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Before we look at adaptability lets, look at the precursor of adaptability training – Consistency Drills:

A driver’s initial simulator training should be focussed solely on developing lap time consistency, where the setup, tyres and track conditions are the same every lap. Any improvement or drop in performance can then be, a) easily recognised, b) analysed, and c) trusted, this allows the driver to make corrections from a known datum. From this constant Drill repetition drivers will learn the key components that create their optimum lap times, which are:

  • Their Technique – Line, braking, steering and throttle.

  • Their Peak State – When they are under-driving, over-driving or letting it just happen.

  • Their optimum level of intensity/concentration – The level of intensity and concentration required to produce consistently quick lap times.

All of these in turn lead to a driver understanding their unique ‘Method’… how they produce their PB’s in training and ultimately Pole Positions, Fastest Laps and Lap Records when at the race track. This then builds a driver’s self-belief/confidence in that Method, which if they continue to repeat their Drills will lead to both of the following:

  • The ability to repeat their method under pressure – The ability to access their Method when it matters… and,

  • Automaticity – Driving in the moment, letting the autopilot do its thing which in turn leads to micro-flow or full blown flow.

So, the above is the foundation of a drivers career but on its own does not prepare them fully for the real world of motorsport where change is the only constant, and the result will be a narrow performance window. From this knowledge base/Method drivers now need to introduce Adaptability Drills into their training to be able to cope with the following:

Changing track conditions:

  • Track temperature – This affects tyre performance, tyre pressures, etc.

  • Wind direction – This can affect the balance of the car in corners, understeer to oversteer.

  • Wind strength – This can increase/decrease the car’s speed down the straights, which minutely affects braking points.

  • Air pressure/humidity – This affects the performance of the engine, so that times change depending on the time of day.

  • Weather – Wet conditions, intermediate conditions, dry to wet and wet to dry.

The effect of other cars:

  • Traffic – This breaks up a driver’s rhythm.

  • Slipstream – As with wind strength, this will create small changes in a drivers braking points

  • Aero-wash from other cars – Following another car closely will cause a car to understeer more.

Changing tyre grip levels:

  • New tyre Peak - Adapting to the narrow window of Peak grip from a new tyre

  • Old tyre to new tyre and vice versa – Adapting to increases of grip and decreases of grip as soon as a driver goes on track.

  • Tyre degradation (dry and wet tyres) – Adapting to the gradual reduction in grip as the tyre wears.

  • Track rubbering in – The change in grip level from a green track to a rubbered in track.

Changing car balance:

  • Neutral – This is potentially a drivers preferred balance.

  • Understeer & Oversteer – These can fall outside a drivers preference and hence their performance window

  • Fuel load – This can affect both the balance and the performance of the car

Changing Cars:

  • Drivers never know where their careers are going to take them so they need to train to adapt to different types of car. It also has the benefit of broadening a driver’s skill level. This can include the following:

    • Single Seaters

    • FWD / RWD Touring Cars

    • GTs

    • Sports Cars

Adapting to new tracks:

  • Adapting to new tracks quickly is an essential part of a driver’s skill set, and the most natural drivers tend to adapt the fastest.


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