Alès-Cévennes

Lotus on Track visited Pôle Mécanique Alès-Cévennes as part of the 2008 French Frolic 7 trip & will visit again in 2014. Ales is about 600 miles (1000Km) from Calais in the very South of France, and approximately 30 miles (45Km) North West of Nimes.

The first corner to the right is a long one, you want late braking to carry speed in the straight, late turn in, and late apex while being positioned at the exit on the right hand side. The next corner goes uphill and to the left, you want a late apex aswell to accelerate all the way in the corner, hitting the curbs at the exit. You have to carry speed in that corner.

The next kink is not relevant and so full throttle until the braking point for the right 180° turn which is a classical late turn-in at the complete outer edge / very late apex one. Turn in for that one is where the service road is located. You want to be on full throttle with near straight wheels as soon as possible to carry a lot of speed onto the following straight, so don't get upset by the small kink at the exit of this 180° corner.

The following right hander is a classical case of straight line braking, apex in the middle at contant high speed and exiting on the curb. You may want to keep on turning slightly at the exit in order to end up on the other side, that is on the right to go deep on the outside edge so to hit a late apex on the following left hand hairpin. It looks like a classical corner and line, but in fact you want to stick to the left side on the exit to be perfectly positioned for the next right hander. This corner is important as followed by another fast section so you want to accelerate as soon as possible. Convinient apex point can be on the inside curb at the junction with the other track layout (coming straight on the left side).

The next corner is a very late apex one, at the end of the curbs, you don't want to get carried away entering that one so brake in line. Again, you want to stick to the right hand side to be perfectly positioned for the next two left handers. The idea is to smooth this section as much as possible, trying to make nearly one corner out of the two. You enter far right, late apex and late exit on the curbs while keeping on turning a bit aiming at the second corner. You want to get out of that one as fast as possible so you aim for a middle apex, getting wheels nearly straight again to make it a fast turn into the following left. Exit is at the end of the outside curb. You then keep to the right for a "long" time, going downhill, aiming for a very late apex to get you back onto the main straight again with a lot of speed.

Words kindly provided by Claude Gonzales.

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