Think and drive: how to improve your circuit driving techniques

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Have you ever wanted to drive your car on a race track? Maybe you have already done this and you wish to learn to drive a faster cleaner line, or improve your lap times? Have you wondered how good driver can make their cars take turns calmly at almost unbeleivable speeds? 

Μάνθος Παρτσινέβελος Porsche

Here are some tips from Porsche National Instructor at Porsche Club of America, NASA and HOD, Manthos Partsinevelos

What do you need to do to improve your smoothness and become a better driver? First step is Control – with capital ”C”.

Learn the car, no jerky movements, smooth steering inputs wind and unwind smooth.

Squeeze your gas pedal, smooth inputs like you have an egg between your foot and the gas pedal.

Practice smooth gear shifts/braking smooth, initial hard pressure and gentle brake release, start practicing on your street driving.

Rules, yes many rules driving at the track means you need to look ahead, slow transition from gas to brake and from brake to gas the transition should not upset the suspension and the entrance of the apex.

You need to be totally relaxed, and understand the car is talking to you and you need to pay attention.

Smooth is fast, tires heat and get to the max grip and stay there, do you know fast corners, slow hands and slow corners fast hands?

How do you achieve the best entrance to the apex? Smooth braking to transfer the weight of the car for maximum balance and smooth transition to the gas at the exit of the apex

Chris Delantonis

Second step, learn to read data

If you’re lucky and you have a coach you’re good, if not?

Then you need to do some reading, get a lap timer on your phone.

After each session spend time to see what it was your best lap time, remember brakes are to help you approach a corner at the maximum potential speed not to slow you down so focus on your best lap time and look at the video what you did on that specific lap.

Work on your braking

Did you say braking? 

Yes, every time that you apply the brakes you’re losing seconds.

Remember we use the brakes to transfer the weight of the car so we have maximum grip at the entrance of the corner.

If you focus in smoothness and realize that by using your brakes to achieve the maximum grip at the entrance of the apex, when and how you release the brake at the apex and how soon you can accelerate, the faster the car will be at the exit.

If you work on that, you doing a very good job.

As Mario Andretti once said, ”it is amazing how many drivers, even at the Formula One Level, think the brakes are for slowing the car down”

Χάμιλτον AMG Project ONE

Photo: Manthos Partsinevelos

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