Driver Training: One Powerful Strategy To Instantly 10x Your Results

 How far away is the closest expert on driver training?

Is there a popular driver training book on your desk? Do you have a podcast episode cued up? When was the last time you reached out to an expert for help?

(By the way, I take great pride in being readily available to help solve anyone’s racing problems. Submit any question at RacersHQ.com/ASK)

We all have a natural desire to figure out things on our own – to strive for that feeling of self accomplishment when you finally make it click.

Let me make this explicitly clear: you are wasting your time.

With so many experts readily available to help you go faster it makes zero sense to waste time trying to figure things out on your own. Hundreds of experts have already mastered what your struggling to accomplish. You simply need to allow them to guide you in driver training.

Jake Reihl has more insight on this matter which you’ll find in the article below.

Here’s Jake.

-Matt


You can find out more about Jake by listening to his podcast, Rags to Races (free on iTunes and Stitcher) or by visiting him on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram). You can also email him directly at ragstoraces@gmail.com.


I know what I’m doing. Do I need expert driver training?

I have quite a bit of experience when it comes to performance driving – I got my start way back in 2001.  Like most of you I started out autocrossing and eventually moved on to track days.  

I pride myself in being able to find the racing line in a very short amount of time.  So far, the most wheel-to-wheel action I’ve been able to afford is through rental kart racing leagues.  It’s high time that I changed that.

At this point in my life I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on the basic techniques needed to go fast around a track. 

I know the pros and cons of trail braking, the sound and feeling you get when your tires are at maximum grip and you achieve the perfect slip angle, and so on.  

Why would I need any kind of driver training?  Truth be told, even drivers at the top of their game could always benefit from a little extra instruction.

More information means…more confusion? 

With my focus now shifted to karting and the LO206 program, I felt like a fish out of water once I brought the kart home.  

(Jake’s prior article about why he transitioned away from the Miata to the LO206 – The LO206: I’m done with cars. I found something better.)

Yes I know basic technique, but can I adapt my abilities to something so different from a car?  

One of the biggest things on my mind after bringing the kart home was, “How the hell do I work on this thing?”  It seems simple enough, but the chassis and drive train were completely foreign to me.  

I jumped on the internet thinking that the answer has to be out there for someone like me already.  

A few Youtube videos and some notes, and I’ll be ready to race.  After spending nearly 6 hours trolling the internet, I found very little to help me.  In fact, I was more confused than when I started.

Eliminate the learning curve. Call an expert.

Thankfully, I had a few days off work coming up soon.  I contacted my local kart track.  Their website shows that they do offer driver training by the hour.  

The prices were really good for someone bringing their own kart; $100.00 for the first hour and $50.00 each additional hour.  

After the instruction time is over, you also get a free day pass to use the track as much as you want.  I got on the phone them to ask a few questions.  To my surprise, I was the one answering questions almost instantly.

“What do you want to learn about?” “Which class of kart are you bringing?” “What chassis are you running?”  

This attention to detail from the employees made me realize that I’m doing the right thing.  Driver training, at least at this particular track, is what I need to fully understand my kart.

I explained that I’m running a Praga Chassis that’s set up for Briggs LO206.  

(Listen to the LO206 episode of the Racers HQ Podcast: Episode 010: The next (and very affordable) step up for the serious autocrosser – the DR/Briggs 206.)

I also explained that my main focus would be on preparing the kart, tuning the chassis and understanding how it all works.  

I booked 2 hours of instruction as I felt that this would be a good start.  We could have an hour just on the ins and outs of kart chassis setup along with an hour for translating my driving technique to karting.

You can’t argue with results. 

I arrived early so I could set up a spot in the paddock to work.  

I was greeted right away by my instructor, Bill.  As it turns out, Bill and I have a bit of a history.  

Those rental kart leagues I talked about at the beginning of this post? Bill was one of my toughest competitors.  He had a bit of a weight disadvantage to me, but still was able to beat me several times back then.  

He spent so much time at the track, they eventually offered him a job.  

We caught up and got to work.  I came prepared with a pen and paper to take notes.  

We spent the first 20-30 minutes going over the kart, lubricants needed, how to make adjustments to the chassis to change handling characteristics, (more on kart tuning later) and even general maintenance. 

From there we hit the track.  Once I knocked the cobwebs off, I was able to run consistent laps.  Both me and Bill noted that some changes needed to be made to the kart to optimize it for this track.

Bill talked me through making gear changes and suggested some tire pressure changes that could help me.  

He also gave me pointers on braking points coming into the slowest corner on the track.  

After adjustments were made, I got back on track.  Bill watched my laps and kept notes for me.  I could tell things were going well when I started getting the “thumbs up” sign after nailing the slow corners.  

I ran some laps and brought it back in.  Bill went over what he saw and gave me a few more things to try with the setup.

I spent the rest of the day running laps, checking my lap times and making small adjustments to the kart.  We worked until the heat got the best of me.  

I started out running consistent laps at 1:02.  I ended the day running in the 0:59 range. Without driver training, it would have taken my several days at the track to get there.

Trust an expert, get instant results.

Overall, driver instruction was one of the best things I’ve ever spent money on when it comes to performance driving. 

Back when I was a kid in band class, my teacher always said, “Practice does NOT make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.”  

While seat time does help you get faster, that speed can come very slowly over time when you look at the cost of track days or the limited amount of time driving at an autocross.  

There is always going to be someone faster than you out there.  The best thing you can do is learn from them.  Talk to them.  

The best modification you can do to your race car is an adjustment to the part that is in the seat.

Keep the experts close and the results will come pouring in.


You can find out more about Jake by listening to his podcast, Rags to Races (free on iTunes and Stitcher) or by visiting him on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram). You can also email him directly at ragstoraces@gmail.com.


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