Speed Secrets: The Approach to Fast Turns

By Ross Bentley

April 11, 2018

The big, fast, and hairy turns are often the ones that separate the winners from the also-rans, right? Most often, it’s the fast turns where you stand to gain the most in terms of lap time. So, what do we do with the fast turns? We try to drive them as fast as we can. And when we rush into them, we hold our breath, tense up, lift off the throttle just as we turn in, changing the balance of the car, and reducing its overall level of traction – right when we need all we can get.

Instead, when approaching a fast turn that requires a small speed adjustment, make it early - lift or brake early and get back to throttle at turn-in. Oh, and breathe! When you hold your breath, your hands and arms tense up, restricting the feedback you're getting from the car.

As I said, our natural response to trying to go faster is to rush into the corners, leaving any speed adjustment (brake or throttle lift) as late as possible. It makes us feel like we're going faster. But that's often the wrong approach; we're entering a fast turn with the car less than ideally balanced. If you need to make a speed adjustment for a fast corner, make it early, and then get back to throttle by the time you begin turning in. That way the car will be better balanced and you'll be fully focused on sensing the car's limits and your line rather than on how late you can make your braking or throttle lift.

Ross Bentley

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