Race & Performance Driving: Vision & Speed

Race & Performance Driving Tip

Speed Secret: Vision leads to speed.

“The ability to fit is directly proportionate to the speed of entry.”

I’ve used that phrase for years in a half- jokingly kind of way when talking about fitting between two cars. And yet, there is truth in it. The faster you’re going, the farther ahead you need to look. And when you look farther ahead, you’re more likely to fit in between two objects (for sure, if you look at them you’re going to hit them).

Of course, the faster you’re going, the more likely you’re also going to smash your way through two cars, but I’m not talking about that!

As I was recently reading the book Why 
Does E = mc2? (yep, a fun read!), I realized just how true this phrase is. Thanks to Einstein we know that the faster we travel, the smaller we get (not an easy concept to grasp, but that’s part of what the Theory of Relativity says). In fact, if your car is 3 meters wide sitting still, it’ll be around 2.9 meters wide if you’re traveling at 99.5% of the speed of light. Yep, that’s reality. Therefore, the faster we travel, the easier it is to fit in between two objects – like a couple of cars ahead of us on the track, possibly spinning. Of course, Einstein’s equation is more meaningful as we get closer to the speed of light (186,282 miles per second), and not too many cars are close to that yet, but it still makes sense. Doesn’t it? 🙂

So, am I being serious here, and does what I’m saying actually mean anything? Yes. The main message is that the further you look ahead, the better. And this is especially true of when something goes wrong in front of you, and you have to avoid a spinning car, for example. Sure, you’ve heard the “look way ahead” message many times in the past, but I’m hoping that you hearing it another way – perhaps a unique way – you’ll be reminded of it again the next time you’re on track.

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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