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Race Driving Fundamentals: Practical Demo

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Practical Demo


00:00 - We've discussed the importance of a track walk but discussing what we're doing versus actually seeing it first person can be a little bit different so Andrew we're going to head out on Highlands Motorsport Park here, we'll have a look at a couple of sections of corners and we're going to go through with you the sort of things that we should be paying attention to and what we might like to keep in our mind for a track walk so let's head out and get it done.
00:23 Alright Andrew for our track walk, first place we're going to start is the fastest part on Highlands Motorsport Park which is the entry here into the bus stop.
00:32 So we've got this convenient orange marker off to our left.
00:36 How can we utilise that? - So with this orange marker, if you've been having a look at a few onboard videos leading into the weekend, you'll notice that this is a good point of the track where you're turning in and from there you'll be figuring out if you're maybe braking before or after that, weighing up the entry into the corner from that and it's a really good way to just really get your eye in and see what you're going to be looking at come time to get in the car.
00:59 - Now of course when you've got a marker post or something of this nature we do need to be mindful sometimes they're not a permanent fixture.
01:07 Here we do know that this is permanent, it's not going to move so we can rely on it? - Yeah definitely and that comes back to that onboard video as well, if you've done a lot of study you may see videos from 3-4 years ago that the marker was there and you arrive and you see it there so it is definitely worthwhile noting that it may be there, it may not be, it may get knocked out during the race weekend as well but by that point you should be pretty dialled into where you're turning in anyway.
01:34 - Alright so looking into turn one, the bus stop, we've got a fairly tight entry and we've got curbs on both sides of the bus stop and we've got tyre bundles so what are we taking note of with those and where are we trying to position the car, what would we take out of looking at this? - Yeah so with that, because it's such a fast entry into it, it's important to note that you want the car as straight and as settled as possible.
01:59 So you're sort of looking at the fact that you want to be nice and tight to each tyre bundle, you're having a look at the curbs and weighing up how that's going to actually work for you so yeah you're just trying to figure out how you can be as straight as you can through there without being affected.
02:13 - So essentially from the turn in point, by the time we've actually got the car turned in.
02:16 we're sort of trying to set it up so we've got about a car width essentially between those two tyre bundles when we're looking at it? - Yeah definitely, no more no less than that, it's very very tight through there and the better you are at being tied to those tyre bundles, it's just going to make it really straight through there which is nice.
02:33 - Now another aspect that becomes really obvious when we're standing looking into the entry to the bus stop from here, on the right hand side of the track, and it's from about half the width of the track across, we've got this black mark.
02:45 Talk to us about what that indicates to you as a driver.
02:48 - So that black mark indicates straight away that there's a bit of a bump in the track and it's nice to note that that bump is actually more to the right hand side of the track.
02:57 It does affect where we want to be on the track, and rather at this point than work out that we need to go around it, you've probably seen from videos at this point as well that it's been used a bit maybe but it's a lot more prominent than what you first realise so it's just worth noting that there's a bump there and that it's going to probably affect the car on the way into the corner.
03:16 - Alright so essentially what this is telling us is the ideal line, we're going to be trying to skirt around that bump but of course we might not always be on the ideal line.
03:23 Do we need to keep this in mind as well if we happen to be maybe trying to overtake a car on the inside of that corner, we're going to ride over that bump? - Yeah that's really important because there's also a bump and you're going to be offline as well so there's going to be a lot of marble so it's a bit of a double whammy there so it's worth noting for sure that if you are going to be out the inside to think about the bump in that position there too.
03:45 - OK so we've got into the corner, we've got the curbing on the right hand side and we've got the tyre bundle.
03:50 We've already talked about the fact we're going to have a car width there, that curbing on the right hand side is sort of a double curbing.
03:56 We've got a lower section and a higher section, are we essentially trying to run as much of that as possible? - Yeah that comes down to the car that you're in, you can really see it's quite prominent the way it does pop up towards the end by the tyre bundle.
04:08 So just keeping that in mind as well, how close you want to be to those.
04:13 We do know that the tighter you are to those tyre bundles, the faster it's going to be so you're just weighing that up again, noting that the last part of the curb does pop up that bit more.
04:23 - Also worth mentioning here that those tyre bundles may not always be where they are right now, we've been to meetings here where the tyre bundles are completely removed so that does change things for you as well? - It does a lot and that's something worth noting straight away, previous meetings where there has been no tyre bundles, the curbs are actually different.
04:42 So that's why it's important that when you're doing track walks you don't just do one track walk and then never do it again for the next 10 years you're going to the track.
04:49 You might, no one might have told you that there's new curbs so you straight away have learned something on your track walk so you might see people, professional drivers walking a track that they've been around 100 times.
05:01 It's not for no reason, things change on tracks all the time.
05:05 It may not be a new curb, it might be a bump that's just got way bigger than it's ever been so that's why it comes back to being important to keep doing track walks every time if you can.
05:15 - Alright let's head into the corner and see what else we can learn.
05:17 Alright Andrew next section of our track walk here, so we've got our left hand curbing and our left hand tyre bundle so we already know we're sort of trying to position the car between the tyre bundle behind us and this one here.
05:28 We've got these two sections of curbing here so what can we pick up here, what do we need to take note of? - Yeah so I think the biggest thing here is the fact that you've got the lower part of the curb and then it actually sort of drops away nearly a little bit so that's a good place that you know you can most likely run the car, unless you're in a single seater.
05:44 But then it gets quite high towards the end of the curb so something like in a saloon car you may be able to run up right to the top of the curb but you've got to keep it in mind that when you are practising you don't just go straight into running the top of the curb and having the car bounce wide and end up with all sorts of other issues, especially because it's a fast part of the track.
06:02 - Particularly with this curbing here, hopefully we can get a bit of perspective on it but it is quite obvious to the left of me here this yellow and this red section of the curbing is actually quite a bit higher than the curbing before and after.
06:16 So something we'd just note, it may be enough to upset the car, maybe it won't be but we'd just want to keep that in our mind from the track walk, this is the sort of stuff we're looking for? - Yeah it is really important to be looking for those sort of things and how much it can really affect the car and be better to have a look at it now than have a bit of an issue during the weekend if you've hit too much of the curb and then the car ends up somewhere where you really don't want it to but we know from where we've walked so far that we want to be as close as we can to both tyre bundles so that's where it becomes a bit of a compromise and a bit of a chance to work out what we can and can't work with.
06:50 - Alright let's jump up to the exit to the bus stop and see what we can learn there.
06:55 Alright Andrew the exit of the bus stop here so for a start, we've got the tyre bundle and the curbing to my left so really a rinse and repeat of what we've talked about with the last two sets of curbs and the two tyre bundles, we really want to be close to that tyre bundle? - Yeah you want to be nice and close to that tyre bundle and there's a few other things to really consider at this part of the track as well is when you're getting towards the end of a corner, it's always worth looking backwards and getting the corner from another perspective as well as it really shows you other things you may have, you may look back on a bump you haven't seen as well so as much as when you're walking through the track, it's always good to look around and see what other things you can pick up as well.
07:31 - OK now one of the things that's pretty obvious, particularly we've got a bit of a damp track still here, is we've got this damp section to our right and I know from my experience driving around this track, this can be an area where we collect standing water so these are other things we would be wanting to keep a note of? - Yeah and the fact that it is damp here is there's obviously a bit of a bump here and ontop of that, you've got to note where there's a bump, you've got to go OK not i's important, it's a high speed corner, we can't afford to run wide at this point and then you look up at the next curb as well if you end up running wide and using too much of that next curb, it could belly the car out and you can actually see skid marks further on of where this has happened so straight away it'd be worth noting to yourself that big bump, make sure you're staying nice and tight and not running wide through this section as it's big consequences.
08:19 - Yeah well those consequences, we've got a concrete wall right around the outside of this corner exit so as you say, you really want to keep things tidy through here.
08:27 And lastly the curbing on that corner exit, you've just sort of mentioned on this, there's two sections to that curbing, much like what we've already previously looked at but that higher section is quite high so if we run over that too high, this is where you're talking about potentially bellying the car out? - Yeah you can belly the car out and then with your own car you'll have experience of what sort of level of curbings you can run and you'll know that how steep is is that OK this is too steep to run my car over without it completely upsetting the car and you do not want that to happen into the next section of track so you'll just be noting that you can use half the curb as such instead of the whole curb and just keeping those sort of things in mind for sure.
09:07 - Alright well I think this has been a good idea of the kinds of things that we're looking at on a track walk, what we want to be mindful of and keeping an eye out for.
09:16 And of course from here it's just a rinse and repeat of this for the rest of the track walk.

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