The best driving lap times are not dependent of the technical setup of the vehicle. A highly developed car can improve your performance, but the best drivers have an edge no matter what car they drive. Real race car drivers know how to refine their driving skills and why it is essential to do so. With their skill, they can make any car move within the track in the quickest and most efficient manner possible.
If you are a racer wanting to improve your driving skills, remember that all abilities can be honed. With adequate training and experience, you’ll be the best driver you can be. Knowing what skills to fine-tune also helps.
Here are some tips on how you can significantly improve your lap time speed:
Learn to stick to your optimal line
Lines are crucial to have inside the track and finding the most efficient path makes a world of difference in your lap times. Good drivers familiarize themselves with just the right lane within the circular track that will allow them to move their car around in the most efficient manner possible. Look for the line that will let you cover a long distance without letting your speed suffer. There will always be that secondary path that helps you control your car better. Once you find that, follow it, stick to it, and you’ll improve your lap times quickly!
Drive as smoothly as you can
When it comes to race, smooth driving may not seem to be the ideal way to improve your lap times. However, the driver that has the smoothest turns is always the fastest. Making sharp turns will only cause your car or steering wheel to jerk, affecting your lap times. Slamming on your break also makes you lose your momentum. The best thing to do is to anticipate your next move. Once you round a corner, anticipate the next. Master the art of smooth shifts, and you’ll do better in your next race.
Sustain the momentum
Every corner in a race track pulls you slightly off momentum, making you lose some speed. Drivers who know how to sustain their momentum during corner drives get faster lap times. They will also be able to prepare as they approach the next corner. No car can make it through tight turns at full speed without the need to step on their brakes. The secret here lies in your knowledge of when to apply car brakes just enough to make the turn without losing too much speed.
You may be familiar with the “drifting” technique some do when getting around corners, but it is a trick that you should avoid. Instead of helping, this trick can slow you down. You’d often see this move used in go-karts running around their tracks, but it only worked on them because they are lightweight vehicles. Go-karts have smaller frames and are built differently, allowing them to turn sharply at very high speeds.
If you fail to drift right, you’ll only end up losing a lot of speed. Your kart will need to work its engine and wheels harder to get back to the right momentum, making you lose time on the track. Again, as mentioned above, make smooth turns. Keep your four wheels flat on the ground, and you’ll surely speed up your lap times.
Avoid making contact with others
Hitting another car can make you lose significant speed and momentum, apart from causing you injury and damaging your car. Refrain from making contact with walls or anything that creates friction as it can slow you down. While it can sometimes be a source of excitement, it won’t give you the fastest lap times. The competition is still after who’s quicker to finish the track, not to who made the most exciting and action-filled race.
Keep these five tips in mind and focus on your goal. These tips can help get you a head start on improving your driving lap times. However, your skills will only develop if you can turn these concepts into actual action. Head out and start practicing until you master each tip and until your race driving skills get better!
If you want to apply these tips to your actual driving, head to Utah Motorsports Park. We’re open on Wednesday and during weekends for your outdoor go-kart racing, practice, or track needs. Browse our activities and events or contact us at + (435) 277-8000 to know more.
Check out our previous blog article: Outdoor Go-Kart Racing in Utah