Q: “Here is a topic for discussion which got asked of me in regards to the RaceVoice device relative to entry speed. The question was: How do I define entry speed. And, how important is it?”
A: How do I define entry speed? Great question! When I use data to identify entry speed I look at two things: the speed the car is at when the turn-in begins (identified by either the increase in lateral g or steering angle), and corner vMin. Ultimately – and usually, but not always – vMin is a result of the speed the car is at right at turn-in. It could be the same, or it could less (depending on the amount of trail braking).
To me, entry speed is very important, and the best drivers are able to establish the same speed within one MPH consistently from lap to lap; lesser drivers have a variance of much more – I’ve seen a 5 MPH variance from lap to lap from club racers (how can you try different techniques and learn what works if there’s that much variance/inconsistency).
Corner entry speed is determined by when and how much the driver brakes for a corner (or simply lifts off the throttle), and also the timing and rate of release of the brakes. “In slow and out fast” is the advice drivers are given as the sooner you can get to full throttle coming out of a corner, the faster you will be down the next straight. But one way of getting to full throttle sooner is to slow to one MPH at corner entry – you could get to full throttle as soon as you turned in! But you would never make up for the lack of speed entering the corner; it would be a bad compromise. So, the goal is to maximize corner entry speed (so that you get back to full throttle from the highest possible entry speed) without it negatively impacting how early you get to full throttle. For example, I’d rather start to accelerate from 60 MPH than from 58 MPH. Obviously, if my corner entry speed was 65 MPH, and that significantly delayed me getting to full throttle, that would mean my entry speed was too high.
That’s why corner entry speed is critical.