6 driving fundamentals I wish I could explain to a younger me

By J.G. Pasterjak
Feb 19, 2024 | Driving Tips | Posted in Features | From the Nov. 2022 issue | Never miss an article

Photography by David S. Wallens

If only I could go back 30 years. 

Once my time machine gets finished, as soon as I’m done collecting Infinity Stones and buying Apple stock, I’d head to whatever track a younger, likely mulleted me is circling and share the following driving tips. They would have gotten me up to speed sooner.

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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/3/22 10:26 a.m.

When you get that time machine working, make sure you take this, too:

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/3/22 10:29 a.m.

friction circle, bitches!

triumph7 HalfDork
10/3/22 1:08 p.m.

1. Put down the cell phone.

2. Keep right except to pass.

3. Look where you want the car to go!  (Credit to Bertil Roos)

BimmerMaven New Reader
10/4/22 1:13 p.m.

You'd be surprised how many people think that the brakes are for slowing down the car"

Mario Andretti 

I'm a big fan of left foot braking for yaw control.


And while we're quoting famous people and thinking about time machines...

Albert Einstein, obsessed with gravity, was once asked: "What do you think is the most powerful force in the universe?"

Compound interest.

khcoaching GRM+ Member
10/5/22 10:39 a.m.

These are not fundamentals, they are tips. Fundamentals are the core structure of process, how you do something with clear objectives and report cards. Fundamentals are looped, meaning they reconcile and build upon each other. The fundamentals for track driving are: 

- Car placement 

- Vision and Focus

- Motor Controls

- Brake Adjustability

- Turn in Point/Turn in Rate 

- Body Position 

Ken Hill 

Matt Huffman
Matt Huffman New Reader
10/5/22 10:56 a.m.

Focus on driving and seat time before you do any mods.

Choose a reliable, low cost platform with good support.

But also... Choose a fun and rewarding platform.  Having fun trumps winning.  Isn't that why we're here in the first place?  

Read rule books first!

The "best driver" is definitely not always the fastest driver or the driver who wins.  Decide early whether you are committed to out prepping and out spending competitors, or whether executing to your own personal best is sufficient reward.

Olemiss540 HalfDork
10/5/22 3:00 p.m.

To younger me: Pick a car and stick with car. QUIT SELLING AND REBUILDING. The fun is driving and tinkering, not car shopping and building you idiot.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/5/22 3:06 p.m.
Matt Huffman said:

Having fun trumps winning.

That's a big life lesson that can't be repeated enough.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/5/22 7:45 p.m.

It is preferable to sacrifice a small gain in one corner if it gives you a much larger gain in the next.

And don't accelerate so damn early.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/5/22 9:37 p.m.

Every car mod can be viewed through the lens of whether it helps or hurts the driver's ability to execute the task of driving the car at its limits. 

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