I’m getting conflicting information as to whether I should turn Traction Control off or leave it on while learning to drive faster. I drive a 2017 Mazda Miata so power isn’t huge. I know that TC may save me from myself but might it also mask some of the ‘limit sensors’?”
Ask Ross Bentley your questions about performance and race driving.
Q: “When I listen to your podcast, a question always pops up to my mind. I know an open mind is very important in all the learning process and I am always trying to keep my mind open. But sometimes other drivers will introduce their method to me, for example, a very different line and braking technique in a certain corner. I tried a few times however it didn’t work as good for me or I didn’t see much different. But I did see some other very reputable drivers also do that. So my question is that in these cases, should I keep trying until it works for me (open mind) or go back to my original driving (not so much open mind?)? Is there a boundary like open mind and too open mind? In this case I want to go back to my original driving, however I am afraid that I am just being closed minded. Thank you!”
Q: “I’m not a racer, just a guy who tries once a month from May through September to do open tracks days. This past summer, I’d go into a track session planning on working on a particular thing, but a few laps into the session I’d get lost in the moment and stop working on what I wanted to improve. Any suggestions on how to stop this?”
Q: “How does the Bump/Rebound/Spring Ratio settings in the rear suspension affect a cars handling? I’m driving a FVee with zero roll suspension. So I don’t know how the suspension basics differs from a more conventional suspension. My main struggle with this car is that it turns in well, but mid-corner when I try to get back on the throttle it understeers a lot, so I end up having to release/accelerate a few times during the corner to get the car to the line I want. A few times I managed to get the car in the perfect mini-drift that rotated the car just enough to be able to get on throttle and exit cleanly. But it wasn’t easy to replicate. So how much of this can I improve with my driving and how? And what can I do with the setting to help out?”
Q: “I have seen on some racetracks sometimes driver skip the apex ‘kerb.’ I mean they do not go for those red and white kerb. Instead, they turn far away from the apex and quickly back to straight line. Does this supposed save time and make the car go faster? I have seen it in Formula One sometime as well. It might be in Hungary Grand Prix. Could you please clear the idea for me? Is it always necessary to touch the kerb in the middle of a corner (apex)?”
Q: “I’m faster when I’m chasing another car than when I’m on my own. How can I get faster when driving by myself?”