Q: “Sometimes I go to the track and set my best time of day on my third or fourth lap in the first session of the morning. It makes for a discouraging afternoon. I suspect tire pressure build up might be part of it, or maybe track conditions, but I think it has mostly to do with me. I usually don’t see lap times till the session is over. Any suggestions?”
A: You’re right that the track and tire conditions might be the reason for being slower in the afternoon. That is almost always the case, as most tracks slow down in the heat of the afternoon. But sometimes it’s because you see some encouraging results in the morning, and then push harder as the day goes along – and rarely does trying harder result in a faster lap time. Even if you don’t see the lap times until after the session, as your comfort level comes up through the day, often a driver pushes harder – and just tries harder – and that doesn’t help.
As you know, it’s the opposite that works the best – relaxing and simply focusing on the specific techniques it takes to drive well. What would happen if you solely focused on looking into the End-of-Braking point and on how smoothly you released the brakes? Or on being smooth with your steering? Or focusing on looking even further ahead? Or on committing to full throttle sooner? Would that help stop you from trying so hard? I don’t know if you’re trying too hard, but it could be – and you might not even know.