When bad stuff happens on a race track

My brother Mario is racing this weekend at PittRace in a 24 Hours of LeMons event. Mario hasn’t had a black flag since 2013 or something. Here’s a look at his 2021 black flag.

If you saw the blog post from last week, I talked about how the Vortex of Danger is your fault. You can’t control the idiots on track. You can only try to protect yourself from them. Even when you’re not looking for trouble, sometimes trouble comes looking for you.

What you see here is Mario getting hit after the Vortex. Hell, it’s well beyond the apex.

So what do you do when you’re knocked out of control and slipping through grass at over 80 mph? It’s way too late to plan. It’s even too late to think. This is when your muscle memory takes over. If you’ve deliberately driven on slippery surfaces, you have a better chance of surviving this. Driving in the rain or on snow, dirt, or gravel trains you for these situations. One of the biggest reasons to do sim racing is to train your muscle memory for situations you never want to get into in real life. If you’re a fair-weather driver, you have to trust to luck, and the racing gods aren’t very kind.

What about the other driver? Was it a mechanical problem? Was it a physical problem? Did the driver exhibit horrendous judgement? Whatever the issue was, if you hit someone and nearly end their race, you take ownership of the problem, you seek out the other driver, and you make it right between you. That’s the adult thing to do. Thankfully, that did happen the next day.

3 thoughts on “When bad stuff happens on a race track

  1. Looks like a pretty good save. Agree that sim racing really helps with training what to do when you go off.


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