Q: “How do you determine your line in a bowl? They’re always the hardest for me to figure out. Single apex, double apex, ease out and come back in, there are so many variations on a line that I feel like I’ve never found the one that clicks as the fastest.”
A: When you talk of a “bowl,” I’m assuming you’re referring to corners that are banked, and therefore feel as though you’re driving around the inside of a bowl.
As a general guideline, spend as much time as you can in the banking. That usually means turning in a little earlier than usual to get your car down to the inside earlier to take advantage of the camber in the track, then stay in it as long as you can before unwinding the steering and “popping” out of the bowl. Of course, that can be taken too far, to the point where you’re just hugging the inside of the corner — that will usually be slower. But your goal is to drive more where the track provides the most grip, and in this case, that means in the most highly banked part of the track as you can.
By the way, this guideline applies to other types of corners, too. For example, if a corner has been patched with new pavement or concrete that has more grip, then drive on it, even if that means you’re not on the typical ideal line. If it has less grip, drive a line that avoids it as much as possible.
You began your question asking how to determine your line, and the real answer is that you need to experiment to find out what works best. It can be slightly different from car to car, for different track and weather conditions, and how much banking the corner has. The only way to know for sure is to try different lines, and use some way of measuring the difference (stop watch, data system, predictive timer, video). But if you follow my guideline of staying in the banking as long as you can, that’ll give you a good start.