Performance & Race Driving Tip

Speed Secret: A Key to Driving Fast – Your Seat.

race-car-seatingI recall being told a story about the time when Dodge Neons were the car to have in the SCCA Showroom Stock B class (a long time ago!). In their first season they were fast, but not dominant. During the off- season between year one and two, competitors lobbied the SCCA to allow them to use proper racing seats instead of the stock ones that came from the factory, and the rules were changed to allow this.

While the change was made primarily for safety reasons, along with just more comfort, it had an unexpected side effect that should have been expected. On average, with no other changes allowed, the Neons were about a second a lap faster everywhere they raced in the second season.

How can that be? It had nothing to do with weight, by the way. It all had to do with the driver being better supported and being able to sense the limits of the car better. Instead of having to hang onto the steering wheel for support, the drivers were now able to have a lighter grip on the wheel, and therefore received better feedback. And by being supported better, they could sense body roll, weight transfer, and balance more accurately.

Think about that, and how your seat may be affecting your lap times.

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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