Caress your car like a lover, says Top Gear's Tiff Needell

THE KNACK: If your knuckles turn white or palms feel clammy, forget it: you have to be relaxed and in control
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Indy Lifestyle Online
To drive a fast car properly, you need some natural talent, a little experience and a touch of derring do. Wear soft-soled shoes so you can feel the pedals. Sit low in the car so you feel part of it. Arms should be slightly bent when you hold the top of the steering wheel, and forget what you learned to pass your test - you are going to cross your arms a lot. Treat the car like you treat someone you are making love to: caress it, otherwise it will react violently. Brake gently, then harder, turn the steering wheel a little, then more; add a little throttle, then more. Progressive use of the controls transfers the weight gently from wheel to wheel. Too much throttle suddenly lifts up the nose and encourages wheelspin. Too much braking makes the nose dive down and the rear wheels pick up. When you finish breaking, ease, don't jump, off the brakes. If your knuckles turn white or palms feel clammy, forget it: you have to be relaxed and in control. The fastest I've driven is 230mph down the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans. The fastest I've crashed at is... 230 mph down the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans. If you think you are about to crash, minimise the impact by scrubbing as much speed off as possible and directing the car towards the softest impact you can find. Always remember that when a car crashes it's never the car's fault!.

Tiff Needell is a racing driver and `Top Gear' presenter

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