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Tips for the Racetrack: Four Key Sections 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. It is crucial to determine the racing line, whether for track days or racing events.
While there are many lines or arcs at a race circuit, there is none as fast as the racing line. Three things affect the trajectory of the racing line: the severity of the corner, the length of the following straight, and the kind of car driven. The idea is to always build speed around the braking zone and the corner leading to the next straight.
There are four major sections in a racing line, namely:
This is the position at which you start to push on the brakes just before a 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.
The turn-in point is where you turn into the corner. You’ve already got your sights towards the apex, so you already know when to turn into the corner and how much force is needed. Unless you catch the perfect turn-in point, your lap time will suffer. Turning in too late will limit your speed as you go through the corner; if you turn in too early, and your exit speed will be crippled.
APEX OF A CORNER
As you may have noticed, drivers often talk about the perfect apex, either hitting it or missing it. The apex, otherwise called the clipping point, is where you’re actually inside or within the corner. At the apex of circuits is usually a curb that helps keep drivers away from the the grass. Turning into the corner, you can use the curb as as a hint of where the apex is. For maximum speed around a corner, get the route that limits the corner arc’s tightness.
As soon as you get into the apex (assuming your racing line is correct), you can restart on the throttle. Keep this in mind: faster corners have earlier apexes.
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.