Safety tips for Novices

Everything you need to know if you are thinking about racing in 750 Formula

Safety tips for Novices

Postby Martin Kemp » Sat May 15, 2021 1:16 pm

With other more new drivers joining the formula, some novices, others coming from other race series I thought it would be helpful to pass on some safety advice a bit more useful than "it on the black stuff".
So here are 3 to start with;

1. Do up your chin strap immediately EVERY time you put your helmet on so it becomes an invariable habit, or one day you will forget.

2. If you are sitting in a front-engined car wear your gloves if you run the engine. The carburettor is just in front of the dashboard and is most likely to catch fire on start up. This is particularly true if you have to stop at post race scrutineering when the engine is hot, the carb has had a chance to flood and then you start up to drive back to the paddock. For the same reason it is also smart to keep your helmet or at least your balaclava on whenever you drive the car.
A small fire can do you a lot of damage in 7 seconds

3. Always tighten up fasteners especially wheel nuts and bodywork fasteners whenever you fit them. Don't decide to do them later because you might want to take them off again. Keep every part ready to race or sufficient dismantled or incapacitated that you cannot run the car without it. Alternatively tie a note to the steering wheel to remind you.

I see forgetting things seems to be something of a theme here - but it is the cause of many failures - a when things get hectic preparing for a race or on race day itself forgetting becomes quite easy. Trust me I'm an expert.

Martin
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Re: Safety tips for Novices

Postby suebmick » Sun May 16, 2021 7:55 am

Great advice Martin. Every one of us has done at least one of those over the years.
Also...WAVING!

If you're on your own in the assembly area & you think you may have a problem or forgotten to do something up etc, WAVE. Any one of the bods that are with other drivers will come & help you.

If you have a problem out on the track or on the grid & think you may have to pull off or limp home, STICK YOUR HAND UP. As far as you can. It may stop someone going in the back of you at speeds faster than on the motorway.

After the chequered flag when on the slowing down lap, as you reach the last couple of hundred yards before the entry to pit lane, STICK YOUR HAND UP. For the same reason.

The fast guys are REALLY fast. You may think you're going quick but if they all seem to have disappeared into the distance, they are a lot quicker than you. Try to keep an eye in your mirrors for a flash of colour in the distance & plan ahead of where they might get to you. As they get nearer work out which side you want them to go and WAVE THEM THROUGH using the arm of the side you want them to be. It is SO IMPORTANT. I've been lapped so many times I can't count & I've also lapped others so many times I've lost count. There is NOTHING WORSE than sitting waiting for them to fall over each other to get past you, & equally NOTHING WORSE than having to make a split second decision about where to go past a slower driver in front of you when you're not sure if he's seen you or not. STICK YOUR ARM UP, point, lift if necessary, & let them P off into the distance so you can enjoy your day & so can they.

Sue
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Re: Safety tips for Novices

Postby Steve Boother » Mon May 17, 2021 10:23 am

Thanks Martin and Sue

This is very important information for anyone new to racing. I myself after 20+ years in motorsport fell foul of being lapped on my first race back in the 750 Formula which to be honest I did not expect....so expect the unexpected.

We will talk to any new drivers at each event to ensure that they understand the risks and give them tips on safety aspects etc.

Thanks guys.

Steve
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Re: Safety tips for Novices

Postby Martin Kemp » Mon May 17, 2021 12:53 pm

The prospect of being lapped is quite daunting for novices so, to give a bit of reassurance.
If you really aren't sure what is happening behind you, stick to your normal line giving some extra room on the inside. The leaders can see what is going on and have plenty of experience, and they know your speed from how long it has taken to catch you. They will find their way past - you can be sure of that. The biggest risk is if you make a sudden unexpected change of direction.


Martin
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Re: Safety tips for Novices

Postby suebmick » Wed May 19, 2021 8:39 am

Another one I've just thought of.

If it's going to be possibly a wet weekend, travel on your wets. It makes sure that your wheel nuts fit your wets for a start, & it's much more pleasant changing to slicks in the dry if the sun comes out than changing to wets in a downpour.

Sue
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Re: Safety tips for Novices

Postby Martin Kemp » Wed May 19, 2021 3:02 pm

If you wear glasses, then in a wet race they will steam up on the grid and you won't be able to do anything about it, so you need a plan to stop it.
I keep the visor cracked open as I slow down and shut it at the 5 second board. Once underway it isn't usually a problem. Opening the visor at speed won't help because spray will get in everywhere and make things worse.

Not really a safety tip, but if you pump all your tyres up above the normal pressure before you go, then at the track it is much quicker to lower the pressures than to pump them up. Most cheap tyre pumps electrical or mechanical are not very reliable.

Martin
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Re: Safety tips for Novices

Postby pbove » Wed May 19, 2021 4:03 pm

So here are my tips for a safe, relaxing and harmonious race weekend.

Get everything that needs to be done to the car completed before you load it onto the trailer. I have always found that whenever I've left something to be done at the circuit, time gets away from me and I'm stressed and struggling to get it done.

Have a plan.... for Qualifying and for the race - and "lets see what happens" is not a plan! Obviously, the plan will change as soon as the lights go out.... but having one keeps you focussed on the outcome you want. Set yourself a lap time goal as well (only really helps if you have an onboard lap timer, but then again, why would you go racing without one)? Know what the record is, what your PB is and think about what you'd like to achieve.

Do as much prep as possible. There are onboard videos for all the circuits available - pick one from a suitable car (Radical or single seater) and either learn the circuit or refresh your knowledge.

Finally, check the car over carefully between races. I've just found a steering rack bolt missing from mine..... only because I was going through it carefully and found a stray bolt.
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Re: Safety tips for Novices

Postby Matt27 » Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:57 pm

I’ve only just read this. As I’ve not been following the forum for a while.

Some great tips.

Only 4 races into my journey, and one or two of these sound familiar.

For me:
(When you’re a sole trader like me) all strapped in, eager to follow someone to the assembly area, because you don’t know where you are going, don’t leave your gloves folded neatly behind the wheel on the bodywork like you see in F1.... as when you’re groping about getting comfortable and they slide off, you have to jump out and start again ;-)

Once bitten, twice shy.
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