May 2, 2022

What is the best/fastest way of learning the limit of your car, in a safe way?

Coach Thumbnail

Blayze Newsletter

car racing

Hey Racers welcome to the Blayze racing newsletter where every week you will get an answer to a racing question you ponder about after every session, a video will make your jaw drop, and one article that will change your racing life in one simple email.

So, let’s wave this green flag and get right into it. Oh and if you aren’t a subscriber yet but need this in your life just enter your details below!

What is the best/fastest way of learning the limit of your car, in a safe way?

For our Blayze+ members, we actually hosted a call on this subject in April. Members can view that here.

A great quote I heard from Ken Hill (a fantastic Blayze coach btw), “EVERYONE wants to go faster. Anyone at the race track that tells you they are happy at their current pace is bullshitting you.”

I think that’s spot on… I mean why else do we do it right? But, the question is how do we go faster without increasing risk too much?

Some will teach you that trail braking is evil and too risky for beginning drivers. Why is this such a bad idea? Well, there is one major reason: we all want to go faster and eventually we all try to go faster!

When we teach drivers that trail braking is bad, we are actually teaching them incorrect technique. What happens when you mix going faster with incorrect technique? Well, it usually ends with a very expensive bang.

The truth is the fast way & the safe way are usually the same. As a pro I don’t say to myself, “well it’s qualifying time, time to throw away all my technique and risk the car!” No, I want to go fast and I want to drive safe.

When I think about finding the limit of a new car I think about doing it in two areas:

  • Initial brake zone
  • Slow speed corners

I like to focus on these two areas because I can reduce risk while working up to the limit and stepping over the limit a little bit.

My first focus is on ramping up to peak brake pressure early in the brake zones. Our peak longitudinal G (think braking/acceleration) is going to be roughly the same as our peak lateral G (think cornering speed). Increasing our lateral G too early is usually where we get in trouble.

So, the first thing I want to do to figure out how much grip a car has is by seeing how quickly I can get it to stop in a braking zone. I’m not trying to brake deep yet, in fact I’m braking way early but just hitting the brakes very hard until I either get lock up or get into the ABS right away.

Our body is pretty amazing at feeling the peak G’s in the brake zone and naturally relating that to how much speed we can bring into a corner. So, by backing up our brake zones and hitting the brakes hard we are in a safe spot to step over the limit. Since we broke early that means when we do go over the limit and lock up or get heavy into the ABS we have the space to just release off the brakes a bit.

Once I’ve got that figured out I turn my attention to slow speed corners and rolling in speed until I just miss the apex point or I just miss where I want to pick up the throttle.

We pick 2 low risk areas to experiment slowly working up to the limit, going over the limit, and then backing it back down to the limit. Oh… and this isn’t something I do just once a weekend. The limit is ALWAYS changing so it’s something I’m playing with at a lesser level throughout the weekend.

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

Video of the week: Apex To Apex Vision

One of the coolest videos I saw all week was this video that showed exactly where the driver was looking and when. Apparently go-pros have some sort of new focus vision which enables this.

I found it cool because you can really see where the driver is looking and that they are doing a pretty good job at keeping those eyes up. Things happen quickly in karting which can challenge our eyes even more than cars or bikes.

Click here to check it out!

Article of the week: What is understeer & how can you get rid of it?

racecar-understeering

Want to get better at overtaking? Of course you do!

Becoming a masterful overtaker takes timing, vision, patience, decisiveness, and creativity. In this weeks article we break down how to become. agreat overtaking driver by studying a pass that left our jaws on the table!

Click here to watch a pass of the ages and learn how you can replicate it on your opposition.