Acceleration, Gear Changing, and Weight Shifting Techniques

The difference between a race car driver and a normal car driver is how each one employs driving techniques. While the race car driver’s techniques are refined, the normal person who drives a car, just uses basic driving skills to get from point A to point B safely. Using proper techniques will help you utilize your car to its full potential. Here are a couple of tips you can use when driving your car.


The mistake most people make when accelerating, is that they floor the pedal and accelerate quickly. If you have a powerful car, it is very important that you use smooth acceleration or you will encounter wheel-spin. Never step on the accelerator pedal while accelerating or changing a gear, this will cause wheelspin and you will lose control of the vehicle. You need to keep weight transfers in mind when accelerating and braking.
Gear Changing

Avoid shock loads when changing your gears while driving any car, especially high powered ones. Release the clutch slowly instead of rapidly when changing gears, or it will result in a rapid forward weight transfer. In some cases, rapidly releasing the clutch will result in the driven wheels being locked down. If you are changing up, it is important to release the clutch in a smooth motion to prevent wheel-spins. Remember you can also run the risk of missing a gear by rapidly changing gears. Do not change gears while you are in the middle of a corner, change gears ahead of the curve so that you can accelerate out easily.
Weight Transfers

Most people driving cars don’t know much about weight transfers. It is important to keep weight transfers to a bare minimum when driving. Rapid weight transfers due to excessive acceleration, aggressive steering, gear changing and braking will upset the balance of your car and could result in loss of control. Learn how to use weight transfers to your advantage. By lifting off the throttle before you enter a curve could increase the grip at the front wheels and result in a smooth, fluid turn.

John Labunski currently co-hosts the radio program. He is an active member of Porsche Club America and attends local Drivers Education and Club Racing events.


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