Understanding The Apex of a Corner

We’re here at the end of the sunset straight, which is a fairly quick area of Reno Fearnley. The cars are coming down anywhere from 65 to a 90 or 100 miles an hour. At a track day, we always want to remember that we’re driving at seven-tenths so the cars have come in. The way they get through this turn is really critical. We really want to come in slow and exit on the throttle as soon as we can. What I’ve got is three cones here illustrating how not to do it. For beginners, they may have a tendency to break for the turn without slowing down and turn in too soon. They’ve prevented themselves from having the opportunity to make the full arc of the term. They’ve started the arc and that arc is going to carry them the wrong direction. That direction will be just out to the edge of the track where they can probably just turn around and get back on the line for the next turn.

However if they are going more than seven-tenths, that’s where it can bite you. You can go off headed at the unintended consequences of that little tire wall. That’s the early apex. Most drivers, even new drivers and more mature drivers have been taught to drive down the middle of the lane on the highways. It’s only a safe way to do it. It would be natural for someone to drive down here, learning the line and feeling that the safest thing to do is to stay right in the middle of the road. A potential problem, which happens with most streetcars is your car is going to understeer and never be able to get a proper attitude to be able to accelerate out of the turn.

As the drivers progress through the end of the turn, the car is still fighting to go through the outside of the turn and they haven’t gotten to be able to get control of the car and accelerate. The problem with driving down the middle of the track is you may wear out your front tires. It might be really exciting and you might be having fun, but you won’t be going as fast as you’ll be way out here before you get on the throttle. That’s not the best way to go either. This time we’re going to come into this turn and we’re going to get it right. In that process, you’re going to learn one of the most important things to driving quickly, smoothly and safely around a track and that is using the entire track. Start on the outside of the entry, going to the inside, then to the middle of the turn and use the track by exiting all the way to what we would call the track out point on the outside of the turn.

Another way to look at this is we can actually make a 180 degree turn into roughly a 160-degree turn by softening the arc. What we’ll do to make this happen is come into the turn. We’ll get on the brakes a little bit earlier and we’re going to go straight a little past the arc of the turn and give up a little bit of speed at the beginning of the turn. This time we’re coming around the turn coming toward the apex. If we get it right, we actually can be driving down the end of this turn, feeding the throttle hopefully before the apex, which is way faster.

Now we’re about to leave this beautifully taken turn after we’ve done the asymmetrical late apex. We’ve got the car in a nice straight line coming out of the turn, and I’ve put two cones down there that might be a little bit confusing to you. The one on the left represents what we would call a pinched exit. This pinched exit creates the need to go into the right and really adds turn to the next turn ahead of us. Now if we let the car out to a true track out point, this car is on the throttle on a straight line, going all the way out. Bottom line is letting the car use the whole track. That is the fastest way to get down to that next term.

What is 7/10ths Driving

During high-performance driver education experiences, there’s one priority that is higher than any of them. We don’t want folks to get hurt. In fact, with Hooked on Driving, we’ve been running large events well over a couple of thousand drivers over five years with only two minor incidents and no injuries. That’s the way we want to keep it and we want to encourage you to do a thing called seven-tenths driving during an HPD event. Seven-tenths driving allows for a margin for error. If you drive out and maybe miss an apex or turn in wrong or go in a little bit too fast, then you have an opportunity to just correct the behavior, correct the mistake and nothing happens.

This 10 tenths car with a sports radial tire is designed to provide multiple purposes because of the g load sideways on the tire. The 10 tenths car comes with race tires, race tires have a sticky gummy tread with no pleats and it’s basically a slick. This tire can actually last longer on a track. Then the street tire, if you get up to 10 tents, that’s a major consideration. Also, these cars have very different suspensions and brake systems. This car we drive up to redline occasionally, but generally speaking, you’re not gaining a whole lot because we’re not worried about lap times. We’re not worried about beating the guy ahead of us, so let’s take it a little easy on the engine so that it remains under warranty and that we don’t hurt it in a car race.

Every shift is a red line. Every breaking point is the latest possible and we take the car to the limits. The driving style is also really important. That’s really what we’re talking about. This car is slid and pushed and driven into the very last foot. It also has a lot more safety gear including a full roll cage made of mild steel and welded to the subframe of this car in eight different locations. This car has the standard safety gear, seatbelts shoulder harnesses, airbags. With regard to the safety gear, we recommend the open face helmet.

A steering wheel with an active airbag is best driven with an open face. Helmets are probably the most important item that we have out with us at an HPD program in the race car. Obviously, a little more dramatic activity could take place and this type of helmet would certainly be much more recommended. Full face fireproof lining Pfizer over the front offers much more protection. Also, a full fire suit is called for in a racing situation. So this is what we were when we run out here at 10 tenths. Contrasting very clearly to what happens at attracting day. We’d like you to have fun and learn how to drive this car and enjoy the day going away exhilarated and with a lifetime experience as well as new lifetime friends.