he has. if he’s in the middle of a chain of
cars and is himself being pressured from
behind, or if he’s on an alternate strategy
that depends on his laying down quick
laps now, he needs to get past promptly.
“But you’re still looking for the same
things; you’re just doing it more quickly,”
says Power. “Basically, you’re looking for
weaknesses. is he braking too early? are
his tires going off? is he getting bad exits
because he’s getting on the power too late?
as the attacker, it’s a lot easier to figure
out where he’s weak, whereas it’s hard for
him looking in those little mirrors to see
where you’re stronger.
“so you figure out the parts of the track
June 29, 2014
where he’s struggling most, and if one of
them is in an obvious passing zone, you’re
laughing. if it’s not, you can still use that
part of the track to give you momentum
if the passing zone is a bit further along.
if you get up on the guy’s tail too much,
you’ve got no momentum to do anything
about it; he’s controlling the speed of
both of you. so that’s why i like to get the
pass done as soon as i’ve caught up.”
if time’s not so crucial, a driver can
plan his maneuver more carefully. To
make his crucial pass for the lead at
st. Petersburg’s 2014 season-opener,
Power caught Takuma sato on Lap 29,
but waited until the end of Lap 30 to
brake late for the final hairpin and get
right up on the tail of the a.J. Foyt racing
machine, as he explains on page 57.
“other passes, you just have to go for
it when you see the chance, especially at
starts and restarts. and that’s all done on
instinct and when you feel you can brake
compared to the other guy. How do i explain
instinct? see a gap and fill it, i suppose!
“But the important thing is that if you
both lose momentum during the pass,
you’ve got to close the other guy out on
exit, don’t let him come back at you.
When it’s done, it’s gotta stay done!”
StreetS of HouSton
Simon Pagenaud & Helio CaStroneveS
simon Pagenaud could tell his schmidt Peterson car had superior
traction to Helio castroneves’ Penske machine, but he also had
sebastien Bourdais’s KvsH car on his gearbox. Pagenaud had
already had his left-front tire nudged by Helio’s right-rear tire at the
end of the long sweep around the astrodome. This lap, he tried one
corner earlier. Helio’s run over the curbs of the Turn 2 chicane
allowed his attacker to close into Turn 3, get the power down sooner
on exit and hit the push to pass. although Helio had half-protected
the inside, simon went further still, and with his superior momentum
drew alongside before the braking zone to grab the lead.
What happened next,
after the pass described
above, was Helio tried to
reclaim the racing line
under braking and found
the nose of Bourdais’
KVSH car right there.