New Hampshire International Speedway
|Characteristics||Turns Banked 12° Width 92'
Frontstretch Length 1500’ Banked 3° Width 65'
Backstretch Length 1500’ Banked 5° Width 65'
|Track Record||Ryan Newman, 133.357 mph, Sep 12, 2003|
Troubled Autumn In New Hampshire
This paperclip track was where I believe the troubles all started for us. Prior to this stop we were content to run some laps at each track, maybe spend an hour or two on setups, collect a top time within 3-4 percent of the lap record and move on. The problem was, we weren't getting close here so we started looking around for some setup help. We got more help than we bargained for--what we found were the hardcore racers and die-hards. We found trail braking and opposite lock. We found people exploiting loopholes in game physics to trounce all over track records. We found Volker Hackmann setups and Andreas Wilkes setups. In short we found all kinds of stuff that we previously didn't know we needed.
Well what're you going to do? The first thing we did was change the WinXP default wheel drivers to the WinNT Sidewinder drivers. This gave us back the split pedal axis' that we once had in Win98. Then we started learning how to drive again. The largest problem in my opinion has been getting a consistent feel from the hardware. It seems that every day is a new day with the Sidewinder and every track needs a different settings tweak. Previously the Force Feedback (FF) was firm and turning it off left the wheel with a loose feel. Now FF feels loose and turning it off leaves the wheel feeling too stiff. Quite a few of my setups were created with stability on (from frustration of not being able to correct when the car was loose) and those setups went from tight to loose when I turned stability off. I have tried every tweak there is; what works one day seems to go away the next. Maybe I'll go over the list sometime for an NR2K3 article. I won't be satisfied until I have to make no changes from one track to the next.
So what does all this have to do with New Hampshire? Well, we didn't find a magic cure for our problems--the track still seems, more or less, an enigma to me. I think we picked up a little speed and lost a little fun.
I swear LK, you just want to race casual drivers like yourself rather than go against and beat the best. I think you need to start up a league for relics like yerself. You could call it FRL... the Fartknockers Racing League. Radt can go to the Piggz and you can get yer buddies together and drive go-carts and pretend yer fast.