Few things out there offer as much excitement as driving, for those who like to go at high speeds at least. Strangely enough, driving can also be quite relaxing. When it’s just you out there with nothing but the road ahead, you seldom think about anything else, and you find that your mind is quite clear.
Yet, the real fun is really letting yourself go and racing with everything. While that might not be quite doable on state highways, you can always go to a race track and unleash your inner Formula 1 driver. You need to plan ahead, though, if you’re going to do that. Here’s what you need to know.
Prepping The Car:
Hit a Service Center
You can’t possibly hope to take your car to a race track without properly servicing it. You don’t really need to get custom gear and racing parts, because you’re probably doing this for fun and don’t want to spend a fortune doing it. So, the most important part of preparing for the race track is taking your vehicle to a service center for a full check-up.
Make sure every part of your car is thoroughly inspected, even if it is relatively new. Wear and tear can take a toll on the vehicle, and a loose bolt here or there can be quite dangerous when you’re going at high speeds. You might also want to change the oil, and make sure it is not full because that might risk oil getting into the inlet manifold when you’re going full speed.
This is part of prepping the car, but it is so important that it warrants a separate point. Checking tire pressure can be the difference between winning the race and crashing your car. Make sure it is at least matching the manufacturer’s guidelines. Professional drivers like to play around with this one, some increasing it by around 10% to fit better into race tracks. Others might go under that pressure. In any case, try different things here until you find a formula that works best for your driving and car.
Tips for Hitting the Race Track:
Know Your Car
You should never hit a race track unless you really know your car and understand just what it is capable of. You need to know what speeds it can reach, and just how stable it will be at those high speeds. More importantly, you need to know what to do if you face an emergency in the middle of a race.
It is crucial, according to idrivesafely.com, to know how to jump-start your car. This is even important in your everyday driving, not just racing. You need to be prepared for the possibility that your battery might die out on you, and you have to know how to safely bring it back to life. In short, understand your car and how to handle it.
Be Careful Around the Corners
Learning how to approach corners is one of the most difficult angles to racing, and you need to perfect it. This is where most accidents happen, and it is often due to drivers’ negligence.
The one thing you should avoid at all costs is overtaking corners because this will hurt not only you but other drivers as well. Make sure you give yourself and others enough space, and they will help you and return the favor. Slow down, hit the brakes, and turn around the corner without overtaking it to avoid crashing into other cars.
Make the Right Call
At the end of the day, this is a race, and you want to win. But that doesn’t mean you should do it at all costs. You need to always make the right call and calculate all angles to avoid accidents, which can be quite dangerous at those high speeds.
Don’t try to overtake two vehicles, for instance, unless you are sure that the space can fit you and you are sure that both drivers are aware of you coming in from behind. Never tailgate, which is when you’re basically touching the car in front of you. That is just asking for an accident to happen. You should never get that close because other drivers might panic and lose control.
Aside from ensuring that your car is well prepared, you also need to ensure that you are prepared. Give yourself a sufficient amount of time to rest. It is best if you avoid staying up late if you plan to hit the track for the next day. If you need to travel to join an event, travel a day or two ahead and book an accommodation close to the track.
This will ensure that you are not tired from travelling, even before you race. It is also important that you are nourished and hydrated, so have a proper meal to keep your energy up. In addition to this, as much as possible, avoid the consumption of alcohol if you plan on racing.
Aside from being physically prepared, it is also essential to be mentally prepared for a race. Racing can quite be stressful and mentally exhausting. Hence, it helps to have realistic expectations to relieve the pressure that a race can bring to your nerves. You might even consider attending a race car event as an audience first to have a good insight on what you can expect once you are already out there. This can also give you an idea of what type of safety gear you need to invest in, such as what helmet would prove to be most appropriate. Keep in mind that a clear mind will go a long way as you eventually drive through the track.
Racing is all about exercising good judgment. This begins by properly prepping your car before you even consider hitting the track. Winning a race isn’t worth risking your life, so be careful just what exactly you’re doing out there. Take your time preparing, mentally and physically, and approach with caution. A good and entertaining race is one that ends with no accidents.