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  • Rally4Vets Completes Its First Mille Miglia

    It’s said that life is all about the journey, not the destination, and my recent drive from Bowling Green, Kentucky to Amarillo, Texas was one for the record books. At least for my record book! I needed to get our C6 back to Los Angeles after our Top Dog Championships at Summit Point Motorsports Park, West Virginia, so I made a pit stop at the SCCA Time Trial National event at the National Corvette Museum and then drove on to Los Angeles. But being a gearhead and history buff, I remembered the Italian Mille Miglia (thousand miles) race that ran from 1927 until 1953. So, I decided to do a thousand miles in less than 24 hours (think the motorcycle community Iron Butt challenge). The C6 got me from Bowling Green Amarillo, Texas—a whopping 1,036 miles—in just 15 hours and 10 minutes. I wasn't sitting on a motorcycle seat but the Sparco Evo race seat was pretty austere (but amazingly comfortable) and might just be equivalent. So, I'm awarding myself a Rally4Vets "Adventure Butt" for those 1,036 miles in less than 24 hours. Due to time constraints returning to Los Angeles, the route was Interstate 40 the entire way. With the exception of a quick photo op at the famous "corner" in Winslow Arizona. Next time, the route will be much more fun! We're planning to make these "1k" adventure rallies a regular part of our veteran suicide awareness program with awards for participants. The program is still in develop so no details right now. If this tickles your fancy, email with "Rally4Vets 1k" in the subject line. Rally On!

  • Where do racecar drivers blink when driving on the racetrack?

    [Graphical abstract. Credit: iScience (2023). DOI: 10.1016/J.isci.2023.106803] I ran across the article recently and it really intrigued me. Would my visual process be the same as a professional F1 driver's? Read the article and then watch the video I took recently at the Streets of Willow using my dual-camera Road-Keeper system. Racecar drivers found to blink during safest parts of the track by Bob Yirka, A trio of physiologists at NTT Communication Science Laboratories, in Japan, has found that Formula 1 racecar drivers unintentionally time their blinking with straighter parts of the track. In their study, reported in iScience, Ryota Nishizono, Naoki Saijo and Makio Kashino fitted sensors to the helmets of three professional Formula 1 racecar drivers to monitor blinking. Prior research has found that while it is possible to blink at will, for the most part, it is an unconscious behavior. Prior research has also found that the purpose of blinking is to clear away material on the surface of the eye and to keep the sclera and cornea moist. Other research has also shown that a secondary type of blinking occurs during unexpected events, such as in response to an oncoming projectile—and some research indicates a link between blinking and concentration. In this new effort, the researchers looked into a possible example of this third type of blinking. To learn more about the blinking habits of racecar drivers, the researchers recruited three professional Formula 1 racecar drivers. Each had sensors affixed to their helmet that were able to detect blinking. Each of the drivers then drove at race speeds around a professional racecourse. The researchers found a pattern—all three drivers tended to blink during safer parts of the course. Conversely, all three withheld blinking during critical parts of the course, such as when navigating turns or attempting to overtake a competitor. The researchers note that blinking while driving a racecar could lead to problems during critical moments, noting that blinking while driving (which lasts for just a fifth of a second) could mean driving in the dark for approximately 20 meters if driving at 354 km/h. The findings highlight the fact that blinking is part of the visual system and that it is very clearly done in a way that provides protection for the eyes while also providing protection for the body as a whole. More information: Ryota Nishizono et al, Highly reproducible eyeblink timing during formula car driving, iScience (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.106803 Journal information: iScience Rally4Vets Founder at Streets of Willow Here's a link to my visual processing in my C6 Corvette on the Streets of Willow track: Where do you blink when you're at speed on the track?

  • I Traded Four Wheels for Two. What?

    Team Red, White & Blue is a charity focused on improving veteran health and wellness. Yesterday I was honored to be able to join Team RWB volunteers who are taking an American flag from Seattle, Washington, to Atlanta, Georgia to ride a section of the Pacific Coast Highway, ending at Zuma Beach, California. My segment was just 17 miles of the 4,000 miles the flag will travel during its 55-day journey across the US to Atlanta, but it was great to meet the volunteers and support Team RWB's programs. The Old Glory Relay is a national event showcasing the strength, grit, and commitment of American veterans in support of their well-being. Over 50 days, supporters will unite to walk, ruck, run, push, and cycle a single American flag more than 4,000 miles from Seattle, WA to Atlanta, GA. April 18th was day 18 so you still have time to participate. You can sign on to do a segment at If you would rather support veteran issues using four wheels, join us on the DVEN / Rally4Vets road rally from Los Angels to Washington, DC in mid-August. Details are at

  • How to Race When It's Wet

    This post is for you if you compete or do HPDE. The article is another useful article from Dion von Moltke at Blazye Coaching. You can subscribe to their free newsletter at this link: Blayze Newsletter. We ran our inaugural Top Dog Championship in the rain at Summit Point. Who knows what 10/1/2023 will bring? BEGIN ARTICLE Hey, Racers welcome to the Blayze racing newsletter! Each week you will get an answer to a racing question you ponder after every session, a video that will make your jaw drop, and one article that will change your racing life in one simple email. If you aren't a subscriber yet but need more of this in your life click here to subscribe. 1. How To Adjust Racecraft in the Wet Thanks to Graham for the great question this week! If you have a question you want me to cover, simply reply to this email with your question. Trying to give general coaching points, like those we can cover in an email, about anything related to rain is exceptionally challenging. However, some of the variables we have to consider include: How much grip the track has in the wet How hard is it raining How is the drainage at this track Ambient temperatures How much grip the rain tires you're running on have I'm calling this out because while I want to give some general pointers about racecraft in the wet, it is often something that is very situational. Okay, now that we have that covered let's get into the good stuff! Here are a few things I think about when I'm racing in the wet: Conservative Overall, I am much more conservative in every situation in rain races. The grip is lower and mistakes are more prevalent, often just making it to the end of the race without going off the track will equal a good result. This includes everything from speed to overtaking and defending, etc. Overtaking Overtaking in the wet is all about corner exits and not brake zones. There is usually a big drop-off in grip when we have to move off the ideal grippy line in the wet and that's usually what we have to do to out-brake and overtake someone. This is why in the wet my focus is all about getting a drive off a corner. I want to maximize the exit and try to overtake someone down the straight before we even arrive at the braking zone. Defending Once again I'm totally focused on corner exits here! Very rarely does someone overtake us mid-corner by rolling in more entry speed. I turn my style of driving into more of a "point and shoot" style. If I simply get good exits it becomes 10x harder to overtake me. So, even if my overall lap times get slightly slower because I reduced my mid-corner speed I don't care about that, I care about being harder to overtake and I do that by maximizing corner exits. END ARTICLE Our Top Dog Championships have cars running at 30-second intervals so we don't need to worry about overtaking. However, the author's focus on corner exit speed is spot on. Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Top Dog Championships at Summit Point Raceway on 10/1/2023. Don't miss your chance at joining our exclusive Top DGZ club!

  • 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 - 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. END ARTICLE If you aren't a subscriber yet but need more of this in your life click here to subscribe.

  • 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. BEGIN ARTICLE 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! END ARTICLE 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! -

  • Wiggle Your Fingers for a Faster Lap

    The text for this post came from the Blayze coaching newsletter. This would have been good advice when I went through helicopter pilot training waaaaaay back in the 70's!! Click the following link to subscribe to the Blayze newsletter. You'll love it - click here for the Blayze Racing Newsletter. Begin Quote 1. Wiggle Those Fingers For Laptime We have all heard not to death grip the wheel and we know that when we're relaxed we're fast. But, why is death gripping the wheel so bad? How can we tell if we're relaxed enough? This week's topic was inspired by a Blayze member that sent me an email after their race last weekend. With their permission, I'm sharing their email here: "I don’t race until 3:00 so I managed to spend six hours getting myself all pumped up to really get after it in the race and take no prisoners. I’m sitting in grid and I check my heart rate and it's 105 and I'm just sitting there! So I close my eyes, start square breathing, and I subconsciously start wiggling my fingers on the back side of the steering wheel. In five minutes I’m down to 90 bpm and I feel totally relaxed. (Thanks to my Blayze coach) The start of the race was good. On about lap 3, I realize my hands, forearms, and shoulders were rock solid cause I’m grabbing the wheel like I’m trying to choke it to death! I spend the next three laps breathing and wiggling my fingers. Now I know this next part is subconscious to you pros, but I had a race car driving epiphany that will forever change me as a driver… The lighter I held the wheel the more feel I had with what the car was doing. I could feel the load the front tires were under, I could feel the overall grip, and I could tell I could push them harder. Five more laps and I was going through Riverside 4-5 mph faster, on throttle 50’ sooner everywhere, and braking just a tad deeper. On my last lap, lap 25, I broke the track record in my class by 1.3 seconds! I’m a different driver today than I was on Friday!" Now that's the type of email that makes my Monday morning! What I loved most about this email is that this driver built in their own anchor for being relaxed. On our Tuesday night Blayze member calls we talk a lot about the mental side of the sport, and anchor "words" to find the zone or using your breath to find the zone. What I had never thought about was an "anchor action" to remind yourself to relax. Wiggling your fingers forces your hands, forearms, and eventually shoulders to relax. It's also something you can build into your routine on the sim, driving on the streets, or even visualizing. Next time you're on track, check in with your arms. Are they relaxed? If not, you're most definitely losing lap time. We want a relaxed upper body and an engaged core so we can feel the vehicle below us. End Quote

  • The Fastest Way Around a Corner - on a Race Track

    Ross Bentley is one of my favorite racing coaches. I read just about everything he writes and I have taken several of his online courses. Getting the corners right is a must if you want to be a Rally4Vets "top Dog." [PS: the 3rd annual Top Dog Championships will be back at Summit Point on 10/1/2023.] Ross just sent me this email, "Hi Robert How many times have you absolutely nailed a corner? You know, where you felt like you got every last bit out of the brake zone, there was nothing more you could have gotten out of your cornering speed, and you shot out of that corner like a rocket? If you’re answer is, “Not often enough,” then I want to help. I want to help you get better, and have the tools to get to the point where you’ve mastered most corners (and the bits just before and after them). I’ve been working on what I’m calling the Cornering Masterclass for quite some time now, and it’s ready to go live — which I’ll be doing online on February 22nd & 27th, at 5:30pm Pacific/8:30pm Eastern. As with all my webinars, it will be recorded, so even if you can’t participate on those days, you still get full access to the content and be able to download and save the video recording — but only if you register. Yes, this is a 2-parter because… well, that’s the only way I could fit in everything I want to share with you. Each session will be at least 90-minutes long (probably longer, depending on the number of questions we get), including my presentation and a Q&A session. No matter what level you’re currently at, I’m sure this will help you drive consistently faster. For more information, and to reserve a spot (and the ability to download and save the content and a recording of the two sessions), go to At least take a look at the long list of things I'm covering, as it may trigger some of your own self-coaching thoughts and ideas. My last big webinar actually sold out, so don’t wait too long to save your spot. The deadline for registration is February 20th, if it doesn’t fill up before that. (I’ve been asked why there is a limit on registrations, and the answer is simple: I don’t want so many people online that I can’t answer everyone’s questions!). Keep learning and having fun! Ross P.S. - I can’t guarantee that the Cornering Masterclass will result in you perfecting every single corner you’re faced with, but I will promise to give you the same information and coaching strategies & tactics that I’ve used to help drivers of all levels get to at least the next level… and some well beyond that. It’s like that saying about never achieving perfection, but always striving for it. But with this one exception: in this case you’ll have the tools to work at achieving something nearing perfection — mastery. P.P.S. - If you’ve already registered, you can ignore this message! Thanks!

  • The History of Cars and Coffee

    If you're a petrolhead - read automobile enthusiast - like me, you probably have attended a Cars and Coffee event or at least heard of them. [The picture at right is a Vietnam-era veteran at the Cars and Camo event we held last year at the USS Iowa battleship in San Pedro, California.] I've been to a bunch of them - always a fun time - but no one could tell me how or where they began. Enter Tom Smith, owner of iDriveSocal and his podcast. Listen - or read - how Barry Meguiar and Ford Motor Company got it started and kept it alive until it became an integral part of southern California's car culture and then spread globally. Read on - You can just see the nose of our DVEN/Rally4Vets Boxster in the right side of the frame. #carsandcoffee #meguiars #carsandcamo #dven #rally4vets #veterans #USSIowa

  • 2022 LA Auto Show

    I got lucky and snagged an entry to the industry/media day here at the LA Auto Show. I've walked the entire show and there are many great vehicles and technology on offer. Road & Track recently wrote a piece on Porsche's all-electric Boxster. My hopes were high but it wasn't among the cars in their pavilion. That said, the Porsche collection didn't disappoint. Check out the 911 Dakar. [Just a mere $220k]. The most exotic car was the Hyperion XP-1 which reportedly jumps from zero to 60 in 2.2 seconds and can travel 1,000 miles on one hydrogen fuel load. The price tag? Somewhere between $2-3m according to Wikipedia. There were a bunch of EVs. I'll bet they predominate at next year's show. I've posted a collection of pictures below. It was a very fun day and I'm blocking the date on my calendar for next year.

  • Porsche 911 Dakar - Right here in LA

    I dropped by the LA Car Show today hoping to see the Boxster EV Road & Track wrote about. No such luck. However; the 911 Dakar was there in all its glory. Here's what Road & Track had to say: The age of the factory Safari car is finally upon us. After years of home-brew creations and aftermarket tuning shops offering to turn your 911 into a world-beating Safari car, Porsche has stepped up and built an off-road 911 of its own. Dubbed the 911 Dakar, it checks all of the boxes of a great off-roading sports car, including a raised ride height, fender flares, all-terrain tires, and even an optional roof basket. Porsche officially uncovered the new model Wednesday night and it’s available for order as of this story going to press. The rest of the R & T article is here -

  • Thank You, America's Veterans

    Today is the day America remembers and honors America's citizen soldiers. Since the Revolutionary War ended, 646,596 American troops have died in battle and more than 539,000 died from other, non-combat related causes. Today, slightly over 18,000,000 Americans are veterans. Just 18% of America's population has served in our armed forces. But they have come from every socio-economic class and racial group. We owe each of them a debt of gratitude for preserving our democratic way of life and the opportunities we enjoy daily. We can repay their sacrifices by respecting and abiding by the results of our democratic processes. Democracy is absolutely dependent on accepting the will of the majority, regardless of how slim, and peacefully transferring political power. History clearly shows that swings back and forth between liberal and conservative views and government have made America the most successful country in history. America's Veterans, Thank You.

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