Image of a car rotating through a race track corner

All contests of speed involve making use of (and enjoying the feeling of) g-forces. Different types of vehicles create those forces in different ways; airplanes rely on jet thrust and aerodynamic forces, motor boats rely on turbine thrust and displacement of water, and cars rely on the grip generated by the tires. For any performance driver, understanding how tires work is critical to our ability to extract and use the maximum forces they have to offer. Understanding slip angle “Slip angle” may be one of the most misunderstood terms in performance driving. Here are some things that slip angle is NOT: Slip angle is simplyRead More →

At the 2022 SCCA Solo National Championships and Pro Solo Championships, 7 students of The Complete Autocrosser’s Manual won their first national championship titles, and 2 others won their second championship. I asked each of them the following question… “In what ways have you improved your driving/performance that contributed to your win? This could be anything! It could be a mental approach, some specific driving techniques, better car prep, skipping breakfast, anything at all. There is NO pressure/expectation to say anything BeST related. I am looking for a real/honest exploration of what improvements helped you get the win this year.” You’ll notice a slew ofRead More →

We’ve heard it a million times; look ahead more! This is drilled into us by instructors, books, videos, online courses, racing schools, etc. There are some obvious reasons why looking ahead is important, but there are also some lesser discussed nuances that I think are important to talk about. Let’s go over some of these, and then talk through a few practical ways to get better at looking ahead. There are 3 reasons we need to look ahead… that all build on one another. 1st, we need to look ahead to give our brains the visual information it needs to draw smooth arcs from whereRead More →

While it sucks that most of us are stuck at home right now unable to participate in motorsports activities, we can choose to use the time productively and get better prepared to kick butt when racing activities pick back up. There are, of course, innumerable things we could be doing; we could work on our cars to make them faster, we could turn to sim racing, we could enroll in online courses, and so on. But today, let’s focus on 2 specific things that anyone can do without spending a dime. 1. Review past performances Take advantage of this down time to review your pastRead More →

Take a moment to consider how most of us think about driving through a corner. We might think about nailing our braking point, getting our downshifts right, turning in at just the right moment, trail braking through the entry, carrying as much speed as possible, clipping the apex, powering out of the corner, unwinding the steering wheel, and keeping the car in balance as our speed carries us right to the edge of the track. Depending on the shape of a particular corner, some of these steps may blur together or may not even apply. But if we are trying to maximize our speed aroundRead More →

After a year of focusing almost exclusively on autocross related content, let’s turn our attention to something most applicable for track driving, though still applicable to all forms of racing. A student of the Beyond Seat Time online course (The Complete Autocrosser’s Manual) brought this to my attention. Some of you may have come across this before, but it was new to me, and definitely something worth sharing! Race Optimal, conceived of and built by Ricky Vesel, is a website/service that has a library of 100s of race tracks from around the world, and uses simulations and computations to find the best line around theRead More →

No matter what form of motorsports you participate in, there has likely been a time when you sought out advice from someone else about how to go faster. When choosing who to get advice from, we typically reach out to the fastest driver we know. Of course, this makes sense. When we look for for an A/C repairman, financial advisor, or any other professional service provider, we want to know what their credentials are; we want to know what makes them qualified to help us. From that perspective, “lap times” are the credentials of a performance driver, so we feel confident that the fastest driversRead More →

In case you missed it, round 1 of this test is here. Last time, on medium grip asphalt, the Bridgestone RE71R edged out the BFGoodrich Rival-S 1.5 by 0.3 seconds on my 2009 Corvette Z06 prepped for A-Street (front sway bar, double adjustable shocks). For round 2, a couple of things were different: I made some shock adjustments that have made the car much better behaved in high speed transitions, and… More importantly, this test was done on high grip concrete. The airport concrete at this site is very similar in grip and feel to what we see at the SCCA Autocross National Championships inRead More →

Here at BeST, we’ve always tried to dispel some of the well-intentioned, but ultimately inaccurate pieces of advice that get handed down from driver to driver over the years. We’ve talked about how there is a limit to how smooth we want to be, we saw that sacrificing the first corner in a pair of linked corners is not always the right answer, we established that getting on the gas before the apex is a misguided pursuit, etc. Today, we turn our attention to another oft repeated phrase; that looser is faster. Let’s examine this idea a little more closely, and see what truths andRead More →

Here are the results from round #1 (of 2) of my test of the top 2 autocross tires; the BFGoodrich Rival-S 1.5 vs the Bridgestone RE71R. This was tested on my 2009 Corvette Z06 prepped for A-Street (Strano front sway bar, Koni 30-series double adjustable shocks). Let’s get this out of the way first. Everyone has their own ideas of the “proper” way to test tires. Given unlimited runs, unlimited time, the ability to setup my own test course, etc etc, I may have done things differently. But given that my testing was during the course of a regular autocross event (I double entered), IRead More →