Beginner Racing Tips - Be Patient
Updated: Feb 20
One of the biggest beginner tips that we have for new sim racers and real-life track drivers is to be patient. With car culture social media pushing the desire to achieve shock value and displays of bravery, it's really tempting as a beginner to try to jump into those sorts of behaviors right away. However you will find yourself spending a ton of time resetting the game, or if you're racing in real life, having dangerous consequences to pushing hard too early on. Cars don't always need to be driven in anger, especially on a racetrack. It's more important to build consistency in your performance, that way when you do want to push your limits more, you will have built the muscle memory to safely and confidently try new techniques.
In this video example, I'm at Daytona International Speedway, racing against two Corvettes up ahead in a one-make race. With equal cars, it's up to the drivers to take the most advantage of their strengths. Something I learned from racing in real life is that learning your opponents early on in your campaign will pay back hugely when you take advantage of their in capabilities. However, studying other racers is not something one can easily achieve when they're trying to control a car in anger. If you're already behind your opponent, and it's early enough in the race, take a lap to understand where this opponent can take advantage of you, and vice versa where you can take advantage of them. In this video, I know that I can get a better exit than my opponents and catch up in the banking, since in the infield I was able to catch up even despite shifting early. I also know that I'm capable of braking later than the others. One might suggest I make the pass in the mid corner section, but since I'm still learning the car and how it behaves at Daytona, so there is higher risk in trying to pass in the corner.
Yes I understand that it's pretty logical in this case: in a one-make race, corner exit is key to making a pass since you can't take advantage of additional power. But put yourself in a multi-class or mixed-make competition, then it's easy to see where these advantages may not appear immediately easy. There are too many factors such as your understanding of your own car, your opponent’s understanding of their car, your comfort level with the track, their comfort level with the track, how everyone reacts to ambient conditions, how much sleep you got - I'm sure you're starting to see the point. The take-away here is simply ‘be patient’. When you're a patient driver, your mindset is not to push to the point of making a mistake, but instead to drive smoothly and repeatably, such that you can earn more performance out of the car with less risk.