How to Use Track Maps to be Faster
Track maps are a great way to prepare for your track time or analyse your performance after a session. Here you can find track maps for circuits from around the world.
Drivers can use the track maps in a number of ways. If you’re a relatively inexperience driver, you should begin by noting down details that stand out to you on the circuit. These can include braking references, how much of the kerb you should use and other details such as bumps or track camber.
The point of making these track map notes is primarily to get yourself to think through your time on track. This will help embed your understanding about each corner, or even phase of the corner.
When you do this, it’ll be easier for you to be conscious of these areas when you’re out in your race car. You’ll find yourself noticing all the details in the circuit you’d noted down on your track map.
If you’re more experienced, you should use your track map to identify areas of the circuit you might need to adapt your own technique or even areas where you’re limited by setup.
Spit each corner up into four sections:
Then think back through your session. You need to think about the balance of your car in each phase of the corner. Was the car understeering or oversteering? Were you limited by the front or rear? How much was it restricting you?
I like to rate my car’s imbalance with a number, usually 1 to 5. That way I have an idea of whether a small or large change is required.
You must think about laps when you were consistent and the car felt fluid. Only then can you honestly and precisely understand any imbalances it might have.
Finally, look for patterns in the imbalances. Is the car oversteering everywhere? Or is it only happening on corner exit, when you’re getting on the throttle?
Think about the type of corner too. Are there issues in only fast corners? Or is it the hairpins?
When you structure your track map feedback sheets in this way, you’ll be able to begin to make logical changes to your technique or setup, based on proper feedback.