Q: “I just finished re-watching a couple of your webinars as I work to step up to the next level and go to the Runoffs this season. Reviewing data I see my typical best lap is 1 to 1.3 seconds slower than the theoretical best lap from my data system. No one does the perfect lap, but should my goal be to close that gap to 0.5 seconds? That seems a reasonable goal. Thanks for all your books and webinars! They’ve really helped me improve and consistently run with the leaders.”

A: A half second off your theoretical is a good goal, but it depends on a few different factors – the number of laps being the main one, and also the amount of traffic you deal with in a session. Usually, the more laps in a session, the closer your actual and theoretical times will be. When you’re within half a second, that means you’re very consistent; when you’re consistent, it’s easier to see what makes a difference when you try either different driving techniques or car setup changes.

Of course, one way to be more consistent is to drive slower… but that’s not the point, right?! Being a second or more from your theoretical is starting to point at too many inconsistencies, in my experience.

One suggestion is to take five or so of your best laps, and overlay them on your data. Then look for where the biggest variances in speed are – those are the areas you need to work on the most.