Q: “I’m faster when I’m chasing another car than when I’m on my own. How can I get faster when driving by myself?”
A: We do what we do because we’re mentally programmed to do so; we sometimes don’t do the things we want because we don’t have the programming to do it. You have a mental program to chase a rabbit, but not one for driving fast when in the lead. You can wait until you randomly drive fast in the lead and then let that sink in to your programming, or you can deliberately do mental imagery of leading the race and being as fast (or faster) as when chasing. In fact, you can actually think about it as chasing yourself. I think that’s the best option!
Sit down, get comfortable, close your eyes and let your body totally relax, and then imagine yourself chasing another car and being fast. Then imagine that car pulling into the pits, and you continuing on… and getting even faster. Imagine chasing the back of your own car. Do this over and over again until you it becomes part of your mental programming, and you truly believe that you’re fast on your own.
One other thing that makes a driver faster when chasing is they use the other car as a gauge of how fast to drive. That tells me the driver doesn’t have enough reference points (not just visual ones, but also ones you feel and hear), and/or they don’t have enough sensory input to judge speed on their own. In both cases, I suggest doing what I call Sensory Input Session (outlined in my books and the tips I’ve posted on YouTube and my website).
Love your books and this tip is excellent, thanks! I also struggle sometimes when in the lead and under pressure. It’s easier to be the predator than the prey!
Here’s another suggestion: Use a racing simulator, such as iRacing, to do test laps at a track you drive during the year. Use the ghost car feature to improve upon your own laps and find new ways to gain speed, thereby also making a new mental program of the fastest way around your favorite track.