Driving a racing car is very different from driving a normal car. While driving a car in the Touring Racing Car Championship, one needs to take care of the following −
When driving a racing car, the rider should acknowledge factors like the weight of the car, car’s grip, stopping power, power and torque of the engine, steering of the car, and car’s suspension.
Car’s grip is an important factor. It determines how much force is required to make the tires slip on a certain terrain. In any condition, the racer should not lose control of the car.
Acknowledging the grip of the car is very handy. It shows how fast the car can go while taking a turn with certain radius.
Always take care of the corners of the car’s suspension. If it is very tight, the car won’t sway and it makes the car more predictable. If it is loose, the tyres stay on the ground.
Understanding the car’s suspension helps the driver to acclimate the car better. Some people freak out when they feel the car is swaying because of lateral forces being exerted on it. It is very normal and occurs due to the center of gravity shifting slightly.
Swaying is a sign of danger when the car is sliding as the car generally sways equal amount when driving slowly to slide or when careening off the track sideways.
Understanding how fast the car responds to the turning wheel is important. The driver should understand how to take a sharp turn and how much to turn the wheel.
If the driver turns the wheel too little it makes the car to under steer and throws it off the track. If turned too much, the car is over steered and either the car slides or the car hits the inside of the corner.
The next important thing is to have stopping power. While planning for serious racing, the drivers have to mostly slam on the brakes to slow down for corners. Instead of coasting down the speed, slamming on the brakes helps in maintaining a faster speed for longer duration.
One thing to keep in mind is, that waiting too long to brake can lead to braking too hard, as a result, the car slides. Applying brake while turning, adds another sway factor and decreases the grip and the car slides.
Finally, the driver should keep in mind the power and torque of the engine. This gives the driver a better idea of how to drive the racing car. The driver should be capable of accelerating as fast as possible. The power of the car is determined by the engine powers and grips of the car.
It’s better to imagine a string tied from the steering wheel to the gas pedal. The logic behind this is, one can drive faster when the wheels are straight. If the wheels are cranked distantly in a direction, then the strings will be tight on the gas pedal and can’t push it much.
Remember to brake hard and early as driving on a racing track is different from normal driving. So when the rider reaches a turning point, the rider has to hit the brakes hard with full force and slowly let go off the brake while taking the turn.
At any cost, never let go off the steering even if the arms get all twisted. It’s better never to let go off the steering wheel. Hands should always stay on the sides of the steering wheel.
All the corners are not important. The key for driving fast is to acknowledge how to exit a corner to get the wheel straight and start gaining speed.
Keep your eyes up. The drivers who are not willing to drive by the instruments alone wisely make use of the big window above the dashboard. The secret is to look through the top 1/3 of the windshield.
It’s ok to feel weird at first, as it is very different from normal driving. The driver should learn more about the car and tires. On the racing track, everything starting from the speed, noise, inertia, the body roll to the pitch and yaw axes gets amplified.
These are few basic guidelines that the racer should always keep in mind. Racing is something which requires practical demonstration and practice. Theoretical knowledge is not enough to participate in championship.
Following is a set of general prescription for Touring cars also known as Group A Cars issued by the Federation Internationale Automobile (FIA). Any type of modification is not allowed unless authorized by the regulations specified by FIA.
Cars homologated after 01.01.99 with the exception of kit variants and competing in rallies must not be wider than 1800 mm.
No part of the car must touch the ground when all the tires on one side are deflated.
Cars must be fitted with a reverse gearbox in working order.
Suspension parts and wheels made from partially or entirely composite materials are prohibited.
Drivers should not exceed 40mph while driving in the pit lane. Drivers exceeding this can be penalized or they may lose their qualifying times.
Testing is unrestricted seven days before the start of the first championship meeting.