Race Tips - Performance Newsletter            

from Auto-Ware

April 2013

Coaching Tips -  Race Driving vs. Play Driving


Few racers would argue with the quote to the left when it comes to the race car, but what about you, the race driver?


The driver needs to be as prepared as the race car. Like any other sport, your lifestyle, physiology and psychology are important factors in your athletic abilities. Where do you think the racing expression "fell out of the seat" came from?  Yes, racers are athletes.


Just like other sports, to win at racing  requires a process. It's knowing the fundamentals so well you can do them in your sleep. This is well defined when it comes to the car, but what about you, the race driver?


The quote above is just as true when it comes to race driving fundamentals. Those fundamentals can be broken into major groups such as car control and race craft. Very few of the greatest race drivers in history were able to develop these skills alone. All the rest had coaches.


Driver coaching should address at least 9 different major facets of car control and go beyond the obvious to include parameters such as ergonomics and instant in-car results monitoring. Coaching should also address at least a dozen major facets of race craft, including learning or relearning tracks, to elements of fighter pilot tactics. All the while, your coach needs to help you with the athletic training.


If you are ready to go from play driver to race driver please email


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Shop Tips -  Ah Nuts and Paper Job


nutsThe drill press is the work horse of most shops, but you don't have to treat it like a low tech ax.


Lots of brackets get drilled on the press and it is often best to not place your work in the bottom of the vice. So, I often use (new) nuts like machine shop parallels to space the work up in the vice.


In the interest of saving time, I often drill two brackets at once (as shown in lower photo).


paperHowever, sometimes there may be a tiny bit of difference in the widths of the two parts. In that case, I fold a piece of paper a few times and place it on the moving jaw. The paper will crush when you tighten the vice and hold both pieces firmly.


You may need to lightly tap the work with a plastic hammer to make sure it  firmly rests on your poor man's parallels (nuts).



Equation of the Month - HP from Speed, Weight and Acceleration


This month's equation can be used to get engine horsepower with ordinary items found around the race shop.


HP = (((0.0025*FA*cd*speed^2)+(LG*Wt))*(RR/12)/(0.9*FGR))*RPM/5252


FA is frontal area, cd is aero coefficient of drag, LG is longitudinal G, Wt is vehicle weight in lbs, RR is drive wheel rolling radius in inches, and FGR is the final gear ratio.


With very little imagination you can use the speed, RPM and longitudinal G from a data system to create a rolling engine dyno!  Try our Data Webinars here to see what else you have been missing.

Please pass this newsletter on to your friends and tell them to drop me an email so they can get the Race Tips Newsletter, too.  You can always go to our web site Auto-ware.com and see the previous newsletters.
John Block