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 RATCLIFFE: A look at the Decatur Raceway.

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Josh Mertz
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Posts : 126
Join date : 2011-08-30
Age : 21
Location : Lowell, Indiana

20120405
PostRATCLIFFE: A look at the Decatur Raceway.

To build up anticipation for the start of the 2012 Red Bull World Series powered by Chevrolet season, I wrote this little piece about the first circuit of the season...

Race 1 - Decatur

The 3.367 mile, 16 turn race circuit that is Decatur. Host to the American Grand Prix, it winds through the cornfields of Decatur, IL. It doesn't have that much elevation change, except for the beginning of the second sector. Other than that, it is a relatively flat circuit, with a satisfactory amount of overtaking opportunities. The front straightaway at Decatur is a spectacle all on its own. With two spectacular plexiglass domes over the circuit, giving spectators a fantastic view. Turns one and two, dubbed The "Snake", is one of the toughest sections of the circuit. Drivers must be hard on the brakes and quick on the steering to clip the curbing just right, to rotate the car through the corner and not throw it off the road. After the snake, you head underneath the Casino to turn 3, which is banked slightly, giving it a short track type feel. If drivers are skilled enough, they might be able to overtake another driver in turn 3, or at least start one and complete it going up the hill. The Hill. In Monaco after Sainte Devote, there is the climb up to Massanet. This climb at Decatur practically replicates Beau Rivage from Monaco. Constant twisting and turning leaves a driver no time to rest. After that, is the treacherous turn 19-11 complex, known as the "landfill" as it drops down quite a bit and on your left side is a climb that looks like the side of a landfill. Turns 12 and 13 form a double apex, which throughout testing, several drivers were able to pull off overtaking maneuvers consistently through that section. Turn 14 is quite possibly the easiest corner on the circuit, and some drivers don't even consider it a corner when you are alone on the circuit. However, when you are side by side with another competitor, it can become quite hair raising as that corner only has one lane. If a driver can navigate turn 14 correctly, it will set them up for turns 15 and 16, which presents the same double apex challenge as turns 12 and 13. A driver needs to clobber all the curbs they can on this circuit to really lower their lap times.

So thats all for this weeks Circuit Preview. I'll be previewing Brands Hatch, before the British Grand Prix, which you can see LIVE on ASN!
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