JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/18/21 10:04 a.m.

Measuring success is easy when the stopwatch is ticking: Just look at the results, and you have a pretty good idea of how the meet went. 

But for those running non-competitive track events, success is not measured simply in lap times or positions, but in the overall satisfaction and fun of driving your car at the limit. Without the objective …

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Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/18/21 10:21 a.m.

This is a good one! I would say it applies to semi-competitive track days as well, such as the new SCCA Time Trial program. Don't drive tired is a big one! Look at how drained I am after the final session:

 

fearlesfil
fearlesfil New Reader
11/16/21 2:38 p.m.

That tired thing is a thing. After my first day of the first Bob Bondurant (RIP) course I took at Sears Point (Sonoma) raceway, I went back to the hotel, sat on the edge of the bed to watch the news, and woke up hours later still in my sweaty racing suit. Staying 100% focused during multiple track sessions while fun, really is work... Taking the cool down lap and even a bit of puttering around the pits is sage advice. My brakes have been fine on track, only to boil in the pits, necessitating having to re-bleed them... Lastly, the more your eyes are kept up and looking well ahead, the fewer mistakes you'll make, the easier it will be to anticipate what other cars are doing, and the more relaxed and fun your sessions will be. 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
11/16/21 3:13 p.m.

I like the emphasis on smoothness.  The whole "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" thing really works.  Many times I've gone back to look at data and found out that what I thought was a throw-away lap was actually my fastest lap of a session.

But I also think smoothness is a corollary to a higher principle: the fastest way around the track is on the best line.  Drive as fast as you can drive and still be on the perfect line, and no faster.  Most drivers I've instructed put down one or two good smooth laps, then as their confidence grows they start to overdrive themselves off the racing line, ultimately turning slower laps.

The last thing that I think is really important: pick one thing, and only one thing, to work on improving every session.  One turn, one brake zone, etc.  Then focus all your mental energy on getting that thing as perfect as you can.  For beginner drivers, fixing only one thing can often pick up an entire second or more in each session.  Data and coaching can really help identify what that one thing should be!

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