On Throttle: Coasting – Speed Secrets Quick Tip

The “rule” says that you should either be on the brakes, or on the throttle – but never coasting. Well, there’s an exception to every rule, and that’s what I talk about in this Speed Secrets Quick Tip – when and where coasting will actually make you faster.

If you have questions or comments, please leave them below. Have fun!

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  1. Yes I’ve had this pointed out as something I was encouraged by one race coach/instructor to do. Also makes sense as premature throttle app will induce a bit of understeer and dilute the effectiveness of any corner bite of the front tires that might just still be needed. I had been told also that if you’re able or find yourself on the throttle prematurely you’re corner entry needs dolling up, and I agree. Always in search for the perfect everything, but nice to have the reinforcement of options as they can be applied. Thanks for the post.

  2. HI Ross,
    Although the need to perfect the coasting technique doesn’t apply to cars with endless brakes, it can be an excellent tool to slow the car down (while minimizing brake heat and conserve any brakes left). In enduro situations when a teammate has left very little pad, it can be a calculated trade off vs the time loss for a brake replacement pit stop.
    The greatest benifit of coasting deceleration is to be had at the highest rate of speed due to the additional effect of aerodynamic drag. Coupled with carefully matched downshifts lost time will be minimized. Timing The last clutch re-engagement, a pitch, or both can be timed with the turn-in to induce a drift, followed by throttle modulation to stabilize the car. When done properly the (RWD)car will rotate and scrub excess speed in the turn and save what brakes are left for the slower corners.

    It is an advanced technique and uses up tires, but early in my driving career I spent a lot of time in a 3500 lb., solid rotor, rear drum Javelin and it was often necessary. When perfected it has the additional, if dubious, benefit of being intimidating to ones competitors. A spin always appears inevitable and those not wise to the trick will back off only to find you are powering out of the corner and have opened the gap on them.

    learning to adapt this bit of coasting advice garnered in my youth from the book by post war Italian driving champion Piero Taruffi (sp?) can be a valuable technique to bring home a finish for the team, or when appropriate, discourage a last lap pass by a competitor.

    One of my axioms of driving has always been: “It maters far less which way your car is pointing than which way it is traveling”.

    Bill Murray


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