How to use a race track guide

How to use a race track guide

The Race Track Guide is one of the best tools a driver can bring to the track. It’s a simple, yet effective. Using a Race Track Guide will improve your overall knowledge and awareness on the track. By writing down your reference points you will learn the track faster, easier and ultimately improve your lap times.


We know, it’s been a while since you’ve actually used a writing utensil. If you’re using the Race Track Guide for the first time, start with a mechanical pencil. We recommend this because they write easily and erase clean. We have been using our Chuckwalla Valley Raceway workbook for almost 3 years and it still looks great.


  1. Apexes (The Slowest Points Of A Corner)
  2. Corner Entry Points (When You Begin Turning In)
  3. Corner Exit Points 
  4. Braking Markers (When You First Go To The Brakes)
  5. Exit Marker (Something To Aim For When Exiting A Corner)
  6. Acceleration Points (When You Begin To Apply Gas)
  7. Land Marks 
  8. Cracks or Bumps
  9. Cones
  10. Curbing
  11. Painted Lines
  12. Hills Or Elevation Changes (Can Be Used To Help Slow You Down)

Each race track is different, but the reference points you will use to better your lap times will almost be the same at every track. When you start identifying these reference points and writing them down in your Race Track Guide, you’ll begin to really understand the track and get faster.

The more reference points you have written down, the more beneficial it will be for your driving. Having a clear understanding of the ins and outs of any race track is going to make you a more adjustable and relaxed driver. This especially comes into play if you are racing and you are looking for a place to make a pass. 

Many of these reference points will change each time you go to the track. Cracks, cones, paint – these things change or get moved over time. So each time you get to the track, use the first session to refamiliarize yourself and write these new reference points down in your Race Track Guide. 


So you’re at the track for the first time with your Race Track Guide. We assume that you’ve already flipped through the workbook to familiarize yourself with the track. If you haven’t, we highly suggest it. 

For track day folks, we suggest using the first session of the day as a warmup. Use this session to start noticing all the miscellaneous characteristics of the track. This includes; cracks, curbing, holes, bumps, cones, etc. 

The reason we suggest doing this for the first session or part of the first session is that you will be moving slower at the start of the day. Scan your eyes far and really get a feel for how big the track is. 

After your first session, come back to your pit and immediately write down these points in your workbook. You can either write them all down at once on the full track map page or use the individual corner pages.

Having these miscellaneous markers are going to make you more aware during the next steps. 


If you’re a beginner, we recommend getting with an instructor and help you find the apexes of the corners in your workbooks. If you’re a veteran, then you should have a rough idea where the corner apexes are. Mark these in your workbook. The reason we are marking these first is that they don’t or should not change. If they do, then it is very little. 

Write the apexes of each corner in your workbook, starting with the full track map and working through each corner page.


The next steps are used to begin noticing when and where you are braking and turning into a corner. Again, take this one corner at a time – that’s why the workbook is corner-by-corner. This is for you to see where you are currently at. 

From there, you can begin to move these markers around in your Race Track Guide to make adjustments. For example: If you find yourself over slowing for a corner, you can move your braking back to another point on the track. Take this one step at a time and don’t drive over your head. 


Another great idea is to begin writing down when and where you are turning in for the corner. In addition to this, we recommend jotting down your turn in rate, though this should be apparent based on what type of corner it is and where you are turning in. 


By this point, you should be aware of where you are braking, entering the corner, and where your apex is. Now the goal is to have a marker for your exit. If you have slowed down enough to turn in and hit your apex, then in an ideal world you have the direction to drive out of the corner. 

Find a spot on the track to drive to after you hit your apex. This is your exit marker. These are incredibly important for the next step. 


When do you apply the gas? When you have direction and can see your exit. It’s a great idea to start writing these down in your workbook. Most times, if you are on the race line and have hit your apex, you will be back on the gas either at the apex or just after. 

If you find yourself on the gas before the apex, odds are you are looking far enough ahead and you have over-slowed for the corner, so go back and start adjusting your braking markers and work on keeping your eyes up and scanning the race track. 


From here, you have a decent path to what race line you are taking and potentially where you should be on the race track. Start drawing in these lines and connecting the dots. Draw a line from the braking marker to the entry, to the apex, to the exit and so on. 


Now you have a race line. The race line is adjustable to a certain degree, but for the most part it is everything in between that is adjustable and up to you as a driver to better your skills to improve.

If you find that you can’t hit a certain apex, then you’re probably not using your eyes enough, over slowing for your entry point or a combination. 


This can happen at your own pace and that’s the idea when using the Race Track Guide. Use the workbook to focus on one section of the track at a time. Compare notes with your friends and bounce ideas off of instructors. 

We all have the same goal on the track – to get faster. By using the Race Track Guide in this way, you can begin improving lap times. 

Author: AdminWeb

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