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The other night I was watching "Top Gear" on the BBC (don't care for the US version).  In this episode they visited Jackie Stewart because he claimed he could take 20 seconds off their lap time in a day.  They sent the slowest of them (nick-named Capt. Slow) and he did it; didn't change any gear, adjust the seat or mirrors, just changed his tactics.  Sir Jackie Stewart's time was 1:58.  Capt Slow started at 2:26 and in one day he got him down to 2:06.  I'm not 100% sure of the exact times but it was very close to the ones I wrote.  Same car, same track.  Only the driver changed.  I believe they were both in the car for all the runs so there wasn't even a weight difference.

 

What caught my attention while I was watching it was the things he said while coaching him - (again, might not be exact quotes but carry the intent) "Don't power up until you can stay on it".  "You were 6 feet from the apex of the turn."  Those two were the most memorable to me.  Most of the others seemed to be more coaching, like him tell him when to start the turn and when to accelerate.  It was all about line and not having to brake.

 

Other than the similarities to ski racing, one of the things that hit me was the instant feedback that was given and that was because of the ability to communicate to each other on the course.  Ski racing seems to rely on Video MA (VMA) and I was wondering if anyone has tried or uses some sort of headset communication devices while race training.  Something in the helmet I guess.  It just seemed that instant feedback was priceless.  The driver could get the feedback on one turn and apply in the the upcoming turns.

 

Granted, I would expect someone jabbering in my ear while I'm on a 20 second course could be nerve racking, but a couple comments here and there to associate to the "feel" and view of what is happening to simple comments like "You're late/early."  "Perfect." "Tuck."  "Hold it longer." "Stop skidding." or whatever is appropriate, seem like they would be valuable.  I wouldn't want it when I'm actually racing but when I'm training, on or off course, I think it would be helpful.

 

We do this a  lot when teaching.  Following student's down giving them instant feedback on simple things along the lines of getting forward and standing upright.

 

I tend to get things like "What happened on the 4th gate?"  a couple minutes after that gate or even a couple hours if it's VMA.  For me, the fourth gate is a distant memory unless something significant "to me" happened.  The one thing that throws me off with VMA is that I see what I look like, but I need to know what it felt like to me.

 

Anyway.  Curious as to what others have tried and the successes any might have brought.