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Nelson Ledges Road Course

Garrettsville, Ohio, USA
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Miata
GT3 RS
FZ1
F1
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MX-5 Miata
911 GT3 RS 4.0
Yamaha FZ1
F1 Car
Length:
2 MI
3.22 KM
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*PLEASE NOTE* The racing lines and simulations shown here are based on a simplified analysis that does not incorporate 3D effects such as camber and elevation, track irregularities, or surface conditions. It assumes perfect grip and perfect pilot control. Always temper your approach to a racetrack with common sense and an awareness of your skill level. Be safe out there!
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Lap Times Explained

Each column represents a vehicle driven on different racing lines. For example, the first row of the first column is the time for the Miata driven on its own line. The second row represents the Miata driven on the Porsche's racing line, and so on. It is expected that when a vehicle is driven on its own line (large font) the lap time will be the quickest. Otherwise, Al has not done his job very well.

Vehicle
Line Miata GT3 RS Moto F1 beta
Miata 1'20.24 +1.01 +0.99 +0.23
GT3 RS +1.13 1'08.86 +0.36 +1.15
Moto +2.20 +0.53 1'11.25 +2.25
F1 +1.03 +1.93 +1.80 43.69

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Nelson Ledges Road Course

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Resource Guidelines

You are welcome to suggest a resource for Nelson Ledges Road Course. Valuable resources include:
  • YouTube videos
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Resources which are excellent demonstrations or discussions of the racing line at this circuit will be added to the page. Thank you for contributing!

The Racing Line at Nelson Ledges Road Course

Nelson Ledges Road Course is a much-loved regional track with a storied racing history, including long-standing 24 hour endurance events for both cars and motorcycles. Its narrow width and bumpy surface combine with somewhat spartan safety provisions to make for an exciting, "on the edge" racing experience at this circuit.

The racing line at Nelson Ledges can be tricky for a couple reasons. First, the narrow track width (compounded by lack of kerbing in many corners) makes the impact of line selection less obvious. Second, the meandering, sweeping nature of the turns can make it extremely difficult to work out the ideal line. Nevertheless, we'll do our best to illuminate the optimal path.

Turns 1 and 2 form a large radius corner of about 90 degrees. Every vehicle will spend a good amount of time stuck to the inside here, driving all the way out on the exit. From what I saw from running a couple extra optimizations, exiting Turn 2, if you go all the way left, you shouldn't get much farther than mid-track before turning in to 4. If you don't get all the way left, then you can set up for 3 on the far right. It's not much of a difference, though.

The line around Oak Tree is somewhat confusing, and varies a lot with vehicle type. The Miata sticks the inside until about half way around, where is starts driving out toward mid-track, before squeezing left a bit more in preparation for entry into the Carousel. The Porsche and Motorcycle, on the other hand, treat the corner as a double apex, but the Porsche doesn't get more than about one car width off the inside. The motorcycle swings out much farther before coming back in to apex at the same location as the Porsche.

Through the Carousel, the Miata takes almost a triple apex, but importantly, stays wide of the final apex. It's also very close to the inside until about the North extreme of the turn, at which point it starts driving out a bit. For higher powered vehicles, a big double apex will be the faster line, with the first apex much later than the Miata's. Following the Kink, Turn 11 can usually be taken by low powered vehicles without braking. Not so much for the big guys.

Turns 12 and 13 are the other location where Al disagrees with a lot of the onboard footage. He recommends taking 12 as fast as possible, letting your speed carry you all the way to the right side of the track on exit, then staying pretty much glued to the inside around 13 until you start your drive onto the front straight. In contrast, drivers will often stay nearer to mid-track between 12 and 13, or take a fairly wide double apex at 13. The front straight doesn't seem to be long enough to warrant this extra investment in speed, however, and the recommended approach to this section can afford some pretty good passing opportunities around 13.

Golf R Chases M3 for 1'18.08 Lap

Founder's Notes

This is a nice quality clip. The driver can make up a bit of ground by carrying more speed through Turn 5, and by tweaking the line through the Carousel.

Fast Miata Lap

Founder's Notes

Thanks to Jesse for this nice lap around Nelson. The only major difference I see from the calculated line is that at Turn 13, the line should stay in tighter to the turn and then drive aggressively toward the outside boundary at the exit, rather than drifting outward early in the turn. Some minor points: in Turn 1, you can enter with more speed such that you apex very early and drift out early, since the exit is so gradual. Around Turn 5, the recommended line is tighter to the inside, to save distance.

Z06 1'16.xx Lap

Founder's Notes

A couple notes: first, coming out of Turn 3, the driver lets off a bit early, and gets farther to the right than necessary to set up for Turn 4. Second, at the Carousel, a vehicle with this type of power should take a deeper double apex. The line everywhere else is pretty good.

Evo X Turns a Couple Hot Laps

Founder's Notes

I skipped ahead to the first full speed lap. This video is similar to the other in car videos in that the line selection isn't super obvious, but the video should still be helpful.

David Pintarik in Race Laps

Founder's Notes

If you're ready to pick up the pace a bit, this video is actually a bit better when it comes to showing the racing line. Also some unused speed available at Turn 6, and the drivers are going unnecessarily wide through 7.

Z06 Chasing Another Corvette

Founder's Notes

This is a good video to help familiarize yourself with the track, but it isn't the feature the greatest line selection. Same comments for 6-7: more speed through 6, and stay tight in 7.

Chasin' Down Another Instructor

Founder's Notes

This is the best motorcycle video I found - if you know of some more, please suggest them in the Additional Resources section! This rider could probably take Turn 6 faster, but notice how he stays inside all the way through 7.

Motorcycle Race 2012

Founder's Notes

Pretty intense action from Ryan in this race at Nelson Ledges. I'm not sure what kind of bike he's on, but lap times are around 1'13, which is very fast. You can see the riders staying tight around Turn 7, and when they do go wide it's usually a mistake, and they're wide for the whole turn. Nice win, Ryan!