Whoop! I just keep these bad jokes coming don’t I?
Anyhow, let’s kick off where we left off – my last blog post (https://www.iracing.com/inracingnews/iracing-news/you-only-brake-twice). Over the Christmas period a chap by the name of Jorgen Petterson dropped me a message on iRacing regarding my views on only braking twice at Lime Rock Park in the Mazda MX-5 Cup. Turns out… he only brakes once! “Craaaazay Sucka! I pity the foooo who only brakes twice!”
Only joking. When you think about it, it’s pretty obvious that T1 is the only corner where Jorgen brakes. So what? He’s probably really slow, right? Wrong! His personal best is a 59.56… no slouch by any measure. Mine is a 58.91…. just in case you’re wondering… 😉
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not writing this blog as an advertisement of how quick our times are – this is a perfect example of two drivers taking a different approach and achieving good result. This is one of the things I love about racing – there really is more than one way to skin a cat!
So let’s put this in perspective before you all get track side and try this. The first thing you need to realise when you’re new to racing is that driving a hot lap and racing another car are worlds apart. Similarly, the lines you take, the points at which you brake and so on should change in a race to suit the situation. When driving a hot lap, a driver is searching for the quickest time achieved via the optimum racing line, which is comprised of the optimum brake, turn-in, apex and traction/exit points for every corner. Racing is simple – get the guy in front behind you… and keep them there!
Let’s take things back to T2 at LRP and apply this theory. Inevitably Jorgen’s approach requires an early lift-off of the throttle when approaching T2 at LRP. He will adjust his entry, line through the corner and exit appropriately to suit. In comparison, I will drive into the corner much deeper, brake and navigate the corner accordingly. I will induce the rotation I need through braking and sliding the rear a little… I basically wring the car’s neck and drag it round the corner.
When comparing the two, I’d bet you a dollar that Jorgen will have a more consistent cornering speed throughout as he carries momentum through, opposed to my stop start approach. He’ll achieve this by maintaining a more balanced car through the corner and applying a very smooth and progressive driving style. And you know what else?? It makes perfect sense to drive this car in such a way! Let’s face it… the Mazda isn’t renowned for its power. Therefore it makes sense to brake as little as possible and maintain as much speed as possible using momentum and the car’s agility.
… Momentum was Newton’s theory… but there aren’t any pictures of him with his tongue out so I had to settle for this guy… sorry.
Anyway! (I get distracted easily.) All things considered, our two different approaches will balance each other out and achieve a similar result. (It’s a simplistic explanation so some imagination is need… but I’m sure you get what I’m talking about.)
Ok, so back to the race situation. I personally, would never coast into T2 when battling for position. Why? Cause you’d be a sitting duck! Your opponent will either
1) Think that you’d either gone barking mad
2) Plough right into the back of you
3) Think that all their Christmases had come at once.
Anybody adopting a more traditional entry into T2 will, quite simply, coast by and force you to the outside and disappear into the sunset… sad times.
This ill semantics of course and you’re just gonna have to try it and see what works for you. To finish off and make my point – experiment! Don’t just take my word for it – try new things, take new lines, brake earlier… go forth and conquer… just try not to ruin anyone else’s practise session. Secondly, if you’ve got anything you want me to cover in this blog or you spot something that you think I haven’t quite got right… drop me a line! It’d be good to hear from you.
Off again now, thanks for reading and see you on track. By the way, I’m gonna be talking about mixed class online racing and the inRacingNews Challenge next, cause I love mixed class racing and this is where your gonna go next after graduating from the Nvidia Cup. See you next time!