Never Stop Learn­ing

Automobile - - Contents - By Mac Mor­ri­son

We head out to the track with Toy­ota for a fun, skill-hon­ing car-con­trol clinic.

In­trigu­ingly, the Toy­ota in­struc­tors em­ployed a va­ri­ety of novel ap­proaches to ham­mer home the con­cepts they preach: for ex­am­ple, run­ning a strip of tape across wind­shields and ask­ing driv­ers to only look through the glass above the tape in order to com­bat “low eyes syn­drome,” a com­mon er­ror suf­fered by plenty of track­day driv­ers and even pro­fes­sion­als. An­other chal­lenge saw pen­du­lums hung from in­te­rior rearview mir­rors as we lapped the track, their gy­ra­tions or lack thereof a real-time vis­ual ex­poser of how smooth our in­puts were or were not. Ar­guably our fa­vorite exercise in­volved cir­cling the skid­pad with no hands on the steer­ing wheel, con­trol­ling the tra­jec­tory of the rear-drive 86 us­ing only the throt­tle, a les­son in

how power ap­pli­ca­tion in­flu­ences a car’s line and a pre­cur­sor to some se­ri­ous at­tempts at drift­ing— at­tempts that var­ied from semi-im­pres­sive to hi­lar­i­ously in­ept and had our en­tire crew in stitches as we ob­served each other’s runs.

We fi­nally put all of the lessons into play with some quick lead-fol­low lap­ping ses­sions around Streets of Wil­low, and the im­prove­ments made by al­most all of our driv­ers in a sin­gle day were vis­ually ap­par­ent and served as a stark re­minder that no mat­ter how good you think you are and no mat­ter how of­ten you get out to the track, there’s no sub­sti­tute for seat time and top-level in­struc­tion. If you en­joy the art of driv­ing, then the time, ef­fort, and ex­pense of ben­e­fit­ing from those train­ing tools is well worth it. AM

MAY 2018

AU­TO­MO­BILE ALL-STARS IS­SUE

TEST PASSED Af­ter a long day of dis­cus­sion,

in­struc­tion, and on-track prac­tice, our team felt more pre­pared than ever for our All

Stars an­tics.

POWER ON But not too much power. Cars such as the Camry and

86 are more than ad­e­quate for teach­ing fun­da­men­tal per­for­mance

driv­ing tech­niques.

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