Tips for the Racetrack: Four Key Sections of a Racing Line
The path followed by a racing driver to turn track corners the fastest is called the racing line. By using the maximum space available on the track, a car can travel straighter and faster before reaching grip limits. Knowing the racing line is a crucial skill to perfect for track days and racing events alike.
While there are many lines or arcs at a race circuit, there is none as fast as the racing line. The racing line’s trajectory depends on how severe the corner is, the length of the straight that follows, and what type of car is being driven. The trick is to always bring maximum speed in the braking zone and through the corner before heading for the next straight.
There are four major sections in a racing line, namely:
This is the position at which you start to push on the brakes just before a corner. Everything is easy up to getting the latest braking point possible – the challenge lies in continuing deceleration at 100% of the grip available. As a newbie, remember that your braking should mostly follow a straight line, and your final release of brake pressure should be super smooth.
The turn-in point is where you turn into the corner. You’ve already got your sights towards the apex, so you already know when to turn into the corner and how much force is needed. A less than perfect turn-in point compromises your lap time. Turning in too late will limit your speed as you go through the corner; if you turn in too early, and your exit speed will be crippled.
APEX OF A CORNER
You may have heard drivers talking about hitting or missing the perfect apex. The apex is also known as the clipping point – the spot where you’re actually inside the corner. At the apex of circuits is usually a curb that helps keep drivers away from the the grass. This is typically an excellent visual cue as to where the apex is as you approach the corner. To sustain maximum speed through a corner, pick the route that reduces the corner arc’s tightness to the minimum.
After making it to the apex, you can build up speed again. Remember this: the faster the corner, the earlier its apex will be.
The exit point is simply where your car is once again outside of the track. Passing the apex, you must start increasing throttle position and open up your steering angle as needed; if you this well, and you’ll no doubt achieve the optimum exit point.