It's a strange dynamic in racing; sometimes you have to go slow to go fast. While we are all trained at a very early stages in our racing journeys that 'fast in slow out' means 'don't carry too much speed into a corner otherwise you'll never get out' is ever present, there was way more needed for me this past race weekend.
In SCCA T3 spec we bolted (literally) more weight into the car. To meet SCCA standards, improvements had actually lightened my car over the winter so placing 100lbs extra in the footwell (think cool suit and ballast) wasn't ideal. Sure, we were on stickier tires, but that extra weight in a anti-clockwise track (with lots of left hand turns) encouraged the car to understeer (push).
Then we look at Thunderhill and the corner I struggled with the most was T3. I couldn't find a rhythm through there nearly all weekend. It's a medium to slow speed right hander that is off camber. If you hit the gas too soon in a progressive fashion, you'd induce understeer (especially with all of that extra weight) and, of course, for fun if you stood on the gas pedal aggressively you'd induce oversteer.
I wish I'd figured out my line sooner but going back to the schooling of my trusted mentors (like Seth Thomas and James Clay) I put into practice their training and sure enough, patience, even in a race, even chasing down a great friend who I desperately wanted to race with, rang true. Never go to throttle until you can go 100%. This, however, doesn't mean it has to happen immediately after you've released the brake pedal. The details (vehicle attitude, placement, dynamics etc) of this technique is their's to train and yours to ask them for, however, what I can show you is it in practice.
I'm not ashamed to say that AiM Sports have given me great partnership over the past few years and so this might come from a position of bias, however, the best tool for seeing patience in action is a SmartyCam HD. Just check out the video below.
Notice my throttle application in T2 and T3 (skip to 4:14 to see this in action more). Ahead of me is Cameron Evans. Every part of me wants to catch, pass and then annoy him later in the paddock for catching and passing him! This video is of my fastest laps of the race (and of the weekend) and there are times when watching it on screen, even now, I want me to stand on the accelerator early in an attempt to go faster. Believe me, this was faster!
I wasn't the fastest driver this weekend. I was 0.5s to 1s off the pace of Chuck and Andrew. I still have much to learn on Hoosiers (1st weekend running them myself). What I did take great encouragement from was that as the tires got older, I got faster and in the last race, I was only half a second off the pace of the two leaders. Data shows that's confidence in the tires in fast corners is the development area. Data also showed that the patience technique was also a touch faster than the laps of the faster guys!