There was no mistaking how the smaller dot gained ground using its inside line, then continued to stretch that out down the next straight. This new technology is making my job much more effective. It is hard to argue against the facts.
Te Kopuru is basically a mix of sandstone and silt after many years of wear and tear, yet still delivers an excellent venue. The problem is that the sandy berms are a little too much fun and Ethan needed a little convincing to try anything else.
On the inside of this particular corner was the kind of hard packed surface that we tend to shy away from. While there was never an argument against the inside being shorter, at first glance there was no way that it would be faster than the heavy berm out wide, especially as it fed on to a long straight. I was stationed on a different section but had told my group to try that inside line. Apparently not everyone obeyed.
There were a few sheepish looks when I asked how the inside line had gone, so I singled out one of my faster riders. Fortunately Ethan was honest and told me that he had not actually tried it, saving me some fishing around. I quickly figured that they would need a little digital convincing.
Matthew was probably the fastest on the day so I put my LitPro on him with the instructions to do a few loops through that turn as fast as he could on each line, then we would compare the difference. In the meantime every rider was instructed to have another go at it.
At the very least I wanted these guys to open their minds to different possibilities for a potential pass. The sandstone might look like clay but actually holds excellent traction, even when wet. Combined with the shorter distance through the turn, I was pretty sure it would also be faster. Now it was crunch time.
Finding the fastest lap for each line, I over lay them and pushed play with the young riders watching along. Sure enough the inside line made ground from not travelling as far, but I was pleasantly surprised when it also pulled more ground down the next straight. How could this be?
It seems that a berm encouraged Matthew to power early, but if they are still turning then there is some power loss as the rear wheel digs in to the sand. On the inside however, he straightened the bike up earlier and then hooked up with full traction when he did power hard, hence the boost that was obvious on my phone.
Ethan didn’t say much after that, but I think it was a lesson that would really sink in.