Going slow to go fast

This year I realized a longtime dream of mine to learn about high performance driving, as much as I can, without going broke. Early in the year I had an instructor named Dan (in the photo above) who could probably start a meditation tape series talking about vehicle dynamics. He had an interesting knack for knowing where I was looking without actually looking at me and saying “look up”. It’s obvious when someone is looking at you when they’re wearing a full face helmet. When I put this together, I asked him what was cueing him in. He explained that you can feel the difference in the car – a driver tends to make smaller corrections when you look further ahead, connecting large arcs instead of making fidgety adjustments. Here are some of my other notes from that day:

+ There are a lot of slow things about going fast.

+ Your eyes are the window to your brain. Where you look determines which information you can process. So if you don’t look far enough ahead, everything moves too quickly.

+ Look up and through the corners.

+ High performance driving is all about balancing weight distribution – put the weight at the right place at the right time.

+ Looking ahead slows things down.

+ Give up speed to hit the apex if you need. Be disciplined and hit every apex. Slow in, fast out.

Notes from other instructors and myself:

+ Run your street tires for the first year. They talk to you – squealing means they’re on the edge of grip, squalling means they’re actually losing grip – and don’t forgive you for making mistakes. Stickier tires give you more grip but they also can hide mistakes.

+ As with most of my hobbies, gear is a super fun part of the process. But it generally does NOT teach you the craft. Get good tires and brakes and leave the rest alone (outside of any safety concerns).

Now I’m addicted and it’s almost winter… time to ramp up some other hobbies.

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