It’s been a while since you got any of the mad ramblings that go on inside my head, so as I’m still totally obsessed every second of the day, here are some more random racing thoughts!
I have said before that I rely on markers to get me around a circuit.
That is to say, I will watch onboard videos and read circuit guides so that I have an idea that I need to brake at the “II” marker board and then turn in halfway down the entry curb, get on the power just before the apex curb, and then let it drift out to the 3rd red stripe on the exit curb etc.
I will adjust the braking and turn-in points once I’m out there, depending on conditions, how the car feels and how brave I am, but for the most part it’s all “Point A to Point B” in my head out there.
But that’s not the only way…
I’ve asked other racers “Where are you braking?” – only to be met with a bit of a blank stare and confusion, before they admit that they don’t really know.
Whilst in racing terms, this answer normally means “I’m not telling you”, in this case it doesn’t, because these drivers do it all on ‘feel’.
This is still an alien concept to me, because even when I know a track and am just driving, I’m pretty sure I’m still subconsciously hitting those markers, because I certainly know about it if I’ve missed a braking point!
However, when I’m karting I do seem to drive most of the lap on feel rather than markers.
Now in theory, having a good feel (wha-hey!) should be faster, because you can always keep the car on the limit – but if you don’t have the natural talent to keep the car on the limit then you could be much slower because you’re braking far too early etc.
From karting sessions I am learning to feel the lateral g’s to know I should be able to carry more speed into a corner where my markers would tell me to brake, so it is slowly creeping into my collection of racing skills.
Doing it this way at my local karting track, I recently discovered that where I’d normally be braking and getting ready to turn, I can actually get back on the power before the corner and get around it.
Whilst skills aren’t always transferable from a kart to a Formula Vee, for me most of them are, as I’m still very much learning.
All I need now is to get back out there and see how I can make it work for me!
Do you race by feel or are you using markers? Or do you have another way?