Hm. Are we just doing Tyre Wear x1? I made a fist of using 90s streets and having a full tank and just going at it and this is what happened:
The first lap was like: oh, let's just try to see what 2:52 is like and I was a bit too conservative. Then I was a bit too aggressive making up for it. The third lap, I didn't even know you could go wide leading up to the kink at the end of Conrod straight (I don't think this is a thing in real life). After that I thought hang it, I'm going to see if I can make 2:50 instead. After lap 7 or so I decided I'd shoot for 2:49 instead. That's when I realised it was possible to get into the 2:48s and the tyres were still feeling pretty ok. The grip and predictability really dropped off around lap 15, where I started bumping the barriers at Frog Hollow (note: the barriers actually tighten at the exit of the corner, which has been the culprit of fatal smashes before). Yet despite the loss of predictability, it was still possible to get into the 2:48 with a good deal of bravery and commitment, particularly through McPhillarmy (the faster corner before Skyline... you gotta really hug the barriers on the left and go for it and pray you don't run wide coz if you do hit the sand it's game over). Then I got a bit cocky and decided I'd try to brake ultra late into Skyline coz I was on a hot lap in 19, and that's when the tyres let me know their extreme displeasure, and my tail end dipped off the course before I veered across and bumped (lightly) the tyre barriers, hence the 2:49.9. Lap 20, I decided to take everything bravely but also sensibly and as you can see, it's still possible to get a 2:49 even with the tyres wearing the hell out, if you know how to counterbalance the minimal amount of necessary lock with judicious application of throttle (which, in this car's case, is generally full throttle, most of the time, so a mouse will do just fine).
Final lap was me coasting the back half of the course back to pits as I ran out of fuel
I think my middle laps were faster because the car lost a bit of weight as I was burning through fuel, but the grip was still all there. I kind of expected it to drop off sooner, but it didn't.
I guess the trick to preserving the tyres is that I cared a lot about the fronts. I did a lot of braking in a straight line, and easing off the brakes when turning, because I don't want to introduce a lateral load to the front tyres when I'm already loading them, as that will shear the tread. Then I made sure to not use more lock than was necessary. Sometimes it's fastest to do a Senna and pull the wheel a bit tighter to draw the nose in even when you're hugging the inside (an observer might think you will crash but you won't), that's how to get the fastest line through Frog Hollow and McPhillarmy after all. But for the most part if accelerating out of a corner and FR will nose in if you apply the gas post apex, so you can ease off the steering, oftentimes, if you get the balance right, returning it to neutral. Then the next step is to chain the momentum of the corners, so picking the best line for the first corner will involve seeing what the best entry point is for the next corner, for example, it's not that simple to just cut the inside at the end of Reid Park as you don't have much room before needing to be right on the outside before Frog Hollow, but also there's a massive dip there and the loading on the suspension at the top of the dip will cause lateral shear, so you'll get pushed to the outside, but this means you should pick the speed such that your suspension has finished unloading (and so has the damping), so that you have decent traction so you don't smash into the barriers on the exit of Frog Hollow, as that's over a crest and if you run on the kerb on the inside, which is almost necessary, you will lose a bit of inside traction. Therefore, if you're doing about 140km/h, you should possibly dip the nose preemptively by touching the brakes (EDIT: fuck that noise, just go all in but make sure you're on the inside and turning smoothly) at the first crest or you'll go deep and have to brake at the bottom of the dip instead which will scrub off excessive speed for the incline bit and then you'll carry less speed going towards the faster McPhillarmy, Suleman before Skyline. Going through that bit crappily as opposed to perfectly could cost you up to a whole second. Same with The Esses and the Big Dippa, if you brake too late and go too deep then you'll be forced to go deep on every corner and you'll lose heaps of time so brake early so you can thread the car through the eye of the needle and hug the apex of every corner and maximise your exit as there's a good period of downhill speed to be gained before Forest Elbow, and not to mention braking early before Forest Elbow really helps because if you can hug the inside there you can get on the gas early for Conrod, and that's a long straight so every bit of exit speed counts.
That's what's so remarkable about Mt Panorama: not only is it narrow and awfully dangerous in parts, but either the corners are: 1) standalone but before a big straight so exit speed is king, which is what makes passing on them such a tricky game, 2) part of a massive technical chain where a mistake means crashing or death.
ok, if somebody manages 20 laps of 2:48-2:50, lemme know