Are you sitting comfortably?

There’s a difference in being comfortable in a car on the road and comfortable on the track!

The classic McDonald’s car park, lean back, one had on the 12 o’clock fast and furious style isn’t going to help you when you hit the circuit.

Here’s a brief guide to a suitable seating and steering position, to aid you in not only being comfortable, but also best placed to control the car should it get loose. Here you will also find solutions to help you achieve the ideal driving position.

Back to basics
Benefits of achieving the ideal seat and steering position;

  • Allows a good grip of the steering wheel, with a full range of movement, even when being thrown about in the corners
  • Reduce the chances of fatigue (for faster more consistent lap times)
  • Give you maximum control over the car at all times

The legs
Let’s start with the legs, these are easy to get right and once comfortable makes it easier to figure out if any steering wheel changes are needed. It’s far easier to bring the wheel closer or further away and lets face it you cant change the length of your legs!

Fully depress the clutch, brake and throttle pedals, your knees should have a slight bend when the pedals are fully pressed. Make sure your knees don’t come into contact with any other part of the interior.
As the clutch and throttle have the most travel, these are the two key pedals to measure your legs with.

Back position
For drivers with recline chairs, the natural back position is more upright when on track than on the road. This ensures better support, vision over the wheel and freedom of movement.

The steering wheel
This is where most get it wrong, so particular attention must be paid here.
If wearing a harness, your back should be pushed up against the backrest. Now place your arms on top of the steering wheel without leaning forward.

If the wheel is sitting on your wrist, you’re on the right path. If it’s not, you may need to consider a dished steering wheel or a steering wheel spacer, these are available from BG Racing in various sizes.

Now turn the wheel or run your hands around the wheel to mimic a full turn. If your arms or elbows hit the door, rollcage or your knees, then consider investing in a smaller diameter steering wheel. We downsized from a 350mm to a 330mm from @momouk. If you have power assisted steering, you could consider a 300mm wheel.

Your natural grip of the wheel should be light and in the 9 o’clock – 3 o’clock position. Fatigue sets in when you strangle the wheel which also leads to stiff arms. Remind yourself when on the straights just to loosen up and relax your grip, it will soon come naturally. The Momo Mod.78  wheel sits nicely in the thenar space of the hand to provide a comfortable grasp of the wheel.

If you feel like you’ve got it right, have a go at worst case scenario movements of the wheel. You should be able to comfortably carry out a full half turn each way without moving your hands from the 9 and 3 position.

Tip
You should still have a slight bend in your elbow when at a quarter turn. To ensure you are relaxed, comfortable and can react easily to loss of traction.

Fig 1, Arm stretched – Tends to tense up the arm and hinder the reaction to sudden oversteer

Fig 2, Arm slightly bent – Lends itself to a more relaxed driving style, allowing better control and steering input into loss of traction.

Now you’ve got that right! Here’s he final part.

Seat height
This is simply a matter of comfort, the only rule is to ensure there is an inch or two of clearance between the roof or rollcage and no contact with your helmet. You can also utilise the height of your seat to get a better height of the wheel of your column is not adjustable.

Ultimately this guide is only to assist you in setting up your driving position. Preferences change from driver to driver. Do not force yourself to follow these guidelines if it does not feel natural or comfortable.

For any more information on the products above, please contact Brown and Geeson – daniel@brownandgeeson.com