In motorsport, everybody is always looking for a way to find a competitive edge over their rivals. However, with many race series being closely regulated, the chances of getting away with that hidden turbo charger or wider tyres are very slim indeed.
So, in this world of strict rulebooks and scrutineering bays, what can you do to help you get the upper hand over your competitors? Well, we have put together a list of ideas to help you get the most out of your time on track.
1. Wide-angle mirror
Knowing who is behind you and if they are about to launch their car up the inside at the next corner is crucial to maintaining position through the race. However, the external mirrors on race cars tend to be rather small and don’t allow you to obtain a clear picture of what is behind you.
In a bid to help you see more, fitting a wide angle mirror is highly advantageous. Not only are these internal mirrors longer than a conventional one, they are also convex to provide a wider field of vision.
Designed to attach to the central cross bar at the top of a roll cage, these mirrors are available with a range of different diameters to suit the various roll cage diameters available.
2. Brake Fluid
Though many race championships will feature regulations on the type of modifications that can be made to a braking system, there is one aspect that you will most likely be able to change – the brake fluid.
It may well be the case that the regulations for your chosen championship stipulate that you must use a certain type of brake fluid such as a DOT 4 rated fluid. However, even between the different DOT 4 rated fluids, there are variations in boiling points and fluid properties.
As a result, it pays to use a high specification brake fluid in your braking system. Not only will it be capable of withstanding the higher brake temperatures that occur during motorsport activities, but it will also provide a more stable and consistent brake pedal feel.
This means that you can have increased confidence on the brakes which allows you to push the boundaries and even reduce your braking distances. You may also feel more comfortable to improve your trail braking technique to help rotate the car into the corner.
There are many different brake fluids available on the market, but one of the most popular is Castrol React SRF which features a very high boiling point of 320°C.
3. Racelogic Lap Timer and Pit Lane Timer
Technically, these are two separate products, but they are so useful that we had to include both of them!
To start off with the lap timer, we all know that these types of units are very useful and that it is always nice to know what lap times you are doing, but most people will have a unit like this installed in their car, so how will this give you a competitive advantage?
Well the point of difference with the Racelogic Lap Timer is its predictive display. Not only does the unit show a real time delta to show how much quicker, or slower your current lap is compared to your best lap, it also features a pair of LEDs which act as a useful visual indicator.
These LEDs will illuminate in green if you are up on your best time, and red if you are down. However, as these LEDs update in real time they are also very useful for assessing your progress through a corner.
For example, you may see red lights on your way in to a corner, but green lights on the way out. This means that, although your entry to the corner was slower, you actually carried better exit speed and gained time overall. On the flip side of this, seeing green on the way into a corner and red on the way out will most likely mean that you have carried too much speed and compromised your corner exit.
Using this information, you can see what difference changes in racing line, braking point, turn in, and throttle application are making on your lap times all the way around the lap. It also allows you to make quicker progress as you won’t need to wait until the end of the session to review the data on a laptop to see where you lost or gained time.
The second useful item is the Racelogic Pit Lane Timer.
In longer races or endurance events where the organisers mandate a minimum time that you must spend in the pit lane when making a pit stop, this particular product will take the guesswork out of getting your timing right.
In most cases, not spending long enough in the pit lane will result in a penalty which will have a significant impact on your race. Likewise, spending too long in the pit lane will also cause you to lose out in the overall results.
So, how will this timer help?
Well, firstly it is able to detect when you have entered the pit lane and automatically start a timer. At this point, the display switches to show your current speed, helping you to maximise your pit lane speed without ending up with a speeding fine.
Once you pull to a halt in your pit box, the display changes to a countdown timer based on your specified pit lane time. As soon as the timer reaches zero you can leave the pit box.
The display now changes back to the speed readout and uses the two LED indicators to provide a visual indicator of whether you are due to be within or exceed your pit lane time, allowing you to adjust your speed as necessary to ensure compliance with the rules.
When using one of these timers, you can really minimise the amount of time that you have off the race track and help to give you the best possible chance of a good result on track.
4. P1 Nutrition
Away from the car itself, you can do your part in obtaining a competitive advantage.
Being in top shape physically can have a big impact on how you perform behind the wheel. But not every driver is going to spend hours in the gym every week and be built like a boxer, there are other ways of ensuring that you are in the best position physically for your race.
Motorsport is a surprisingly physical sport, despite the fact the you are sat down the entire time. The forces that act on your body while driving at speed, heavy presses of the brake pedal and the levels of concentration required can all take their toll.
One of the ways to help prepare your body for these exertions is to use the range of nutritional supplements from P1 Nutrition.
Specifically designed for motorsport use, Pre-RaceFuel has been scientifically proven to boost energy, focus and stamina levels, thus improving your performance on track. When taken before an event, the advanced ingredients get to work to improve concentration levels, reaction speeds, blood flow to help cope with a higher heart rate and help reduce muscle fatigue and prevent lactic acid build up.
P1 Nutrition RaceFuel can be taken at any time and is useful for strengthening the muscle groups that are used while driving. Designed to be used as part of a training program, the unique formulation helps to improve recovery times and replace lost nutrients during a workout or race.
5. Prisma Tyre Gauge and Logger
We know that tyre pressures and temperatures make a big difference to how a car handles, but what if you could keep track of both of these readings, as well as lap times, in one easy to access place? Well, with Prisma Electronics, you can!
Yes, there are plenty of options for tyre pressure gauges, pyrometers and lap timers that are already available on the market, but to be able to combine all three of these features into one unit not only makes it easier to keep track of data from a single session, it also allows you to refer back to what tyre pressures you were running in similar conditions.
Being able to store up to 50 sets of data for both tyre pressures and temperatures, there is plenty of space to store data from previous sessions, all of which can be easily recalled at the touch of a button.
When recording tyre temperatures, the Prisma Hiprema 4 not only allows you to record a temperature for each tyre, it also allows you to record outer, middle and inner temperatures. This gives an even better understanding of the temperature across the whole surface of the tyre and whether you need to make any setup changes to better utilise the contact patch and improve the overall grip provided.
Along with recording the tyre pressures and temperatures, you can also capture lap times for up to 4 drivers with up to 9 split times for each. This provides a great depth of detail for teams that run multiple drivers and is a useful tool for comparing driver performance.
So, there we have it, 5 hacks to help you get an edge over your competition. Have you got any tips and tricks that have helped you in your quest for better results? Feel free to share them in the comments below.