In rough terms, the speed at which you can apply the brake pedal is related to your spring and damper rate. The stiffer the spring and damper the faster weight transfers so the quicker the front tyres load up and generate more traction allowing you to brake harder. The softer the spring and damper, the slower you need to apply the brake as the weight transfers forward more slowly taking longer to load the front tyres, which generates the traction to allow you to brake hard.
Unless you are driving a ‘downforce’ car, then just hit the pedal as quick and as hard as you can. The downforce is already pushing the tyre into the track generating traction and in anything with GT3 or higher levels of downforce its almost impossible to block the brake at speed as the downforce generates more traction than the brake can overcome.
It’s tempting, at this time of year, to kick back and relax. The new season is ages away, right?
Start your prep now. If you don’t I can guarantee someone else on the grid has already started their prep and you want to start the season as prepared as you can be, not be playing catch-up.
I’m issuing you a challenge for the winter: learn how to make data work for you.
Spend time looking at your chosen data analysis software and learn all it can offer. The more you know about it the better weapon it is in your arsenal. Learn to read all the data efficiently and fluently so you can identify all the ways it can show where improvements can be made in your driving.
This will give you a big advantage in 2019 in getting up to speed quickly and maximising your performance.
If you need any help with your data analysis drop me a line and I’ll be happy to book a coaching slot for you.
Finishing off the last working day of the year today with the end of a 2 week event giving guests the opportunity to ‘Be The First’ to drive the fantastic new BMW 8 Series.
December and January are often quieter months in the motorsport community as the weather can preclude any decent tracktime so at LearnToRace HQ I’ll be using the time to build a simulator to enable track familiarisation and coaching sessions to be done all year round.
Updates will be on here during the build process and the simulator will be open for business in the New Year.
After a safety car period you will have a single-file rolling restart. These differ from normal rolling starts in a number of fundamental ways.
Firstly, with a restart, you will line up single file rather in a two-by-two grid formation. Secondly, with a rolling start as soon as the red light goes out the race is on however with a restart the race only begins when you cross the start/finish line so you cannot overtake until you cross this line.
As with a rolling start, if you are not the race leader, follow the car in front as close as you can but there is no need to look at the lights, just focus on the cars in front and as soon as they go: you go. If you are the leader back the pack up as you approach the last third of the lap, make sure the safety car has pitted before you increase speed. Try to catch the following cars unawares with when you get back on the power, if you can make a gap to the car behind here you will have a clear advantage.
This time of year is all about relaxing and excess but if you want to perform next season do a bit of work to keep sharp over the break.
Turn down that second mince pie, keep going for a run or your trips to the gym, review your previous performances, practice on a simulator (or try to persuade your partner that your new Xbox is not just for FIFA, Forza and Fortnite, its an investment in your mental preparation…) and best of all get to your local kart track and turn some laps. The kart will handle completely differently to your normal ride but it will keep your mind and skills honed.
I see so many drivers throwing away track-time on rolling starts either through poor positioning or poor preparation.
Firstly, listen to the Clerk of the Course during the drivers briefing, if they have their own quirks, rules or things they look out for you need to know this. For example, some clerks are adamant that each column of cars is lined up over the grid markings as they approach the line so if you poke your nose out of the line the start is likely to be aborted. Other clerks can be less fussy about this aspect but might be more concerned with approach speed for example.
If you are on pole then you set the pace once the pace car has peeled off to the pits. You want to be at roughly the requested speed (usually between 40 and 60 kph) but pick a speed that suits you and your car. You don’t want the engine spinning near the top of its rev range as the moment the red light goes out you will run out of revs and have to shift. You want the engine speed to be just about to reach peak torque, as this will give you the most acceleration, but with enough headroom to accelerate cleanly without needing to shift too soon.
If you are further back in the pack make sure you are right on the bumper of the car in front, any gap you leave to the car in front of you is tracktime you are throwing away. As your speed will be dictated by the speed of the pack around you you may have more of a compromise in terms of gears and engine speed but the same rules apply: lowest possible gear with room to accelerate without shifting. Look at the lights and use your peripheral vision to keep a check on the car in front. Also be prepared to move out of line immediately to both defend your position from the car behind and attack the car in front.