The three terrors

The 3 terrors of the Fire Swamp are the flame spurt, lightning sand, and R.O.U.S.es. racing in the rain are poor visibility, reduced grip, and off track consequences.

1. Poor visibility. Rain and spray can greatly impair your vision, especially if you don’t have windshield wipers. The reduced visibility may limit your ability to see reference points, flaggers, or even the car in front of you.

At racing speeds (above about 50 mph) Rain-X, Aquapel, and other superhydrophobic rain repellents work better than wipers. Use it on your daily driver too!

2. Reduced grip. There’s less traction on a wet surface. The amount depends on how long it has been raining, depth of the water, speed of the vehicle, temperature, tire compound, and track surface. It’s complicated and dynamic, which forces you to make constant adjustments. You won’t notice as much loss of traction under braking as you will under acceleration. Power-on-oversteer can happen very quickly and at low speeds in a rear wheel drive vehicle. The berms are especially slippery.

To resist stomping on the throttle in the rain, pretend there’s an egg under your right foot.

3. Off track consequences . If you happen to go off track, the grass on the side of the track may be very slick. You could slide a long way at high speed and maybe hit something.

If the track is bordered by mud instead of grass, slipping off the track sideways could flip your car. Be extra careful after heavy rainfall, even if the track is dry.

R.O.U.S.es? Raindrops of unusual size? I don’t think they exist… arrrrgh (sorry, but one can only go so long without making references to The Princess Bride).

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