Making Use Of High Traffic Events

Published: November 25, 2013

Sometimes the event you are attending has so many cars that it is impossible to get any clean laps in. How can you most effectively use such a track day?

The underlying problem is you are faster than the run group you are in, yet you cannot pass people who are slower. Therefore, the solutions are either speeding up the run group or slowing down your pace. Right now we will talk about how you can slow down your pace without losing fun.

Drive Off Line

Off line exercises have a side effect of slowing down your pace, especially so in the beginning. Even as you get faster, you will be significantly slower without being able to use full track width.

Adjust the portion of the entire track width you allow yourself to use to speed up or slow down your pace. As the groups tend to speed up, start by using less of the track and gradually increase the amount you are using as the event progresses.

On Line / Off Line Combinations

A variant of the off line exercises is to enter a corner off line and then use full track width at the exit, or alternatively use a full track width at the entry but part of the track at the exit. This simulates being passed and passing, respectively.

Work On Driving Techniques

Trailbraking and left foot braking are two techniques that can be easily practiced in traffic. Be aggressive - try to trailbrake until you are at the apex.

Reference Points

Everyone can use more reference points everywhere. If you cannot go forward, look around you and find new reference points you can use.

Observation

You can watch other cars on track if you cannot get around them (and they seem to at least drive competently). What are their braking points, turning points, apexes? See if you can drive their lines exactly.

Line Variation

You should be able to drive any predefined line at the track (some obviously slower than others). Pick an unusual line, define its trajectory precisely in terms of reference points and try to drive it as accurately as possible.

Run Ups

Try to get run ups on the car in front of you as you are entering straights. Fall back in the corners and get on power earlier than the car in front, such that you achieve a significantly higher exit speed by the time you track out.

Car Positioning

If the driver of the car in front of you does not see you, you will not be getting a point-by. Practice being visible by positioning your car in such a way that you see the helmet of the driver of the car in front in their left or right mirror.

Of course, these solutions are temporary. You should start looking into moving up a run group or finding a track day organizer with fewer cars on track at the same time.

Tagged: intermediate, vision