Q: “Some drivers plateau and I often find that they are going to the same track over and over and over again. What are the benefits you’ve seen for those drivers that get out of their comfort zone and go to a completely new track? Why is this good or bad? Should this occur as part of every track season or once every few years for a bucket list track/road trip?”
A: I’m a huge believer in the value of “cross training,” and new and different tracks are a part of that.
For sure, the more tracks one drives, the more you learn and improve across all tracks. After some number of tracks you begin to relate “turn 5 here is a bit like turn 12 at so-and-so,” and that helps you learn faster.
Also, the more tracks you drive, the better you’re able to adapt – even if that’s just with differing conditions at your usual, home track. As you say, it helps you get out of your comfort zone. We learn and improve the most when we’re working just outside our comfort zone (not too much, but a little bit – research has suggested that our minds learn the most when stretched by 4-5%).
Should someone go to new tracks, and how often? Obviously, that depends on budget a lot of time, but I’d say “As often as possible” is a good way to think about it. That is, if your goal is to learn and improve…
Autocross. A lot. I use a shifter kart. Really fast and cheap. And you not only have to learn a new course every day (or two if you run it backwards in the afternoon), but you have to determine your best shift points vs. line.
Great advice, Art!
But this answers a different question altogether Art.
Auto cross is only a fragment of what “driving on track” is.
And adding a shifter kart to it also makes it a different ball game.
Longer, faster tracks with elevation and dynamic changes ,plus the weight of a GT car, open up a range of other challenges and skills that you have to acquire and evolve in the hunt of being safer, faster, better.
Each track has something to teach us.
If budget allows we should all be visiting and trying new tracks.
Progress comes faster like this and having relatable content between different experiences is the key behind this.
Great work Ross, as always.
I also drive a heavy GT car on very fast courses with elevation changes. The shifter kart and autocross improve my reflexes and far focus as well as determining the best line and shift points. Yes, it all really does translate. That’s why F1and LMP drivers cross train with karts. Try it, master it, then watch your driving step up a notch.