Jamie McHugh and Glenn Seton
Oh, I really must bring up the celebrity connection to my blog. It also happens to be an Australian connection to my blog. I recently got a visit from legends of their own genre; Jamie McHugh, several time Australian national Super Sedan champion and Glenn Seton, multi time V8 Super Car champion. I do have several readers from Australia, and feel privileged to have worked with these guys during their brief stint in America.
New car for Jamie McHugh
Jamie is building a new car for the upcoming season in Australia, and ventured across for a month of racing to look for new ideas for his new car. Al Atkinson, of Heiser Trailer Sales, provided a car for Jamie to run for the weeks that he was here. He had a little trouble acclimating to sitting on the left side of the car, but turned in some good finishes during his trip. It was evident the first time I saw him run a car that he is an exceptionally talented driver, but he was just a little out of his element. He has an exceptional level of car control and I really look forward to working with him again in the future.
One thing I really must thank Jamie for is for his on the gas style. He snapped me out of the monotonous rut that we sometimes fall into with local racing with the same guys at the same track every week. Sometimes everyone begins running their car the same way, in the same line. He showed me it is possible to run a car into the corner like he did. I don ‘t think everyone was quite ready for that, but hopefully other drivers will realize the same thing an lap times will begin to fall.
One thing that holds several people back from turning laps that fast is the fact that their car is too tight. The car should rotate on the gas without tossing it or stabbing the brake to get it to enter the corner. The car should turn on and off the gas with the steering wheel. It seems the largest area that people have with their cars getting too tight is the middle of the corner. The middle of the corner is a confusing stretch of earth. Sometimes you’re on the gas, sometimes you’re on the brake, you always need your car to turn. It seems the thing that defines fast and slow is whether you are on or off the gas in the middle of the corner.
To get the car to turn free in the middle of the corner and still have great traction off can be a real art in itself. You really need to understand that there is a difference between tight and traction. Traction is a good balance between the tires and tight is over tractioning the left rear. So then, a good balance to a race car that will turn the middle of the corner is a balance of all four tires. Basically, I believe, the best way to get a car to turn the middle of the corner is to get the car turns well, but it is stuck on the way entering the corner. The faster you can get in and turn the middle, the better you will get off the corner.
This is an important topic so I will continue more on this soon in future blog posts.
Till next time, run it hard through the middle of the corner.