I’ve driven a lot of laps on the Summit Point Circuit. A lot. I have data on 700 or 800 laps, and have probably driven another 1000 more, but I never managed to drive anything under 1:26.6 before. For the last five years or so, I’m usually performing CI duties, working the grid, or banished to the skidpad most of the time and don’t spend much time concentrating on my own driving. This past July, I had the opportunity to coach with NJ CCA and had lots of track time to myself.
I’ve been selling the Garmin Catalyst system for a few years now and so I thought I’d listen to the Coach and see what I could learn. The data gave me the confidence to brake later, harder, and less, carrying more speed at the apex and thus more speed until the next corner. My best lap came at the end of the session and I was close to the predicted optimal time, even with a late pass into turn 10.
Even after more than 12 years of teaching this stuff, I’m continually amazed how much of this game is mental. Once I broke through the 1:26 barrier, I was able to consistently beat it most of the time.
Lap from recent HPDE with NCC BMW CCA on the Jefferson Extended Circuit, Summit Point WV. E46 M3 on Michelin Pilot PS2 tires with full tread. Only my sixth track day in this car.
Video is interesting because you can see my struggles as a former front wheel driver. I’m leaving about 3/4 of a second on the table as I try to find the right way to deal with the road crown on turn-in. Watch the red time in the lower right of the frame. That’s the delta to my optimal lap. I loose time on the turn in for Turns 1, 4, and 14. I do get a good launch out of T14 at the end, where I’m immediately up on the next lap which was ultimately not completed due to the end of the session.
My best lap ever in the MINI on Pilot Super Sports was a 1:27.5. Previous best in this car was 1:26.2. New best is 1:24.9. I continue to be impressed with how easy and effective the Garmin Catalyst coach is to use.
Track season is finally upon us here in the mid-Atlantic. I had the chance to spend three days at Summit Point Main with PCA at the end of March. Here’s a 12 minute video I put together talking about how I used the Catalyst to improve. Please let me know in the comments if you have any features you’ve found especially useful.
We recently reviewed the Garmin Catalyst Cage Mount and started thinking that perhaps there was a simpler DIY solution to tethering your device. The cage is a great solution if you want to permanently mount the device in your car, but what if you just want an option to tether it securely and still remove it when needed. This might be a good solution for you. (Note: It isn’t supported by Garmin and nor necessarily recommending in all cases. Check your rulebook first.)
The video explains the process and more detailed photos are available below.
Start by locating the mounting point for the removable lower panel and remove the silver screw.
Compare the size of the tether end to the available space and shape it accordingly. We had to shave the sides and bend to fit the contour of the device.
And just screw it in place.
Close the lower panel and test.
Now place it back in the magnetic mount. We used a longer tether to hold the mount to the car, and then a shorter tether to hold the device to the mount. Both tethers are using a small clip we mounted into the window mount.
Looking for a way to tether your Garmin Catalyst? Consider getting the Catalyst cage mount? Garmin didn’t build a way to tether the Catalyst into the device body, but you can get a cage mount that gives you a couple of options. Watch this unboxing video to learn more.