How To: panic braking understeer

This is the third part in a series of posts on how to suck at racing. Continuing on the understeer theme from last week, let’s talk about panic braking understeer. It’s one of the simplest ways to suck at racing. Simply hammer your brakes and then observe that turning the steering wheel does nothing while your tires are skidding. Afterwards, you can also observe the detrimental effect on your tires: flat spots. Let’s see it in action. Since I’m currently on holiday in the UK, let’s watch some racing from there. The incident comes from the Tin Tops series from the Classic Sports Car Club. The rules sound like fun: under 2 liters, 4 cylinders, and a mandatory driver change in a 40 minute race. The two videos show different perspectives of the same incident.

 

Ok, so the driver in the 2nd video doesn’t suck at racing. Does he have magical powers? Did a psychic tell him this was going to happen? Alternatively, maybe he expected this to happen and executed a plan born from experience. If you don’t have the luxury of hundreds of hours of track time, mental imagery and simulation can be very effective. Want to know more about mental imagery? Go get yourself a copy of Ultimate Speed Secrets by Ross Bentley. Want to know more about simulation? Click the simulation link above or purchase my book.

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