Driving Technique
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"Set goals and work on turns, one corner at a time, during each session.  Otherwise you are just repeating bad habits."

Anatomy of the Perfect Turn and Other Tips

by Michael Allen

 

 anatomyofacorner

 

Apex

An apex is the midpoint of a turn.

Apexing late is good.  Apexing early is bad.

Apexing late gives you more speed exiting the corner.

Apexing late positions you correctly to get the car pointed straight down the track earlier.

The earlier you are pointed straight, the faster you can go as you exit the corner and move toward the straight.

Beginners often turn in too soon because they are anxious to get the turning started. Force yourself to wait, wait, wait.

Every mile per hour of corner exit speed multiplies all the way down the following straight.

While driving, talk yourself through each turn:  Say to yourself:  "turn in," "apex," "track out" as you hit each point.

Analyze

Analyze the track and prioritize the turns as follows:

Turns leading to long straights are top priority

Turns after long straights are next in priority

Turns leading to turns are low priority

Don't take a low priority turn too fast and then enter a high priority turn out of position.

Make sure you go into the turn slow enough that you don't have to lift your foot off the gas pedal as this will cause you to lose exit speed.

If you have to lift in the middle of a turn because you went in too hot, you botched your exit speed.

Coasting

Your goal is to never coast on a track.

Work on either being on the gas or on the brakes - Don't coast.

Grip

All of your grip comes from four tire contact patches the size of a fist.

Manage your total amount of available grip.

If you use 60% of your available grip while braking and 50% while turning, you then exceed your total available grip of 100%.

Get all of your braking and downshifting done in a straight line before starting to turn.

Consistency and Smoothness

Strive for consistency and smoothness.

Squeeze on the throttle.

Squeeze on the brakes.

As you unwind the wheel coming out of a turn, press on the gas pedal proportionately and evenly.

Always be in control of the steering wheel. 

Learn to shuffle steer, so pull down or push up.

Markers

Look for markers around the track.

Go slow at first in order to find your markers.

Find a marker to start braking before turns.

Once you find your marker, practice braking at the same marker on every lap and keep doing it until you are consistent.

Once consistent, delay your braking marker in small increments.

Brake later and later until you get to the point where you are braking too late and sacrificing exit speed.

Now you have found your maximal braking point.

This is how to work on each turn individually all the way around the track one turn at a time.

Find a marker to turn in.

Hit that marker consistently.

Ocular Driving

Always be looking ahead on the track.  Do not focus at the ground directly in front of the car.

When hitting your braking point, your eyes should be on the apex of the turn.

When you turn in, your eyes should be on the the track out point.

At the track out point, your eyes should be looking all the way down the straight.

You do not have to look at the apex to hit the apex.

Allow the apex to simply be in the periphery.

Force yourself to look way down the track.  This will make you smoother.  This is called ocular driving.

Final Advice

Set goals and work on turns, one corner at a time, during each session.  Otherwise you are just repeating bad habits.

 

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