Firstly, Evolve Driving would like to say a big thank you to the club for inviting us to contribute to this fantastic magazine. We will be contributing an article each issue to help you understand what we do, the benefits of driver coaching and how we are working with your club to benefit you.
A quick introduction of Evolve Driving
Evolve Driving was established in 2014 by Dean Sammut after 11 years of working in the driver training industry. He identified the need to ‘Evolve The Driver!’ to be safer, faster and be able to enjoy the true performance that their car can provide. Evolve Driving have developed event formats that prioritise the highest quality track time, small drive group sizes along with a professional team of instructors whose passion is cars, driving and coaching you to become better drivers.
COVID-19 coaching options
These unprecedented times mean that we must rethink how we use our cars. For Evolve Driving this means we are not on track, the place where we love to ‘play’ and enjoy the true performance of our cars. We know that you have also had to park up your pride and joy for a while but there is still a range of things that you can do to be ready to get back to driving as soon as things open up again.
How you can be ready to get back behind the wheel?
There are a range of actions that all drivers can take to prepare to drive again, whether this is simply to go for a magnificent road drive, get out on a friendly track day or get back to competitive driving. Let us start with an overview of the resources that are available to you and how they can benefit your return to the cockpit.
Before you start watching any videos, get a track map of the circuit that you will be assessing so that you can make notes at each of the corners. Writing your thoughts down is a proven way of learning and remembering, and it is free as track maps are readily available to download from the internet.
Then, if you have any onboard footage of your previous driving, sit down and watch it. Use the vision to identify the good techniques you think you are doing and what that you think you could improve on. This can then be linked to the visualisation/realisation practice described below so that you begin to develop an expected feeling of what its like to be driving.
What if you don’t have your own footage? Thanks to YouTube there is an abundance of onboard footage for a range of roads, tracks, and cars. There is a good chance that you will find footage of someone driving a similar car to yours on the same track that you plan to drive on.
WARNING: be careful of the quality of the driving you choose to watch as there are a lot of videos where the driver is not displaying optimum performance driving techniques and awareness. You can still watch these videos but make a note of the actions that you don’t think are correct so that when you are ‘building’ your visualisation/realisation map you are developing good techniques in place of their bad one’s.
Evolve Driving are launching ‘The Drivers Lab’ which is a new feature on our website where we will have reference laps highlighting optimum driving techniques at a range of circuits.
Books, Literature & Podcasts
There are some great resources available on the topic of performance techniques – books, websites, and podcasts. Checkout ‘The Drivers Lab’ for a list of our favourites.
Simulator Driving Sessions
Driving is one of the few sports which you can replicate on a simulator with remarkable accuracy (Cycling may be the other with Zwift). Even basic home ‘sim’ set-ups allow you to practice the ‘process’ of driving on the very circuits you drive on. Some advanced simulators have amazing levels of comparisons to real world driving and just like the real world you can spend a lot of money on your car and simulator. Try to use any time you get on a simulator to replicate the situations that you will be driving in on track, for example the type of car characteristics, the session length, practice, qualifying or race.
This is an exceptionally good skill to develop as it will benefit you now and when you are back to full track activity. When we talk about visualisation, we are not only referring to the ‘visual’ aspect of replicating your drive which is why we often say ‘realisation’. This means that we want you to include all of the sensory inputs that you get when you drive in your mind when you are formulating your ‘sensory input’ lap. You should include the feeling of g-forces, hear the revs and other noises, have the feeling of bumps and the movement of steering, gear selection and pedal use, etc.
When you practice this regularly it becomes an immensely powerful tool to help your driving performance (and can be transferred to other areas of your life too). It will maximize your track time, minimizing wasted ‘build-up/warm-up’ time and will improve your consistency. It also gives you a better ‘plan’ so if anything doesn’t match that plan then you will be able to proactively deal the problem and not just react to it which at track speeds could be too late.
There are a range of great books and online literature relating to visualisation and I would encourage you to start practicing it on a regular basis.
Club Member Benefits
Before we leave you to go and practice all the things listed above, we would like to let you know what benefits Evolve Driving provide to you simply for being a current Club Member.
Benefits include discounted booking prices or inclusion of garage hire or other event add-on options. As offers change over time and may be circuit/event specific please contact your club for details of the current offers that you can take advantage of when joining our events.