Long time readers of this website know that I like to start off each year with a little introspection (and some tough love). Do you know someone who wants to get in better shape, but is still “doing research” on the right workout plan and diet? Or perhaps they already workout somewhat regularly, but haven’t made the progress they want? Maybe you know someone who has been talking about looking for a new job, but has been “working on their resume” for years now? Or, a friend who says they want to meet a new special someone, but refuses to put themselves out there andRead More →

In this video, we will go over what drivers expect from national level autocross courses, and what they DON’T want, as well as cover the parameters and constraints we have to take into account. We’ll spend the bulk of our time talking about how to create a balanced course, and I’ll share some ideas on how to get started. This presentation assumes that you have a grasp on the basic aspects of course design, and the goal is to give you some ideas and things to think about in order to design fun and balanced national level autocross courses. NOTE: This video is an abridged versionRead More →

When it comes to figuring out the racing line, we often hear conflicting advice. We hear autocrossers preach the mantra of cutting distance above all else, while track drivers, as well as most racing education material, talk about using “all of the track” to carry more speed. Who is right? Are the rules different for autocross and track driving? Spoiler alert: The rules for determining the optimal line are identical for autocross and higher speed track driving. But in order to uncover what’s going on, we need some context. We need to uncover the origins of some of the common hand-me-down advice, and understand whyRead More →

A common misconception is that faster drivers do everything better than average drivers. Average autocrossers may lack a few major driving tools/skills. For example, they might struggle with car placement, lack smoothness, etc. They also have a less clear idea of what they are doing wrong or how to fix it. That said, average autocrossers occasionally shine, and collect trophies at national events from time to time. Good autocrossers often make the same mistakes as average autocrossers, but usually recognize their mistakes, and have strategies to avoid those mistakes in the future. Good autocrossers will frequently have success, win national events, but struggle to doRead More →

The greatest challenge in autocross is that we get a very limited set of runs within which to put in our best performance. This is made even harder at national level events, where we only get 3 runs on each course. With only a few opportunities to learn the course, find the right places to attack, fix mistakes, etc, having a well thought out strategy is critical! This brings up the often-asked question… What should we do on our first run? Should we put in a safe/clean run to build on? Should we attack hard to test the limits? What should we do if weRead More →

A lot of this information here comes from the book “The Perfect Corner” by https://www.paradigmshiftracing.com/. Imagine a tight 180 degree turn followed by a long straightaway. We have been taught that in such a scenario, a late apex is critical, because even though it results in a lower minimum speed in the corner (compared to taking a larger constant radius geometric arc), it allows us to get on the gas sooner, giving us a higher exit speed, and we carry that higher speed advantage all the way down the straightaway. Countless books, websites, videos, courses, and instructors talk about this, but unfortunately, not everything weRead More →

Have you ever asked a friend who lost weight and got in really good shape how they did it, and they said “I just watch what I eat and workout a couple of times a week”? Or perhaps you have asked a CEO or a similarly successful person to give you career advice; they commonly say something along the lines of “follow your passion and work hard”. In both of these scenarios, the advice given isn’t wrong, but we intuitively know that it is incomplete. There must be more to it! Why do people who achieve success give us these short, albeit well meaning, butRead More →

Photo by Perry Bennett (http://www.autoxpix.com) We hear experts talk about this with F1, or hear our racing friends lament about it, or perhaps we have experienced it for ourselves over years of competition: There comes a point in time when a driver no longer has the pace that he/she once did. The most common explanation is that reaction time slows down with age, and on the surface that seems like a reasonable justification. But turns out that doesn’t hold up under scrutiny, and in order to really understand what’s going on, we need to think more deeply not just about our physical abilities, but ourRead More →

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 →