Practice Before It Matters

Why time on the track makes a big difference in your skill level.


Canaan Manley

Guest contributor and racer, Canaan Manley, shares some timeless racing lessons below.

When I first started to get onto the track, one of the things I would hear over and over was “get more seat time.” Time on the track makes a big difference in your skill level.

A race isn’t the time to hone skills.

Racing simulations provide plenty of time to test different settings, try different lines, and make all the mistakes we need to in order to get better.

If we can’t run our absolute fastest lap in practice, we’ll never be able to do it in a race!

I have always kept a minimum 5:1 ratio in mind when practicing compared to a race. If we plan to run a race consisting of five laps, we put in at minimum twenty-five laps of practice.

We should be comfortable with all corners and straights, all sections of the track, and be able to see the track in our mind with our eyes closed. We should be able to visualize all our shift points, both up and down, and into and out of the corners.

Put in the practice ahead of time and you are prepared to run your best lap times and stay ahead of the pack.

Want more tips like this in order from start to finish? Be sure to check out the Keys to Speed course.

Canaan Manley

Canaan is a former novice and expert class motorcycle roadracer with WERA Motorcycle Roadracing and novice in SCCA Autocross. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and has been a motorsports enthusiast for 35 years.

These free lessons are adapted from Keys to Speed video lectures. To get the full course, practice drills and more →