Passing Thoughts: Part 3 (Best Practices)

Last week I blogged about the rules for overtaking/passing in a variety of racing series. This week let’s talk about best practices.

  • Assume the other drivers are incompetent
  • Prefer passing on straights
  • It’s not about being right, it’s about being on track
  • “I didn’t see” means you shouldn’t be on track
  • “I didn’t expect” means you make poor decisions
  • When in doubt, stay in your lane
  • Take control of the corner

Back to NASA examples

Let’s go back and look at the NASA examples from last week. This time I’ll give my thoughts on how I would handle each situation. This is the perspective of an amateur endurance racer whose priorities are (1) keep the car in perfect running condition for the next driver (2) drive consistently fast laps. YMMV.

Figure 1: Punt

  • This is probably the #1 most common case of car-to-car contact.
  • Car A: You’ve done nothing wrong per se. As the lead car, you “own” the right to choose your racing line. Furthermore, you’ve left enough room on the inside just in case. But you got hit anyway. You have to expect the car behind you is an ass-idiot and will hit you if you let him. Yes, the rules state that you’re supposed to “drive the line”. You know what, the jackass behind you might not follow the rules. Protect the car! Move left and block car B well before the corner. Don’t let him pass you on the inside.
  • Car B. You’re an idiot. The only way this isn’t your fault is for driver A to give a point-by to the inside and then drive the inside anyway. Unfortunately, stuff like that happens sometimes. The driver ahead may have been adjusting a mirror and you thought it was a point-by.

Figure 2: CDFS

  • This is basically the same as the punt except that the reason car B hits car A is more physical than mental. Yeah, driver B can’t drive for shit.
  • Car A: The problem occurs at point (1). You’ve given an invitation to the driver behind you to pass you in the corner. You’re supposed to give racing room to other drivers. Give room on the outside of the corner.
  • Car B: Don’t pass in corners until you learn to drive.

Figures 3 & 4: Slamming the Door

  • There are two reasons driver A gets into this situation (1) isn’t watching mirrors (2) is sending a message to driver B. If the reason is (1), driver A has no business being on a race track. It’s your job to see other drivers. “I didn’t see” is an admission of incompetence. If you’re so wound up in keeping the car on course that you can’t keep track of the other cars, slow the fuck down. If the reason is (2), you’re a dick.
  • Although the rules state that the car ahead of you must give you racing room, getting hit isn’t worth being right. It’s much better to take position on the straight BEFORE the corner.

 

Figure 5: Attempted Murder

  • If you slam the door on a driver in a dangerous area, you should probably go to jail, not the penalty box. Here’s a video of such.

Figure 6: Punt Redux

  • Car A is well ahead of B and assumes it is therefore okay to take the typical outside-inside-outside maximum radius racing line. That assumption could get you into trouble. If it’s physically possible for the person behind you to ram you, it’s a possibility.
  • Car B, you’re an idiot who can’t drive for shit. Someone let you on the racetrack anyway. Sadly, there are many others like you. What goes around comes around. Enjoy the karma.

Figures 7 & 8: Control Drag Races

  • You’re SUPPOSED to pass on straights because it’s safer. That doesn’t make it always safe. Cars jockeying for position on the way to a corner make contact all the time.
  • If you’re in car B the safest thing to do is maintain your lane and match speeds with car A. If you do that, you control the entire corner. Driver A can see you but can’t turn into the corner until you do. If you drive a slightly later apex than normal, driver A, will be forced to slow up mid-corner while you’re accelerating.

Figures 9-11: Maintain Your Lane

  • Driving door to door with other cars on a racetrack is truly exhilarating., but door to door in a corner is 10x as dangerous as on a straight. When in doubt, maintain your lane. The incidents below occur because someone changed lanes either on purpose or by accident.

Figure 12: Tricky

  • This example is tricky because the aggressive car possibly driving beyond capability is not the one given fault!
  • Car A is not in control of the corner. It could be had it taken the inside line. The time to turn into a corner is when it’s safe, not when you normally do.

Those best practices again

  • Assume the other drivers are incompetent
  • Prefer passing on straights
  • It’s not about being right, it’s about being on track
  • “I didn’t see” means you shouldn’t be on track
  • “I didn’t expect” means you make poor decisions
  • When in doubt, stay in your lane
  • Take control of the corner
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s