Racecraft vs. Passcraft vs.

Racecraft

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

Passcraft

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.

Exhibit 1

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.

Exhibit 2

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?

Exhibit 3

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?

Exhibit 4

Sometimes words fail.

Answers

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Asscraft

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.

11 thoughts on “Racecraft vs. Passcraft vs.

  1. Hello! I’m the driver in the 3rd video. That’ll teach me for cataloging my sins in a YouTube playlist! It’s such an embarrassing habit that I don’t know how I got, and I’m trying trying trying to get rid of it. I think hours on the skid pad are in my future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tyler, you post your sins. That makes you about 1000% better off than most drivers. I’ve watched a bunch of your videos and you’ve got some skills. Indeed, the best way to practice oversteer recovery is doing drills on the skid pad. But it’s also partly your car. That thing WANTS to snap oversteer. Have you considered making some tuning adjustments? More pressure in the front? More ARB in the front or less in the rear? That car is clearly a handful. Also fast. It’s a miracle you didn’t send it into a wall at Sonoma. Thanks for replying and being a good sport.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Ian. I’ve tried a bunch of adjustments in alignment and coilover settings. My next step is a wing and a splitter. That spin at Sonoma was so dumb and scary. Agreed: it’s a miracle I didn’t hit anything. Thanks for your great posts. I’m a fan!

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      2. Tyler – fellow AP1 owner here. These cars develop a huge amount of rear lift at higher speeds that exacerbate their already oversteer-prone nature, made worse by many of us moving to a square wheel setup. There is a very affordable Voltex/J’s racing replica (identical in shape) that a lot of us had success with taming the car, or many other options at your disposal. Splitters are generally not necessary unless you go with a very high DF wing.

        Ian – many have claimed that aero is a band-aid solution that only hampers a beginner/intermediate driver’s skills. I’ve always felt it’s about understanding each car, what’s going on, what you’re trying to accomplish by adding aero, etc. – your thoughts?

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      3. As my brother is quick to point out, I suck at aero. I haven’t experimented enough with it to be knowledgable about how it affects handling. I do know that even a cheap eBay wing on my Yaris pinned down the rear end enough that I could take Thunderhill T1 without braking. It’s just one anecdote, but since I was in the seat, it sent a very powerful message to me.

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      4. Voltex Type 2 wing and small-ish front splitter from Racebred Components ordered. Next track day is March 14…hopefully I’ll have it installed by then. Will report back!

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  2. I was able to tell the answer for #1, 2 (been guilty myself but luckily there was no wall), and 4 but couldn’t tell the other one until I read the answers. Great post!

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  3. Ian,

    Thank you for your articles. I’m not in a position where I can hit the track yet myself, but I can’t believe how much I’ve already learned just from reading your posts (which usually lead me down several other rabbit trails searching for answers to questions I didn’t even know I had yet). I’m hooked! (on racing and your posts).

    Thank you!

    -jP

    Like

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