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Getting comfortable being uncomfortable. How did/do you do it?

Well as Mario Andretti famously said, if everything feels under control you’re not going fast enough.

I went to an awesome seminar on this subject a while back with a well known racer and coach. He made a ton of great points throughout the day but the basic gist of it was that driving fast and well at the limit is like any other sport, it’s about being in the zone. And getting comfortable at the limit and in the zone is more about visualization and feel than analytics and video. He said those things definitely have their place too but that wasn’t his main focus.

So he spoke about incrementally being more aggressive with particular corners and really focusing on one particular sense at a time, and even taking notes afterwards about what something felt, sounded, or looked like. Then try it a little different or slightly faster and write notes again. All about gaining sensory info.

He was way, way into visualization. Not video. Driving a lap with your eyes closed. How close can you come to your actual recorded lap without opening your eyes? What does it feel sound and look like in your mind? Now do the same thing but 1 second faster.

He did not advocate driving crazy or reckless but he did suggest driving a little messy, in incremental steps, really focusing on visualization and fixating on what your senses are telling you along the way.

One more thing, he said the biggest difference maker by far is corner entry. Really using 100 percent of available grip all the way through that transition is the hardest. Mid corner and exit he said people tend to be much better at using all available grip and driving at the limit.

Sorry for the long winded post, obviously I enjoyed the seminar I was really geeking out on it lol.
Ross Bentley?

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Ross Bentley?

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Yes. I thought he was excellent.

Your post really caught my eye because I’m dealing with the same thing. It doesn’t help that the track I drive the most (Palmer in MA) is carved into a big hill, all granite cliffs and rock walls. It’s an amazing track and I absolutely love it but not the best place to go off.

Watching your videos makes me realize all this is even harder in a gt350, just because the car is so nice and you’re going so freaking fast! Nice driving.
 

ChrisM

Mostly harmless.
1,176
1,394
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
South Carolina
I went into a corner at a speed way past my comfort limits and honestly thought I was going to lose it, but I didn't. I have the video of me yelling "HOLY [email protected]#$" through the corner and trying to hold it...and coming out on line at the other end. I focused on maintaining control. I got way more comfortable pushing it after that. I guess to answer your question...if you're comfortable then you need to push the envelope more (safely) until that becomes your new comfort zone. Generally just a good thing to do in life haha.

"Slow is smooth, smooth is fast."
 
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175
US
If you ever get the chance to walk the track, do it. When you can actually feel the camber built into the track in the corners, ( or lack of) , the change in the cement and asphalt textures, actually study the marks on the ground that you use as your turn in points, feel how big or small the rumble strip is , see exactly just how much wider the corner is than you thought etc, you will really get to know your track. It will really effect your confidence on the track. Even if you just go walk the corners you are having troubles with you will immediately approach them differently. Often there is a lunch hour that tracks shut down and they will let you go out and look at the track. If you can get a pro or a fast driver to go with you and show you the exact landmarks they use as pointers for braking point ,turn in, apex target point etc, that really helps.


Personal example- I went to a bed track id never been to before- ( mid-ohio) I had a blind landing over a hill , and the apex was at the crest of the hill . i never knew if I was in the right spot to "land it" on the other side so i was slow thru that corner every time. Until someone told me to "aim your car between those 2 trees" . That shortened my learning curve to 1 session! . I was wot on that apex and significant drop in lap times and totally confident within a session. Some times it's as simple as a tree, a post, an asphalt patch etc to help you navigate a corner with much more confidence.

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Mad Hatter

Gotta go Faster
4,783
3,602
Santiago, Chile
Walking a track is a great idea... It becomes sooo much bigger a 3 km/hr vs 160!!

Really like those moments when something acutally works in our brains and we figure out what our betters have been telling us for a while.... Like the two trees, or that bush, or "brake till the Apex" etc.... And we get a personal best!
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
6,995
6,121
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Walking a course is often a major surprise and though seldom done, many racing schools still do the modified version by driving a Van around a course, stopping and unloading students at each major transition or corner to help student assess the track. Amazingly drivers find small items in a course , like mild banking or an off camber change which enables them to attack the track in a more confident manner. Thanks Dr Lee for suggesting an old , yet time honored method or learning a track.
 

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