Monday, July 18, 2016

How to Adjust Your Seat and Mirrors for Track Driving

Driving fast on a track doesn’t just involve driving talent and a properly maintained, capable car. There are plenty of other things to consider, including the focus here: setting up your mirrors and seat.--This content is part of Dodge Racing School.The best position for your seatback is usually more upright than the one you use day to day. This allows for maximum visibility and a commanding grasp of the steering wheel (which we discuss later), as well as optimum support for your head and neck in case you—gulp!—end up backing your car into a wall or get rear-ended.Be sure you have enough clearance for your helmet, as you don’t want to be banging your head into the headliner. If your car is equipped with an adjustable-height seat, use it to find a good balance between head clearance and visibility—just keep in mind that raising the seat also raises the vehicle’s center of gravity, which hinders performance on the racetrack.Your seat bottom should be far enough forward that you can press both accelerator and clutch pedals all the way to the floor without fully extending your leg while maintaining a slight bend to your knee, as well as maintain a proper distance to the steering wheel (which we discuss on the next slide). You don’t want to be so far forward, however, that your knees stick up enough to interfere with steering.Now that you can see out of the car and reach the pedals, it’s time to make sure you can properly reach your steering wheel. A long reach to the steering wheel can translate to quickly fatigued shoulders and forearms and a loss of control. Your arms should rest on top of the wheel, somewhere in the first third of your forearm (above your hand) with your elbows slightly bent. This also ensures, in a manual-transmission car, that you can reach the shifter without an excessive amount of arm bending.You don’t want to be so close to the wheel, however, that you can’t move your hands freely around its entire circumference; if your hands hit your legs, that’s a problem. If your steering column has tilt or telescope adjustments, or both, use them, but keep in mind that the best wheel position for the track may be different from the one you use in daily driving.After finding the right seating position, make sure you have maximum visibility, starting with your rearview mirror; it likely needs to be moved to match your new seating position. Adjusting your rearview mirror isn’t any different from street driving, however: Just make sure you can see out the entire rear window of your car, and ensure that as much of the roadway behind you as possible is visible.Most people adjust their side mirrors to see the sides of their own car; this is wrong. Your side mirrors should be adjusted to look into your blind spots without any of your own vehicle visible. You also need to make sure to adjust them so that this view is the one you see when your back is firmly in contact with the seat’s backrest.Your passenger-side mirror should be adjusted accordingly. A good way to think about your side mirrors is that a car passing you on either side should disappear from your side mirror just as its nose becomes visible in your peripheral vision; this ensures constant awareness of exactly where that car is in relation to yours. While getting your mirrors right is critical in any sort of driving, on the track you may be wearing a harness and helmet, which will restrict your ability to move your head and upper body to take stock of a situation unfolding around you.
from Car and Driver Blog http://www.caranddriver.com/flipbook/how-to-adjust-your-seat-and-mirrors-for-track-driving


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