From novices to champions, Driver training plays a hugely important role from Amateur to Professional Racing Drivers.
With 10 Years Experience Training all levels of Racing drivers, Ben Elliott has put together a structured learning program titled Vision, Technique, Pace. This system looks at your driving ability and awareness, to be 100% accurate it would be Vision + Technique = Pace.
Pace – The Ability to drive quickly and consistently with good awareness and planning.
Ultimately it’s Pace that helps win races. Take a look at the results of a race (particularly in 1 make categories) and there’s not normally much difference between the fastest laps of the top 10 drivers. A look at the slowest laps will tell a much different story however.
What makes the difference between the top and bottom end of the grid? Use of Vision, Driver technique and Mental approach.
Vision – Where the Driver looks, how they look there, Development of Spatial Awareness.
This is a massive area for a driver to work on. Ultimately your eyes are your main input device for driving. learning to use them properly is vital. The better you get at this, the better all around driver you will become.
Take a look at this video below. To create this I used my Racelogic Video Vbox Lite but used a small CCTV camera attached to my visor for the inset video. The camera is mounted as close to my nose as possible.
Areas that drivers tend to struggle with vision include:
Moving Eyes instead of Head to look through corner (Reduces spatial awareness and sense of angle of car to track)
Not looking past the window pillar in cars with windscreens (very common even in experienced saloon car racers – leads to reduced spatial awareness particularly on tight bends)
Looking for a ‘turn in point’ – As you can see in the video above I approach all of the corners looking for the apex. Turn in points vary significantly depending on your planned technique for the corner and the feedback from the car in the braking area.
Technique – Understanding the Drivers effect on the car, understanding feedback from the car, Self Analysis on what to change in driver input to achieve the desired affect from the car.
To aid your training in this area, Ben Elliott will equip your car with a Racelogic Video Vbox Lite.
For less experienced drivers, initially more benefit will come from time together on track. This way the feedback is instant on each corner and Ben can prepare you for the next bend.
More experienced drivers (and novices after a couple of 15-20 minute track sessions) will really benefit from being able to look at the Video and Data when back in the pits. When on track its very distracting for drivers to talk too much – so most of the time our conversations will be brief – either a quick ‘try doing this next time’ or a talk through a corner.
Back in the pits is where the real learning happens – How did that change of technique feel? what was the effect on the car? was it faster? (we can use data to evaluate) did it feel faster? (sometimes a change can feel fast but lose time and vice versa) How can we improve next time? Is there a vision issue we need to work on?
Driver Mentality – Even on trackdays your approach to other drivers, positioning of the car, planning overtakes can all be looked at. If customers have raced previously and have in car video footage then I like to watch it to see if there are ways to improve or change for the future.
The focus on the next track session will be the conclusions from the previous debrief be that one or all of the Vision, Technique or Mentality categories – all to try and achieve the goal of better Pace.
For more information on Racing Driver Training with Ben Elliott please contact Ben on 07739632250 or Info@Race-Instructor.co.uk