Learning to Drive in Traffic

This week’s tip is more of a suggestion but bear with me a moment. I recently attended a club race day where I was testing some new Tekin stuff out and getting in some practice. I chose to stay and club race while there to compare against what I was doing against the local fast guys, pretty standard stuff.

What I noticed in one of the 2wd buggy qualifiers was that there was a good amount of newer drivers as well as some more seasoned ones not being able to drive together very well. What I mean by this is that they’re constantly contacting each other which in turn are slowing them down during their qualifying. This is of course counterproductive.  Now with my attention focused on this a bit I noticed that it was quite common.

So where’s the “Tip of the Week” at here?  Simple, spend time learning to drive in the close proximity of other cars.  The best way to do this is to go out during practice with a buddy. The two of you need to circle the track at say 80% race pace. The leader then needs to choose lines randomly that you must then follow while staying as close as you can without hitting him/her. Treat it like the old “HORSE” game. He/She does a few laps, than you do a few laps.  The goal here is to learn car control, predict where the car in front of you is going to go before it goes here, and learn what a safe gap is and when you can close that gap.

2013-IFMAR-Worlds-Sunday-4wd-Mains-A3_00010

How will this help you ask?  Simple, any good driver will tell you that they only got to the top with practice and repetition. So if you want to be good at following close which is how you put pressure on other drivers, you must practice doing it. If you want to be able to predict the car in front you and what their next move maybe so you can setup a sweet pass, then you must practice it. If you want to be a clean respectful racer who is known for good car control, good clean racing, and a driver that others fear leaving the door open on, you must practice it.

Race winner Britain's Sam Bird, driving for Virgin Racing, enters a chicane during the Formula E London ePrix auto race in Battersea Park, London, Sunday, June 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

My new home track Traction Hobbies has one of the largest sportsman/novice classes I’ve seen on a regular basis. It’s super cool to see because 90% of them run 2wd buggy, the hardest class to master.  The best part for me is that the majority are open to input, interested in learning, and are getting quicker every week.  If you have these types of drivers at your home track, take a moment to talk to the, help them out if you see them struggling, and just let them know we have all been where they are now. We can’t afford to miss the small opportunities to help grow this great hobby and sport.

Volunteer to go out with them in practice, help show them the race line, where they’re losing time on the track. I’ll bet you get the good Karma back to you tenfold.

 

Good Racing,

 

 

Learning to drive in traffic

Learning to drive in traffic

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