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A Short Guide to a Good Driving Position


A good driving position is probably one of the simplest way to improve your driving, but surprisingly is the least talked about in the sport of racing.  


Learning how to race without learning how to sit properly first is like trying to learn how to golf without first knowing how to properly stand and position yourself to swing the club.  A good driving position along with some other driving techniques like steering and shifting might not give you that 1 second edge that you are looking for over your competition, but it is your first step to be a competitive Solo driver! 


The following is a short list of guidelines that you can follow to acquire a good driving position.

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Contact points and interface:
When you are sitting inside your car, There are mainly three constant contact points between you & your car: hands/steering, feet/pedals, Body/seat.  Now, remember those cool looking oddly shaped pedals, suede steering wheels and bucket seats in an actual racing car?  Well, They are there for a specific reason (FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION). 
It is because those are the only contact between the driver and their car.  So why are racing teams and drivers pay so much attention on how they are in contact with their car you ask?  It is because CONTACTS = CONTROL (input) + FEEDBACK (output), therefore, GOOD CONTACTS = GOOD CONTROL + GOOD FEEDBACK. As simple as that, just like any other kind of sports.

Have a seat and move a little closer:
There are mainly two kinds of driving position, Relax & Alert.  A relax driving position would be the kind that you use for everyday driving, where comfort is the prime objective.  On the other hand, an alert driving position would be the kind that you use for racing, where reaction & control is the prime objective. 
The alert position can be easily achieved with the help of a racing bucket seat, since an alert driving position is already built into the seat with a straight and up-right position where your chest and your leg should form and angle of around 90 degrees. 
For the folks with stock seats (including me), adjust your seat back and try to achieve that 90 degree range.  Now, slide the seat closer to the controls (steering/pedals).  The way to gauge the optimum distance between you and the controls is to first, find the sweet spot for the pedals.  Press the clutch pedal all the way down with you left leg. Your legs should not feel stretched to perform this action but if you do, move the seat a little bit forward until that stretched feeling is gone and find tune accordingly. 
Now check the distance between your hands and the steering by reaching the steering without moving your shoulders forward (as if you are laying down on your bed and raise you arms up).  You should be just able to grab the top part of the steering wheel, If you can do that, you are all set.  However, if you are too far or too close; Try adjusting the steering first to archive that then find tune you seat back. 
Now that you've achieve the optimum driving position and you might feel just a little bit awkward and thats find, you just need to get use to it.  However, if you feel more than a little awkward, you might need to find tune the settings until you feel you can live with it.

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