More consistency

Long time ago simracer Nihad Gluscic gathered some tips and tricks helped him to be better at the race, keeping a good pace and concentration.

Think of it as a checklist and if you tick all the boxes, it’s more likely you will be able to pace yourself, lap after lap, and not lose your concentration and go off.

To do longer races, apart from practice, one also needs to maintain good pace and balance the aggression and conservatism and make sure to achieve a good average race lap. Also, at times when you are left alone on the track, with gap to person ahead and person behind, it gets tough to maintain your pace and you can easily make a stupid mistake, miss a braking point etc. There are some things to have in mind:

Nutrition and hydration
Don’t eat a large meal right before the races – I found myself often struggling to keep my head straight and not eating before races helped a great deal. Perhaps it is rather subjective experience but it’s worth trying.
Low blood pressure after eating (postprandial hypotension). Postprandial hypotension is a sudden drop in blood pressure after eating. It affects mostly older adults.

Just as gravity pulls blood to your feet when you stand, a large amount of blood flows to your digestive tract after you eat. Ordinarily, your body counteracts this by increasing your heart rate and constricting certain blood vessels to help maintain normal blood pressure. But in some people these mechanisms fail, leading to dizziness, faintness and falls. Postprandial hypotension is more likely to affect people with high blood pressure or autonomic nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Lowering the dose of blood pressure drugs and eating small, low-carbohydrate meals may help reduce symptoms.
from http://www.mayoclinic.com/

Drink enough liquid – especially if the races are intense and you’re sweating a lot. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to keep yourself hydrated, not too much though. You wouldn’t want to have to go to the bathroom with half of race to go. I keep my drink on the side of my downshifting paddle so I can have quick refreshment when accelerating onto the biggest straight of the track.
Ah, one more thing: beer is not a good way to hydrate your organism
Dehydration. When you become dehydrated, your body loses more water than it takes in. Even mild dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue.
from http://www.mayoclinic.com/

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Mind management

Did it ever happen to you that your mind wandered elsewhere because you were basically bored in a race where you didn’t have a direct battle to keep you occupied? If yes, here are a couple of tips:

Never ever calculate your position or your points – Your focus should be only the next two corners. Rehearse in your head the braking points and gears you will take in next two corners.

Don’t race yourself – sometimes it’s a good idea to switch off the delta splits because every single mistake you make against your best lap will show graphically on your screen and as a result, you will overdrive the rest of the lap trying to make up the time. And that’s when mistakes happen a lot.

Relative track position – Though this is a good tool, observing it too much can lead to same problems as described above. If a person behind is gaining on you, you can easily overdrive your ability you have on that particular day, and you can force yourself off and lose not only to person behind but a few positions more. Be aware but not obsessed with it.

Look ahead – when following another car slower than you, look at the track ahead of him and not at him because you’re only going to replicate their mistakes.

Never try new lines during the race – No matter how bored do you feel and how much gap you have to next person. Stick to the lines you know best and save the practice for test session.

Being lapped – if you are being lapped, its most likely a person a lot faster than you and you’d want them out of your way as soon as possible, because they can only distract you and make you lose your time. The best way to be lapped and lose least time is in the slowest corners. Brake a little later and give clear signal you’re making way and it should go without problem.
If you happen to have a very fast driver that is a lap down on you, don’t race them as you will lose time to people you are actually racing with. Best thing is to let them unlap themselves and then up your pace and perhaps others ahead of you will lose time in trying to race them. You will be there to pick up

There, I just wanted to share these few tips I found helped me a great deal to run consistent races, with laps very close to my personal best. If I went off and screwed up my race, it was mainly because I left some of the boxes unchecked.

Hope it helps.

Jerry Burkacki added:

Don’t race yourself – sometimes it’s a good idea to switch off the delta splits because every single mistake you make against your best lap will show graphically on your screen and as a result, you will overdrive the rest of the lap trying to make up the time. And that’s when mistakes happen a lot.

Well, once you understand that mistake made is never to be undone or covered by more pushing it is OK. Also we have to be realistic about our lap times during the race. I always have delta splits on. Combined with info from relative track position it is the greatest strategy tool. That brigs us to:

Relative track position – Though this is a good tool, observing it too much can lead to same problems as described above. If a person behind is gaining on you, you can easily overdrive your ability you have on that particular day, and you can force yourself off and lose not only to person behind but a few positions more.

Now having an info from F3 about somebody gaining on you, look at your delta, and it became obvious if you are loosing because of your mistakes or if that guy is faster. Sometimes having all of this information will calm you down – obviously you made x01 off and lost 0.9s and your opponent gained 0.6s. So if you continue at your normal pace you should be safe. In other case you can try to guess how much should you push to stay ahead till the end of the race. Example: opponent 3.0s behind you gains 0.5s, 8 laps to go. He will have you 2 laps to go unless you can speed up. Can you do that or should you try to block him in the end? I’d rather know all of that. Of course I dont think about it in the middle of the chicane or esses. Once a lap on a longest straight I do all the planning and check it latter maybe twice a lap.

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