Circular reasoning

Have you ever wondered what the fastest path around 2 cones is? I have. It has literally kept me up until 3 am. Is the shortest path quickest? Maybe the most circular path? Or is it somewhere in between like a late apex racing line? And does it matter how much power the car has, how grippy the tires are, or if it’s raining?


OK, so let’s assume you’re a contestant in some kind of reality TV game show and you have to drive around the cones as fast as possible in order to get a fantastic prize (yay, luggage). You only get one shot at this for each test.


  1. Car #1 is a Spec Miata. The cones are pretty close to each other. Which path A-D (above) do you choose?
  2. Car #2 is a Mustang with all season tires. What about now?
  3. They throw water on the track. Mustang again. So?
  4. They make the track longer and put you back in the Miata. They also tell you you have to do the whole thing in 4th gear. Which path (E-H)?
  5. They flood the track with water and give you a WRX. Which path (E-H)?


Check back next week for the answers.

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