How to get serious lap times. About skills, money and fun

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You are hooked on track days, that’s why you are reading this article. You want to get better; we all do. After 3-4 track days you have a good understanding about braking zones, apex etc. You ’ll start to notice everyone is passing you and the car will not go faster, although you’re driving the racing line pretty good

Track day Porsche

Now is the time to start wasting money on car parts and join our club. Just make sure your wife in not aware of that dark side of your life

8 tips to help you get faster lap times

1. A simple trick

You need to replace your rubber brake lines with stainless steel.

It’s inexpensive and will improve your braking response dramatically.

Unlike rubber, stainless steel will not expand thus brake pedal delivery to the calibers will be the exact the pressure that you apply with you foot.

2. Suspension

Suspension will cost you big. Don’t just buy lower springs.

If you want to compete with the best, you need coil-overs fully adjustable, every single rubber bushing on you car needs to go, best stop RSS suspension components, front control arms, drop links, name it and they will supply you.

Adjustable sway bars is a must have on the car along with camber plates.

If you want or make GT3s and Turbo’s envy you and make them feel sweating every time that they look in their rear view mirrors.

Track Day Marmo Racing

3. Bracing

Depending on the car make, a roll bar, strut brace will make the car more responsive on cornering.

Remember: anybody can drive fast on a front straight the trick is how fast you entering the corner and how fast you apply your gas on the exit of the apex, this is the part that trims seconds on your times. 

4. Seating

Good lap timing will never achieved if you are sitting on your 12 ways adjustable factory couch seats.

You ’re not going to the track to have a comfort weekend.

You ’re there to enjoy every single HP that car is giving you so you need a 6 point harness, Hans device is a must and finally get the less comfortable race seats that will help you to become one with the car.

Good race seats talk to you. They transfer every single information that the car is doing. The direct feeling racing seats give you allows you to pay attention to how the car is handling at any given moment

5. Never be overconfident of your driving abilities

Race car drivers race at specific tracks, sometimes 2-3 times a year and at the same time they spend hours on the simulator. Why? 

My answer is the same as before.

6. Visualize

Before I go out on the track, I close my eyes and I visualize the turns, I need to know by memory on what turn I am, on what gear and what speed.

On the track you need to be fully aware of your surrounding and remember weather conditions like humidity. Early morning to late noon time etc.

The tire grip is completely different from the 8am cold to a 2pm temperature, your lap speed and tire pressure need to be constantly monitored

Alfa Romeo 75 Πήλιο

7. Monitor your performance

It’s always a good idea to have a log book to keep track of your lap times.

If you have a very simple app on your phone that can calculate your best lap time, you can go over at the end of the day and see what turns you did best, work on your how firm you apply your brakes.

Remember: Few milliseconds in each turn is over 2 full seconds on a normal 10 turns race track. Monitor weather and tire pressure to archive good lap time 

8. Be humble

Driving fast with confidence on the track and start bragging about lap records need to have patience, learn how the car is communicating, be humble and accept criticism and advice from pro drivers.

When you see a fast driver at the track ask questions. I do that all the time. This is how you learn from other people’s experience. There is nothing wrong if you don’t know few things

Did you know that the GT3 997 cup car for 2005-2011 they all replaced the rear sub-frame, suspension and control arms for the 996? 

Because at the tests they found out that the 996 Cup was 2 sec. faster than the 997 so the Porsche replace everything with the 996. That will be another topic…  

Drive safe and enjoy the track day.  

Chris Delantonis

Photo: Manthos Partsi

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