How Josef Newgarden Learns a Racetrack
This post comes directly from the Blayze Coaching newsletter I receive weekly. You can reach the full post below. You can also subscribe for free at this link Blayze Racing Newsletter.
1. How Josef Newgarden Learns a Race Track
This week, we had Josef Newgarden, an IndyCar driver and two-time champion, explain how he tackles learning a race track. Below is a high-level summary and resources from our team that will be helpful to develop your plan. You can view the full video from Josef here:
Always have a plan before getting onto the track. Do not just wing it.
Learning a new track should be done before getting into the race car.
Research the track before arriving. Start with a track map, then move to videos of others driving the track, and finally talk to references ahead of time.
Using a track map, we want to identify each corner and establish what corner type it is (entry, exit, or balanced speed).
Create a plan for each specific corner type. We need to know whether to focus on entry or exit speed and how that affects our visual and feel reference points.
Prioritize low-speed corners first, then move to medium-speed, and finally high-speed corners.
Time gain or time loss will take place in low-speed corners. Therefore, this is where you can make the most significant improvement.
A huge part of building confidence as a racecar driver is proper planning and knowing what to focus on. This week I want to share some resources Blayze has
made to make it easy for you to create your plan:
Track Maps: This week will be releasing a resource center for 70+ race tracks. This will include track maps, written notes for the track, onboard videos to study, and video track guides. Keep posted for an announcement coming soon!
Tomorrow night we are hosting a specific call on developing a race weekend (or track day) plan. If you're a Blayze+ member, come and join for a detailed walkthrough of what a proper plan looks like!
This is a great video walking through how to study track maps and then what to look for in videos.
Here is a video on how to analyze different corner types to know whether to focus on entry or exit speed corners.
If you haven't spent time creating a plan ahead of a race weekend, now is the time to start! Message your Blayze coach in-app and ask them for their help in forming your plan. I recommend doing this simple drill to start: Get a track map out and go through and label every corner as an entry speed, exit speed, or balanced speed corner. Label whether you think the minimum speed should come before or after the apex in each corner. That's it - start with that and get feedback from your coach on those simple
notes. You'll be surprised how much that focuses your attention on the things that really matter while on track!
Robert's note: We'll be using the Shenandoah Circuit at Summit Point again this October for the 3rd Annual Top Dog Champions. I'm not sure if we will use the entire circuit but we will be using the section with the Carousel. Here's a link to a lap that includes the Carousel - this corner definitely is worth planning in advance! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36ogrbbFMIY&t=7s.