At Tucker Motorsport driver coaching is a popular part of our offering, but what impact can this really have on your driving? Drivers at all levels can reap the benefits from well-structured driver tuition.
We all know how costly track time is, from track fees, to fuel and car maintenance, it all adds up! But receiving tuition from a qualified driver coach [ARDS Instructor] is one of the quickest ways to learn. Learning quicker equals a saving in these costs, taking advantage of someone else’s track time and race craft to improve your own performance.
Many Track Day companies will offer tuition on their days, normally at a nominal rate of £20.00 in exchange for 20 minutes of tuition. When you’re first starting out it’s a great service to take advantage of, it’s also a perfect insight into the benefits to be gained from having a driver coach. These short sessions will pick up any major bad driving habits and give you a safe generic racing line, which suits most cars. But once you get more serious about your driving or are perhaps considering racing it’s time to start looking for a driver coach for full days of tuition.
So you’ve realised you want to take your driving more seriously and could benefit from some one on one tuition, how exactly do you go about selecting a coach? You’re already doing pretty well finding yourself on our page! There are a couple of things we recommend considering:
- Check the credentials! ARDS A or S grade Instructors have more experience and are qualified to coach you in your car, not only on a Track Day but also on a Test Day. Meaning more opportunities, more experience and more value to add. Win, win win! The ARDS website is really handy and easy to navigate, simply search by name and you can view the details and the grade of someone’s license.
- Remember that a lot of the time it’s about more than just driving technique. Whilst the basics of good driving are the same across all cars to get the best from your car you will have to drive with a specific style to suit.
The second point is one which we feel quite strongly on, the driving characteristics of a vehicle are determined by so many variables:
- Weight distribution
- Driving Wheels [FWD/RWD/4WD]
- Track Conditions
For example, a heavy front engine, front wheel drive saloon will require a different technique to get the best lap time, than a lightweight mid-engine, rear wheel drive sports car with aero. All of these factors combine to drastically change the ideal racing line, application of brakes, throttle and steering across the laps. Ensuring your coach has an appreciation and understanding of the make up of a vehicle and the required driving style can make all the difference to successful tuition.
Will you see drastic improvements from your first coaching day and what can you expect to gain? In some cases, you will see some instant improvements, you’re going to learn a lot of new techniques and skills! But don’t be disheartened if at first you don’t see a big impact, your previous habits have been learnt over a period of time, these habits can take a while to break down and for the new improved habits to successfully form. The techniques you should be taught through your coaching will ultimately enable you to hit limits that previous bad techniques wouldn’t allow. Once these new techniques become natural you should see a drastic improvement in your driving technique.
What can you expect from a typical coaching day? We start with a fifteen to twenty minute assessment of your driving. Once that is complete we will talk through any fundamental flaws in your driving technique and discuss the racing line of the circuit for the car. Following this it’s back to the circuit, where we carry out demonstration laps displaying the racing line we previously discussed. This is also the perfect opportunity for us to assess the characteristics of the car, allowing us to be more specific about driving techniques and possible improvements. This process will be repeated throughout the day as we refine your driving. We’re very conscious of different learning styles and as such tailor the coaching sessions to you, sometimes demonstrations aren’t required.
All of these factors work together in imparting the race craft we have learnt throughout our time in motorsport, to you, in the most time efficient way possible. Driver coaching should be flexible, fun and beneficial and that’s what we like to focus on. Coaching can take place at circuits throughout the UK, and if you’re not comfortable carrying this out in your own vehicle we have an array of hire vehicles available which are suitable for all environments.
So if this is the year you’ve promised to work on your driving style give a thought to some decent driver coaching, when done right it has the potential to give you the biggest returns in the shortest time.