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The lights!!! They are too bright!!!!


Bill Strong
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I find night driving absolutely fun as hell, and a huge advantage...

But I see a lot of whining about the bright lights... so I am going to put my two cents out there...

1. Pre-drive the course you will be racing at, either during the day, or, during an HPDE. Walk the course before the race so you know where you are going. If the setup is like VIR where there was no way to walk the course, then do an HPDE before the event.

2. Don't smoke. Fighter pilots know this, smoking will kill your night vision.

3. Tape the top part of your helmet visor. Basically you are making a block that you can dip your helmet and stop the light from blinding you. You can also use dark window tint along the top section of the helmet visor.

4. Use light window tint on all mirrors. You can also quickly apply a square of tint in the center of the rear window that can help at night. This also acts as an optically good tape for the glass in the mirrors per the rules for glass.

5. Clean the windows inside and out well. Then coat them with anti-fog on the inside. If someone touches the window and smears it, beat them upside their heads. Clean windows are a must. Wash the window at every pit stop. As important as fuel.

6. I was a late adopter to HID lighting. The rules state 4x 35watt bulbs. HUGE improvement of the H4 bulbs I have run in the past. It is just a better light. You can pick the kits up on ebay for cheap.

that is it. very easy stuff to do. For the Burger King 24 at Watkins Glen in the 80s, car owners were put tape across the back windows with about a 1" gap between each row. cut down on blinding the driver.

That worked well. But I found that my info above worked just as good.

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I find night driving absolutely fun as hell, and a huge advantage...

But I see a lot of whining about the bright lights... so I am going to put my two cents out there...

1. Pre-drive the course you will be racing at, either during the day, or, during an HPDE. Walk the course before the race so you know where you are going. If the setup is like VIR where there was no way to walk the course, then do an HPDE before the event.

2. Don't smoke. Fighter pilots know this, smoking will kill your night vision.

3. Tape the top part of your helmet visor. Basically you are making a block that you can dip your helmet and stop the light from blinding you. You can also use dark window tint along the top section of the helmet visor.

4. Use light window tint on all mirrors. You can also quickly apply a square of tint in the center of the rear window that can help at night. This also acts as an optically good tape for the glass in the mirrors per the rules for glass.

5. Clean the windows inside and out well. Then coat them with anti-fog on the inside. If someone touches the window and smears it, beat them upside their heads. Clean windows are a must. Wash the window at every pit stop. As important as fuel.

6. I was a late adopter to HID lighting. The rules state 4x 35watt bulbs. HUGE improvement of the H4 bulbs I have run in the past. It is just a better light. You can pick the kits up on ebay for cheap.

that is it. very easy stuff to do. For the Burger King 24 at Watkins Glen in the 80s, car owners were put tape across the back windows with about a 1" gap between each row. cut down on blinding the driver.

That worked well. But I found that my info above worked just as good.

Thanks for the tips, would you mind sharing the bulbs you found on ebay as I thought you guys may have had the best lights out there.

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HID lamps
/>http://www.ddmtuning.com/

These lamp cases
/>http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/8-130W-4X4-OFF-ROAD-JEEP-DODGE-FORD-FOG-DRIVING-LIGHTS-/390335032409?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5ae1c7ec59#ht_7605wt_939

I mounted them on a custom built light bar with quick release harness bolted to the hood.

2011-07-29_16-46-03_754.jpg

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Wish I knew some of these tips before my first night time stint, would have been useful

so learn from what happened. Write everything down that went wrong. Make notes from each race that you do and refer to them the next time you go to that track.

I have been racing cars since the mid-1980s in the USA and Europe. You tend to learn a lot over that time :)

and most guys will never tell a competitor how to do stuff. Want to move someone out of your way? Turn on your lights. :)

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Guest posnova

Also, if you must look in the rear view at multiple bright lights, close one eye, then look. When you look away from the mirror and back forward again, open the closed eye. Only 1 eye will have been 'blinded' and will need to readjust. The eye you closed should provide instant vision forward. If it doesn't work for you, no problem. I found it helpful.

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I really appreciate the willingness of people to help their competitors in this series.

It seems in most sports there is more aggression and/or hatred of other teams that helping isnt even considered.

At the track it doesnt seem like anyone is treating others as the enemy but as friends, this makes for a great time, esp for those who are here to have fun not just win. also it doesnt seem there is anyone with the win at all costs attitude.

for this i thank all of you. B)

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Contact lens wearers:

The really thin throw a-way lenses allow more light to get through the lens. Thicker more durable lenses can affect your low light vision.

I use throw away lenses. I bring a hole bunch of lenses with me to a weekend long event and put a fresh set in right before each night session, while day sessions one set will do fine.

Also, watch your in cabin/dash lights, they can reflect off the window and cause all sorts of distractions. Only have lights on things that you must absolutely see.

If you purchased CHROME lamps and have them mounted to the hood, or somewhere that the driver can see, cover the case in black electrical tape. This will keep the reflections from people beside you or from behind from blinding your driver.

I overheard a driver talking about some funny stuff he saw at VIR. newb drivers that took a wrong turn off track, then the people behind him following him off course. The way he told the story was really funny. But it is not funny, it is really bad. Drive your line. If you don't know where you are going, SLOW DOWN! learn the track. Then increase your speeds. None of you are going to win these races. EVER. So just have fun and make your car last. slow down, learn the track, increase speed as you get used to it. Don't over drive. That is how other cars get wrecked and people hurt.

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I really appreciate the willingness of people to help their competitors in this series.

It seems in most sports there is more aggression and/or hatred of other teams that helping isnt even considered.

At the track it doesnt seem like anyone is treating others as the enemy but as friends, this makes for a great time, esp for those who are here to have fun not just win. also it doesnt seem there is anyone with the win at all costs attitude.

for this i thank all of you. B)

Nicely said, I agree :D

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We gave up a long time ago. We actually only have one goal, beat the Biohazard MR2 (V6 MR2). We have done that every race we have both entered. Though the funny thing is that I am driving for him at Sebring as of today! :)

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We gave up a long time ago. We actually only have one goal, beat the Biohazard MR2 (V6 MR2). We have done that every race we have both entered. Though the funny thing is that I am driving for him at Sebring as of today! :)

So you can beat them and you still joined them! lol

Will you be at the Chumpionship? Just wondering.

Good luck at Sebring.

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Contact lens wearers:

The really thin throw a-way lenses allow more light to get through the lens. Thicker more durable lenses can affect your low light vision.

I use throw away lenses. I bring a hole bunch of lenses with me to a weekend long event and put a fresh set in right before each night session, while day sessions one set will do fine.

Also, watch your in cabin/dash lights, they can reflect off the window and cause all sorts of distractions. Only have lights on things that you must absolutely see.

If you purchased CHROME lamps and have them mounted to the hood, or somewhere that the driver can see, cover the case in black electrical tape. This will keep the reflections from people beside you or from behind from blinding your driver.

I overheard a driver talking about some funny stuff he saw at VIR. newb drivers that took a wrong turn off track, then the people behind him following him off course. The way he told the story was really funny. But it is not funny, it is really bad. Drive your line. If you don't know where you are going, SLOW DOWN! learn the track. Then increase your speeds. None of you are going to win these races. EVER. So just have fun and make your car last. slow down, learn the track, increase speed as you get used to it. Don't over drive. That is how other cars get wrecked and people hurt.

Pull out and find a nice slow car to follow to learn the track. It probably took me 10 laps in the dark to get up to speed.

An idea might be to have the Friday testing day end with a light test. We could use the side of John's RV as a target. There would be a horizontal line that lights could not be focused above. Side to side is free. If cars have lights too high this would be the clue to pull them down. That being said, I quickly figured out who was whom by their lights.

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Contact lens wearers:

The really thin throw a-way lenses allow more light to get through the lens. Thicker more durable lenses can affect your low light vision.

I use throw away lenses. I bring a hole bunch of lenses with me to a weekend long event and put a fresh set in right before each night session, while day sessions one set will do fine.

Also, watch your in cabin/dash lights, they can reflect off the window and cause all sorts of distractions. Only have lights on things that you must absolutely see.

If you purchased CHROME lamps and have them mounted to the hood, or somewhere that the driver can see, cover the case in black electrical tape. This will keep the reflections from people beside you or from behind from blinding your driver.

I overheard a driver talking about some funny stuff he saw at VIR. newb drivers that took a wrong turn off track, then the people behind him following him off course. The way he told the story was really funny. But it is not funny, it is really bad. Drive your line. If you don't know where you are going, SLOW DOWN! learn the track. Then increase your speeds. None of you are going to win these races. EVER. So just have fun and make your car last. slow down, learn the track, increase speed as you get used to it. Don't over drive. That is how other cars get wrecked and people hurt.

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Thanks for all the great advice Bill! Why didn't I ask you before we tried? :blink:

I hadn't followed a single one of these great hints, and had a heck of a hard time enjoying the night stint. I just couldn't see well enough, had never driven the full course... Well, I did follow one advice and that was taking it SLOW! While being a little bit faster than my team members in the day time, I was 20 seconds off Aaron's pace at night. 20 seconds. Per lap. And I was still skeered.

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