YRAR: tankslapper avoidance

Here on YSAR, one of the more common themes is that crashes are avoidable. The source of crashes ranges from inexperience to red mist to bad luck. However, even really good drivers in well-built cars find themselves in difficult situations. You can’t really control what other drivers are doing. With that in mind, let’s briefly turn YSAR into YRAR: You Rock at Racing. It goes against the theme of the site, but let’s look at some excellent decision making.

Downhill corners are some of the most dangerous areas on a track because the weight of the car shifts forward. A car that has neutral handling will become prone to oversteer simply because of gravity. If the car happens to be FWD, it has ~60% of the weight on the front wheels in the paddock. Mix that with a fast downhill corner, like the Laces at Watkins Glen, and you have a perfect storm for uncontrolled oversteer. Watch the driver below see the tankslapper develop and get on the brakes just long enough to ensure safety.

A more aggressive driver would see the loss of control as a passing opportunity and tried to pass immediately. Surely the driver could have done this and improved their position, but there is risk to both cars. In a 2-day endurance race, the wise thing to do is to keep your car safe (which has the added benefit of keeping the other car safe too). You can brake and still make the pass, as this driver shows. Superb decision making and great driving!

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