In wheel-to-wheel racing, the art of passing and being passed is called racecraft. It’s an important topic that we discuss from time to time on YSAR. My quotable best-practices advice is this:
Race with the other drivers, not against them. — Ian Korf
Recently, Ross Bentley came up with a new term, passcraft, the art of passing and being passed in HPDE and track events. This is an even more important topic because nobody at an HPDE considers crashing their car to be an acceptable outcome. Here’s a video where he describes that art.
I’ve been a HUGE Ross Bentley fan ever since I turned the first page of Ultimate Speed Secrets. I’ve attended a bunch of his webinars, seen him talk in person, written articles for Speed Secrets Weekly, and was even a guest on his Speed Secrets Podcast show. He inspires me. And his new term, Passcraft, is also inspiring.
So I sat around thinking about what new term racing term I could come up with that had YSAR flavor. What exactly is YSAR flavor? Well, we definitely care about education here. But we also believe education should be entertaining. I personally find that the automotive world takes itself a little too seriously and I like poking fun at it. Stated simply, YSAR is irreverent, tongue-in-cheek racing education. It’s like a less good version of Speed Secrets Weekly with potty humor.
Before I tell you what my new term is, let’s take a look at a few inspiring examples. In the videos below, I don’t comment on why the incident occurred. It’s your turn to figure it out. The answers are at the end.
There are several things I like about this video. First, the video angle is perfect. Cameras belong on roll bars. Second, it’s an NA Miata. I love stock Miatas. Third, he’s got a billiard ball shifter, cheap eBay steering wheel, and Bluetooth radio. I would be 100% at home in that cockpit. The description of the video says he lost control because his tires were cold. That’s not the reason. I mean, cold tires do have less grip, but there’s a more specific reason.
The next video has the rear view mirror blocking nearly the entire frame. Is that really the look they were going for? Well, it turns out that it was ideal because we get to see the driver shake his head for 5 minutes straight after wrecking his car. What could the driver have done differently?
Here’s a really high quality video featuring a spin. That’s not surprising because most incidents involve a spin. If you check this driver’s YouTube channel, you’ll notice that he does this frequently. What’s the problem here?
Sometimes words fail.
- The driver drags his clutch in the middle of a corner and spins due to a rearward change in brake bias. This doesn’t happen in FWD vehicles. On YSAR we call this a downshit.
- When you’re about to go off track, zero your steering and go off intentionally and in a straight line. Don’t pray to the race gods that you’ll make the corner. The gods won’t save you. Only you can do it. On YSAR we call this on track praying.
- Letting go of the wheel is a passive way to recover from oversteer. Steering corrections must be lightning quick, and you can’t do that without any hands on the wheel. If you watch this driver’s YouTube channel, you can see this is a persistent problem.
- If you use all of your traction for braking, there’s none left for steering. This is a classic example of panic braking understeer. While oversteer causes more incidents, I find understeer more entertaining.
Oh yeah, that new term is asscraft. Of course it was going to be. It means the art of doing stupid shit on a race track. You know when I said that YSAR is tongue-in-cheek? I was talking about butt cheeks.