Partially related to the post I just made, I’ve noticed I have a hard time getting myself into the mindset where I can drive at my best and really get going in a race. To me, it seems like I’m driving my best when I feel like I’m at a disadvantage.
For a couple examples, I ran a few weeks ago in a heat race, and I was up against a really good driver. I knew he was faster than my by almost 8 tenths in the practice sessions, but I found myself in the lead after the first lap. I thought I knew he would be coming and I had to drive as fast as I can. I ended up running fastest lap of the race by a good bit, all while thinking he’s gonna be right on my bumper at the next turn. Once the race was over, and I knew I was doing good, I could never get myself back into that, I almost want to say it was a panicked, mind set. I ran half a second off that pace for the rest of the day and couldn’t catch up to him as he picked up time.
In another event, I was having issues with my clutch while I was running Yamaha. We put a new one on and the engagement was about 4,300 RPM, whereas the normal engagement was probably about 8,700 to 8,900 RPM. I knew that this would be a problem and ended up running almost as fast as the leaders, even though I was about midpack since I got passed up a ton on the start. Once my clutch was back to normal I couldn’t get that same pace. I knew I wasn’t thinking the same way, and I think that’s a big reason as to why I was able to drive the way I did.
Does anyone have any tips for getting into the mindset that gets you running at your best and allows you to perform better than you would have expected? It seems to be totally hit-or-miss for me right now.