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What Makes A Good Race Car Driver - Race Car Tech Session

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

What Makes A Good Race Car Driver - Race Car Tech Session

Grant Loc
January 31, 2013


I hope you are well and enjoying your racing.

Today I wanted to talk about what attributes are needed to make a good race driver. These attributes range from obviously being able to drive fast and physical ability.

In this article we will cover Racing Skills and Physical Ability.

Racing Skills

Race-craft and speed are not the same, race-craft is about passing, seeing the opportunities, backing off when needed, being brave when needed, strategic positioning of your car that benefits you and not the opposition. Some drivers are very fast but just cant race well with others around them, they do not have good race-craft and others are the opposite. To be a top driver you must have both race-craft and speed.

Racing is all about going fast and maintaining speed around the track, however this also needs to be achieved in qualifying. Being fast and having good race-craft is not enough if you at the back of the grid. You must be able to produce at least one magic flying lap that results in a good grid position. Working your way up the grid is tough and will not allow you to show your true potential.

Another area I want to address is be able to adapt your driving technique to the cars ability and set up, if the car is not performing as normal due to set up or a failure you will must be able to adapt you driving to suit, or give up…..! We all know giving up is not an option. Having and continuously building your ability to adapt your driving to suit that car is key to becoming a real race driver.

Physical Ability and Skills

Feeling and being in control of the car at it's limits is an essential skill you need, this skill when used correctly will enable you to drive at speed, this skill is in some ways is more critical than making sure you are always on the best racing line.

If you have met many F1 drivers or professional top-level drivers you will notice that a majority of them are pretty slight in stature. If you are 6 foot 6" or weigh well over 18 stone, your option as a professional driver is limited. However you can still have plenty of fun and be reasonably competitive in amateur race series.

The ability to be able to control and be aware of your speed coming in and out of corners at the maximum speed your race-car can deliver is such an incredible skill. The top drivers can achieve the same speed at corners time and time again, not varying by 1 mile per hour slower or faster.

It is such an amazing skill to be able to drive your race car at its limits over one lap, however to be a top driver you must be able to do this over many and if possible every stage and lap of the race. I feel this is a super human ability that the racing greats have can be breath taking. These drivers can consistently drive at the limits through out every stage of entry and corner exit this is such a tough skill to master. Most drivers can achieve a good corner or even a good lap but to be a great driver you must do this over and over again to pin point accuracy.

Keeping in good shape and being fit will without any doubt help with your ability to be a good race driver. As you are aware to race a car takes an incredible amount of stamina and strength, and the more competitive you get the more stress and strain will be placed on your body. You should have the physical strength and stamina to drive and control you car in cornering, braking and acceleration one if not two levels higher than your current race standing. You never know when the call will come that gives you the chance to race in the big time and if you are physically ready you have the chance to impress. I believe if you are ready you won't have to get ready….

Thank you for your time reading this article, I hope you enjoyed it.

Grant Loc has been involved with Motorsports for over 15 years and the Director of obp Ltd. obp Ltd Manufacture and Supply Race Car Products to most of the leading Motorsport distributors all over the World. Obp manufacture Race Car Pedal Boxes, Handbrakes, Alloy Dry Oil Sump Tanks, Race Seat Brackets, Swirl Pots, Catch Tanks etc. www.obpltd.com

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