How To Race On A Track You've Never Driven Before Without Crapping Your PantsStef Schrader12/22/15 12:03pmFiled to: how to drive fastarrive and drivesracingtrack daystrack day bro4619EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkSo, there’s a track that you really want to drive. Great! But you’ve never driven it before and you don’t want to make an idiot of yourself. That’s tricky. Here’s how you can Forrest Gump your way through it without completely screwing up. AdvertisementI bring this up because I’ve been trying out new tracks quite a bit lately at various arrive-and-drive events for LeMons. Arrive-and-drives are the best thing to happen to motor racing since the invention of the wheel. It’s a win-win situation for everybody: a team needs cash and/or another driver, and you get to drive. Someone else does all the work on the car and all you’ve got to do is show up and race it.Obviously, it’s always a good idea to offer to help with stuff during the weekend, but as far as the hardest part goes—making the car run and ensuring that it will pass inspection—that’s not your problem, and that’s fantastic.AdvertisementArrive-and-drives are also a great way to experience tracks you’ve never driven before. You’re able to race far outside of where you could reasonably tow your own car for an event without your friends, family and workplace assuming you’ve been kidnapped by that guy with the rope from Casino Royale before you get back. At the same time, it’s hard to enjoy things when you’re nervous about racing on a new track. That’s why this guide is here. I can’t tell you how to drive a wicked fast lap immediately—even I can’t figure that out right away—but I can at least tell you how to calm down and lay down some decent laps the right way. To achieve excellence, first you’ve got to nail basic adequacy. There are better guides written by hotter shoes out there for reducing your lap times. This is for that first hurdle: how do you race on a track you’ve never been on without crapping your pants in fear and shame?Set The Bar Adequately LowI mince no words about my level of experience: “I suck.” But I will do my best to have fun and bring the car back in one piece.AdvertisementSponsoredIf you’re already nervous about dropping in somewhere new to race, don’t make yourself out to be the third coming of the Stig. Be up-front about this: “I’ve never driven this track before, so I’m going to be off-pace.”Part of that is for your own benefit. As the day wears on, sure, I’m looking at my lap times versus everyone else’s to double-check that I’m not embarrassingly slow, but don’t hop into the car expecting to immediately run the same times as the folks who’ve been driving there for years. Realize that it takes years for many average drivers to truly master a circuit. You do not have years. You’re just here for the weekend. The other part of this, obviously, is for your team’s benefit. They won’t flip out when you can’t claw the team back to the top of the standings after a mild snafu, or when you probably lose a few places during your stint. They know you’re here to have fun, and a like-minded team won’t pressure you into pushing yourself and the car over your abilities (and having a good ol’ fashioned oops as a result). Best Case Scenario: Drive It BeforehandPatrick did one of the smartest things he could’ve done before he was supposed to race at Mid-Ohio: he drove the track first in a non-competitive environment. ShareTweet Kinja is in read-only mode. We are working to restore service.