Suck Less at Sim Racing (8/10) novice training exercises

The next 3 days are somewhat pivotal in the history of the health of the US. We haven’t faced a pandemic in 100 years, and the exponential spread of COVID-19 is very concerning. Lots of events are being cancelled from the local schools to the NBA. During this time of social distancing, one activity that is seeing a surge in popularity is sim racing. So I thought I would do a short series of daily posts on sim racing as we buckle down and survive these next 3 days (or whatever it is).

Novice Training Exercises

  • Downshift after corner – Shifting takes mental energy and can be difficult to coordinate with braking, so don’t downshift in the braking zone. Use 100% of your concentration for braking properly, and then downshift on the straight. An alternative is just to leave the car in high gear all the time.
  • Hard on, soft off – In order to drive a corner fast, the suspension must be quiet. Work on a soft brake release to ensure that your car is composed on corner entry. Check your brake pressure trace to make sure you’re actually releasing the brakes progressively. Your trace should look like a right triangle with high pressure at the start and a gradual release. It’s better to go soft on, soft off than hard on, snap off.
  • Reference points – Since it’s difficult to drive by the seat of your pants, you’ll need to use reference points to help you get around the track. Go to a simple track, like Lime Rock Park or Brands Hatch Indy, that doesn’t have a lot of turns. Figure out exactly where you need to start braking on every corner. Now switch cars and do it again.
  • Drive off track – Practice driving off track and back on again without losing control. This drill will probably earn you more points than working on any techniques that make you faster on track.

Tomorrow: intermediate training exercises

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