If you want to win a race, your lap time will play a critical role.
Before you can win, you have to learn where to go fast.
-- Ross Bentley. Ultimate Speed Secrets
The first race I won on a racetrack was not because I was the fastest on the track. I passed the finish line first, because my opponent overdone his tires and had to do a pit stop.
Even though you can win races even if you are not the fastest on the track, I would recommend you work on your lap times first.
1. Fast and Consistent Lap Times
Go ahead and download the lap times of the previous races.
Before you sign up for a race, look at the best lap times in qualifying and during the race. My goal was to have consistent lap times in the middle range.
If you are at the end of the pack, you won't have fun in the race.
2. Prepare for The Track Day
Why to prepare for a track day? Well, every minute on the track is pricey and I'd like to know what I want to learn for each session.
I do as much as I can before I go to the track:
- Prioritize my corners;
- Draw the racing line;
- Analyze onboard Youtube videos (we have a search for that on every track page);
- Look at my previous sessions (here's my data logging gear).
3. Seat Time Is Important. Go Karting!
Are you a lot on the track? That's great.
Seat time helped me to get to the limit of the car. You don’t have to be driving all time with your race car to learn.
I'm training with rental go-karts, race karts, simulators, and various race cars.
It's much easier and more affordable to go karting than train on a racetrack.
Go-karting helped me to learn:
- how to work on racing lines and prioritize corners
- get used to g-forces
- data logging and analysis of sessions
- lap times consistency
- pass other drivers with confidence
There a few things you will not able to learn on a go-kart such as aero dynamics and downforce. In a race car you will also face high speed corners. To overcome the fear, you will have to drive with your race car a lot of times to be able to gradually increase your speed. Those things, I have learned won't be able to practice in a go-kart or a simulator.
Simulator software like Assetto Corsa will enable you to configure the car as realistic as possible. It's a great way to learn a new track and get used to the racing line.
4. Data Logging
Measuring is the key to know where you can go faster.
I use my data logging equipment to record my sessions for every training. You can even export simulator sessions.
Before and after the track I will look at the data and see how I did in each section of the circuit.
5. Reach The Finish Line
My goal for my first race was to make it to the finish line. Nothing more.
If you spin or make an error during the race it is very likely that you won't be able to catch up again.
Many racing drivers won't make it to the finish either.
On my very first race I finished as 3rd and made it on the podium! I couldn't believe it. All the hard work I put in the preparation was worth it.
My second race was a big success also. I won the race!
Prepare a lot and win your next race 🏁