Skip to main content

Street vs. Track Driving Tips - Part 2

A few days ago, I posted the first of a two-part post about driving on the street vs on the track. I brought in some help from a DriveTribe pro for this one, Bridget Rebecca. But Bridget is not just a DriveTribe pro, she's also a true gear head. She drives a text book sports car; V8 in the front, manual in the middle, and power goes to the back. It's not just any proper sports car, though, it's an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. In case you’ve missed Part 1, you should absolutely go and read it first. The first post was featured on the DriveTribe home page following her posting on her Tribe, so you know we aren’t leading you astray. Once you’re done, come back here to read the rest!

Track Driving:

Tires, Tires, Tires

Best bang for the buck to improve performance. Another broken record like modding from Part 1, I know, but somehow, it still gets overlooked. You'll find people saying I can't afford this tire or that tire but they do springs, or dampers, or roll bars, etc. First, find the right compound. There are plenty of good tires that serve double duty as track and street tires and you can read more about those that I have tried here. If you want to get more serious and can't have a dedicated set of track wheels, street legal DOT track tires are your best bet, as long as you won't be driving very much on the street. For a car that doesn't see many street miles, and especially if wet or standing water conditions are avoided, DOT track tires are hard to beat.

Once you figure out what type of tires you are going with, find the right size. The right size is the widest tire that will fit without rubbing. Fat tires go faster, all else being equal. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise. After that, all that's left is to find a set of wheels wide enough to support that size tire (make sure offset works and backspacing fits your brakes) and pull the trigger.


If you want to go faster, use more power. By that, I don't mean modifying to get more power. Just use more of the go-fast pedal on the right. I've found that for most people (and unless you're in a momentum car), drivers probably lose just as much taking their sweet ole' time to get back on power as they do by braking too much.

A lot of people focus on corner speed to go faster; they try to trim a little braking, optimize braking point, carry more speed, etc. All of this is very good and cannot be ignored, but so many people get hung up on corner speed and forget about corner exit. Nail the exit and get back on the power earlier and harder. You'll make up A LOT of time. If you can't use much power without spinning, look into a limited slip diff if your car doesn't have one or a limited slip diff with a higher bias ratio if you do (just don't go too far with bias ratio). You can read more about limited slip diffs here to figure out how they affect the car.

Dancing with the Stars Cars

You have to be smooooth. Always “listen” to what the car is saying. I’ve been in a lot of cars on track. Some are caged and some aren’t, some are in showroom condition and some, not so much… It can be scary when you get in a car that makes you wonder if it all will hold together at the end of a track session, but nothing scares me more than being in a car on track with someone whose every input feels like prodding the car with a cattle iron. Cars are like dogs. Most dogs who are even half decent will avoid biting, but if you keep upsetting them, they’ll start growling, maybe bare their teeth, and eventually snap. If you keep upsetting a car, it’ll eventually bite, and it might even bite the first time if you upset it enough. But like a dog, if you listen to the car and be smooth with your inputs, it’ll be your best friend.

Being smooth gets harder and harder as pace picks up because there’s less time spent on every input, but the cruel irony of physics means that smoothness becomes more and more crucial as speeds pick up and you approach the car’s limits. You have to always be mindful of your inputs and how the car is reacting to them. But here’s the great thing about getting this right. Listening to the car is not just good for safety. It pays massive dividends in speed. If your inputs are smooth and you avoid doing anything that upsets the car, you’re guaranteed to pick up speed.

City Driving:

The Art of War Tires > Are we on a roll with these headers or what?!

On the track, especially in F1, you pick your weapon (from the list of designated tires). Track drivers need to be able to not only surpass the competition with their skills but also with their strategy. In F1, there is a long list of dry-weather tires (Hypersoft, Supersoft, Medium, Hard, etc. -No I’m not going to list them all). Then there are also wet-weather or intermediate tires. Anyway, you get the idea. There is a lot of strategy involved when it comes to switching tires during the race and so much more that I simply don’t have time to get into in this post (but I did here!).

In the city, your insurance company picks your weapon for you. Although I won’t be driving my Vantage in the snow this winter, the insurance policy demands that I switch to winter tires. At least the options for city driving are a lot simpler. We have winter tires, summer tires, and all seasons, and …yea that’s it. I guess one notable difference here is that in the city, you don’t need special tires for rain, but you do need special tires for snow.

The Other Foot

You get bonus points if your mind instinctively thought about the book by Ray Bradbury. But in this case, I am referring to which foot you use for braking. On the track, you could use your left foot to brake as you come speeding into a corner. In the city, unless you drive a manual car, your left leg has no purpose. It just sits there, like a limp fish while your right foot does all the multitasking between the brake and the gas pedals. Exciting stuff. With manual cars, your left leg can get a good workout when you’re stuck in traffic. If you really want to get a workout, however, you can look into getting an ultra rare Ferdinand GT3 RS. Not quite suitable for the track, but they’re better for your health and the environment.

Racing Lines

Okay so, drafting (see Part 1), your left foot, and unlimited tire choices are pretty unnecessary for city driving. Let’s talk about something that can sometimes be incorporated into daily driving skills. Obviously, no one wants to see you blasting down a road and hitting the apex at 5PM on a Monday, however, sometimes observing what would be the appropriate racing lines for a curve can be more efficient and rather fun. Plus, if you ride a motorcycle, it’s a good way to practice your skills too.

There are both good and bad times to practice your racing lines. The good times are when there is little to no traffic, there is an on or off ramp connecting to the highway with a decent curve, and you feel comfortable driving in anything other than a straight line. The bad times are when there is a lot of traffic, there are giant medians that cut off your ideal racing line, or you are convinced that racing lines are some sort of fast-track lineup to pick up your daily Starbucks coffee.

That's it! Hope this helps and you've enjoyed reading both Part 1 and Part 2. Follow Bridget on Instagram and DriveTribe

Follow Ram's Eye The Track Guy on Facebook and Instagram!


  1. Hi , thanks for sharing your information.The insights are really helpful and informative.
    acting drivers in coimbatore

  2. Well driving a racing car is not as easy as it can be you need to take more care while driving a racing car although overall Race Day experience of driver is full of risk though they take all the precautions while driving.


Post a Comment

Does An Aftermarket Grille Really Increase Airflow?
I put a Saleen S281 grille to the test to answer that question.

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's
What you need to fit a proper size square tire setup.

How Limited Slip Diffs Make You Faster on Track
What you need to know about how they put power down and pros and cons.

Can Telemetry Explain Schumacher's Talent?
A comparison between Schumacher's and then team mate Herbert's data.

Cayman GT4 Track Review
The first Cayman with proper (911-challenging) power.

Is an EcoBoost Mustang any good on Track?
Two days at the track in a Mustang short 4 cylinders.

2016 BMW M4 DCT Track Review
It's quick (properly quick). But is it fun?

Can a stock Golf Diesel handle a Track Day?
Not your every day track beater.

🔥 Most Visited This Week

GTR vs Evo X vs STI: which has the best AWD system?

A few weeks ago, I made a post explaining  mainstream AWD system types and how they compare , pros and cons, etc. including some simple diagrams to show where the power goes and how much. As promised, this post will focus on specific cars and what AWD systems they use, especially ones that that have more or less been defined by their AWD systems, and the best place to start may be with a bombshell; the Nissan GT-R. Nissan GT-R (R35) The GT-R has built a reputation around having monster traction and very approachable performance, thanks to its AWD system - Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain (ATTESA) - and what it can do for you. But the GT-R doesn't actually use the most mechanically sophisticated type of AWD systems discussed in the previous article, namely a "true" AWD with a centre differential. Instead, it uses a clutch pack to transfer power. RWD-based clutch-type AWD schematic - Rams Eye The Track Guy © The R32, R33, and R34 Sky

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's vs Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's

I never thought I'd ever run Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's on my 2012 Boss 302. The cost is astronomical and they are supposed to last the least of anything comparable. So how did I end up with (nearly) fresh Sport Cup 2's? A complete fluke. I came across a lightly used set with only a few hundred miles and no track time; 305/30/19 takeoffs from a GT Performance Pack Level 2 (GT PPL2). I knew my 71R's were getting very worn before the season started and likely wouldn't last the whole season, even this short one. The price was far better than a new set of RE-71R's, a little more than half, and local Time Attack rules (Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs) recently made 180 and 200 TW tires equivalent, meaning no PAX or PIP point penalty for going with 180 TW tire like the Pilot Sport Cup 2's. I have been very curious about how PSC2's compare to RE 71R's but I stayed away due to their being painfully expensive and, up to last year, their 180 TW rating would

All Mainstream AWD and 4WD Systems Compared and Explained

Mitsubishi Evo X GSR at Atlantic Motorsport Park - Kevin Doubleday  © If you live in Canada or the US, you'll find that plenty of people hold sacred the terms '4x4' and '4WD' to describe a 'true 4x4', where you have a butch transfer case with a low speed, perhaps a body on frame chassis, and ideally a solid axle or two. I'm not sure how that translates to the rest of the world. My extensive research into the motoring industry in Europe (which exclusively consists of watching Top Gear and The Grand Tour...) concluded that most people across the pond simply refer to any vehicle that is capable of sending any power to all four wheels as a 4WD vehicle, further muddying the waters. Where I grew up, 4x4 was more or less synonymous with 'Jeep' so that's not much help either. However, despite all various systems attempting to do the same sort of thing - distribute power between all four wheels instead of two - not all systems are created equal,

How would a Mustang 3.5L EcoBoost compare to the 5.0L V8?

Ever wonder how a 3.5 litre EcoBoost might fair against the 5.0 litre V8 in the Mustang? Of course you have. Ever since Ford dropped it in the F150 (and perhaps well before), everyone has been wondering how it would perform. There are basically two camps; those who think it would be awesome because of tuneability and power potential and those who think it means the death of the V8 in the Mustang. If you are in the latter group, we seem to be good so far with continuous upgrades to the 5.0 litre Coyote and the brand new Shelby GT500 which still uses a supercharged V8 as it has been for over a decade and multiple iterations. But what if... Well, it seems we are closer than ever to finding out the answer to that question. American Trucks recently got together two crew cab, short box, 4x4 F150's but one has the 5.0 litre V8 and the other has the 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6. There has been a few comparisons between 5.0 litre and 3.5 litre EB F150's, but this seems to be the most di