Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/19/24 8:42 p.m.

While doing a routine debrief with a driver and I was taken aback but what he said "You showed me a new magic trick"

What was that trick? It was simply showing him how to throttle steer through turn 8, a double apex sweeper on the Charleston Peak course at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch. The driver was on his third event as an intermediate, he was reasonable quick, smooth and methodical but no one had ever shown him this basic technique

One of the ways I differ from many instructors is I teach trail braking and throttle steering from the outset. Earlier in the day the driver had asked me why I started instructing and I told him I just hated to see people struggle with the basics. 

I know what you are thinking "these are advacned techniques" but they just aren't. No other sport teaches one technique for beginners and then as they advance have them unlearn the first technique and learn a new more advanced one. So it begs the question why are we?

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/19/24 10:55 p.m.

I think that throttle steer and trail braking are things that are easier to feel and do than they are to describe and teach. At some point in the driver development curve they realize that balancing the car is the whole exercise, and the only tools available to do so lie underneath their feet. 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
5/20/24 12:08 a.m.

This is what driving a FWD car your whole life will do.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/20/24 7:35 a.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

Throttle steering and trail braking are crucial parts of driving a FWD car quickly.

Just with different techniques.

 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UberDork
5/20/24 8:45 a.m.

These were techniques I was taught in the beginning of driving on the street with limited traction. The advantage of learning in a slippery spring time before tires gained traction.

porschenut
porschenut Dork
5/20/24 8:59 a.m.

What are the other instructors doing? I am amazed these techniques aren't covered in the first classroom session.  

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
5/20/24 9:05 a.m.
porschenut said:

What are the other instructors doing? I am amazed these techniques aren't covered in the first classroom session.  

I mean, usually the first classroom session is more about figuring out safety, flags, and the general direction of the track for most novices.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/20/24 9:11 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

 

One of the ways I differ from many instructors is I teach trail braking and throttle steering from the outset. Earlier in the day the driver had asked me why I started instructing and I told him I just hated to see people struggle with the basics. 

 

This is a good plan. I think the bigger the picture people are capable of taking in from the beginning the better off they'll be in the long run.

I generally introduce it organically. At first folks will usually start off doing one thing at a time which is nice and safe and totally fine for the first session or two. But eventually a natural outlet of pushing harder is to start to blend inputs and I'll respond with "I like what you're trying to do here. Let's explore it a bit and make sure it's working for you and not against you."

But, yeah. Give folks all the tools and let them know that their skills may need to develop before they can use them all to their advantage, but they'll be in the box when they need them.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/20/24 4:00 p.m.
porschenut said:

What are the other instructors doing? I am amazed these techniques aren't covered in the first classroom session.  

A lot of instructor are trying to get people to follow the line; where I really differ is I want you to be on the line because the car went there, not because you are steering it there like in a street car. 

I try to teach people to steer with the pedals, make one movement with the steering wheel and from there adjust your trajectory by using trail braking or throttle steering.

Every once in a while I still encounter the "do all your braking in a straight line" but I don't know of to many people to teach that anymore.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/20/24 6:43 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

I think one of the most magical feelings is driving a line that you enticed the car to follow at the edge of grip, instead of steering it.

It's kind of like hitting a bullseye from 300 yards, I suppose.  You didn't physically put it there by hand, you set up the conditions for it to go there by itself.

 

More rumination, I suppose this is where the idea of car as "dance partner" comes from?  

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/20/24 11:57 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to Tom1200 :

I think one of the most magical feelings is driving a line that you enticed the car to follow at the edge of grip, instead of steering it.

It's kind of like hitting a bullseye from 300 yards, I suppose.  You didn't physically put it there by hand, you set up the conditions for it to go there by itself.

 

More rumination, I suppose this is where the idea of car as "dance partner" comes from?  

Skating the car from one point to another is very rewarding; showing people how to do that is doubly so.

akylekoz
akylekoz UltraDork
5/21/24 6:46 a.m.

Interesting, at out last Lemons race we had a new driver, never been on a track.   We did a track walk and talk about the line and how at speed the car should flow into the line.   First time out he ran about 2:20, by the end of the weekend he ran a 2:08 with a virtual best of 2:049.   Discussion about turns 7-8-9 at Gingerman and how to take them basically flat out in fourth and just steer with the throttle.  Evan commented on how he tried that and sometimes it just kept going towards the outside, yes now just adjust with throttle, and very light steering corrections.  Our car has manual steering and brakes so very communicative and easy to feel what is going on, I think he got it.

He had a blast and is ready for more, next race we will work more on setting up passing in a slow car.  For the record my best lap for the weekend was a 2:01, he drove very well for his first race ever.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
5/21/24 7:59 a.m.
akylekoz said:

Interesting, at out last Lemons race we had a new driver, never been on a track.   We did a track walk and talk about the line and how at speed the car should flow into the line.   First time out he ran about 2:20, by the end of the weekend he ran a 2:08 with a virtual best of 2:049.   Discussion about turns 7-8-9 at Gingerman and how to take them basically flat out in fourth and just steer with the throttle.  Evan commented on how he tried that and sometimes it just kept going towards the outside, yes now just adjust with throttle, and very light steering corrections.  Our car has manual steering and brakes so very communicative and easy to feel what is going on, I think he got it.

He had a blast and is ready for more, next race we will work more on setting up passing in a slow car.  For the record my best lap for the weekend was a 2:01, he drove very well for his first race ever.

Just did g-man this weekend with GL. I was taking 7-8-9 WOT and 9 was a light 4 wheel drift. In a slow car, hitting 88mph at the braking point for 10 is highly rewarding if not a little frightening. Was trying to help a fellow competitor on Saturday who was way slower through there, causing our lap times to be almost identical even though once she exited 10 she was gone... something about adding a spoolie boi to a miata makes them go fast. 

akylekoz
akylekoz UltraDork
5/22/24 6:55 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Sounds about right, we top out at 88 into turn 11, upper 70's into 10.  We take 5-6 as one corner with a little dance, wide into 5, cars with horsepower take it as one corner in a totally different way.  Power cars apex 5 and 6, we only hit the turn 6 apex to set up 6-7 as a passing zone.  My street car is about 6 seconds faster than our racecar but handles similarly, same nice slalom through the S's just faster.

There was a Sundae Cup car at the Lemons race, John Beere Livery, green and yellow Mini.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
5/22/24 7:54 a.m.

In reply to akylekoz :

T11 I am on 3rd gear rev limiter, which according to GPS is 94.4mph. I've tried short shifting to 4th but it just slows me down... literally. Yeah I don't focus on 5's apex, I am looking to get outside between the two and add a touch more steering right before 6 to get Rio to dance around it. as soon as my hands make that extra turn in and the ass slips out the throttle is pinned to the floor again. 

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