Tha Sports Junkies 101

iRacing Track Guides: Sonoma Raceway


This weekend the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visits Sonoma Raceway for the season’s first road course event. While fans have been long waiting to watch this racing, many may not know exactly what the drivers do to get around the track. Of the two road courses on the Cup Series schedule, Sonoma is surely the more technical of the two. To give you a better idea of what it takes to get around Sonoma we’ll ride along for a lap at the track on the iRacing Motorsport Simulation in the video above.

The video contains telemetry on the bottom left corner as well as a lap tracker. The lap tracker will give you an idea of just how easy it is to lose time. Sonoma is a track that is not hard to overdrive and get yourself into trouble. This comes from the fact that as technical as the track is you need to attack the course. The driver must attack the curbs without going over the limit. If drivers are too aggressive over the curbing it can result in the car becoming upset.

That is only one of the things drivers have to worry about. Drivers must be careful getting back into the throttle at this track. There are many corners that contain elevation changes in them. Getting back into the gas to quickly can result in severe wheel spin. Wheel spin at Sonoma is bad news. Drivers will be looking to save their tires, especially their rear tires all race. The best way to do this is throttle control. The easier you get on the gas the less wheel spin you will get as a result. The race on Sunday very well could be decided by who saves their tires the best.

Although most of what will happen Sunday is in the driver’s control, some is out of their hands. A lot can happen in the tracks passing zones. Turn seven before the essess and the hairpin turn eleven is where most of the action takes place. This is because both of these corners are heavy braking zones coming off of high-speed sections of the track. You will numerous examples of driver “dive-bombing” another car to attempt a pass. There will be blocking and depending on how patient the driver getting blocked is, there could be a car that gets sent around.

When there are so many things that affect the how drivers get around the track the cream is sure to rise to the top. Not only that but on Sunday fans will certainly see a great show at Sonoma Raceway.