Seating position is critical, but sometimes it’s going to be a compromise
In the first part of our story on seating position, MazdaMotorsports.com presented some expert opinions on why seating position is important for racers, time trial participants and autocrossers, how to get everything in the right alignment, and also why Mazda OEM engineers work so hard on what they call “Human Centricity,” in which they focus on every aspect of a driver’s physical connection with the car. In the second part of this series, we present more thoughts on the matter, and discuss those times when you’re sharing a car and need to make compromises.
In that first installment, Mazda racer and coach Tom Long expounded on how to get the correct seating position for control and safety. There are a few other things to consider as a driver arrives at the correct arrangement:
Pedals: It’s not just important to reach the pedals; you need to be able to run them through their full range of motion. “You need to be able to push the clutch all the way in,” says racer and coach Joel Miller. “I see it a lot of times where people reach for the clutch and they get halfway down. Same with the brakes. In a lot of the coaching I do, some students have no idea how hard they have to press on the pedals so they don’t sit close enough, and when they do need to press on the pedals hard, they are out of throw. I work on the legs and making sure we can get all the pedals. From there we work on the back of the seat.”