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Racetrack Driving Tips: The Four Main Parts of a Racing Line

The racing line is the course a racing driver follows to be able to turn on corners at the highest possible speed. By using the maximum space available on the track, a car can travel straighter and faster before reaching grip limits. Determining the racing line is a critical skill that must be mastered for both track days and racing events.

No line or arc on a race circuit is as fast as the racing line. Corner severity, succeeding straight’s length, and car type are the three issues that impact the racing racing line’s trajectory. The trick is to always bring maximum speed in the braking zone and through the corner before heading for the next straight.

The four principal sections of a racing line are:

BRAKING POINT

This is where you begin hitting the brakes pre-corner. While this sounds easy, choosing the latest possible braking point and continuing to slow down at 100% of the grip available is far from it. If you’re new to everything, just take note that your braking should predominantly be in a straight line, with the final release of brake pressure demanding ultra smoothness.

TURN-IN POINT

The spot where you turn into the corner is known as the turn-in point. The key is that you’re already looking towards the apex, so you know exactly when and with how much force you should turn into the corner. A less than perfect turn-in point compromises your lap time. If you come too too late and you won’t build enough speed for turning through the corner; if you come too early, you’ll turtle down your exit speed.

APEX OF A CORNER

You’ve probably heard drivers talking about hitting or not hitting the ideal apex. The apex, also referred to as the clipping point, is the point where you’re actually inside of the corner. Circuits often have a curb at the apex and the purpose is to keep drivers from getting onto the grass. In most cases, this is a perfect visual cue of the location of the apex as you turn into 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. Note that faster corners may have early apexes, and slower corners and hairpins will likely have late ones.

EXIT POINT

The exit point is simply where your car is once again outside of the track. The moment you’ve passed the apex, you have to start building throttle position and open up your steering angle as necessary- if you do this right, you’ll end up at the best exit point.

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