|Monday, 11-Sep-2006 09:12
Advanced Driving - Little intro...
Driving Techniques Introduction
It is very easy to get caught up in the showmanship and prestige of expensive parts for your car, but the best investment you'll ever make in road racing is the time you spend tuning your driving skills.
In this section, my sincere intention is to introduce you to many of the basic driving techniques used for a standard/ race car driving. There are numerous details to be conscious of while driving especially during the high speed driving, and it will be difficult and overwhelming to remember them all the first few times out. Focus on one or two techniques each time you go out on the track. As each technique becomes second-nature, you can work on a new one.
No matter how good a driver you think you are, high performance driving is an entirely new level of driving that requires very specific skills if you want to be good at it. Good drivers, like all good athletes, have a natural skill, and yet are also smart and/or humble enough to know that there are known techniques they must practice if they are to be proficient. Even if you have natural talent, don't make the mistake of thinking all you need is a better car to improve your performance. Your driving skills can always be improved. Even the Gordon's, Andretti's, and Schumacher's of the pro-driving world continually analyse their driving so they can improve.
Many of the race driving techniques explained here can be practiced on the street, others simply cannot be. Where appropriate (meaning safe and useful), we will point out how to practice these skills during everyday street driving. As with any skill, "knowing" what to do is not the same as "doing" it. Practice, practice, practice. Time in the car, on the track, repetitively performing these techniques is the only thing that will make you good at using them. Often you'll find yourself thinking you're doing something right, only to recognize several months later, that you could do it even better.
Because there are so many things to remember and practice, be sure to read these sections often--you will forget a lot of its content.
Advanced Driving -- A Definition
Advanced Driving is the ability to control the position and speed of a vehicle safely, systematically and smoothly, at all times. It uses road and traffic conditions to make reasonable progress unobtrusively, with skill and responsibility. The skill requires a positive but courteous attitude and a high standard of driving competence based on concentration, effective all-round observation, anticipation and planning. This must be co-ordinated with good handling skills.
Advanced Driving is based on "the system of car control," which is defined as "a system or drill, each feature of which is considered, in sequence, on the approach to any hazard." In other words, the vehicle should always be at the right place on the road at the right time, traveling at the right speed with the correct gear engaged and always able to stop safely in the distance that can be seen to be clear.
A hazard is defined as anything that may cause a driver to change speed or course. Hazards include obvious features such as curves (bends) and intersections (junctions), plus other vehicles and pedestrians, but also include less obvious situations such as a minor movement sideways to avoid a small object on the road surface.
In simpler terms, Advanced Driving is a way of approaching and dealing with all hazards that is methodical and safe, and leaves nothing to chance. Its one overriding aim is to give a driver time to react and to deal safely with the situation, whatever the circumstances.
Safety First, Last & Always.