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Driving style help

Old 05-01-08, 04:17 PM
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Driving style help

i really noticed this at VIR last time. i tend to run my turns too tightly and am not using enough track. does anyone have any tips that might help?
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Old 05-01-08, 04:45 PM
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Take a few sessions and hit every curb on entry and exits of the turns. Right now, you basically aren't going fast enough. When you aren't going fast enough, it's hard to use all the track so you have to force yourself to do it. Try tapping the curbs on entry and exit as that will start you getting used to using all the track.
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Old 05-01-08, 05:43 PM
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Follow somebody who knows the track AND is a good driver. Finding that combo can be hard to do though.
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Old 05-01-08, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jgrewe View Post
Follow somebody who knows the track AND is a good driver. Finding that combo can be hard to do though.
i was following a guy in a porsche 914 that seemed to be pretty good, but then he went into the tire wall @ the oak tree.
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Old 05-01-08, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PierceSA22 View Post
i was following a guy in a porsche 914 that seemed to be pretty good, but then he went into the tire wall @ the oak tree.


Too funny, I love watching guys follow somebody off the track. They were driving somebody elses line. You have to be careful not to use the guy in front of you as your brake or turn in 'mark' when racing. In HPDE's you can get away with it because you should really only be at about 8/10ths.
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Old 05-01-08, 07:33 PM
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Slow down a bit. When you start pinching the corners down, and hurrying in, it's often because the speed is getting to you.

Think about it: if you were driving around the track at 10 mph, you'd have no problem running it right out to the dirt...
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Old 05-01-08, 07:34 PM
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You'll probably get all sorts of advice here, so I might as well throw in my two cents.

Relax. Loosen your grip on the wheel. Look up and ahead.

Everything else will come to you in time.
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Old 05-01-08, 09:52 PM
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i takes time and knowlage of the course i went to my first track day last year. It was a small go-kart course wich i think a great way to start out. It took me the weekend to get the use of all of the course. 10 runs and 4 laps per run i went from a 1.075 to a 1.043 minute runs. It just takes time
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Old 05-02-08, 10:16 AM
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Thumbs up Heads up!

The best advice I could give, that has not already been stated, is to keep your eyes up and look at where you want to go and the car will follow. Keep things closer to the car in your peripheral. It will not only make you a smoother driver, it will also let your brain be aware of what will or could happen before it does. Sounds strange but it works. Coming from a motorcross background, there is an old saying that goes like this; see tree hit tree. Simple but true. Some people go as far as putting strips of tape on the windshield about a third of the way up to remind them. Good luck.
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Old 05-02-08, 10:20 AM
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I would also recommend this DVD:

Going Faster

It's not nearly as comprehensive as the book; however, if you are like me books will just put you to sleep. The video has some real good information and tips for helping to find your line at the track, and understand how to translate what the car is doing to adjust your line through turns. I loaned mine out over a year ago and still haven't gotten in back.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:41 PM
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I think that the most important thing really is being aware of your mistakes. Self awareness is something that doesn't particularly come easily in racing. How fast can I really take a given corner is not something that you inherently know but that you have to itch towards at times by the seat of your pants. I would recommend going out for rides with other good drivers if possible, and perhaps even letting them drive your car for a few laps. When your in the drivers seat try your hardest to loosen up and keep your head thinking ahead of the car.

You already have the self awareness of what you are doing wrong, so half the battle is won right there. The reason you keep doing it in myopinion is that your not thinking far enough ahead. You need to start reminding yourself where your track out should be BEFORE you enter the corner so that the whole turn in, apex, and track out trio will be a smooth continuous series. If yousuddenly come to the realization that you need to place the car 3 feet to the right of where you are, and your already tracking out, its too late. Try to visualize your corner exit as you enter the brake zone.

As an HPDE instructor with a couple of clubs I notice that one of the worst mistakes that drivers of all skill levels make is keeping the steering too bound up through a corner, and especially though exit. I amconstantly reminding students to begin unwinding the wheel at the very earliest moment they can. Stop trying to force the car where you want to go, and begin 'suggesting" to it.

The book version of "going faster" is amazing as well, and a truly indispensable read for anyone on track. If it where up to me I would make it mandatory reading before your first track day in any club.

...Just my 2 cents
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Old 05-02-08, 03:00 PM
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i appreciate all of the advice. also, does anyone else have trouble heel and toe-ing in an fb chassis?
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Old 05-02-08, 03:59 PM
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Haven't driven an FB but try moving the seat a little farther back, that was my problem.
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Old 05-02-08, 04:53 PM
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The term "heal and toe" can be misleading. You don't really have to use the heal and the toe. It might be that the side of your foot works for the gas pedal as it is on the brake. I ended up adding some material to my gas pedal.
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Old 05-02-08, 05:40 PM
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What organization are you running with?

BMW CCA has traditionally had some very good instructors and generally require you to spend a lot of time with them in your car. You might want to try and go to one of their events.

A good instructor in the car with you will help you overcome these issues.
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Old 05-03-08, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jgrewe View Post
The term "heal and toe" can be misleading. You don't really have to use the heal and the toe. It might be that the side of your foot works for the gas pedal as it is on the brake. I ended up adding some material to my gas pedal.
Aftermarket pedals (or even just the gas) make it a lot easier to heel and toe and a lot of people use sidestep, just with the people with small feet its actually possible to get your foot stuck between the gas and brake sometimes.
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Old 05-03-08, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by gracer7-rx7 View Post
What organization are you running with?

BMW CCA has traditionally had some very good instructors and generally require you to spend a lot of time with them in your car. You might want to try and go to one of their events.

A good instructor in the car with you will help you overcome these issues.
+1

I started with BMW CCA and formed the right habits from day one. It's the best instruction for the money that I've been able to find.
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Old 05-03-08, 02:59 PM
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Since you are in North Carolina, in addition to BMWCCA, I would suggest NASA-MA and -SE regions and Track Daze. This weekend Mid-Atlantic is running Corolina Motorsports Park, next month TD is running Summit Point Shenandoah. I am an instructor that has come through the NASA HPDE program, though the groups I instruct with are more determined by scheduling than anything else. I have had some OK instructors, and many excellent ones, with the majority being excellent.

Wrankin and Flynbryn gave the advice that I push to my students throughout the entire weekend - Look Ahead. The farther ahead you are looking, the better track position you will have. Adjusting that position with brakes, throttle, and steering input will become instinct, but you will still have to work on keeping your eyes up, looking ahead. This will also make you more aware of what is going on around you... frequently I ask my students what they think of the driving of the car in front of us. This forces the student to evaluate someone elses' driving, which is frequently easier to do (for a beginner) than what Designfreak mentioned - self-evaluation. Eventually, the self-evaluation is the key to moving on to NOT having an instructor.

Good Luck, and have fun!
pete
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Old 05-03-08, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahjik View Post
Take a few sessions and hit every curb on entry and exits of the turns. Right now, you basically aren't going fast enough. When you aren't going fast enough, it's hard to use all the track so you have to force yourself to do it. Try tapping the curbs on entry and exit as that will start you getting used to using all the track.
Well, maybe not hog pen. I've hit the inside curb there exactly twice, and coincidentally I've gone off in hog pen after hitting the curb, exactly twice. It's not a good place to destabilize your chassis.
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Old 05-03-08, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Well, maybe not hog pen. I've hit the inside curb there exactly twice, and coincidentally I've gone off in hog pen after hitting the curb, exactly twice. It's not a good place to destabilize your chassis.
I would guess that you were probably pushing a little harder than our Young Jedi of this thread.

I had the same problem when I started out many years ago. Basically, I wasn't going fast so I wasn't using all the track. There was no need at that speed. My instructor said "Dammit! Hit every curb; entry and exit!". After a session or two of that, I got what he was showing me. I've done this exercise with many students since then and it works great (if not gone to the extreme that is).
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Old 05-13-08, 02:29 PM
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My instructor at laguna seca kept telling me to track out and I couldn't, it felt like a waste. So I sped up and eventually did what he wanted. I would look at the apex when I brake and make sure I can accelerate to it, then id look at my trackout point while I am hitting the apex and kind of understeered to it. Doing this, i was so much faster, I scared my instructor by curbing the trackout points while my car was still loaded. He kept saying that the traction on the curb is different and if I slide out at all I would end up in the wall on the other side.
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