SPEED NEWS March 2016

Speed News Magazine - The Official Magazine of the National Auto Sport Association

Issue link: http://mag.speednewsmag.com/i/647559

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Page 35 of 75

I f you drive fast on a racetrack, whether it is for HPDE, Time Trials or racing, you will encounter "plateaus" in your driving. A plateau occurs when you can't seem to find a way to go faster, when you can't seem to make your lap times any lower than they already are. In the earlier stages of your driving career, a plateau is easier to overcome. Your "aha" moment could stem from something as simple as input from an instructor, some words of wisdom during a download or even something you stumbled upon while you were out driving. "Hey, that actually worked!" However, as you begin to develop as a driver, a plateau becomes more difficult to overcome. Why? You've already picked up all the biggest chunks of speed on the more obvious and important turns on a racetrack on your way to becoming the driver you already are. Now you are looking at trying to mine nuggets of speed from all the not-so-obvious places, using advanced, more nuanced techniques. Now, finding speed becomes more elusive. Now, you need data, but if you don't know what you're looking at, you need a coach. At the end of last season, a friend of mine, John Mueller, former NASA National Spec Miata director, and I split the cost of a coach for the day. We learned after years of spending money on our cars, we probably should have been investing in ourselves as drivers. In fact, that's one of the most important things we learned that day: Hiring a driving coach sooner rather than later is a better plan than waiting till someday. Someday never comes. If you think you are ready for a driving coach, get one. Now. We'll go into more detail as to why later. Using data, a driving coach can help you lower those lap times you couldn't seem to bring down on your own. STORY BY BRET T BECKER 36 SPENDING A DAY WITH A DRIVING COACH CAN HELP YOU PUSH YOUR SKILLS TO A HIGHER LEVEL TRANSCENDING THE PLATEAU

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