You Rock at Racing continues this week with another near disaster averted by an astute driver. In the following clip, the POV driver follows a tail happy car through a series of corners. The car ahead spins. The POV driver slows and thinks he can get by, but then the car changes direction…
Had the POV driver slowed more, he wouldn’t have had to take evasive action. But in the heat of the moment, you can’t always make the right decision. But what he did next was great: zeroed the steering and went off track straight with the car completely under control. After slowing down a little, he eased the car back on track. Excessive turning in grass or dirt often leads to a spin that sends you careening across the track. Props to this driver who made the exit and entry look easy.
If you ever find yourself about to leave the asphalt, try to remember two things: (1) ZERO the steering (2) be PATIENT coming back on track.
A few times per year at Thunderhill they hold a teen driving clinic. It’s the only place I’ve seen where they purposefully instruct drivers to drop 2 wheels in the dirt and then ease the car back on the pavement. I wish that was a standard part of the HPDE curriculum. Unfortunately, I don’t know a safe way to practice this skill in reality. Some simulators handle off-track excursions well enough to be useful, but it’s track dependent, and some tracks are highly unrealistic. My advice is to find a sim/track combination that punishes you severely and then train on that until “ZERO the steering” and “be PATIENT coming back on track” are automatic responses.