Q: “I feel like I am pushing beyond my driving limits for better laps times, so what are your recommendations for improving my driving abilities so I can keep progressing?”
A: I wrote about this in my Ultimate Speed Secrets, and especially how what we typically call the “learning curve” is nowhere near a curve with some consistent upward progression forever. No, we learn and improve – from the time we’re born until we die – in steps. So, if you do feel you’re on a plateau, that’s perfectly natural and should be expected. In fact, it’s part of how humans learn – unless we get frustrated and/or try to force things. That’s when learning and improvement can sometimes go backwards. When you’re on one of these plateaus, accept it, and even embrace it because it means that what you’ve recently learned is being programmed deeply in your mind and it’ll be with you for a long, long time.
The key to constantly improving is staying focused on your own skill development, and not losing sight of the basics. I’ve often said, the trick advanced stuff that we think is going to suddenly make us faster and better is simply doing the basics better.
In fact, a good way to take a step forward is to go back and practice the basics on a regular basis. Simply going on track and working on fine-tuning the timing and rate of release of the brakes, making sure you’re using all the track (especially at turn-in), that you’re looking and thinking far enough ahead, that you’re smooth with the controls, that you’re getting back to full throttle as smoothly and quickly as you can. None of this is trick stuff!
It’s also critical that you practice in a deliberate and strategic way. Rather than turning lap after lap, focused on just turning fast lap times, break it down and focus on the core skills and techniques that lead to fast lap times.
I’d recommend that you try turning off any form of lap timing for a while. Sometimes, when you’re seeing your lap times, that what you’re focused on instead of the what leads to those lap times – the right skills and techniques.
Finally, never forget why you’re doing what you’re doing: Having fun!