February 20, 2023

How do I drive in lower grip conditions?

Blayze Newsletter

Car Racing

How do I drive in lower grip conditions? Image

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How should I adjust to low grip conditions?

When we lose grip, we little by little lose the ability to be more abrupt with our inputs. Everything on the track comes down to the inputs we make as drivers & riders. In a lower grip scenario here are the main ones I'm thinking about:

  • Initial brake pressure
  • Brake pressure at the end of the braking zone
  • Braking percent after the turn in
  • Speed of how quickly we turn the steering wheel at turn in
  • Initial throttle application
  • Ramping up to full throttle

When I start to lose grip I usually start to feel it first in two major areas:

1. The turn in point through the apex
2. The point at corner exit where I'm usually working it back to full throttle

The first thing to usually go is how much grip I have to turn in and continue to slow the car down, aka trail braking. Tires in the best of circumstances don't like to do two things at once (turning + slowing down in this case) as they lose grip they REALLY don't want to do two things at once.

This means I typically need less brake pressure past the turn in point. How do I do that? Brake earlier! Backing up brake zones is one of the first and most important things to do.

From there the next area I'm focused on is my throttle application point. As the tires begin to wear or the track starts to lose grip I really focus on trying to delay that throttle point until I'm able to unwind the steering wheel. I'm also much more focused on a smooth throttle application curve.

The third area I'm focused on is slowing down how quickly I turn in. If I want to turn in slower but still apex at the same point I have to turn in slightly earlier. You will often see in the heat of the day pro drivers will be turning in slightly early but with slower hands to not load the tires quite as much.

So, major differences:

High grip scenario: I'm thinking about a late brake and later more aggressive turn in with higher brake pressure past the turn in point.

Low grip scenario: I'm backing up my initial brake application to have less brake pressure passed the turn in point with an earlier & slower turn in.

Have a question you want answered? Shoot us an email at [email protected].

Video of the week: Thomas Merrill Trans-Am Race Start

This is one of the most ridiculous race starts I have ever seen. I think Thomas passes like 10+ cars in one corner.

Please note... I actually laugh when I watch this. This type of move works in pro racing but this is a great example of a type of move to NOT do in grassroots racing.

This has a 99% chance of ending in a hard bang and a 1% chance of him not hitting anything - he pulled this off with perfection but it should come with a please don't try this at home warning. Sit back and enjoy though!

Click here to check it out!

And if you aren't watching Trans-Am TA2 races you should be. Some of the best racing on the planet currently!

Article of the week: The science of breath work for athlete

A visual example of what happens in our body during square breathing

I know a lot of our readers don't consider themselves athletes.

Newsflash: If you are reading this it likely means that you care about improving yourself and lowering your lap times on the track. Is that something you are trying to do?

If you answered yes, then you are an athlete!!

As my Blayze+ subscribers hear me talk about on EVERY call (sorry not sorry if you are sick of hearing me talk about this team) but if you care about performance you absolutely need to care about how to breathe.

I know, I know.. I can hear from you, "care about how to breathe? This guy is nuts, of course, I know how to breathe."

I hate to break it to you, but you probably don't know how to breathe correctly and you probably don't know how to utilize your breath to help you as an athlete. It's cool I had no clue either until I went to some offseason training camps at Formula Medicine - these guys used to train Ayrton Senna and still work with plenty of F1 drivers.

This week's article is a must-read for all athletes.

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