Page 18 - PCA Metro NY Region POST
P. 18

Track Driving is a Thinking Game
Think about this for a moment: The actual physical actions used when driving on the racetrack are very simple and easy to do – you turn the steering wheel, press on the gas and brake pedals, and shift up and down. If you have a PDK car, you don’t even have
to do any shifting. So it’s actually easy to drive a car on the track, right? Not really, because track driving is a thinking game.
The 2018 track season is finished, so all we can do is think about our track driving. Let’s use this off-season to advantage.
Don’t Do Stupid Stuff
The first thing is Don’t Do Stupid Stuff. I was recently this fall at Summit Point for a non-PCA event. Temperatures in the mornings were in the mid-30s. Two guys went out charging first thing in their R-compound track-tire equipped cars. They crashed. Hello!! All tires need to warm up before they give good grip -- R-compounds in particular. And in cold weather it takes even lon- ger. Use your brain!!
Graham Hill is the only driver to have won rac- ing’s Triple Crown – winning the Indy 500, Le Mans 24 hours and the Monaco Grand Prix. He must really have his head on right, yes? Gener- ally, he did, but one time he didn’t. I was at the Watkins Glen 1969 US Grand Prix and Hill, driv- ing for Lotus, got a tire puncture. He got out to take look (they did stuff like that years ago) and
then got back in to drive to the pits for a new tire. He didn’t re-fasten his seat belts, figuring that he’d be going slowly back to the pits. This was a bad move. The tire exploded, the car rolled and he broke both legs. He missed 9 months of rac- ing.
In 1992 Roberto Guerrero qualified on the pole for the Indy 500. He crashed on the parade lap and never even got to the green flag.
Use good judgement when you’re on track. The consequences of poor judgement can be expen- sive, or worse. Decisions have consequences.
Start slowly
I spend my winters skiing. Like most of the other people, I hadn’t been on skis since the previous spring. Many of the regulars talk about getting their “ski-legs” back at the beginning of each season. We start slowly and try to re-acquaint ourselves with the techniques we were familiar with during the last season but haven’t used for months, such as leaning down the hill, weight
on the downhill ski, edging, etc. In my own case, at the end of last ski season I had mentally filed away some key techniques I had been working on mastering, and as I hit the slopes in late fall, I immediately did my best to work on properly re- implementing them. This concept is just as valid for track driving. When the snows are off the pavement and we hit the track in 2019 let’s start slowly and build up speed. And let’s work on Hitting our Marks, No Coasting, Applying Throttle early in the turn, and so on before we go for our ultimate speed runs.
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Track Ramblings

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