High Performance & Race Driving Tips
Speed Secrets Driving Tips to Help You be an Even Better Driver
Communication is the key to developing the handling of your car, even if that communication happens between you and yourself! The more questions you ask, and the more you listen, the more you learn.
More – and the better quality – notes you make on a track map after each session will greatly improve your driving.
To be really fast, you must manage the weight transfer juuuuuust right. Too much, and you have less grip. Too little, and you don’t rotate the car. Just right, and you’re fast.
What you believe will have more of an impact on your performance behind the wheel than any skill, technique, or anything you do to your car. Develop your belief system using mental imagery – program what you want to believe.
Passing and being passed (and discouraging others from passing you) are all part of racecraft, a skill that you can practice – if you know what to practice.
There are four keys to being fast when driving in the rain.
Racing in the rain, and being fast in it, is more about your mindset than any technique or skill.
“Can you tell from looking at someone if they have the physical build to be a great race driver?”
Drive the car with the mindset that you’re trying to find its weakness – understeer or oversteer on entry, mid-corner, or at exit; instability while braking; inability to put the power down; “lazy” turn-in; etc.
I don’t know of a driver today, from novice performance driver to elite-level pro racer, who didn’t at one point think that brakes were simply for slowing a car down. Boy, were they wrong!
When is the most dangerous time of a race, HPDE or track day weekend? The first session of the day, the last one, the warm-up session or the race, the session just after lunch, or? Often, it’s while trailering the track car home after a long, tiring day.
One of my favorite things to do to get ready to drive (or get a driver whom I’m coaching ready to drive) is watch a short video of a great performance. It’s a great way to get into a performance state of mind.
Expectations are limitations, and you rarely exceed your expectations. They program results into your mind, and your mind is very efficient at running those programs – sometimes too efficient!
Driving the limit is all about honing in on it, driving slightly below it, over it, under it, over it… and finally reducing the amount you’re over and under it until you’re at the limit. It’s all about tuning the oscillation.
The best drivers in the world lose their focus while driving just as much as you or anyone else does. The difference? They regain it more quickly. What they’re really good at is quickly and almost imperceptibly regaining it.
There’s one thing that all high performance and race drivers have in common: they can all improve. It’s all about learning. But the “learning curve” is not what we typically think of, as I write about in this tip.
Deliberately rotating the car into a corner can not only increase your entry speed, but also your exit speed. To do it right, you need to blend the ideal rate of turning the steering wheel with the timing and rate of release of the brake pedal.
A critical part of getting sponsorship for your racing is being politely persistent. Not a pain in the butt, and not giving up.
Feeling nervous, even to the point of getting sick to your stomach, prior to heading onto the track for a practice, qualifying or race… well, that’s okay. It’s what you do with that feeling that matters.
In racing, there’s a difference between being aggressive and being assertive. Assertive wins races; aggressive leads to crashes. In this tip I define the difference, and recommend envisioning the way to win more races.