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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 ( 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 →

Photo by Perry Bennett -

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 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 →