Project Racer – Part 4: Hotlapping For Beginners



The Checkered Flag

It is the end of the run and you probably have a grin spreading from ear to ear. Your heart is pumping, your palms are sweaty, and you’re hooked. Welcome to the club, you have now joined road racing addicts anonymous. Though your mind may be moving a million miles a minute, remember that the speed limit in the hot pits is 15 mph! As tempting as it may be, don’t speed through the hot pits. It is rude and dangerous. Come to your chosen pit stop, and as mentioned in the previous article, remember to not use your e-brake! Simply turn off the motor and put the car into gear. This should keep it from rolling around. By this point, you should have decided that this was the best 20 minute adrenaline rush you have ever experienced in your life! But the good news is – you have three more sessions to go! Drivers meetings for HPDE 1 are usually immediately after the session. Called “download sessions”, these meetings usually reflect on what you did wrong, or what you could have done to improve your driving.

If you’ve gotten to this point then congratulations, you will have learned a lot about your driving – as well as yourself. You will learn how you and your car respond to situations while on the track, in scenarios you’ve never been placed into before. But remember; check your ego at the door. It is easy to let your ego consume you in your newfound driving confidence. Remember that when you are not on the racetrack, you cannot drive as though you still are on the racetrack.

Points to Remember

 In conclusion, there are a few points that you should remember throughout the day. Set small goals and work your way up. Make it a goal to drive conservatively your first time out. Most likely, you will be driving your daily driver to the track, so remember that your ultimate end goal is to be able to drive your car home in one piece so that you can make it to work on Monday. Don’t push your car to limits they can’t reach, like the time I blew the motor to the NX, but as mentioned before,  I’ll tell you all about that next episode…


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