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Create your own unfair advantage, develop and use a Log Book!

Have you ever wondered what your lap times were or what tire pressures or suspension settings you used the last time you were at a particular race track?

All of this guesswork can be eliminated if you will take the time to create and maintain your own Log Book. I did this seven years ago and today I have a complete record of every lap I have turned at every racetrack I have been on in the last seven years. In addition, I have developed my own track notes for each track I have been to which gives me all the reference markers that I use and what gear I use in every corner etc. Included with these notes is the official map of the track. I also have a video library of most of the road courses in North America that I have developed over the years.

Before I go to a track that I haven't been to in a year I will spend an evening reviewing my track notes, the map and studying the video. Then that evening I will practice visualizing driving that track. Any corner I have difficulty with in my visualization is one that I will go back and review. If you really get good at this visualization technique try it with a stop watch and see how close you can come to your actual lap times.

Another way to get ready to drive a track I haven't been to in a while is to use my simulator which has all the tracks I drive already preloaded in it. Several hours of practice in "My racecar" on the simulator gets me ready. I have even used the "nighttime" setting practicing for a night race. I know this sounds like overkill, but any preparation work you can do before you actually get to the track will really pay off.

Before we go to the track I will review the suspension settings section of my Log Book to see what sway bar settings, shock absorber compression and rebound settings, and spring rates we used the last time we were at this particular race track. By putting these adjustments on the car before we ever leave home we should be very close to a good set-up when we arrive at the track. This assumes we were happy with the handling of the car the last time we were at the track. If not we can review our notes and make whatever corrections we thought we needed to make.

The Log Book I use is a small three-ring binder (51/2" X 81/2"). I have tabs for Tire Temps/Pressures, Suspension Settings, Lap Times, Track Notes, Track Maps, and Miscellaneous Information. If you use an in-car timing system every time you go out on the track it makes it very easy to record your lap times. You just have to be disciplined enough to do it all the time. Northstar Motorsports carries the complete line of AiM GPS based Lap Timing systems.

Over the off-season is a great time to begin the process of putting a Log Book together for use this coming season.


Tech Tips Archive

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Auto Racing Helmet Requirements

All Driver's Suits Are Not Created Equal

Toe in or Toe out

Understanding Tire Temperatures

Create your own unfair advantage, develop and use a Log Book!