New Year’s resolutions

New Year’s resolutions… They always sound so negative. I don’t want to resolve to do something I’m deficient at or fix some old annoying habit. Instead, I want to focus on improving something I’m making progress towards. So instead of calling them New Year’s resolutions I’m going to call them affirmations. This year I have 3 because Ross Bentley says to do so in his weekly newsletter Speed Secrets Weekly (I always listen to everything Ross says). If you’re not an SSW subscriber, go do that now. It costs almost nothing and makes every Tuesday something to look forward to. Hey, that can be one of your New Year’s resolutions!

1. More YSAR

I hope you enjoy reading yousuckatracing.com, but to be completely honest, I do it more for myself than anyone else. It’s my racing journal. The first 99 posts featured lots of crash videos because my focus was mainly on safety. There will be more crash analyses in 2017, but expect lots of other content as I shift my focus toward speed. By speed I mean driving technique not performance modifications or tuning. I’m racing in a class with precious little you can do to the car (that statement probably conveys a lot ignorance on my part and maybe one day I’ll switch my focus to the hardware).

One series of posts I’m really looking forward to writing is a comprehensive review of every racing simulator on the market today. These include Assetto Corsa, Automobilista, iRacing, RaceRoom Racing Experience, Project Cars, rFactor 2, and others. In my experience, every simulator has something to offer, but some are better training tools than others.

2. More Yaris

My on-track racing goals for 2017 include participating in as many SCCA races as I can in my B-Spec Yaris. I’ll be racing at Thunderhill, Sonoma Raceway, and Laguna Seca for certain. I might venture South to Buttonwillow, Willow Springs, and Autoclub Speedway, and North to Portland International Raceway. Ultimately, if all goes well, I may find myself at the SCCA Runoffs in Indianapolis. But that’s a long way away in time and distance, but a guy can dream. I really need to do my driving homework and get as many track miles as possible if I’m going to drive it competitively. What a horrible life it is when one of your major goals is more track driving…

3. More Telemetry

My experience with using telemetry data to improve my driving is mostly limited to sim racing. I understand the basics of interpreting squiggly lines, and can use them to figure out how to get more speed. Honestly, even though I understand what to do, I’m not always able to do it. The really good sim racers drive with less steering input and more yaw than I’m comfortable with. I imagine the same is true with real cars. In the past, I haven’t been very analytical of my real driving because I haven’t had the telemetry to do so. But this year I will be recording and analyzing data on a regular basis. Some of the YSAR posts in 2017 will be about telemetry analysis and my attempts to improve based on data analysis.

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