This is the second part in a 2-part series… Explained: Weight transfer vs body roll (part 1) Explained: Weight transfer vs body roll (part 2) Last time, we dissected the components of weight transfer, understood why we want to reduce it as much as possible, and saw that our only means through which to do so are vehicle weight, CG height, and width. We also established that reducing body roll makes no appreciable different to the amount of weight transfer. However, body roll brings about various problems of its own which we need to understand and try to solve for. The trouble we run intoRead More →

This is the first part in a 2-part series… Explained: Weight transfer vs body roll (part 1) Explained: Weight transfer vs body roll (part 2) Body roll and weight transfer are amongst the most misunderstood aspects of vehicle dynamics. The physics of vehicle dynamics is indeed incredibly complex, but the problem is exacerbated by the sheer amount of really bad (and dead wrong) information that is often passed along from other well intentioned but misinformed drivers. In this post, we will attempt to clear up these oft confused concepts, and try do so in terms that are easy to follow. Cause and effect Many people,Read More →

In the pursuit of lowering our lap times, our primary task is to keep the vehicle as close to the edge of grip as possible, on the optimal line. In order to do this effectively, we have many sensory inputs at our disposal (steering feel, seat of the pants g-forces, visuals, sound, etc), and while they are all useful to varying degrees, some of them may not be giving us as much valuable information as we think. Unfortunately the most commonly relied upon sensory inputs aren’t necessarily chosen for how accurate they are, but for how easy they are to pick up on. A lotRead More →

We’ve probably spent months, maybe even years, fine tuning the handling of our cars. We have probably spent even more time learning how to extract the most out of a car that is balanced perfectly for our driving styles. Having confidence and predictability in our vehicle’s handling is vital to extracting the most out of it in the heat of competition. But the fact is, no matter what kind of racing we are involved in, sometimes the car just isn’t going to behave as well as we want it to. For road racers, the most common causes of this include tire degradation, changing fuel loads,Read More →

Photo by Perry Bennett - http://autoxpix.com/

The unbending truth is that a race has exactly one winner. Every other competitor loses, and depending on their expectations, each of them has to deal with varying degrees of the emotions that come with losing. A single loss can be hard enough to deal with, let alone a string of losses that shake our very ability to perform. No matter what the sport, every competitor hates losing, and for good reason! Besides the blow to the ego, losing actually hurts; not in an abstract way, but in a very real manner! It makes your stomach churn, changes your blood pressure, constricts thousands of muscles,Read More →

This is the final part in a 3-part series… Part 1: Identifying and fixing execution errors Part 2: Identifying and fixing errors in our game plan Part 3: What to look for when analyzing video In the previous 2 parts of this series, we learned how to get better at identifying execution errors as they happen, and how to identify errors in our game plan during a run. The techniques we went over gave us the tools needed to perform our best and fix our mistakes while we are on track. But in order to instill deeper habits that translate to improved performance over time,Read More →

This is the second part in a 3-part series… Part 1: Identifying and fixing execution errors Part 2: Identifying and fixing errors in our game plan Part 3: What to look for when analyzing video Last time, we talked about how to use visualization to identify execution errors as they happen. Of course, doing so assumes that our visualized game plan is correct to begin with. But what if our visualized game plan itself is wrong? Before we can identify errors with our game plan, we need to consider how we go about coming up with our visualized game plan. While we’ve established that creating detailed visualizations isRead More →

This is the first in a 3-part series of posts… Part 1: Identifying and fixing execution errors Part 2: Identifying and fixing errors in our game plan Part 3: What to look for when analyzing video Have you ever known a driver to come back after an autocross run or track lap, say something like “I left 4 tenths out there”, and on their next run they end up going 4 tenths faster? How did they know that?? How were they able to accurately figure out how much time they left out there, and then go find it? There is nothing mysterious about this, and overRead More →

Corner entry is arguably the single most challenging aspect of competitive driving. Braking, which is a major component of corner entry, is really challenging in its own regard. Our terminal speed on the preceding straight is determined by when we begin braking, our turn in is affected by how we release the brakes, our entry speed and the line we take around the corner is dictated by all of that and more. So today, let’s discuss how to optimize usage of visual cues when braking for a corner. We make driving decisions based on various sensory inputs, or cues. Some of these cues are auditory (tire noise,Read More →

When it comes to driving techniques, approaches, or styles, there are a number of choices that drivers are presented with. And we spend enormous amounts of time debating, both internally and with others, which of those choices is better. We obsess over left foot braking vs. right foot braking, shuffle steering vs. not moving your hands, trail braking vs. braking in a straight line, setting up a car to be loose vs. pushy, cutting distance vs. using more space, and the list goes on. We will explore all of those choices (some of which are real and impactful, and some of which are false) in futureRead More →