Page 18 - PCA Metro NY Region POST
P. 18

Random track thoughts
Listen to your car. It may be telling you something important. I’m just back from Watkins Glen with another PCA region. While I was there during the morning I decided that the first topic of this month’s article would be a very, very important observation to my
readers: When you are on track if you feel something possibly wrong with your car, do not ignore this feeling. This came into my mind because of a time years ago at the Glen when my car behaved very weirdly in one turn. I rationalized this as an aberration – maybe I went over a patch of oil on the track or something. A few turns later I did a massive spin-out and fortu- nately didn’t hit anything. It turned out that I had a puncture in a tire. Do not dismiss a symptom as imaginary, or “not so bad” or “it’ll probably get better by itself.” Pull into the pits and figure out what the prob- lem is. These problems do not go away by themselves.
Later on during that day after 3 sessions with no issues at all, I heard a clicking noise upon braking. The car behaved fine but there was this very unusual noise, so I didn’t want to take any chances and I pulled into the garage. Fortunately, Speedsport Tuning was at this event pro- viding support. One of their guys spent time with me and concluded that one of the studs which hold the brake calipers
in place was backing out of its proper lo- cation. He fixed the problem and all was well. This could have been a major ca- tastrophe if I hadn’t paid attention to what seemed to be a very minor symptom. Do not ignore what your car is telling you!
Hand signals
Track Ramblings
Hand signals are discussed at every driv- ers meeting every day, yet they are often performed poorly. I can’t say it strongly enough – abiding by the passing rules and hand signals is the number one rea- son that Driver Ed is so safe. I often see drivers giving improper signals. I’ll pro- vide the correct signals here:
• Pass me on the left side of my car. Stick your arm straight out of the car and point to the left with your fingers.
• Pass me on the right side of my car. Stick your arm out of the car, bend your elbow over the roof and point to the right with your fingers. (Don’t rest your arm on the roof; it is much harder for people be- hind you to see it that way.)
• I am pitting in. Stick your hand out the window and bend your elbow so your hand is pointing upwards.
It’s really pretty easy, but too often I see anemic signaling – a hand slightly poked out the window which is difficult to see, or a hand which starts out pointing to the left which then goes over the roof, pointing right. That one can be very confusing for the passing car. Be bold and clear! The driver behind you needs to know your in- tent unambiguously.
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