Drive Race Cars

To drive a race car takes a lot of skill. At the speeds that the cars go, every little detail is very important. This article will give you the basics on how to drive a race car.


  1. Consider certain factors when driving a race car:
    • Weight of the vehicle (including yourself) and the weight ratio
    • The car's grip
    • The car's stopping power
    • The power and torque of the engine
    • The steering of the car
    • The car's suspension
  2. Perhaps one of the most important factors is grip. The cars grip is a measure of how much force it takes to cause the cars tires to slip on a certain terrain, usually asphalt. The grip is very important, as taking a turn too fast will cause the car to lose grip, resulting in a severe loss of control. One thing that you NEVER want to do in a race car is lose control. Drifting does not count as losing control, and in fact requires more control.
  3. But knowing the grip of the car will be very handy as it will tell you how fast you can go when making a turn with a certain radius. And knowing that will allow you to get through corners faster, which is the place where a lot of people fail.
  4. Another important thing to remember about corners is the car's suspension. If the car's suspension is tight, it won't sway as much which helps because it makes the car more predictable. However if the car's suspension is loose it keeps its tires on the ground better (watch a video of racing, and during sharp corners you can actually see the inside front tire lift off the ground) and having a tire lift off the road surface will decrease grip.
  5. Also, knowing how the car's suspension handles will get you acclimated to the car better. Many people tend to freak out a little bit when they feel the car swaying due to the lateral forces being exerted on it. That sway is normal. It is caused by the center of gravity shifting slightly, and is not a good indicator of when a car will slide since the car will often sway the same amount whether it is going way to slow to slide or whether it is careening off the track sideways.
  6. Another thing that is good to know is how fast the car responds to turning the wheel. Knowing how sharp to turn is very important, but in order to do that you have to know how much to turn the wheel. Turning the wheel too little will cause the car to understeer and will throw it off the track, while turning too much will cause the car to oversteer, and will either cause the car to slide or will cause the car to hit the inside of the corner.
  7. The next thing to keep in mind is stopping power. If you plan on doing serious racing, then you will often have to slam on the brakes to slow down for corners. Doing that, rather than coasting down to speed, lets you maintain a faster speed longer, though waiting too long to brake will either result in braking too hard (which results in sliding) or having to brake while turning (which adds another sway factor that must be considered, which decreases grip and often leads to sliding).
  8. The last thing to keep in mind is the power and torque of the engine. Knowing this will give you a better idea of how to drive the car, although most cars you can just slam down on the accelerator and go. Some cars, such as Indy cars, have a very high power to weight ratio, which means that always just slamming down on the accelerator will often cause a burnout, which leads to sliding. Being able to accelerate as fast as possible is good, and in most cars this value is determined solely from the engines power, but in others is determined also by the grip of the car.


  • Also, KNOW YOUR CAR! Knowing the car will allow you to drive it almost from instinct. Its like how some snipers know their guns to the point that they automatically correct when targeting. If you know your car you will know how it will handle under every situation and you will be able to respond faster.
  • If you can, drive around the track a little bit, and get a feel for the corners and such. Knowing the track will allow you to better predict where you should brake, turn and accelerate.
  • Drifting a race car is often not a good idea. Drifting involves forcing the car to lose grip, which throws out the rear of the car. Using this method requires a very good feel for the car, as any mistake will cause the car to slide uncontrollably. That, and doing this goes through tires VERY fast. If you can do it right though, you can take corners slightly faster and look cool at the same time.


  • NEVER EVER race a car without first taking a class! You would be lucky to find a race car worth less than $100,000. The classes cost about $2,000 for a standard introduction. Do the math. Also, unless you own the car and race professionally, then a class such as that should be sufficient for a day or two.
  • Racing cars should NEVER be done outside of a track, as doing so is very illegal.

Things You'll Need

  • A car.
  • A track.