BHF track condition - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-01-2007, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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BHF track condition

Anyone riding BHF this weekend think the track was in pretty rough shape? Corner 1, the bus stop, and 7 all had long patches of very rough bumpy pavement right where you might want to put your bike. About as bad as I've ever seen it. Anyone else think it was pretty bad?

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-02-2007, 07:59 AM
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The apex in T1 is in-between that patch and the curb, so turn in a little later and take that tight line. I learned the hard way how NOT to take T1 last time out at BHF.

I'm not there this weekend, so maybe it's worse?

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-02-2007, 07:52 PM
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Same as last time a month ago. But the race line is not near the patches so it is all good. Although, I did run into them a few times through out the weekend. Not bad just don't add gas.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-02-2007, 07:56 PM
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I saw these and just stayed inside of them. Tighten up to the apex on T1, bus stop and T7 and you will be just fine.....
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-02-2007, 08:07 PM
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-02-2007, 08:39 PM
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You should had seen it before it was fully repaved. Ripples going into T1 in the brake areas. Literally rumble strips in the center of T3. Bump before T7...
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-02-2007, 08:56 PM
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Track is the same as it was a month ago, no additional deterioration. As stated, IF you are hitting those rough patches in 1, Bus Stop and 7, then you are not on the line.

And as you all know, "IF you are not hitting the apexes, slow down until you can hit everyone of them." - Freddie Spencer.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
Track is the same as it was a month ago, no additional deterioration. As stated, IF you are hitting those rough patches in 1, Bus Stop and 7, then you are not on the line.

And as you all know, "IF you are not hitting the apexes, slow down until you can hit everyone of them." - Freddie Spencer.
I ran across it in 1 on the first lap out of the first session and decided I didn't want anything to do with it leaned over at speed. No problems with them the rest of the day because like you say they are off the line (actually I noticed them more when watching the 'A' sessions at the different corners). No problem, that is until the 2nd to the last session when I went into 7 (off by about a foot?) and ran across a rough patch. I felt the front suspension getting overworked and plop- down I went.

Let me state right away I'm not blaming the track or anything else but me. I knew the rough stuff was out there and had been avoiding it all day without any issue or drama. Suffice to say I was in a spot in 7 I shouldn't have been in. What surprised me was how lengthy the rough patch was. I've hit bumpy spots in corners before and caught some wobble but the bike held on fine. This was the first time I've felt my front suspension get really overwhelmed like that and let go from it.

Anyway, that was why I asked about the track. I've been to BHF about seven times and I'm use to seeing the bus stop a little rough. I just hadn't seen patches like that in 1 and 7 before and was curious what others have seen there.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 03:49 AM
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Fast 600 times are still in the 1:10 range for expert winning times.

You've got to focus on where you're at. Proper spring support is always good and important to making the bike work correctly.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 08:25 AM
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FWIW - I did have a conversation about 1, 3D, and 7 with Tom in the afternoon on Sunday. He was telling us the costs to redo those three areas, and was hopeful that the new owner may want to allow the fixes.

He also told me that basically no matter what he dies, the area in the Bus Stop will quickly get torn up by cars again. Apparently, they are ON the power at the point, and that is where a lot of the drive pressure gets put down on high hp cars with nice 15 inch wide tires... so, now a winning battle.

Anyhow, I agree that it would be nice if those areas were fixed. It also becomes a big issue if you are passing folks in those areas like in A group or in racing.

Fingers crossed that it will get fixed prior to next season. No more NESBA events there this year, although Blackhawk will have a couple more days for bikes on their own.

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Last edited by Wink; 09-03-2007 at 08:47 AM.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 08:44 AM
 
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First track day out there and yeah I agree the couple spots put a scare on you, but follow a control rider and those guys are awesome they just stick that finger down exactly where you need to put your tires and bam you'll be fine right in the good spot.

Thanks to all the control riders!
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 09:43 AM
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I actually kinda liked the ripples. It gave you a visual reference point of where you need to be. Maybe they should do that for all the tracks?? Just kidding.

But what do I know I crashed. Anyone have a replacement tube for a woodcraft clip on???

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YZFRob View Post
You should had seen it before it was fully repaved. Ripples going into T1 in the brake areas. Literally rumble strips in the center of T3. Bump before T7...

Been a regular at BHF since the late 90's..... done a lap or two.


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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
FWIW - I did have a conversation about 1, 3D, and 7 with Tom in the afternoon on Sunday. He was telling us the costs to redo those three areas, and was hopeful that the new owner may want to allow the fixes.

He also told me that basically no matter what he dies, the area in the Bus Stop will quickly get torn up by cars again. Apparently, they are ON the power at the point, and that is where a lot of the drive pressure gets put down on high hp cars with nice 15 inch wide tires... so, now a winning battle.

Anyhow, I agree that it would be nice if those areas were fixed. It also becomes a big issue if you are passing folks in those areas like in A group or in racing.

Fingers crossed that it will get fixed prior to next season. No more NESBA events there this year, although Blackhawk will have a couple more days for bikes on their own.
This is cool. I'm sure they want to keep the track as safe and appealing as possible- it would be detrimental to their longterm existence otherwise. I also imagine no one is getting rich off running these local tracks (although I wonder about Autobahn with the condo's, memberships, etc.) and money IS an object so to speak. Maintaining a track can't be cheap. I was thinking the same thing about the 'A' riders and racers. It's one thing to run standard race lines all day at track days but for 'A' riders where a track day can be race practice and of course racers during races they are going to have to venture off the line to make passes. At that level I'm assuming they'd be running premium suspension, have chassis geometry worked out, and of course advanced rider skills to allow them to hit that stuff and get past it. Though even with all of that I imagine they can't just treat it like a good section.

Don't mean to beat this topic up. I don't know much about running these facilities and I'm just interested. Anyway, I'll be there 9/8 again and I'm looking forward to it. BHF is a fun venue.

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
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and of course racers during races they are going to have to venture off the line to make passes. At that level I'm assuming they'd be running premium suspension, have chassis geometry worked out, and of course advanced rider skills to allow them to hit that stuff and get past it. Though even with all of that I imagine they can't just treat it like a good section.
Well, unless you're passing very slow riders, you're not going to go the long way around them, and even then, you're going to reduce your own personal risk by going under them.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 05:16 PM
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I've been riding at Blackhawk off and on since 1984. If you want an interesting perspective, after the day's over take a walk around the track for a complete lap. You won't believe what you see close up at a walking pace- condition is worse than you think. Sighting lines and looking backwards gives you a whole different point of view. Very helpful for your next session.

This has always been a regional car track first and foremost, and what doesn't bother them, can be lethal for bikes forced off an ideal line. Hopefully things will change with the new ownership, but you will still always have the problem of cars tearing up the surface in corners and heavy braking zones.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 05:28 PM
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The biggest problem for bikes is two things:

The SCCA has specific requirements for race tracks to be certified for SCCA racing.

Motorcycle racing has nothing more than a loose group of individuals that toss around ideas on specific safety aspects. Many AMA tracks do not meet FIM requirements as they are published in the FIM books over the various years.

So, the tracks get very ambiguous requests from riders and organizations for motorcycling. The SCCA has specific standards that have to be met in specific periods.

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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Dave View Post
The SCCA has specific requirements for race tracks to be certified for SCCA racing.

The SCCA has specific standards that have to be met in specific periods.
Interesting.
When we walked Blackhawk a few years ago, in some of the concrete patched corners (especially the area before the front straight) we observed multiple foot prints about 1/2" deep.

We couldn't believe it. Some standards! Who accepted and OK'd that for a racetrack?
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 05:57 PM
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I heard there is a butt print nearby those foot prints.
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 06:38 PM

 
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Thats why you have suspension. You can't consider it bad till it gets to be like Autobahn South or Gingerman.

It's not terrible. As stated, if your on a bike and on the proper line, there shouldn't be an issue unless your trying to setup passes.

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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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I heard there is a butt print nearby those foot prints.
And if there are some palm prints by the butt and foot prints then something was awry!

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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-03-2007, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
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Interesting.
When we walked Blackhawk a few years ago, in some of the concrete patched corners (especially the area before the front straight) we observed multiple foot prints about 1/2" deep.

We couldn't believe it. Some standards! Who accepted and OK'd that for a racetrack?
They didnt bother bikes. Those were so far off line it was silly. Made for good conversation though during track walks.

Damn, track surfaces vary track to track. Part of racing is to learn how to deal with it. Road AMerica had (probably still has) a nasty dip in the kink. Laguna was known for having crappy surface. You dont even want to think how slick Mid-Ohio was with the patching they did.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-04-2007, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
Track is the same as it was a month ago, no additional deterioration. As stated, IF you are hitting those rough patches in 1, Bus Stop and 7, then you are not on the line.
Those rough spots actually helped immensely to improve my line in all three places. I knew I was supposed to be under them all along, but now I can't be lazy about it. For the most part, walking the track doesn't scare me at all there... then again I made the mistake of walking Grattan. *shudder*

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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-04-2007, 01:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Dave View Post
The biggest problem for bikes is two things:

The SCCA has specific requirements for race tracks to be certified for SCCA racing.

Motorcycle racing has nothing more than a loose group of individuals that toss around ideas on specific safety aspects. Many AMA tracks do not meet FIM requirements as they are published in the FIM books over the various years.

So, the tracks get very ambiguous requests from riders and organizations for motorcycling. The SCCA has specific standards that have to be met in specific periods.
Dave makes an excellent point. To be a little more specific, there is a reluctance (gross understatement) by the sanctioning bodies to specifically state acceptable safety requirements. Why? Litigation. Like everything else in the world, follow the money. Specific safety requirements cannot address every concievable situation and this leads to an incurred liability by the sanctioning body. I was informed of this by one of the 4 SCCA safety inspectors in the country, and the only one with FIM training. Ever read the SCCA event regulations? They are 95% insurance requirements, 5% facility/spectator/equipment regs. They're online and make for some interesting reading if you're into that sort of punishment.

As for the cost of track surface rehab, A standard asphalt mix wont work. Track surfaces deal with shearing forces under braking and acceleration that develop loads you will never see anyplace else. Separation of the final course from the base course is a common form of failure, although poor subbase/poor mix design/failure to maintain are also worthy of consideration. Poor placement of materials/failure to allow proper curing can also contribute to the issues, just ask Autobahn. Or Barber. How the pavement fails (bumps vs alligator cracking vs ?) are good indicators of the design issue to be addressed. Patching opens a whole new can of worms.

Tracks have been rehabbed using a mix design "created" by insightful amatuers and worked. They have also failed miserably. As a counter point, I know of track surfaces that were designed by professional engineers and still failed. Climate is a huge factor. So is placement. A proper mix design starts with (typically) State DOT mixes, and is then modified to address vehicle specific load requirements, then lab tested. Any adjustments needed during the lab test period are made. Following that a track owner can either A) Pave. or B) Run a test pave to teach the crew doing the work how to place the material properly and evaluate placement methods/field adjustments, and then pave. Add the cost of removal/subbase prep into this and the costs start to add up.

Sheesh...I gotta stop drinking so much coffee.

As for track walks, gotta love 'em. I'm always amazed how much stuff I ride over that never even bothers me. Super Dave and I ran laps at BHF a couple of winters ago with Tom and then manager Pauli to check the surface and talk about maintenance issue. Lots of credit to former owner Ray Irwin, Tom and Pauli for the improvements they managed to accomplish. With a bit of luck the new owner will be successful too. He has a great staff to work with.

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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-04-2007, 07:33 PM
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Yeah, the pavement mix is always interesting.

A mix might call for a certain amount of an aggregate, and that you'd want to get locally for cost reasons, etc., but that aggregate might have more lime in it that what a particular aggregate had in location X. The mix is made exactly the same, but it comes out like garbage in the end. All fun and games, Tuono.


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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-05-2007, 07:43 AM
 
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Well, we learned that from the horses mouth, so to speak, didnt we? Just for giggles we should call the pavement babe again. Touch base, as it were.....
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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-05-2007, 07:18 PM
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We can.

Busy week this week though.

I'll be around all day next Tuesday after teaching at Heartland Park Topeka though. Might be a good day.

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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 12:26 AM
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I set a flashlight down in the dark at a few corners at Jennings, ABS and BHF and damn was I surprised at how bumpy that they really are. Thank god for good suspension.

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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msbrit1 View Post
I set a flashlight down in the dark at a few corners at Jennings, ABS and BHF and damn was I surprised at how bumpy that they really are. Thank god for good suspension.
Point that flashlight down in turn four facing five of Autobahn South and the light will reflect back at you the ripples are so high.

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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 10:17 PM
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I did see that. And around one I watched Vic's tail on his bike bounce the whole way around. Thank god the wiggiling tail is gone!

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