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Can I really improve my lap time with professional racing seats? Which one should I get? Is that all I really need to get faster?
Except for cutting down on the car’s total weight, how can my racing seat improve my lap time?
Having a proper racing seat installed in your car will definitely help you improve your lap time. How? Believe it or not, it has very little to do with the weight of the car seat and more to do with how it improves the driver’s confidence.
Race car seats are designed to provide the best support for the driver. Micro-adjustments make the fit more personalized to each individual race car driver. With better driver support, you won’t have to feel like you’re hanging on to the steering wheel.
A lighter grip on the steering wheel will give you a better feedback on what’s happening with your car. With racing seats, you’ll sense the car as its body rolls. You’ll also experience weight transfers from one point to the other and balance shifts when you enter tight turns. Knowing all of those things will help you drive better, faster, and react appropriately.
A good racing seat will also help you plant your feet better on the pedals. The angle formed should reduce the instances where you let up on the pedal because you were jostled by an imperfection on the road. Both feet have to be able to depress the accelerator, clutch, and brake pedal with ease.
Last but not least, your racing seat should instill a sense of utter control in you when you get inside the cockpit. Read on to learn more about how I improved my lap time.
Tips To Get Faster Lap Times
Here are tips on how to improve your performance on track. These are the tips and techniques I use to improve my lap time that I want to share with you before you get
Want to go faster? Here are my tips that helped me get faster and reduce my lap time. Includes shared wisdom from other racers and things that I have found work for me.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The only way to get better at something is to invest time and effort spent on perfecting it. It’s true what they say that practice makes perfect. So, each chance you get, practice. If you’re not out on track, review your performance, read the map, and come up with better strategies to get faster.
Practicing isn’t just about being behind the wheel. You should also take time to sharpen your mind. This is what I’ve learned in my bid to improve my lap time.
Put Your Money Where Your Passion Is
Racing is an expensive sport. Think about it. The basic car itself will set you back at least eight grand. That’s not including all the little upgrades you’ll have to make to go faster. You’ll also need to change your tires constantly.
Other things that’ll take a toll on your finances include:
- Track fees
- Racing gear
- Equipment maintenance
- Storage fees
Unless you get a sponsor fast, you’ll find your savings dwindling fast!
But you can’t stop racing just because of money problems. You’ll have to put every penny into your passion to get better. Once you surpass all these challenges and get good enough, racing can pay for all of these, and the cycle begins anew.
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Don’t Make Racing A Solo Sport
One misconception about racing is that it’s a solo sport. Sure, inside the car, you’re expected to be alone. But you should have a team surrounding you outside.
You’ll need a coach to help you analyze your performance and motivate you when you’re running low on drive. You’ll also need an engineer to ensure your car is in tip-top shape and ready for anything on the circuit. A mechanic could help you with fixing your car or installing racing components properly.
A group of people to cheer you on is also important. They can help boost your spirit when your motivation is flagging.
The more people you involve in the sport, the better. Who knows, if you have enough people supporting you, they might be able to help you with the finances. At the very least, you’ll have a gaggle of people who’ll be able to help you with marketing your racing career through social media or word-of-mouth.
Watch Where You’re Going
Look where you want to go, and your car will follow. But that’s not all, you should also develop spatial awareness and target fixation. This is the ability to widen and narrow your field of vision based on what you want to achieve with your race car.
The best way I’ve found to improve my lap time through this technique is to look ahead and take the entire course in before shifting my focus on a target and opening my field of vision again once I’ve passed that mark.
Control Your Car. Not The Other Way Around.
Your car is a mechanical object. If you remove any emotional attachment to it, you’ll find it will make you use it better as an actual tool.
On the straightaway, with little to no steering, this will be easy. The only thing you have to think about is how much pressure to put onto your gas pedal to go faster. But when the turn comes, don’t let the car dictate where it wants to go. Don’t let oversteer or understeer overwhelm you.
Instead, anticipate the turn and push the car in the direction you want it to go. Don’t just hang on to the steering wheel and pray for the best.
Know your car and what it can do. Feel your car. Listen to it as you drive it so that you’ll have intimate knowledge of how it works. You’ll eventually discover that you and your car can have a conversation as it powers through the course.
Don’t let your emotional attachment to your car stop you from achieving your goals. Our emotions have a way of affecting our performance. Control your car. It’s a tool. Not the other way around.
Know When To Put On The Brakes
Braking? While trying to get a faster lap time? I know. It sounds contradictory. But give me a chance to enlighten you because knowing when to apply the brakes is one of my secrets how I learned to improve my lap time.
Contrary to popular belief, your foot isn’t always going to be pushing the gas pedal to the metal. You’ll need to let up, or you’ll blow a piston. But at the speed you’re going, will you be able to slow down enough to make sure you stick to the lane when you enter a turn?
This is where the proper braking technique comes in handy.
A few light pumps, and you should be able to slow down just enough to make micro-adjustments and keep your car going in the trajectory you want it to go.
Learn to brake properly and apply just enough pressure when you need it, and you’re bound to see an improvement in your lap times. If the worst comes to it, make sure you have one hand ready to reach for the emergency brake.
Take The Time To Learn As Much As You Can
People who are seriously invested in a passion project take the time to study as much as they practice. The same goes for racing. There are things you can learn from books, videos, podcasts, and other people. Make sure you invest enough time to cram all that information into your brain.
This will also come in handy when you’re studying the map. Look at it, analyze it, memorize where the turns are, know the distances between curves, the minutest details are just as important as the big ones. Try a practice run. Ask other people how they handled the track. Ask for pointers.
Learn from the pros. Don’t be afraid to look like a complete newbie. Everyone started out somewhere.
Don’t worry, unlike a computer hard drive, you’ll never run out of disk space when you use your noggin.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Perfection is a result of constantly improving your performance. You will make mistakes in the pursuit of improving your lap time. I know I’ve made hundreds, thousands of mistakes in my bid to improve my lap time.
The most important thing is that you take note of these mistakes and make the necessary adjustments to avoid repeating them.
Last But Not Least: Get Physically Fit
What? Why? Just how important is it to get physically fit to race? If I told you this last tip was the key to improving my lap time, would it inspire you to hit the gym?
I shaved off three seconds off my total lap time when I lost 10 pounds. Adding some muscle helped me control my car better during twists and turns. Improving my physical condition helped me improve my mental acuity.
Getting in shape helped me physically and mentally to handle anything that the car and track threw at me. In the process, I also gained the endurance to last longer per track day and physical durability to regain faster between practice periods.
The most important thing is the mental toughness I acquired to push past my limits in the gym, which transferred over when I’m behind the wheel. Obviously, the pounds I lost meant my car was now carrying a lighter load (that’s me). And a lighter car paired with a stronger engine is bound to win races.
So sign up for a gym membership, eat healthy, and get a physical fitness trainer to help you shave those fatty layers off just as you shave those seconds off of your lap time.
Ok, now it’s time to choose the racing seats that will help you achieve better results.
The Top Racing Seats You Can Buy Today
Here are five racing seats you can buy and install in your race car today. Although these are pricey, you can be sure of their build quality, letting you focus on more important things on the road, like actually driving like a pro racer. Let’s get started!
The OMP TRS-E is a universal fit, FIA-compliant racing seat built on a strong tubular steel frame. Despite its size, this is a very light seat, weighing in at under 12 pounds. For ease of installation, you can install it from a side or bottom mount. There are removable thigh cushions for leg support that can keep your feet planted firmly on the pedals to reduce fatigue.
- Fit Type: Universal
- Package Weight: 5.008 Kilograms
- Package Dimensions: 45.72 L X 96.52 H X 56.896 W (Centimeters)
- Product Type:Vehicle Seat Cover
Another excellent product from OMP, albeit bigger and taller for larger drivers. The OMP HTE-R XL racing seat is built on a lightweight gel-coated fiberglass shell and upholstered in Airtex material for comfort. These seats are commonplace in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) Series.
- Fit type: Universal
- Package Dimensions: 55.245 L x 99.822 H x 57.15 W (centimeters)
- Package Weight : 35 pounds
- Made in Albania
The Kirkey 88 has a more straightforward look with its aluminum construction and light padding. Although Spartan, this racing seat has everything you need to reach the finish line faster. The energy absorbent padding is one of the most amazing features this racing seat has.
- Energy absorbing padding on seat bottom
- Rib and reinforced shoulder supports have extra 1/2" energy absorbing padding directly on seat
- Head restraint is adjustable both vertically and laterally and uses molded high density energy...
- Fit type: Vehicle Specific
The Sparco brand has long been associated with racing thanks to its excellent build quality across all lines in its range of products. this seat can be equipped with 4, 5, or 6-point harnesses to improve driver confidence on the track. This is what I have installed in my cockpit, and it has definitely helped me with my lap time.
- FIA homologated
- Side and bottom mount capability
- Self-extinguishing fabric
- Tubular steel frame
- Equipped with anti-submarine harness hole
The Kirkey Intermediate Racing Seat is applicable for all types of cars from late model cars to professional race cars competing in Grand National, Pure Stock, IMCA, UMP, and NASCAR. This is a very strong racing seat that will last a long time while you’re working your way up from amateur to pro status.
- Brand New Kirkey 20" Wide, Layback, Intermediate Racing Seat and Cover. The Kirkey Part # on the...
- Features: | * 20 degree layback seats with dual rib supports | * TIG welded,.125" Thick, 5052 grade...
- Raised in front for thigh support | * Pre-cut seat belt slots | * Cloth covers | * Contoured,...
- Note: ** How to measure for a seat: In the seated position, using a straight edge, measure across...
- For more Kirkey racing seats, racing equipment, and many other high performance auto parts visit the...
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And that’s it. Pick the best one for your car and drive your way to success!
Adding a professional racing seat has definitely improved my lap time. But that’s not all. You should take the time to practice, learn, and continuously improve your skills. Improving our physical fitness and mental toughness is another way to shave those unwanted seconds off your total lap time.
What’s The Best Way To Go Faster?
Get a faster car and practice. You can have the fastest car in the world and still lose a race if you don’t practice. You can keep practicing and still lose because you don’t have the proper tools to unleash your potential. One of the best things I did to improve my lap time was to upgrade my engine and spend over a thousand hours on the circuit with it. Keep practicing with your current car until you have enough resources to upgrade it and practice some more.
How Important Is It To Learn The Lay Of The Land Before Racing?
It’s very important. Knowing what to expect is one of the best ways I’ve managed to improve my lap time. I can anticipate every twist and turn and make the necessary adjustment beforehand and perform the right move at the right time. This can help you improve your lap time too.
Does Fear Play A Part In Winning A Race?
Yes. One of the things that I’ve realized about racing is that fear affects my lap time. Fear should never be removed. Instead, learn to control it. Fear raises our spatial awareness and makes us more observant during the proceedings of a race. Once you learn to control it, you’ll drive better, faster.