Speed Secrets: How to Come to Grips With a New Car or Track

Features, Racing I By Ross Bentley I September 19, 2023
Speed Secrets

Years ago (a phrase I seem to be saying more and more these days, which I suppose is either a good sign of the experience I’ve gained, or simply that I continue to get older – which is better than not getting older), I was coaching a middle-aged driver who was racing a Formula Mazda race car. We were at MSR Cresson to spend a couple of days solely focused on his driving.

This driver, who I’ll call Tom, was very successful in his profession, and had made a few dollars that he could spend on his newest passion: cars and racing. Tom picked me up in his Aston Martin, and we headed to the track, one that I’d never been to until that day. He’d spent many days at this track so learning it was not the focus. No, the main aim for our test days was for him to consistently drive his Formula Mazda closer to its limits.

Prior to the track going green, I asked Tom to show me around the track. Instead, he threw me the keys to his Aston Martin, and told me to drive and show him how I learned the track. I rarely drive when I’m coaching because I feel that my driver is going to learn more from doing the driving, but at the same time, there is not a faster way for me to learn a track than by driving it.

Off we went…

Read the rest this article on my Substack here.

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