36 AUGUST 2020 scca.comTECHNICAL
That’s great, in theory. Buthow does this work when,hypothetically speaking,oodles of events are canceled.
Tennis offers realistic advice.
“A good course walk can help
determine the overall outcome
of an event, yet is often the last
thought when preparing for an
event,” he notes. “Course walks
can be practiced very easily:
any road, walking trail, or bicycle
path can be used for practicing a
course walk. You may not be able
to drive the course after – at least
without disturbing cyclists – but
getting your brain to look for
correct lines and obstacles will
prepare you for race day.”
Next, ensure your car is
ready, rock solid and ready to
boogie. “Remove any distracting
concern by getting the car ready
well before the event, so you
can focus on the competition
have a backup of everything;
racing with wet socks caused
by course duties is no fun.”
And, finally: breathe. “A
relaxed driver will have smooth
inputs, and as we all know,
smooth is fast,” he says.
THE BASICS ARE ESSENTIAL
Now you’re mentally preparedand donning your speediest ofRallyCross clothes. All that’s leftis to do it! Hold on. With minimaltime behind the wheel this year,let’s go over the basics of speed.
First is your seating position.
“Your backside should be placed
firmly in the seat to feel the
car, with your back against
the seatback,” Tennis explains.
“Leaning forward or out of the
seat reduces your feeling for the
car, and means your body isn’t
stable to allow smooth inputs.
The seat should be upright
enough to ensure good visibility,
but not too high to force vision
too close to the front of the car.
Also, ensure you’re close enough
to the controls so your hands
and feet are able to comfortably
operate everything without
strain and, most importantly,
are not used for bracing
during cornering or braking.”
Now use your eyes. “Your
eyes lead the rest of the body, so
keep your eyes moving and well
ahead of the car,” Tennis notes.
“Look where you want to go.”
But before hitting the course,
visualize what you’re about to
do. “While sitting in grid, practice
and not the car,” he explains.
“Quite simply, if you’re worried
about the car, you aren’t
thinking about driving.”
Then there’s something
you probably haven’t thought
about: clothes. “Bring
comfortable clothing,” insists
Tennis. “Find what you like to
race with – also something that
can be tested during a regular
commute – and make sure
it’s clean and ready to go.”
It’s important to note that with
clothing, one size rarely fits all.
“The shoes used for a thoroughcourse walk are probably notgreat for driving – and they’relikely slippery with mud,” saysTennis. “We suggest two separatesets of clothing: one for thecourse and one for driving. Raceday can also get hectic, so useseparate bags to keep everythingstraightforward and obvious. Also,
“A relaxed driver willhave smooth inputs,and as we all know,smooth is fast”NATE TENNIS