“It’s not who gets back to the gas first. It’s who gets back to FULL gas first”
In this article we’re going to continue on the recent theme of throttle application at corner exits.
We’ve covered what an apex means to you and how hitting it benefits your exit, where the most important exits are, How to set up automatic management, test of traction in the corner.
In the managing traction article I mentioned the ever more popular phrase…
“It’s not who gets back to the gas first. It’s who gets back to FULL gas first.”
In his popular training materials, the first time I saw Simon Crafar record this sentence, and one that was a bit of a lightbulb moment for many riders.
As with many aspects of riding, having the means to measure something to conclusively know if you’re improving is always going to be better than having none.
For example, I’ve spoke before about the ‘brakes off’ drill, If you want to faster into the corner where you can monitor your car brake.
This is something that we can also do with the throttle to really begin to produce solid evidence on whether or not we’re improving at corner exits with our throttle application. But first you need to be in a position to be able to do that.
First, Clear the Head Space
If you haven’t already, go back and have a read of my Managing Traction article.
While the main point in that article is about how you can begin testing the amount of throttle you use at the exit, It also teaches you a few put yourself in the best position of skills.
By that I mean putting yourself in the position where the only thing you need to think about is feeling for what traction is doing at the exit of a corner, by having everything else sorted to free up your attention.
If other things are taking up a lot of your attention at corner exit, You can’t accurately monitor to what the hell are you doing.
Then, Make it Measurable
You can choose a corner, and this part makes you think best. Typically, this will be a corner that follows onto a long straight.
In the next time you can pass the corner, if you can achieve full throttle the straight, see if you can note the point at which you reach the stop and the throttle is wide open.
Rather than picking a rough spot, see if you can find a good reference of where you were able to reach full throttle.
Now, by following the tips on putting yourself in the position of being able to focus solely on traction, have a go at getting to full gas before you reach the point you found on the previous lap/session.
Already on the Limit?
It may be that you feel you are absolutely maxed out with how aggressive you can be with the throttle.
If this is truly the case, well done my friend, you’re probably monstering everyone else around you at track day level.
However, what will often be the case is that your line and approach to the corner is what’s holding you back.
For example, If you find a way out at the exit to the downtown, trying to roll on harder and get to the stop sooner could well send you off the track.
Ask yourself whether you could alter your line to open up the exit a little more. You will be in a deeper corner by running, later turned to another corner will give you a more positive and throttling.
If you try this and note that you can indeed get back to FULL gas earlier, you’re likely gaining time.
Eventually it Becomes a Compromise
You can try to improve more in the corner, so you can return to full of gas. but eventually you will have to make a compromise.
If you’re running very deep into the corner, slowing down enough to turn very sharp and square the corner off, eventually you’re going to start losing too much time on the entrance for the gains in exit drive to be worth it.
I have noted this on a number of corners where I was trying too hard to square corners off, and as a result I have lost a lot of time in the front.
It’s worth keeping this in mind as you move forward with your exit routine efforts.
As I found early on in my track day life, just by being more aware and deliberate with my line and throttle efforts, I began to see the results compared with the people around you.
However, because I was getting good drive compared to the others, for a time it made me sit back and rest on my laurels, thinking I was already doing ok.
But once I twigged that getting back to FULL gas earlier is just as important, I started to pay attention to the place where I can work and to improve it.
Once again, being aware of what you’re doing and the results you’re getting comes from leaving yourself the mental capacity to be note what’s happening.
Take a session or two and focus on one corner where earlier throttle application is important.
Start testing to see if you get back to full gas sooner. If you can, you’ll soon start to see sizeable gains over those around you.