Home Forums Chassis & Handling Driving: Looking Ahead

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Ray Lovestead 6 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #6226

    Ray Lovestead

    How far ahead do you honestly look?  In theory, as far as possible.  But do you really look way ahead all the time?

    I’ve been trying to improve my vision on the track.  But I find that I constantly catch myself looking at my turn in, my apex, my track out..  without looking further ahead than my very next move.  Anyone else have this problem?


    "Karting Expert Since 2015"

  • #6239

    Bob Baldwin

    Ray: I will offer this up from one of the best Wheelmen ever . Back in the 80’s I was doing my Gopher work at DIS . Had the chance to pick-up AJ Foyt at his pit and transport him to the Media center . at the time he had quite the reputation of speaking what was on his mind reguardless of WHO it was . Only question I asked was we are going to the Media center Correct ,he nodded yes . On the ride there he kept looking over at me ,We finally got to the media center . He says I can tell your dying to ask me a question .Yes I do I said Shoot he says . So I stupidly blurt out ” WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT WHEN YOU ARE RACING ? “He started to get up and then sat back down and sprewing his words of wisdom . He said no one ever asked him that question before but the bottom line answer was over the years he trained himself not to look at any one thing more than 2 seconds .whether it was Midgets , sprint cars ,Champ cars , Indy cars Sportscars , NASCAR whatever. Further stating that your brain can process what your eyes see and retain that information . He further stated that SPEED is ALL a RELATIVE THING. wether you are doing 100 mph on a small bullring or 200 mph in an Indy car KEEP the EYES MOVING at ALL TIMES .

  • #6244

    TJ Koyen

    I always look to my next mark. So coming into a corner I look to the braking zone, once I find it I start looking for the apex point, once I find it and hit it I’m looking to the outside edge of the track where I’m going to swing out on exit, once I find it I’m looking to the next braking zone. So basically I’m always trying to look at least a step ahead if I can. I’m looking for the apex before I’ve gotten fully to the braking zone.

    One thing I notice is a lot of guys get hypnotized by the kart in front in a racing situation and have a hard time looking past that kart. I’ve seen guys make a mistake and drive off only to have the following kart also drive off because the following driver was so focused on the guy in front of him.

    Looking ahead is one of the toughest lessons to learn as a driver but also one of the most important I think.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com

  • #6336

    Ray Lovestead

    How about that for another question.  How do you look past a driver who is directly in front of you?  I have bumped several people who are a couple feet in front of me because I’m watching their bumper and can’t respond fast enough when they brake into a corner.  Do you try and look past them?

    Also, all the driving articles (and two lessons I’ve had) talk of looking as far ahead as possible.  Not the next apex, the next turn entirely.  I had a driver tell me he looks as far to the next turn as his vision will allow.  Even 2 turns ahead!  How is this even possible?


    "Karting Expert Since 2015"

  • #6339

    Peter Zambos

    Ray, I think some people are exaggerating the point.  But T.J.’s got it square on the head.  You never want to look where you’re at, but where you want to go.  It’s the golden rule.

    This also applies to when you have a kart in front of you.  Though, yes, you want to make sure you don’t drive over the poor soul, you still want to look for where you want to go, and not just mimic the line of the driver in front of you.  This comes in handy for a multitude of reasons.  Again, if you’re looking where you’re going to go, if you only focus on that kart’s rear, that’s exactly where you are going to finish – behind that kart. Also, while being fixated on that kart, if that driver gets behind on his/her steering and makes an ill-advised departure from the track, you’re going to follow where that kart is going and look like a double bonehead.  Also, you won’t be able to capitalize on traffic up-track if you’re not even looking for it.

    As for how you look past that kart in front of you, well, you just do it.  There is no secret, but practice does make perfect.  Make sure that you establish looking ahead of yourself and the kart in front of you a goal each time you leave the pits.  I know it sounds corny, but if you mentally say to yourself (you can say it outloud, but others might look at you weird), “I’m going to look ahead up the track during this session,” you will eventually do it, then do it consistently, and then you’ll be the next speed racer.

  • #9353

    Paul Kish

    I think it’s being visually aware of everything.  Your looking at the whole picture of where your going, what’s ahead of you and what is in your entire field of vision.

    If you look a any one thing for any length of time, your going to miss something.  So long as what you miss while your looking at something specific is not important, your ok.  If it does happen to be important it can be something leading to an experience of a life time.


    Brake, Insert 'arc', Turn, Accelerate

  • #9507

    Ray Lovestead

     I am definitely guilty of road hypnosis.  I will get in a groove and find that my eyes will focus just ahead of the kart and not well into the distance or move around looking at different things.  This is usually when the race is in full swing and we’ve spread out.

    I think a big sign that says “LOOK AHEAD” would help.  Every 50 feet or so..


    "Karting Expert Since 2015"

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