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Old 02-04-2015, 05:43 AM   #1
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Default Why do we make / how to reduce driving "mistakes"?

Hi all

I think all seasoned racers know the feeling, at least at club racing level During a 20-lap run, there are 18 laps of nirvana (or close!), and two laps of intense frustration where we clip a cone or tap a board and it costs us 5s each time (ie a lap or so). In the end, it costs us the A-main spot that we so thought we were entitled to.... The A-mainers are the guys who either didn't do any such mistakes or were genuinely "faster". In any case, they deserve their spot, and we don't.

What is it in our brain that made us clip this stupid cone and flip over on lap 6 and 15 (it's an example), when, really, there was no external factor any different than during all the other laps?

And, the corollary: What JMT's (Jedi Mind Tricks) do you know to lower our "error rate"? Practice, everyone says. Well, really, it never helped me. 95% of my runs I still do one or two "big" mistakes, even after years of racing, be it in periods when I was running every week (years ago... <sigh>) or 5 times a year.

Discuss

Paul

PS: the "oops I glitched" excuse doesn't work anymore
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:12 AM   #2
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The error less driving must also come from the handeling of the car. Pushing the setup to (almost) ideal is very important to make less errors.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:33 AM   #3
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Getting a lot of rest
Having a well setup car
Not over driving -- slow in, fast out
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:41 AM   #4
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They say when you're nervous, picture in your mind that everyone else is dressed only in their underwear...........................Sorry, that's all I got
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanulec View Post
Getting a lot of rest
Having a well setup car
Not over driving -- slow in, fast out
+1, though I still screw up on all three

Never underestimate how feeling tired can effect your runs!
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanulec View Post
Getting a lot of rest
Having a well setup car
Not over driving -- slow in, fast out
All 3 of these are helpful; the well setup (and more importantly, mechanically sound) car tends to influence your results more often than you'd think...

One exercise I found beneficial in improving my performance - participating in more difficult classes. While I wasn't exceptionally proficient driving a modified TC, I approached racing all classes with a lot more confidence. The increased confidence made driving spec classes seem "boring" in comparison; so much so that it became my expectation to complete spec class heats without crashing.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:33 AM   #7
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Well rested. Shut off the internal dialogue in your head toward the end of the race if you get nervous and just drive -the little voice in your head will make you wreck quick. Drive your own line. And again squash the little man in your head talking and making you lose focus on driving.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:06 AM   #8
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I still suck at RC but this has worked for me in other forms of racing.

Taking care of your body is huge. Get a good night's sleep, stay hydrated, eat breakfast and lunch, stretch, relax, do some deep breathing before the race. It's way easier to concentrate for long periods when you take care of those things.

As far as actual driving, go slow to go fast. In practice and qualifying you will figure out how fast you can go when you are pushing hard. In the main, take just a little bit off your pace. Brake a little earlier, get on the gas a little later, don't run quite as close to the boards. You may find yourself going as fast, or even faster, and you can cut down mistakes. Stay out of trouble and the results will happen.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by oeoeo327 View Post
One exercise I found beneficial in improving my performance - participating in more difficult classes.
This is true. My VTA car feels so easy to drive after running my USGT car or fooling around my 17.5 basher.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonestar View Post
Hi all

I think all seasoned racers know the feeling, at least at club racing level During a 20-lap run, there are 18 laps of nirvana (or close!), and two laps of intense frustration where we clip a cone or tap a board and it costs us 5s each time (ie a lap or so). In the end, it costs us the A-main spot that we so thought we were entitled to.... The A-mainers are the guys who either didn't do any such mistakes or were genuinely "faster". In any case, they deserve their spot, and we don't.

What is it in our brain that made us clip this stupid cone and flip over on lap 6 and 15 (it's an example), when, really, there was no external factor any different than during all the other laps?

And, the corollary: What JMT's (Jedi Mind Tricks) do you know to lower our "error rate"? Practice, everyone says. Well, really, it never helped me. 95% of my runs I still do one or two "big" mistakes, even after years of racing, be it in periods when I was running every week (years ago... <sigh>) or 5 times a year.

Discuss

Paul

PS: the "oops I glitched" excuse doesn't work anymore

For me I think i like the sound the car makes when i tap boards jump dots flip the car, nothing beats the sound of lexan scrapping on a well prepared asphalt track when you are on tq pace
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:25 AM   #11
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Practice, practice, practice.

One big mistake I used to make (still do at times) is trying to go faster and tighter than the car will allow. If the car only has a 10.2 in it no matter how perfect I drive it, then going tighter will only lead to a crash. You are better off going for 10.3 laps then you are going for the fastest lap every time you go around the track. This will eliminate mistakes especially if you are starting in the mid to back of the field. 99% sure you wont win so dont take yourself out of a shot at the podium. Until you are racing against the best drivers in the world, this strategy will get you close to winning at the club level on a consistent basis.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:32 AM   #12
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One thing I still do that can help a lot is for your first two laps go out and be intentionally a half-second slow, clear every corner by 6-10 inches and keep the car right in the middle of the darkest part of the groove. In doing this I can feel the car out and find how it wants to drive, give it a tick more or less steering lock with the radio and get the tires scrubbed in, then start trimming that line. Inevitably my fastest laps are not the first two or even the first five, I've had my fast lap be on lap 25 in a TQ-competing run.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:37 AM   #13
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Practice, practice, practice.

One big mistake I used to make (still do at times) is trying to go faster and tighter than the car will allow. If the car only has a 10.2 in it no matter how perfect I drive it, then going tighter will only lead to a crash. You are better off going for 10.3 laps then you are going for the fastest lap every time you go around the track. This will eliminate mistakes especially if you are starting in the mid to back of the field. 99% sure you wont win so dont take yourself out of a shot at the podium. Until you are racing against the best drivers in the world, this strategy will get you close to winning at the club level on a consistent basis.
+1. This is what I preach to all the new and some of the old guys at our track.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:54 AM   #14
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ADD issues, Brain farts and Senior moments. They have many, many names.

Add to the big 3, hydration and nourishment. You get so locked up in your thoughts and prep you forget to eat and drink. It's really hard to concentrate without them.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:18 AM   #15
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+1. This is what I preach to all the new and some of the old guys at our track.
But... Setting fast single lap is so cool!
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