How To Learn A New Track

Performance & Race Driving Tip

Speed Secret: When learning a new track, make sure to get a “global view” of it.

I see many drivers ignore a very important part of learning a track – getting a global picture of the circuit, by looking at every part of it they can from a spectator’s perspective.

laguna-secaIt’s simple enough. All you need to do is walk or drive around to every viewing area that you can to view the corners from that perspective.

It’s one thing to look at and memorize a track layout from a map. It’s another to view it from the perspective of an in-car video. It’s another again to see it from a simulator. And another again to see it from the view you get while walking it, or even driving it. But it’s different when you view it from the outside, watching other cars go through a corner. And that additional view helps put everything into perspective.

Prior to driving at Le Mans for the first time, I would randomly stop an in-car video and make myself quickly identify where on the track the car was. That helped a lot. But once I’d visited Le Mans and seen all the corners from the outside, it made this process easier – and helped me get a real feel for the circuit.

The next time you’re learning a new track – or refreshing your memory of a track you haven’t driven for a while – include taking a look at all the corners from the outside. Get a global picture of where the track goes, and what the turns look like from the spectators’ perspective. It’ll help you learn that track faster.

Check back here often for more tips and advice for performance drivers, race drivers, high performance driving instructors, and anyone else interested in learning to get around race tracks quickly.

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