Q: “I have a problem driving on the limit all the time. As soon as the car starts to move, especially with oversteer on entry, I react immediately and arrest the movement. How do I get past this?”
A: Getting comfortable with the car moving/sliding is one of the keys to being consistently fast, and it sounds like that may be holding you back from being even faster. You have to program the ability to let the car oversteer while turning into a corner (rotating), and be comfortable with that. You can program this ability through physical or mental practice – but it does take time and practice. You can develop this ability through physical practice – many laps on a track, and/or time spent with a coach on a skid pad. You can – and should – also practice this mentally, using mental imagery (usually referred to as visualization). I’ll promise you that this will take your driving to the next level in terms of driving more consistently at the limit.
Check out this video – Sensing Your Car’s Limits – video on my YouTube channel.
Spend time with your eyes closed, imagining entering a corner, with the rear in a very slight slide, as if the rear tires have about one more degree of slip angle than the fronts do. So, I’m not talking about “backing it into a turn” like sprint car drivers on a dirt oval, or Formula Drift drivers do. But imagine doing this with intent, you’re making your car do this with the timing and rate of release of the brakes. You’re keeping the front of your car loaded, so the front tires have just that little bit more traction than the rear tires do. Notice how you feel relaxed and comfortable doing this. Your hands and arms are loose and relaxed, feeling every subtle movement of the steering wheel. You’re in control, because this is an intentional thing, and you’re proactive with it – you’re not having to react to it because you’re expecting it. Use mental imagery to program yourself being relaxed and comfortable with this. Understand, this is something that will take time, but at least mental imagery is free, and you can do it anytime and anywhere you want, as much as you want.
For more information on how to use mental imagery to help you drive more consistently at the limit, download my Mental Imagery Guide for Drivers eBook. Also watch the Use Mental Imagery to Drive Faster video.
Having said all that, I want to go back to something you said in your question. You mentioned that your car is oversteering on the entry to a corner. Some amount of this, if generated by your driving technique, is useful. That’s what we call rotating the car, because it’s an intentional act. But if your car is oversteering without you wanting it to, that’s the time to make a change to your car’s setup to control that. Practically no driver wants a car’s rear to sliding out the instant they turn into a corner. That’s a “nervous car” – and no one likes that!