If you only learn one skill to improve your driving technique it should be the art of smooth driving. On the track, driving smoothly allows you to minimise weight transfers, make the most of every last bit of grip, and maintain control at higher speeds. On the road it makes the drive more comfortable for your passengers and can even increase fuel economy. |
Remember, if you're driving at only 50% of the car's potential, you'll be able to get away with changing gear roughly and braking, accelerating and steering aggressively. But when you're driving near your car's limits these actions can lead to loss of traction, poor track times and increased risk of an accident. It's important to get into good habits even if you're not travelling at break-neck speeds.
When driving on the track , hold the steering wheel at the ten to three position (Diagram 1) to allow fairly tight radius corners to be tackled without having to take your hands off the wheel. If your car requires a large number of turns from lock to lock you should reposition your hands on the wheel accordingly before taking a tight bend. Shuffling your hands is not a smooth technique.
You can brake much faster than you can accelerate so the forces involved have greater potential to unsettle the balance of your car driving and cause loss of traction. Squeeze the brake pedal smoothly, never stamp on the brakes, and try not to get into the habit of allowing ABS to sort out locked wheels. This doesn't mean that you can't press the pedal hard, but ensure that the pressing and releasing motions are progressive. This will keep weight transfer spikes to a minimum and reduce the chances of unnecessary weight transfers or wheel-lock.
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