How to Find Your Car's Limit on the Track
The following article comes from the team at Blayze coaching. It's part of our series to help drivers turn better times at our Top Dog Championship series. There's a link at the end where you can sign up for the Blayze newsletter.
See you at Summit Point on 10/1/2023 - https://bit.ly/2023TopDogRegistration BEGIN BLAYZE ARTICLE
1. How To Safely Find The Limit of a New Vehicle The First Time On Track?
Is there a systematic way for us to work up and find the limit of the new vehicle safely? Yes! When I'm learning a new car the first thing I want to do is get a feel for how much grip it has. To do this I start by getting a feel for the grip in brake zones. Here is my step-by-step process:
Pick a corner on the race track that has the biggest brake zone, preferably this corner also has a good amount of runoff area (margin for error is a great thing).
Start with a conservative brake zone (for example, if let's say the 400 board is a pretty late brake I will begin at the 550 or so board).
Lap-by-lap work on ramping up my initial hit of the brakes to be harder and harder until I start to get into the ABS or lock up tires right away. (I'm still braking at a very conservative point throughout this whole process).
Back it down slightly from there.
When I'm doing here is getting a feel for the peak longitudinal G the vehicle can pull. What you'll find is the peak G a vehicle can pull longitudinally (braking and acceleration) will be almost identical to what it can pull laterally (cornering). Our bodies are extremely good at feeling the G's in one way and translating that to all parts of the race track. Meaning our bodies are good at getting a feel for how much grip we have in braking and beginning to translate that to how much grip the car has in corning. My second area of focus will be traction out of the corner. I'll work on ramping up to full throttle faster and faster until I start fighting traction issues and then I'll back it down from there. My final phase is working up that initial brake zone and rolling in more entry speed into the corner. This is where risk is highest and it's why it's the last thing I begin to work on. If you combine this with your knowledge of reference points on track and how to "learn a race track" you'll be able to pretty quickly get a feel for any new vehicle very quickly.
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