Despite the rising cost of motoring, and the pressure upon motorists to ‘go green’, driving is still the most common way of getting from A to B, and many would argue that it’s the most enjoyable too. It is also one of the most dangerous ways to travel. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you have the right skills and experience behind the wheel, particularly if you own or drive a performance car.
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As a result, high performance driving courses are becoming increasingly popular, enabling drivers of high performance cars to get the most out of their driving experience, whilst staying safe and in control.
Performance Driving Tips and Techniques
It is important to drive smoothly – avoid jerking the controls, such as the steering wheel, or slamming on the brakes. Instead, you should aim for optimal engine performance and smooth, sympathetic handling of the controls.
You need to always be aware of your surroundings and be looking well ahead of the car in front of you, aiming to anticipate traffic conditions and other driver’s behaviour. Remain relaxed, but alert, and remain within your limitations and that of your car.
Different vehicles have different capabilities. A high performance vehicle, for example, offers excellent road handling and manoeuvrability, as well as bags of power, but unless you possess the right skills, you may not be able to get the best performance from your car, or to enjoy it to the full.
Getting the Best Performance from Car Tires
Tires only have so much grip to offer and so it’s important to understand how to utilise that grip to the best effect. Accelerating, for example, decreases the traction of the front tires, as it transfers weight to the rear, whilst cornering transfers the weight of the car to the tires on the outside of the curve.
The car will always be at its best point of balance when it is driving in a straight line and at a constant speed, as the weight will be evenly distributed over all four wheels and tires. When corning this balance is not possible and therefore there has to be a compromise.
Keeping the weight spread between matched pairs of wheels is the best you can do, and when corning, it should be the wheels along each side that are carrying an equal load to each other.
This is why performance car drivers maintain a little power through a bend at a constant level and only just enough to keep the engine pulling without the car accelerating. Cornering is therefore performed smoothly and safely.
Good Steering is Paramount for Good car Control
It is always a good idea to maintain the correct position of your hands on the steering wheel, without unduly battling with it, so that you can go full–lock to full–lock more efficiently. This is particularly important if trying to recover from a skid.
Remember, in a skid situation, you should not panic, as it very often what you do next that will cause you to crash, as many will do exactly the wrong thing. On a high performance driving course you will learn how to drive smoothly and be given control skills so as to minimise the risk of getting into a spin.
Overtaking is potentially one of the most dangerous driving manoeuvres you can make, which is why it is important to have an awareness of what can go wrong and the ability to judge speed and distance accurately.
Overtake smoothly so that you can slip into a gap in front of the vehicle you’re passing, without causing the driver to hit the brakes. High performance driver training will teach you how to overtake safely, minimising the distance you have to travel, without placing you perilously close to the vehicle in front.
High Performance Driving Courses
Driver training give you to skills to fully exploit all that your performance car has to offer. They are ideal for drivers who want to learn skid control and avoidance, and who want to understand the equipment on their cars, such as ABS and traction control etc. They also help to develop your driving skills to a high level and aid your understanding of the dynamics of your vehicle, so that you have more control over handling and safety.
High performance driving courses offer more than just the acquisition of advanced driving skills, however. The better your driving capabilities, and your anticipation and awareness of hazards, the less likely you are to crash, and this reaps rewards in terms of your car insurance and no claims bonus.
Some insurance companies may offer discounts on insurance for advanced or performance drivers, and having these skills can also help to reduce the cost of track day insurance too, if track driving is your thing.
Once you’ve completed a performance driving course it is well worth contacting your insurer to see whether there are any discounts available. If you are a performance car owner you may find that shopping around pays dividends at renewal time.
Always compare car insurance quotes from multiple providers but pay attention to policy features and cover levels too, that way you can be sure you have suitable cover for your needs.