Skid Pad Day

This Saturday I have the small skid pad rented at Thunderhill. I’m taking some UC Davis students from my “High Performance Driving” class there to get some first-hand experience with stuff we talk about in class. I’m bringing both my Z3 and Yaris to share with students. Here’s the list of drills we’re doing and what we hope to accomplish in each one. The track will be split in half most of the time, so sometimes there will be 2 different drills going on.

  • Listening to grip
    • Track: Circular
    • Activity: Going around in circles focusing on tire noise
    • Goal: Be able to recognize when tires have good/bad grip by what they sound like
  • Feeling balance
    • Track: Circular track
    • Activity: Get to tire-squealing speed then accelerate and decelerate to change balance of grip
    • Goal: Be able to feel oversteer and understeer through the steering wheel at the limit of traction
  • Hand positions
    • Track: Figure 8
    • Activity: Use different steering techniques (9-n-3, push-pull, hand-over-hand, one-handed) turning left and right
    • Goal: Be able to steer effectively using all techniques
  • Drifting
    • Track: Figure 8
    • Activity: Have fun trying to initiate and maintain drift
    • Goal: Learn various techniques to initiate drift: trail-brake, lift-throttle, flick, hand-brake. Learn how to maintain drift as long as possible.
  • Cafeteria Tray Rodeo
    • Track: Figure 8
    • Activity: Drive around the course with cafeteria trays on the rear wheels (FWD only)
    • Goal: Learn how to manage ridiculous amounts of oversteer
  • Heel-toe
    • Track: Square
    • Activity: Practice heel-toe
    • Goal: Gain appreciation and expertise in matching revs
  • Open Practice
    • Track: Figure 8
    • Activity: Work on whichever technique you want (hand position, drifting, rodeo, etc)
    • Goal: Gain muscle memory through repetitive training
  • Free Play
    • Track: Autocross
    • Activity: Work on cornering technique or drifting
    • Goal: Gain muscle memory while having fun

This is my first time renting the skid pad or running an event. Check back to see how it went.

2 thoughts on “Skid Pad Day

  1. Sounds like a great great time… how much to rent the skid pad? Too bad the wife’s getting her 2nd shot so there’s no way i could get away but otherwise I’d be up for bringing the SRF just to throw it into the mix… next time… no, seriously, next time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s