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Flag Stations are your “third eye” when on the track. Make a habit of looking at each station as you pass. Your safety and that of other drivers and track workers depends on this. There might be silgiht variations of flag meanings  depending on organization or club but here are the general basic themes.

Know your Flags!!! 

Racing Green Flag

Green Flag

It is usually displayed by the start/finish line station to indicate the start of a session. When the track is under a caution period during a session, the flag will be presented to restart the session.

Racing Checkered Flag

Checkered Flag

The most recognizable flag by just about everyone. Signals the end of last lap.  The session is over. After crossing the finish line, this last lap is to slow down and cool off. As a professional courtesy, please waive to the corner workers who are volunteering their time. When entering the pits now or anytime during the session please be sure to raise your left hand outside of the car in a fist as a signal and or use turn signal.

Racing Yellow Flag

Yellow Flag

Exercise caution for potential hazard be alert and do not pass any car be aware to slow down. If the flag is waving signals IMMEDIATE HAZARD ON COURSE slow down and be prepared to stop.

Racing Red Flag

Red Flag

On track emergency, the session has stopped. You should check mirror and begin to stop pull over on a side of the track not off the track where you may pick up road debris. You should stop away from the driver’s line and where other drivers coming from behind can clearly see you. Do not get into car stay belted in and ready to drive. The flag station ahead will tell you when or if not in sight just wait till other cars start moving on the track.

Racing Black Flag

Black Flag

Open black flag at all stations indicates the session has stopped and all cars must proceed to pit lane no passing. Open black at only the start station or another station indicates it pertains to you. Proceed to pit lane and they will talk to you. This will happen when you go off the track during the session. They will determine if there is any obvious damage that might make your car a potential hazard. A closed lack flag (furled) pointed or shaken at you means: “Ohh ohh, they are warning you for unsafe or improper driving. Continued driving like this and you will get a black flag. If you have no idea what warrants this warning best to take it into the pits for a brief discussion.

Racing Yellow and Red Striped Flag

Yellow and Red Striped Flag

Caution potential hazard! Oil, coolant, and debris on track which may cause you to lose control. You may have to alter your line to avoid this hazard.

Racing Blue Flag with Diagonal Yellow Stripe

Blue Flag with Diagonal Yellow Stripe

Be aware a car or cars are overtaking you. Check you mirrors recommend you lift off the gas and let them pass. Remember you are not racing.

Racing Mecanical Black Flag

Mechanical Black Flag

Also known as the meatball flag. There is a mechanical problem with your car oil leak, etc. Get off racing line and then proceed to pit lane immediately.

Racing White Flag

White Flag

Caution ambulance, emergency vehicle, or slow moving race track on track. The flag is generally displayed tow stations prior to the vehicle. Exercise caution pass vehicle safely.

Special thanks to for the graphics.


Every profession uses jargon i.e. special words to express ideas and/or functions particular to the group. The following list is some of the common terminology around the track in which to better communicate.

  • ABS
    Stand for anti-lock braking system. It is an automobile safety feature that first became a feature in 1978 by Mercedes Benz and is in most production cars of today. It prevents the wheels form locking up (ceasing rotation when brakes are applied too hard) and avoid uncontrolled skidding. Older model track cars might not have them. At the end of straight and hard braking in a corner you might see a white puff of smoke coming off the wheels of these cars indicating that he has momentarily locked his brakes.
  • Aero
    Rear wings and other body work on cars with the express purpose of using the air flow to create more downforce on car for better handling.
  • Anti-Roll Bar
    Long metal bars attached underneath the chassis near the wheels to control body roll thus reducing camber change. Anti-roll bars can be standard fit with one drilled hole at the end for attachment or adjustable by having a series of holes. By attaching to one of the holes increases stiffness or softness of the bar and tunes the handling balance of the car.
  • Apex
    Also known as the clipping point, is the inside point of the corner in which you begin the process to unwind the steering lock and begin acceleration.
  • Aspect Ratio
    The tire sidewall height of the car. It is expressed as a function relative to the tire width. A 265/45 tire is 265 mm wide and would be 119.25 high a 385/65 tire would be 250.25.25 high.
  • Balance
    The mix of front and rear end grip. Every time you brake, accelerate, or corner the car the weight transfer effects traction of your car to one degree or another.
  • Ball Joints
    Automobile part that connects the wheels to the steering and suspension system. They as attach the wheel hub to the control arms and are the pivot between the wheels and the suspension.
  • Bedding Pads
    It is an initial non-race process to heat up new brake pads in order to obtain peak performance without fade. Generally it involves a series of medium and high speed stops. You need to refer the manufacturer of the pad for detailed bedding instructions.
  • Bleeding Brakes
    The process of changing your brake fluid. Due to brake fluid being hygroscopic (water absorbing) the use at the track creates enough heat temperature that will boil water. This will create air bubbles and results in brake fade when you apply the brake pedal. If you track the car often, it is recommended you change brake fluid once or twice a year.
  • BLIP
    Part of the heel and toe technique used in manual transmissions when you downshift. The “blip” is when your right foot is on the brake and part of the right foot is then pressed against the accelerator. This increases engine speed enough so when you engage the clutch at a lower gear you don’t get a mismatched engine and transmission speed which will cause a jolt and upset the balance of the car.
  • Both Feet In
    The saying goes, “spin both feet in”. If you have a manual, and you lose control of your car in a spin you brake and depress the clutch. Any breaking will slow down the car and once the spin stops the car has not stalled.
  • Brake Pads
    Part of the breaking system that is actuated by the brake calibers when you apply the brake pedal. The pads rubs against the rotors creating friction which slows the car. The cars kinetic energy turns to heat. The faster your car goes the kinetic energy increases geometrically and therefore heat. Tires and pads are the most consumable part of tracking. When session is over do not apply parking brake, the heat of the rotors will cook your pads thus limiting their friction ability in the future.
  • Brake Point
    The point in which you apply the brakes during your initial stage of commitment into the corner. Drivers will usually use a reference point on the track or some object off the track to begin the breaking application. Usually it is a conservative point and then work closer to corner in smaller steps later during the session or other sessions during the day.
  • Brake-Turning
    Using the braking to help turn and rotate the car into the corner.
  • Breathing the Throttle also called “Feathering”
    Used as part of car control to keep the car balanced. It’s a slight lift from full throttle. The result it transfers weight from the from the back to the front
  • Brush Brake
    Slight application of the brake to balance a car generally applied at high speed turns when maximum braking is not required.
  • Bump Steer
    Is the tendency of the wheel to change direction when move up and down over bumps. The effect is obvious when you drive over a one-wheel bump and the steering pulls to one side.
  • Caliber
    Brake calibers convert hydraulic pressure into a force which squeezes the brake pads against the rotors. The heat of high braking can cause the hydraulic fluid to boil and result the brakes to fade. It is recommended you change your brake fluid with high temperature racing brake fluid if you plan to track your car frequently and also do it in more frequent intervals.
  • Camber
    The setting of your tires, negative camber on your tires means the tires are vertically pointed inwards relative to the car. Positive camber means the wheels are vertically pointed outside relative the car. Most cars have a little negative camber while track cars have more. The reason is once you turn the car the tires will lean out at the corner. Thus leaning out when you have negative camber gives you more contact with the road and therefore better cornering capability. To a certain extent you will be sacrificing some front straightway speed and tires will wear out much faster due to alignment. Please refer to caster and toe in-toe out as to the three dimensional aspects of wheels.
  • Caster
    Caster is the tilt of the steering axis of the car. Positive caster is when the steering pivot, or spindle, is tilted with the top upper ball behind the vertical centerline of the wheel. Negative caster is when it is tilted to the front. Positive caster (which all cars have) is a self-centering effect think of shopping cart wheels.
  • Center of Gravity
    The point within the car where it is exactly balanced in all directions. The lower the car the lower the center of gravity and improved handling as the effects of body roll and weight transfer are less which improves traction.
  • Coilovers
    A suspension component short for coil spring over shock consists of a shock absorber with a coil spring encircling it. Most advanced adjustable coilover systems use a threaded shock body for a spring perch. This allows ride height adjustments for ground clearance and adjusting cross weight percentages when corner balancing. A good track modification for your car besides tires.
  • Contact Patch
    The fist-sized portion or patch of the tire that is in contact with the surface. Weight transfer of a car when accelerating, braking, and cornering the car will affect the size of the contact patch on all four tires and therefore available grip.
  • Constant Radius Turn
    A turn where the arc of the corner is constant from the beginning to the end.
  • Corner Balance
    The process of adjusting the weight distribution of your car so that approximate weight equally on all four wheels which includes the weight of the car and fuel. The result is to achieve a more balanced vehicle under track conditions.
  • Corner Entry or Turn-In Point
    The point where you commit the car into the turn. The steering lock should be gradual at first and increase as you get closer to apex. Braking known as trail braking should gradually be released from maximum threshold as steering lock increases. This uses 100% of tires available traction see Friction Circle.
  • CPR (Correct Pause Recovery)
    An acronym for correcting action when your car rear wheels slide aka as oversteer. Correct: steer toward direction of slide. The rear end will pause due to tendency to over correct the rear will swing the other way like a pendulum which case you initiate recovery by having to take back the steering adjustment to stop this motion.
  • CRAB
    Leaving the outside edge of the road using up the road width causing a tighter turn and early apex see Early In Early Out
  • CUP
    Competition racing either at the professional or club organized level. All CUP cars at any class need to have more safety features than required in HPDE or TA events equipped with OEM safety features. They generally include at a minimum a full integrated roll cage, electric cut-off switch that disconnects battery to prevent spark that would catch a car on fire, and racing harnesses other than a 3 point seat belt found on street cars
  • Damper
    The technically correct term for shock absorbers.
  • Decreasing Radius Turn
    A corner in which the radius of the turn gets smaller at the end as opposed to a bigger radius at the start of the turn. A late apex is essential on this turn as taking the apex early will more than likely make you go off track as the turn is too tight for your available grip to handle.
  • Deep
    Driving as close as possible to the corner before braking aka late braking.
  • Downshift
    Changing from higher gear to lower gear to prevent Lug and maximize engine Torque i.e. acceleration
  • Drafting
    With less wind resistance the trailing car can gain advantage of speed to pass the lead car on a straightway.
  • Drifting
    The art of putting the car intentionally into oversteer and maintaining it thru the entirety of the corner. Yes it is a great show but if your car is going sideways you’re losing time.
  • Driving Line or Line
    Driving a corner at the track. It consists of corner entry, mid corner, apex, and track out. The basic object is to attain the maximum speed at the track-out point or to set up a corner in which another corner leads to a straight which requires maximum exit speed. The line is not necessarily identical for all cars and conditions on the track may change as well that requires alternating the line.
  • Dump Shift
    When downshifting skipping a gear or gears for example going from 5th to 2nd skipping 4th and 3rd gears.
  • DYNO
    Abbreviation for dynamometer. A machine that tests your car’s horsepower and torque. Generally the dynamometer tested on a car the horsepower at the wheels is 85% of actual engine horsepower. Also can be used as a tool in tuning your car referred to as dyno tuning to achieve desired custom performance.
  • Early Apex
    A point earlier than the midpoint of a corner in which you transition to acceleration to the track out point. General rule of thumb early apex can be applied effectively with increasing radius turn.
  • Early-In  Early-Out
    When you early apex on a constant radius or decreasing radius turn. If your car is at the limit of traction due to spend, you cannot increase the steering lock or break due the limit of the car’s available grip. Only hope is straighten out the wheel gently apply brake to get weight transfer and therefore extra grip so you can get more brake and then turn. You have blown the track-out phase but the alternative is going off the track.
  • ECU
    Stands for “engine control unit” it is the electronic brain that monitors engine performance.
  • ECU Flash
    It is the reprogramming of your engine control unit from factory settings to allow your car to run ‘hotter” for more performance with the sacrifice of mileage and reliability. Flashing is also used with car mods that you have been installed to achieve their intended peak performance.
  • Esses or S’s
    Two or more connected alternating curves
  • Exit Speed
    The speed attained at the track-out point of the car. As a general rule the faster your exit speeds on the track the better track times you will have. The entire approach of taking a corner is to have this in mind see Slow-In Fast-Out
  • Flat out
    Never lifting off full throttle performing this though track S curves or slight curves on straightaways at the limit leaves very little margin of error.
  • Friction Circle
    A concept which demonstrates the ability of the tire to handle the forces of cornering when braking or acceleration in combination with turning.
  • Geometric Apex
    The middle part of a turn.
  • HANS
    An acronym for Head and Neck Safety Restraint System, A safety device that is mostly mandatory in any form of CUP racing. It is a yoke placed around the driver’s neck that attaches to a posts in the helmet via a line with a hook. The device is secured by the racing harness secured over it when the driver is in the car. It is mostly mandatory in any form of CUP racing,
  • Hairpin
    A slow sharp corner turn that has over 180 degrees radius that comes back on itself.
  • Hand Position
    A driver’s hands should be at the 9 and 3 o’clock position on the steering wheel. The car sear position you should have your wrists being able to drape over the top of the steering wheel with your arms extended. A position too forward restricts the movement of the steering wheel and too far back creates driver fatigue.
  • Heat Cycled Tires
    An initial process done for competition tires through a heat cycle making tread compounds more consistent in strength and more resistant to losing their strength the next time they are used. Many tire companies can offer this service or you can do it on the track but it requires a 24 to 47 hour hours to let the tire cool and set to reform the molecular bonds.
  • Heel and toe
    A driving technique used on cars with a manual transmission. It involves downshifting while braking. In order to match engine speed with the transmission when downshifting you have to depress the throttle see Blip
  • Increasing Radius Turn
    A corner in which the radius of the turn gets larger at the end. As a general rule early apex as they can be negotiated at a higher speed.
  • Kink
    A jog in the road, generally located on part of a straightaway. Generally take as fast as the car can go either flat out or minor throttle lift.
  • Late Apex
    A point later than the midpoint of a corner in which you transition to acceleration to the track out point. General rule of thumb late apex can be applied effectively with decreasing radius turn.
  • Left Foot Braking
    The technique of braking with your left foot rather than utilizing your right. At the professional level, it is used by just about everyone where every tenth of a second on a lap counts as the transition from throttle to brake, brake to throttle is immediate compared to lifting off the throttle with your right foot to brake and back again.
  • Lift or Lift-Off
    Reduced application of the acceleration pedal. Used at the track either to balance your car into the turn when braking is not needed but just a small reduction in speed, or common track curtesy at HPDE or TA session to let faster cars pass you more quickly on the straight away.
  • Limit
    The maximum forward, rearwards, or sideways force at the tires while accelerating, cornering, or baking.
  • Load Transfer
    Change in tire download that results from accelerating, turning, or braking of a car. This effects the contact patch and therefore grip.
  • Lockup
    Tire stops rotating when brakes applied to hard results in loss of steering control, flat spotted tires and decreased braking traction.
  • Loose
    Slang term used for oversteer
  • Lug
    Operating the engine at too low an RPM
  • Master Cylinder
    A hydraulic cylinder which converts force on a brake or clutch pedal to hydraulic pressure, which actuates the brake or clutch system in the car.
  • Mid-Corner
    The area of track between corner entry and the apex.
  • Modulation
    Changing brake pressure or throttle to keep tires near their traction limits
  • Neutral Handling
    When the car is neither over or understeering at its limit and maintains traction on front and rear sets of tires.
  • Ocular Driving
    Looking farther ahead on the track will make you a smoother and faster diver. At the corner exit (track-out), you should be looking towards the straightway and the next corner to start braking, at the start of braking you should be looking at the apex, When turning you should look to the corner exit. In short, look where you want to go not where you are at.
  • Oversteer
    When the rear tires lose traction when cornering causing the rear end of the car to take a wider radius in the turn i.e. slide in the opposite direction of the turn. Refer to CPR. Oversteer can be caused by lifting off the throttle in a turn called lift off oversteer. A car using too much power out of a turn called power oversteer. Most passenger cars due to front engine and engineering have built in understeer for legal liability concerns. The 60’s Corvairs and early model Porsches with their rear engine weight behind the rear axle had considerable oversteer in their day and required experienced drivers to drive them safely.
  • Over-rev
    To run the engine at a greater RPM than is desirable and may therefore damage the engine. This can happen in a manual car in downshifting from a higher gear to a way lower gear like from 5th down to 2nd rather than the intended 4th and cause significant engine damage. This misapplied shift is sarcastically referred to as the “money shift”.
  • PDK
    Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe transmission is regard as the best duel clutch transmission (DCT) in the automobile industry DCT’s are simply an automatic transmission that can outperform manual transmissions even by a professional race car driver. The driver can use the fully automatic mode or the semi-automatic mode with the use of paddle shitters. Many sports cars are equipped with DCT’s today, as manual transmissions are becoming rarer.
  • Pinching
    Adding steering lock when cornering usually done in second half of the corner due to early apex. Refer to Early-In Early-Out
  • Plow or Push
    Slang used for excessive understeer.
  • Pyrometer
    An instrument which measures the heat of your tires by sticking a probe on the outside, middle, and inside of each tire. More heat on part of a tire or on one tire in particular may indicate some suspension problem that may need correction to improve lap time. For the very serious track enthusiast as you have to pull in the pits in the middle of the session when the tires are hot and take immediate readings.
  • R Compound Tires
    High performance street tires, but with the least tread pattern permissible and with very soft, sticky rubber. Various manufacturers have different levels of wear life but as a general rule the softer the tire the less life. All are however are DOT (Department of Transportation) approved for street use unlike Slicks.
  • Red Line
    Maximum usable RPM. Operation above value will produce less power and may cause engine damage. Some cars have rev limiters when accelerating to prevent going past the red line.
  • Red Mist
    When you lose concentration on driving the car. If you find your mind wondering to some other thought think of a simple word that will remind you to refocus your attention. Lack of concentration on the track even can have disastrous consequences.
  • Reference Point
    Any visual point on the track signs, walls, posts, trees which the driver uses to trigger some action braking, turning, etc.
  • Riding the Clutch
    Driving with the clutch partially engaged
  • Road Camber
    Angle of the road surface to the corner. Positive camber is angled towards the turn and helps the car’s cornering ability. Negative camber is banked away from the turn and reduces the car’s cornering ability. Needless to say negative camber can be very challenging task.
  • Roll
    Movement of the car ride height from the vehicles centerline when turning. Reducing the center of gravity by lowering the car as well as other suspension changes can significantly reduce body roll.
  • Roll Bar
    Safety feature on many sports car convertibles like Miata and Porsche to prevent injury from car rollover protection. For hard top cars dedicated to heavy track use, roll bars can be installed along with racing seats and seat harnesses for extra safety. Due to race harnesses keeps you upright it is imperative to prevent the roof from even partially caving in if the car rolls over.
  • Roll Cage
    A constructed metal frame of tubing inside the entire cabin of the car as a reinforced safety feature required on all Cup Cars
  • Rotors
    Known as discs they are the surface in which brake pads are applied creating friction which slows the car. They come into many types standard, cross -drilled, and slotted. Depends on type of driving and preference of appearance. Without going into long winded debate about type of pad and rotor, if you do a lot of tracking slotted brakes with racing pads is the preferred choice of many.
  • RPM
    Engine revolutions per minute
  • SA Helmet ratings
    Since 1957, the Snell Memorial Foundation is non-profit organization dedicated to research, education, and testing and development of helmet safety standards. The certification of Snell rated helmets or SA rated helmets is once every 5 years. The most current standard rating is 2015. Most racing organizations will only accept Snell certified helmets 10 years after initial certification. Therefore no SA2010 rated helmets can be used on the track after 2020 and SA2015 after 2025.
  • Scrubbing
    Causing the wheels to skid rather than roll greatly reducing the vehicle speed and not being able to accelerate.
  • Shaved Tires
    A sacrifice to the speed gods. Tires are reduced down to a few 32nds of an inch in tread depth to reduce the potential of overheating. Yes place like Tire Rack can provide this service but do you want to replace these tires every track weekend?
  • Shift Point
    The RPM at which one shifts up or down a gear.
  • Skid Pad
    Any piece of asphalt approximately 60 yards in diameter. It is used to develop driver’s ability to handle cars cornering limits as they drive around the diameter.
  • Slicks
    Tires that have a treadless surface. This allows the greatest amount of rubber on the surface and therefore this creates the greatest grip. Not street legal.
  • Slip Angle
    The difference between the direction of the wheel rim is pointing and the direction the tire is pointing. The slip angle is this difference. Up to a certain degree the slip angle increases the grip and cornering ability of the car but at a certain point an increasing degree degrades the cornering ability.
  • Slow In Fast Out
    Term used to instruct driving the theoretical racing line on a theoretical corner. Driving the racing line is slower than the geometric line initially due to later turn in. However the slower speed at turn in you make up by getting on the throttle earlier and having a faster exit speed. So the trade-off is you might initially lose 2MPH for 30 yards in the turn but gain 2MPH edge over 300 yard straightway. Easy to do the math who will reach the next corner first.
  • Spin
    Loss of traction resulting in car no longer in control see Both Feet-In
  • Steering Lock
    The amount the steering wheel is turned. Add lock increase turning radius reduce steering lock decrease turning radius.
  • Sweeper
    A long fast corner, usually taken at a very high speed.
  • The “13/13 Rule”
    In club racing, the overtaking car has the responsibility of not contacting the other car. If there is an infraction in which cars contact, the offending party is put on 13 month probation. Any contact with another car deemed to be his fault will be banned from further racing for 13 months.
  • “The Ring”
    Opened in 1927, The Nurburgring motorsports complex has also been nickname by Jackie Stewart Formula One World Champion as “The Green Hell”. Located in the town of Nurburg, Germany. Depending on the track configuration it is either 12.9 miles or 15.2 miles long with more than 1,000 feet of elevation changes with many technically challenging corners.. Besides hosting the German Formula One Prix and other professional races it is open to the public on Sundays. Called “Touistenfahrten” anyone with a driver’s license and a road legal car, motorcycle, truck, and bus can participate with passing on the right prohibited. Fastest lap time by a production car was the Lamborghini Huracan with a 6:52.01 on October 5, 2016
  • Threshold Braking
    The car’s maximum ability is to brake in a straight line. Before corner entry you should apply maximum braking initially starting at about 25% initial brake pressure let the weight transfer load the tire than rapidly squeeze the remaining 75% within half a second or so.
  • Throttle Steering
    The technique of rotating the car into a turn by applying the throttle.
  • Tire Pressure Racing Gauge
    A must have on any track day. Over or underinflated tires can dramatically effect your handling on the track. Racing gauges have a bleeder valve to reduce overinflated tires. Tracks have a compressor on premises to inflate tires or acquire a portable compressor rather than drive to the location on the track. Remember optimal tire pressure is when the car is hot not when it is cold. Measure tire pressure immediately after the track session. Optimal tire pressure depends on your car and tire maker.
  • Toe In Toe Out
    Reference to the horizontal position of tires front and back on a car. Similar to your feet if they are pointed inwards it is called toe in pointed out called toe out. Along with camber on the tires adjustments from manufacturer specs may produce better results on the track.
  • Torque
    The engines ability to produce twisting force. Horsepower is the rate at which it can do the work. Torque and horsepower play an integral role in automotive performance with horsepower is a function of torque and engine speed.
  • Torque Wrench
    Over tightening your wheel lug nuts can damage the rotors. A torque wrench will only tighten the wheel nuts to recommended manufacturers specs. All you have to do is adjust the bottom knob to the appropriate foot pounds and tighten until you hear it click. Make sure your wheel lugs are tight losing a wheel on a track will certainly ruin your day.
  • Track-Out
    Also referred to as “corner exit” is the point at which the turn is completed and you have your foot at 100% on the throttle. If you, nailed the apex at the right speed, the track out point should be the extreme edge of the road. The faster your car is at that point the faster you will be down the entire straightway picking up valuable time compared to car who missed the mark.
  • Trail- Braking
    The art of releasing the brake pressure at corner entry until all brake pressure is eliminated before reaching apex and applying throttle. Refer to Friction Circle. The better you trail brake the faster you will be through Mid-Corner picking up a .1 second or so over 10 corners and you improved a full second in lap time.
  • TTO
    An abbreviation for Trailing Throttle Oversteer, As a car is approaching its cornering limit if the throttle is lifted or trailed the weight transfer on the back to the front might cause the car to lose enough grip to oversteer. Applying brakes then makes the matters worse and will probably result in a spin.
  • Turbocharger
    Colloquially referred to as “turbo”, is a turbine-driven forced induction device that increases an internal combustion engine's efficiency and power output by forcing extra air into the combustion chamber. Automobile manufacturers are increasing utilizing turbo technology in their production cars to increase fuel efficiency and power. The drawback from a naturally aspirating engine is the slower response acceleration known as turbo lag. This is the time required to change power output in response to a throttle change.
  • Turn-In
    Also known as Corner Entry. It is the point in which you turn into the corner and the process in which you transition from threshold braking to trail braking.
  • Understeer
    For most cars when the cornering limit is reached it is understeer also called Plow or Push the front tires have reached its limit of traction and will go at a wider arc. Normal instinct is to let off the gas or slightly touch the brakes. This weight transfer adds traction and therefore the tighter turn can be made. This this the opposite of oversteer where the rear wheels lose traction.
  • Unsprung Weight
    The weight not supported by the suspension of the car. This consists of wheels, tires, brake assemblies, and other assemblies not supported by the springs. Reduced unsprung weight is the key to improved handling. For the track, 18 inch tires are generally regarded as the optimal tire size even though bigger tires will have a larger contact patch they will be heavier.
  • Upshift
    Changing from a lower gear to a higher gear as engine speed approaches its limit in that gear
  • Weight Transfer
    The transfer of weight of a car during braking cornering and accelerating. Under breaking weight transfer is the front, accelerating weight transfer is to the rear and when cornering weight is transferred to the opposite direction of the turn. Weight transfer increases contact patch of the tires with the added weight but losses to the opposite tires that loses weight. The added/lost traction of all tires is not zero sum but a net loss therefore any braking, acceleration, or cornering you lose some traction one degree or another.
  • Wheel Spin
    Traction of tires do not have sufficient grip to handle the speed of the revolving rear wheels.
  • Yaw Angle
    The angle between the centerline of a car and the direction the car is traveling. Think of going down a straight road and a strong wind is blowing you in a cross direction. Your car is pointed straight but the wind is moving your car in the direction of the wind.
  • Z
    Starting with the Datsun 240Z back in the early 70’s, the Nissan Z model is a favorite on the track. Not to be confused with its big bad brother the GTR affectionately referred to as “Godzilla”.
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