Q: Could you please tell me what a momentum car is? I know from your tips that a car has to be driven on the rugged edge of it. How does it relate to the term? And, if I am racing how cautious I need to be thinking about crashes? Forgive me if it sounds weird but please let me know.
A: People in the sport talk about momentum cars when they refer to one that has less engine power than cornering grip. For example, a Spec Miata or a low-horsepower open-wheel car. To be fast in these cars you need to minimize the amount you slow them down, since they don’t accelerate back up to speed very quickly. But they have good cornering grip, so you don’t need to slow them very much for the corners, meaning you’re able to carry momentum through the turns.
The opposite would be a car with lots of engine power and less cornering grip. In this type of car, you would need to slow more for the corners, and then rely on the power to re-accelerate it on the straights. That’s the opposite of a momentum car.
How cautious should you be about thinking about crashing? That’s impossible for me to answer, as it’s different for every driver. But what I know is this: If you think about crashing, you’re more likely to crash. You want to think about the act of driving, and not the results (a win, a crash, or whatever).