Performance & Race Driving Tip
Speed Secret: When passing, always “present” yourself.
“Presenting” your car is not giving your competitor an advantage by letting him know you’re making a move on him. What I mean by “presenting” yourself is putting yourself in position where you’ve taken the line away from him, and it’s obvious.
When you don’t present yourself, it’s not obvious that you’ve taken the line, that you control the corner.
If you position your car so you’re not quite beside your competitor, you’re almost asking for him to cut down on you or block you. Why? Because you’re either in a position where it’s not easy to see you (the other driver may not even know he’s chopping you off or blocking), or it’s not obvious who has the line.
As this situation is usually taking place in the brake zone, the best solution is to just ease up on the brake pedal a little bit – just enough to allow your car to move a couple of feet further up alongside your competitor’s car. That way you’ve put yourself in position to take the line away from the other driver, and it’s obvious. You’ve “presented” yourself.
Once you’ve done that, the corner is yours and you dictate the line you and your competitor is going to take. Yes, by easing up on the brakes you might run into the turn a little deeper than you would prefer, but it’s okay – you have the line. You’ve taken control of the corner.
The other part of presenting yourself is being close enough to the other car, side to side. If there is more than a car’s width between your car and the one you’re passing, it’s difficult for the other driver to see you. And, if he does turn into, his car has momentum and the impact will be big; if you’re only a few feet away from the other car, if that drivers turns in on you, it’ll be a much smaller impact.
Check back here often for more tips and advice for performance drivers, race drivers, high performance driving instructors, and anyone else interested in learning to get around race tracks quickly.
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Great explanation I struggle with when and where to pass thanks for the acing craft.
I’m always surprised at how many “Pro Drivers” don’t follow the last point. Where they dive for the apex early and don’t stay right next to the car they’re passing. Besides being harder to see by the car you’re passing, it kills your corner exit speed so the car you just passed has a chance to pass you back.
I agree, Matt!
Great explanation! Your advise is well noted!