North Country Region - PCA
An Introduction to Driver's Education
Driver Education track events are intended to provide a basic foundation of knowledge which become building blocks to advancing skills as you continue with track driving.
Students are taught to drive safely around the track in a non-competitive environment under the supervision of a track instructor riding in the car.
Students can expect (and are expected) to learn the following:
- How to drive the basic line of the track.
- How to use turn-in cones, apex cones and track-out cones as track markers.
- Braking, shifting and turning techniques and sequence for turns.
- Names of turns and straights of the track and other track vocabulary
- Being comfortable and having fun!!!
Driving the Line of the Track
You will hear much talk about THE LINE. This is not an actual physical line on the track but rather the shortest, most efficient and safest way to get around the track using the entire track surface from one side to the other. It is very important to know where to be on the track ...to be ON THE LINE... so that each turn can be driven correctly.
Diagram A shows the correct line through the turn shown. By using this line the turn can be taken at speed and requires the least amount of traveling distance from the entry to the exit of the turn. The arc of the turn is less severe and the more sweeping motion demonstrates how the entire track is used.
Diagram B shows the incorrect way to make the same turn. As a result the distance through is longer and it cannot be taken safely at speed. The arc of this turn is sharp...much more severe than in diagram A. The entire track is not used.
The turn-in cone, apex cone and track-out cone become important road signs in helping the driver find THE LINE.
TURN-IN, APEX AND TRACK-OUT CONES: Using them as markers to find the line.
TURN-IN CONE: In diagram A the turn-in cone is obvious at the bottom left of the diagram. Note that this is the point in every turn when turning into the corner should begin. As you begin turning you will be looking for the next cone on the inside of your turn. This is the APEX cone.
APEX CONE: This cone in diagram A is at the middle of the arc for that turn. The turn, when made correctly, will be one smooth flowing motion. Turn the steering wheel beginning at the turn-in cone, look for and drive towards the apex cone, then track-out to the far edge of the track...all in one smooth motion. Note that in diagram A the whole track is used.
TRACK-OUT CONE: After passing the apex cone as closely as possible, let the car drift to the far side of the track ....sometimes there is a cone at this location and it is referred to as the track-out point. It is now that the turn is complete and you are looking ahead to the next turn...the next turn-in cone.
Turns should be made as smoothly as possible, without jerking the steering wheel. Always look ahead...the car will go to where you are looking. Ask your instructor to talk you through each turn.
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