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Glossary

L

LAG
Turbo lag. The time it takes a turbocharger to boost an engine's power from the moment the driver pushes the throttle.
LAP
One time around a track. Also used as a verb when a driver passes a car and is a full lap ahead of (or has lapped) that opponent. A driver "laps the field" by lapping every other car in the race.
LATE APEX
Turning into a corner late and missing the optimum apex point in order to straighten out the last part of the corner. This allows the driver to accelerate earlier and harder, gaining maximum speed down the next straight.
LAUNCH
A car can be propelled or launched into the air (all four wheels are off the ground) by hitting a severe bump or another car.
LEAD LAP
The race leader's lap. If the leader laps you for the first time, you are no longer on the lead lap.
LEAN
High-tech race cars (e.g., Champ Car World Series vehicles) have engine management systems, which can adjust air/fuel mixtures. Drivers trying to conserve fuel will "run their engines lean" by using a decreased fuel/increased air mixture.
LEG
Section of a rally (usually one day) on which competitors drive not more than 1,000 km.
LET GO
Most commonly used when an engine fails or "blows up." Announcers also use this term for other parts of a car that fail.
LIFT
To raise or lift your foot of the gas pedal. Commonly used when drivers have to "lift" after an unsuccessful pass attempt to slow down and get back into the racing line.
LINE
This is the quickest way around a race circuit, taking advantage of braking, cornering and acceleration. For example, the line for a typical right-handed corner would begin by lining up on the left side of the approaching straight, braking hard, turning in all the way across the track to the inside curb, and then unwinding the steering wheel on the exit to release the friction of the turn, which takes the car back across the track to the outside again. The idea is to use the maximum amount of arc possible to maintain the greatest speed through the corner. The line is often visible due to the rubber laid down by cars, and interestingly is not the shortest way around the track, just the fastest.
LOCK UP
Just like production cars, racers can lock up the brakes and even "flat spot" their tires at race speeds.
LONG PEDAL
Commonly refers to a car's gas pedal because of the design. Also used to describe a brake pedal when brakes wear out because the driver has to push the pedal harder and further to slow down.
LOOKS TO PASS
A driver ponders a pass. The driver will actually move over, look at the possible passing area and make a decision to go or not.
LOOSE
A car has more grip in the front than the rear end and tends to "fish tail." Drivers often report whether the car is "loose" or "tight" so the crew can make adjustments. Please see oversteer.
LOW DRAG SETUP
Adjusting a car's aerodynamic features to minimize drag, which also reduces downforce. This setup achieves better performance on straightaways and reduced cornering ability.
LOW LINE
See "inside groove or line."

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