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Learning to Drive - sticky or slippy?

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Old 02-12-2018, 02:54 PM
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Bruce In Philly
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Default Learning to Drive - sticky or slippy?

The thread by ric-ko going to the track in the rain had me thinking.... (oh no!)

https://rennlist.com/forums/997-foru...-the-rain.html

We all fantasize about driving a blazing speeds...... but learning... that is something different. For me, blazing fast is consequence of learning to drive in slippy conditions.... not fast conditions. When I started tracking my car in the early 2000s, my instructor said I must be from the midwest (we were on a skidpad).... why? Because I was instinctively managing my tail being hung way out.... something every teenager in the Midwest learns from driving on snow (while holding a can in one hand, something burning in the other, while managing a skid with your knee).

I could never understand noobs at the track all talking about getting laptimers and slicks to go faster.... they just scared me. Why don't our track instructors teach us this or require crappy tires? Our street tires that come with our cars are more sticky than race tires not long ago.

I think everyone should learn to drive, on a track, with an instructor, and on hard, skinny, crappy tires. No way are you really going to fully understand your car and develop those instincts at super high speeds when bad things happen very fast. Senna learned in a wet environment and credited this as an important factor in his skill.

How about this from the WSJ: "Mikaela Shiffrin Learned to Ski in Vail. She Learned to Race in Vermont.The conditions were awful. Which made them ideal. How the ice of the Northeast helped Shiffrin become the best technical skier in the world.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/mikaela...ont-1518437093

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Old 02-12-2018, 05:06 PM
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cosm3os
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Funny you mentioned the Shiffrin reference. I was always told that learning on icy MI hills would serve me well when I started skiing in CO. IMHO, karting or autox are a cheaper, more accessible way of learning smoothness and car control.
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:59 PM
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shekmark
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First snow I took both my daughters, when each got their DL, to the big parking lot and taught them how to steer into a skid. I think you are right Bruce.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:16 PM
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Great point. My 4-yr-old son has a PowerWheels Jeep that we took out here over the weekend after receiving 12” of snow (Chicagoland). My wife thought it was a bad idea - too dangerous. I thought it was perfect time to see what limited traction is like - plenty valuable to the kids, even at 2.5-5.0mph.

Edit: if driving on skinny tires is anything like Chris Harris’ run in an early Porsche at Goodwood, then I think that would be a blast.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:30 AM
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Bruce In Philly
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Originally Posted by murphyslaw1978 View Post
Great point. My 4-yr-old son has a PowerWheels Jeep that we took out here over the weekend after receiving 12” of snow (Chicagoland). My wife thought it was a bad idea - too dangerous. I thought it was perfect time to see what limited traction is like - plenty valuable to the kids, even at 2.5-5.0mph.

Edit: if driving on skinny tires is anything like Chris Harris’ run in an early Porsche at Goodwood, then I think that would be a blast. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8zKd7lBlW8Q
Fabulous video...great post.... . That car is all over the place..... great car control skills..... or... maybe not.... maybe a better driver would have picked up the signals of slip sooner and adjusted for them quicker...... hmmmmmm..... At any rate, those of us who never learned on snow or only driven fast on a dry track with our modern performance/street tires would have put that Porsche into a wall, IMO.

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Old 02-13-2018, 12:18 PM
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Tcc1999
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I think what you are getting at here, Bruce, is Propioception. This is your ability to sense where your body is, in a three dimensional sense, based on mechanoreceptors in your muscles, tendons, inner ear, other tissues, etc. In other words, sensory feedback from the body to the brain that helps you understand where your body is in a three dimensional sphere and efficiently move through it. It is a little bit more complicated when driving a car at speed as you have to mentally coordinate both a physiological sense of what your body is experiencing and the mechanical/physical nature and ability of whatever it is you are driving. As to the WSJ article, I learned how to ski in NH and VT and it didn’t make me a great racer. The skier featured in that article would have been successful anywhere, regardless of where she learned to ski; she (and to keep it pertinent, any successful car driver) has a small section of DNA that allows them to respond superiorly to the challenges that competion presents. (A good example of evolution and natural selection, actually.) Sad to say that for physical endeavors practice will make you competent but if you are not born with “it” it (practice) won’t make you a champion -which is why an MD friend of mine says “ You have to pick your parents very carefully”.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tcc1999 View Post
I think what you are getting at here, Bruce, is Propioception. This is your ability to sense where your body is, in a three dimensional sense, based on mechanoreceptors in your muscles, tendons, inner ear, other tissues, etc. In other words, sensory feedback from the body to the brain that helps you understand where your body is in a three dimensional sphere and efficiently move through it. It is a little bit more complicated when driving a car at speed as you have to mentally coordinate both a physiological sense of what your body is experiencing and the mechanical/physical nature and ability of whatever it is you are driving. As to the WSJ article, I learned how to ski in NH and VT and it didn’t make me a great racer. The skier featured in that article would have been successful anywhere, regardless of where she learned to ski; she (and to keep it pertinent, any successful car driver) has a small section of DNA that allows them to respond superiorly to the challenges that competion presents. (A good example of evolution and natural selection, actually.) Sad to say that for physical endeavors practice will make you competent but if you are not born with “it” it (practice) won’t make you a champion -which is why an MD friend of mine says “ You have to pick your parents very carefully”.
Tim, there's a great book out from many years ago "Talent is overrated" which says in essence that it's skills and practice that make you world class at anything and it's what I believe with all my heart. If it's skills I can learn them and I can practice them and if I practice them longer and harder than you do I can beat the bejesus out of you whenever we compete for anything......nothing to do with being born with any innate advantage. There are no born presenters, listeners, race car drivers, hockey players etc......just ones that started earlier, work harder and practice more than anyone else. IMO ;-)!!
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Old Yesterday, 05:42 AM
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Kevin Schwatnz learned controlling a moto GP bike sliding by riding dirt track races in the early 80:s or if it was even late 70:s

There are many examples.

I am by no means a professional racer or even skilled amateur but I come from motorcycles.

Sliding is fun but you loose speed.

When riding bikes it was all about learning the racing line through the corners. Also braking technique.

Cars are more forgiving but my first lesson I took with an instructor was 30 minutes just focusing on steering wheel management (how to use the hands) and then racing line cornering/braking.

I drive in the winter roads a lot and controlling a slide is good to know once you enter such situation but to me it's not what makes you fast on track.

P.s I did this in Sweden two weeks ago on frozen lake: Porsche 718 Cayman, 718 Boxter snd 4WD Golf R. Look at those spikes

Edit: sorry but can't add pictures for some strange reason? "Internal server Error 500"

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Old Yesterday, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TommyV44 View Post
Tim, there's a great book out from many years ago "Talent is overrated" which says in essence that it's skills and practice that make you world class at anything and it's what I believe with all my heart. If it's skills I can learn them and I can practice them and if I practice them longer and harder than you do I can beat the bejesus out of you whenever we compete for anything......nothing to do with being born with any innate advantage. There are no born presenters, listeners, race car drivers, hockey players etc......just ones that started earlier, work harder and practice more than anyone else. IMO ;-)!!
I’d really like to beleive this, it is just that it has never been my experience nor have I observed it. Perserverance is a laudable trait and a leveler but I have never seen it turn a donkey into a thoroughbred. I’m not pessimistic. I just beleive that most everyone is innately talented in certain things and the trick in life is to find that. Else, pursue the things that give you joy, even if you have to work much harder to equal those who are naturally good at whatever it is you are doing.
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