Q: I am relatively new to your podcasts and advice columns and have already benefited greatly from the fantastic information you share. I have been doing HPDE type track driving for a handful of years and just got my SCCA competition license this year. I have the opportunity to join a Champcar team for a 24-hour Enduro and anticipate some nighttime duties. I have only one weekend of experience at VIR from six years ago. What are your thoughts on the added challenge of nighttime visibility especially with my limited track knowledge? What do you suggest as the best way to prepare and what other difficulties might I expect to encounter?
A: If you think about it, the biggest difference between day and night is the ability to pick up and use references – cracks in the pavement, trees in the distance that you line the car up with, the end or beginning of a curb, a seam in the pavement, changes in the surface, etc. So, if you focus on taking more of them in during the daylight hours – especially the ones that you will still be able to see at night – the easier night time driving gets.
Rather than going into great detail here, go to SpeedSecrets.com/eBooks and download my free Endurance Racer’s Guide. I’ve written more about night driving in it, as well as giving you all sorts of other tips for endurance racing.
For many drivers (me included), night driving is more fun. You get in a rhythm because you rely more on the timing and feel than you do on your sight picture, and that’s huge fun. So, while you’re practicing in the day, focus on the rhythm and picking out as many references as you can.