We have all heard the same thing. Practice, practice, practice. Some racers spend a lot of time practicing, which can be really helpful, but it can also be a waste of your time and even detrimental.
If you are going to practice, you’re probably doing so in preparation for a race. Why then do we go out guns blazing and run off the track? We’ve all done it. Sometimes we mistake practice for qualifying. We want to get faster and faster and FASTER! The problem is we never took the time to get good first. It’s impossible to be fast when you don’t really know the track and it’s even harder to be consistent when you don’t know the track at all.
Instead of trying to mimic that hot lap video you saw on YouTube where the guy “ran a blistering 1:41” go out and run 10 smooth laps or more at a slower pace. Let the car and the tires settle in. You’ll get more comfortable and you’ll learn more that way than you will spinning off at every other turn.
This type of practice prepares you for the actual race, where your tires are going to change, and you’re going to have to find a groove if you want to finish.
In all types of racing across the globe there are guys who are qualifying champions. They lack consistency during the actual race, but they are great for 1 or 2 laps. That is not who you
want to be. Sure, pole position gives you some advantage, but if you can’t string some laps together you’re going to finish in the middle of the pack anyway.
Lengthen your practice runs to be close to the length of the actual race. Just get used to practicing that way. If you do it like that you’ll find you’re actually faster during qualifying when it’s time to crank up the heat.