowing the pavement edge to move away from you and then back in again.
Turn 6 (The Bowl)
This is a fun left-hand turn with significant camber Brake very firmly and downshift if needed, looking left around the corner for your apex and track out cones. Be patient on the turn-in, a common mistake is to early apex this corner. Wait to turn until you are very close to the turn-in cone, and it looks as though you may run right off the pavement. Be looking left, turn decisively, and don’t give up the apex. This turn-in requires more steering effort than first expected, keep looking around the corner. The apex is located midpoint of a painted berm.
The camber of the bowl will help keep your car properly placed, and a precise apex will set you up nicely for the sweeping uphill exit. (Continue looking left and the apex cone for Turn 7 will come into view.) Apply throttle just before or at the apex, and unwind the wheel just a little and hold it. Allow the car to track out to the exit cone midway along a very rough rumble strip. Done properly, no further steering input is necessary to place your left wheels precisely at the next apex cone, Turn 7.