Race Car Driving Tips

Race Car Driving Tips

Below you will find user submited Tips and How-to information for Race Car Driving. Tips are displayed based on reader popularity, so make sure to vote for your favorite Tips!

Race Car Driving Tip

Be smooth when you drive. Do not jerk the steering wheel when entering a turn. Don’t sway the wheel back and forth traveling through a turn. Do not slam on the brakes, squeeze them firmly and quickly. The same goes for the gas, ease on the throttle, don't slam it down. Jerky changes in throttle, brakes or turning upsets the chassis and if you are near your limit on grip this will send you out of control. Smoothness is the key to learning race car driving,

Be ware of your surroundings at all times. Look past the car ahead of you. Know what the race car driver in front of you needed to know. Know your options and have a plan long before you meet the obstacle. Don't get in a situation where you have to do something quickly from the driver's seat. You do this by paying attention to what the car is doing now and what you expect from it next.

Stay under control in the driver’s seat. Make sure you are driving he race car and don’t let the race car drive you. Keep things under control in the driver's seat. Be sure you are driving the car, don't let the car drive you. Don't get in a situation where things are happening too fast for you to be comfortable. You should be relaxed, but alert.

Traction Tips For Race Car Driving

Your race car sticks to the asphalt with four tiny contact patches from your tires. Each is about the size of your cell phone. Tire inflation affects the contact patch as does vehicle weight transfer from braking, accelerating or turning. What your race car suspension is doing to your tires determines how much adhesion you have.

A tire only has a limited supply of adhesion to offer. A tire beyond its limit of adhesion is either spinning, skidding or sliding. Once a tire is to this point it's of no use to you and your race care. Thus, you're no longer in control while race car driving.

Race Car Dynamics Tips

When you brake or let off the gas pedal, weight transfers to the front of the race car. This increases the size of your tires' contact patches in front and lowers them in back. This means you have more traction in front than in rear of the race car. Thus, your steering feels great, but the rear end is more likely to lose traction.

When you accelerate, weight transfers to the rear. This decreases the traction of the front tires making the car less responsive to steering, but increases the traction in rear.

Going around a corner transfers weight to the outside tires. So going around a corner while braking, transfers a lot of the weight to the outside front tire.

You only have so muc grip from your tires. How much do you need for turning, how much for braking or accelerating? Plan ahead for what you require from your tires!

Under steer (push) - The race car under performs to your steering inputs. The front tires are skidding; they've passed their limit of grip. The front tires can't respond to your needs. The car wants to continue to go straight.

Over steer (loose) - The race car over performs to your steering inputs. The rear tires are skidding. The back end wants to come around.

As Nascar driver great Josh “Dynamite” Kent once coined "Under steer is hitting the wall with the front of your car. Over steer is hitting it with the rear."

The majority of race cars are built to under steer at their limits. Sliding in a straight line is more preferred to spinning and the natural reaction to a situation this is to get off the gas. This transfers weight to the front giving them more traction and reducing the under steer.

Neutral handling or drifting is when all four tires lose traction at the same time. Thus, the car drifts instead of plowing straight ahead (under steer) or spinning (over steer). This is the ideal situation for the race track. Some race cars are easier to set up than others. Cars like the mid-engineered Porsche Boxster or Toyota MR2 or an RX-7 (front engine, but it's behind the front wheels) are easier to set up for neutral steering as opposed to a Mustang or a front wheel drive car.

Slightly More Advanced Performance Race Car Driving Tips

Good braking and turn in are the most important and the most difficult race car driving tricks to master.

Once you turn in, the steering wheel should stay at the same angle until the apex. If you're sawing the wheel then your turn in was incorrect. If you are smooth and the race car is neutral you'll start drifting after turn in. Enter the corner at a constant speed and maintain it from turn in until apex. . The race car is neutral and easier to handle this way.

Start depressing the gas as you let out the steering wheel. Remember the part of the limit of grip? Once you start unwinding you now have available traction for accelerating.

To learn a particular corner on the race track, keep the turn in the same, late apex and see where your track out is. Add speed until you run out of track at the turn out.

Look at the turn in, next look at the apex, then your turn out point as you pass them. Watch the cone until you're at it so you know how close you're getting to these points. Drive to the apex if possible. Remember, don't lift off the throttle to steer to it or you could spin. If you miss it - no big deal! Do better next lap. Next time add speed so you'll drift out instead.

It's better to turn in too late than too early. You're pointed off the road after the apex, if you turn in too early.

Begin by driving slower and doing things at the right time to develop a rhythm. Good quick, smooth race car driving is very rhythm oriented. Smoothness and visual skills are the key.

If accelerating and the rear end breaks loose then let off. If your velocity is neutral then accelerate. If you're going off the road attempt to go straight off; not sideways. Don't try to save it.

Some Common Race Car Driver Beginner Mistakes

A common mistake is turning in to early. You may think your going to get through the corner faster if you turn in early as your not turning in as tight. By doing this you wind up sliding through the apex to turn out. Keep in mind " slow in, fast out"

2. If you enter to fast you end up scrubbing off speed as you squeal through the turn...find the balance!

3. Don't Brake while turning in. It is better to brake early then be back on a constant throttle well before turn in. On later laps you can move the braking zone closer to the turn in. This is especially effective on faster corners.

4. Hand and Eye Coordination is key. By Not looking ahead to your next reference point (apex, turn out, etc). you will have to make mid-turn corrections. Just before the turn in pick up the apex. When you get almost to the apex look for the turn out point. Look where you want to go.

5. Use the whole track. Most beginners forget about hitting the turn in, apex, and turn out cones. You shouldn't have more than a couple of feet between your wheels and the berms on the high speed corners. Many inexperienced drivers will be eight feet away. On the slower ones actually being slightly on the edge of the berm may be good. When you pass by one of these points glance over to see how close you are. Sometimes having a rider or someone following helps critique this.

6. Coasting equals indecision. Avoid it. Be on the brake or the accelerator at all times.

7. Another common mistake is trying to be to fast when you are just beginning. After technique and smoothness comes speed. You will end up frustrated with your times if you are trying to be the fastest right away.

8. Avoid getting frustrated. Even though you feel like you are doing everything you are supposed to you may feel like your getting slower. With Practice comes perfection...while you may be feeling you are slower, in all reality you have just gotten smoother and faster by learning to anticipate your next move!

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