Turn by turn guide to the Shenandoah circuit
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An easy right hand turn going up hill. It will be tempting to clip the curbing but it will upset the car a bit and isn't really necessary. Take a late apex to set up for the next turn. As you pass the apex stay to the right and put your self about 3/4 to the right, so as you're coming out of the turn aim for the corner station in front of you.
"The Hammer" Begin your turn in as you come to the crest of the hill. Be very carefull not to early apex this turn and track out to early because there is a crown on the road and it drops to a negative camber right where natural track out would be. Be very careful in higher powered cars. This turn takes you to a short straight.
"The Hook" The next series of 3 left turns is prety much taken as one turn and is probably one of the funnest sequences on the track. The 3 lefts bring you 180 so it's easy to break this in to 2 parts, the uphill part and the down hill part. Now, there are 2 ways to take this turn. -Method 1: Double apex it. Stay as far right as you can, brake a little early and start your turn at the curbing on the right. Then track out about 3/4 to the right as you go up the hill and lift to dump a little speed before turning back in to a blind apex on your left. Throttle steering and the transition to down hill can help you get pointed here. -Method 2 the method I prefer: Leave about 1 foot of track on your right, brake a little later, go straight past the curbing on you left and begin you turn in just before you run out of track. Use the shiney patch of track repair on the left to help you put the car exactly where you want it and then take the rest of the turn as a decresing radius turn, using throttle steering and the transition to down hill to help you get pointed. The blind apex will take some getting used to but as you go by look for a white"A" spray painted there. The last 1/2 of this turn is some serious fun!
After the blind apex gently unwind and imediately begin your turn in for this right hander. This must be done very gently and care must be taken not to early apex this as well as there is not as much room to the left track out as you might think. This turn finishes off the "Hook" sequence and takes you onto another short straight. Track out to the left and stay there.
I'm not aware of any club that uses this right hand chicane. I know for sure that FATT and Mazda Drivers Asociation do not. In the normal configuration turn 6 leads into the short straight instead of this right hand chicane, so I will skip it here.
This is probably the most forgiving turn on the Shenandoah Circuit. Since it leads onto the 2nd longest straight on the track and there is alot of potential speed here. Standard theory will have you late apex this for maximum speed down the bridge straight, however lower power cars will probably want to gradually work their way back to a geometric apex to maximize speed. The track out on the left is generous and could lead you to falsely believe that apexd WAY to late. So, I'd recomend start late and gradualy work your way back to a comfortable apex. If how ever you early apex it enough you WILL be greeted by a wall in front of you instead of a generous track out. Which ever line you take there will should be enough room to correct for over steer or under steer. This turn leads on to the "Bridge Straight".
This turn will be full throttle on most all cars. After you track out on turn 9 stay to the left and begin your turn in at about the middle of the curbing on your left. Shoot for the geometric apex on the curbing on the right but after you hit the apex track left a little early. As you aproach the crest of the hill look at the sky just above the pavement (after you check the corner station of course ). The first thing you will see will be a tree top in the distance, visable just above the pavement. Aim in a straight line for the tree top to give you a straight line over the crest of the hill. While not a big deal in a low power car, this crest and the imediate down hill will be enough to unsettle a faster moving more powerfull car, so it's important to take in a straight line. You might be tempted to stay to the right but if you do you WILL end up off the track after you crest the hill! Staying left and aiming for the tree top will set you up for the Karussel any way.
"the Karussel" A 20 degree banked concrete dimensional replica of the turn at Nurburgring. You can bypass it by staying high on the right or enter it by aproaching straight on (if you aimed for the tree top over the crest it should bring straight on) and puting your front passenger side tire on the corner where the concrete meets the tarmac. Don't drop all the way down to the bottom and don't get fully back on the throttle yet. This is actually a decreasing radius turn and even though its banked if you get on the throttle too early you will feel your self start to climb up to the right and out of the banking during the last 1/3 of the turn. After you drop in, save the heavy throttle for the last 1/3 and drop to the bottom as you get to the last 1/3. As you come out of the banking a level off, unwind but dont track out all the way to the right. You will see the curbing on the right for the next turn in front of you. Aim for this or just to the left of it in a more powerfull car.
As you hit the apex of the first bit of curbing on your right, hold that steering lock and it should bring you right next to the next bit of curbing on your right. Start to unwind just before you hit the apex. You will need to unwind and get the car settled quick for the very short braking zone just before the next turn.
The braking zone before this turn is very short and coming out of the right hand turn 12 it is critical to let the car's suspension settle before you even touch the brakes. On the first few laps you will probably want just breath the throttle very early (like before turn 12) instead of going heavy throttle and braking. Your turn in will begin as you unwind out for turn 12. It should be a smooth transition from unwinding out of turn 12, settling and braking, then gently back on the throttle and continuing the turn in for 13. After the apex you will set up for turn 14 and there are 2 very different ways to take this turn.
"the Corkscrew" Negative camber, decreasing raduis. After you apex turn 13 you will notice that the track drops in to significant negative camber. -Method 1: Stay left, let the car settle before braking, and beging a slow gradual turn in leaving plenty of track to the right initialy before you get to the apex at the end of the turn. -Method 2: As you unwind out of turn 13, aim to put your passenger tire just next to the curbing on the right, take advantage of the straighter line and accelerate a little and then brake and begin your turn in just before you run out of track in front of you. Which ever method you use you should end up at the far right of the track after a very late apex in preparation for turn 15.
"Little Bend" Turn 14 is an important set up for 15, if you don't late apex 14 enough you will significantly early apex 15 and will have to sacrifice alot of speed on the track out. Speed lost here will cary all the way down the "Back Straight" the longest on the track. Stay to the right before you turn in and shoot for a late apex. Watch out for the dirt at the edge of the track out, if it rained reciently there might be a little water.
"Big Bend" The fastest real turn on the track. Lower power cars will probably be able to take this full throttle and mid power cars will probably end up just lifting a little before the turn in. It should be slightly late apexed and has a very forgiving turn in with plently of room on the track out. If you find your self shifting during this turn or turn 15 you might want to up shift just before you turn in on 15 and again just before 16 to avoid upsetting the car during apex and track out. Short shifting might help you keep the throttle down on the track out of both these turns. After turn 16 on the "Back Straight", stay to the right if you're going to let someone by, if not go ahead and take the inside line as the track bends to the left and then get back to the right to set up for turn 17.
"Training Loop" This is a text book 180 turn although probably a little to big to be considered a hair pin. Turn in late, just before the curbing on the right ends. At the geometric apex you should have about 1/4 of the track to your left and 3/4 to your right. It will be easy to play around with your exact apex point here untill you find what you like. The track out is text book also and the track will provide you with early visual warning if you early apex. This is the only spot on the track that you have to consciously cross sides after the track out to set up for the next turn, unless you're running the pit straight.
This is a cut through that bypasses the pit straight. Turn in just after the curbing on the left ends. Drive it like a late apex and look for the curbing on your inside right for your apex. On the track out you have a little more room than it might seem. You can go all the way to the curbing on the outside left and you will need to end up there any way to set up for turn 1.
-I won't get into the pit straight since I haven't driven it reciently enough to give a good guide. -I'm not a lawyer and I can't write a good disclaimer but please, don't blame me if you wreck you car. I've done my best to describe what I've learned driving Shenandoah Circuit in 2 diferent types of cars, a high powered AWD and a very low powered RWD. Beginers, take it easy until your instructior gets comfortable with you. -I consider my self at the intermediate level so, any body at any level, please feel free to let me know how I did at firstname.lastname@example.org