Yellow Stripe! Hooray for tape!

After removing the OMP steering wheel, I absolutely love the bigger Momo Mod 78 steering wheel in Red. It feels like its the right size finally and I can comfortably move my hands while taking turns and feel relaxed in my seat once again!

One of the things that I did miss from the OMP steering wheel was the yellow stripe. I decided to ghetto rig it and bought some yellow electrical tape off Amazon.com The tape came in a few days ago and I finally put it on. It is 3/4 inch wide so its nice and bright and yellow.

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I have heard a few different stories as to why there even is a yellow stripe. Here are a few:

1) its supposed to make it easier to find dead center

2) Although the spoke postiton should be enough, drivers also use it to check if they have replaced their removable wheel in the correct position.

3) If you are videoing from inside your car, the more that the stripe is at TDC and not moving, the faster you will be lapping. Remember, any time you turn the steering wheel, your tires will be scrubbing off speed. The steering wheel which remains the straightest and moves the least will be running the fastest line, with the least speed scrubbing.

4) The human eye is great at spotting high-contrast cues like a yellow-on-black stripe in the periphery of visual range. In other words, you can immediately and intuitively “know” where your wheel is positioned without taking your eyes off the forward track view. It is difficult to describe without experiencing in person; but somehow the visual cue “reinforces” the nerve/muscle signals telling you which way your arms are angled.

5) Carl Lopez in “Going Faster” mentions on pg. 39 that Mark Donohue used a strip of yellow tape on his steering wheel to clearly see which way the wheel was heading on the way out of a turn. (Lopez uses an intersting sentence structure that implies that the wheel was acting on its own and Donohue was merely a spectator. I’d be curious to know whether that implication was intentional or not.) Based on that, I put a stripe on my wheel several years ago to help me see clearly whether I was unwinding the wheel as I headed toward track-out. Paying attention to that helped me more quickly learn what was too early and what was too late. I noted it while driving since I don’t have an onboard camera; other than my all too inaccurate brain. A mark would certainly help one evaluate onboard film.

I think I would believe #3,4,5.

This past week I also had my car finally aligned. Unfortunately, I was unable to get my steering wheel horn working, so I will be driving with a air horn!

Let’s see how it works. Next track event will be May 15-16 @ Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia.

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