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 →

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 we are told about late apexing and early throttle is true. Certainly, getting on the gasRead 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 →

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 →