As Jessica mentioned on Friday, that afternoon we loaded up the trailer and Jeep and headed to Omaha, NE. For what? A track day of course! At about 5 1/2 hours drive time, this was the furthest we have traveled to do a track day.
We also took the dogs, which always makes a trip more work, but also more enjoyable. We’ve been really lucky, Clive and Matilda are really good sports when it comes to traveling. Even with the added noise of pulling the car on a trailer and alongside noisy semis didn’t seem to upset them too much. They were in a constant cycle of naps and begging for road snacks.
This was my first time to Mid America Motorplex and I can say now that I really enjoyed the track. After the massive floods in the area in 2011, I wasn’t sure quite what conditions would be like, but for the most part the track was still in very good shape and enjoyable to drive on.
This particular event was put on by the guys at Find The Line. I got a chance to talk with Find The Line owner Damian Dela Huerta a good bit about the track and how to drive it. Damian has a race car of his own and was a great resource to have, and I definitely took the opportunity to pick his brain about how to find the good racing lines at Mid America Motorplex.
Mid America Motorplex is a 2.23 mile circuit (about double the size of Gateway!) and as you can see has a lot of really great turns. There is a little bit of something for everyone at Mid America. You have two straights that are good for well over 100mph, you have a couple late apex turns, and you have two sets of slower speed technical transitions that allow the lower horsepower cars to gain some time on the more powerful cars if you get those turns right.
Some of my favorite things about the track would be turn 3 to 4 where in my car I can exit turn 3 in 3rd gear and hit 4th and have the pedal to the floor all the way through turn 4 before braking for turn 5.
Turn 5 to 6 is a sweeper that since the track sweeps outward you can carry a lot of early exit speed because you will not have to worry about going off track there. Turn 7 comes up very very fast!
Turn 7-8 was perhaps the most tricky for me to get right. As you can see you can do a “double apex” on the turn where you hit the turn apex on 7 and then hit the turn apex on 8. OR you can give up turn 7 apex and track out to the left and then late apex turn 8.
9-10-11 and 12-13-14 turns were such a joy to drive and really reminded me of my Autocross days in that if you got these smooth and efficient you could make up so much time on someone who was not very good at those transitions.
Here are some videos of my laps. Sorry about the terribly shaky camera. I tried to dampen the camera mount the best I could but the exhaust note/vibration is just too much for it. I will be ordering a new mount soon that will eliminate this problem for next time.
5-18-2013 Mid America Motorplex Open Lapping HPDE from Kohler Created on Vimeo.
5-18-2013 Mid America Motorplex Open Lapping HPDE – Session 2 from Kohler Created on Vimeo.
5-18-2013 Mid America Motorplex – Open Lapping HPDE – Session 3 from Kohler Created on Vimeo.
Here is a slideshow of the pictures of the day! Unfortunately due to how large the track is, it is quite hard to get good on-track photos so we do not have any of those.
Since there were only around 20 cars there we were able to get over an hour and a half of track time! That is about the most track time I have had at any event. The kind of focus and concentration that is required to keep getting faster and faster on the track and the heat inside the car I was quite tired by the end of the day.
Packing up is always bittersweet because while you are quite tired and typically feeling pretty accomplished with your day, you know that what comes next is the wait for the next track day.
I hope you enjoyed the post and until the next track day I will leave you with this:
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