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Hot lapping, or simply lapping,is a motorsport in which vehicles are driven around a race track without actually competing for a position or any other recording of performance. Multiple vehicles will typically be on the track, but no passing is allowed, nor any contact. Even though the main purpose is not competitively oriented, many clubs will record lap times, so drivers can measure improvement. Cars may be classified for different levels of performance potential, in order that similarly capable cars and drivers are on the track together. However, with no specific rules about car modifications, there is really no meaningful competition, as the cars may have significantly different potential. A competition in which time is used as a competitive element is called time trialing.
Lapping may also refer to the act of gaining an extra lap "advantage" against opponents on a race course.
In regard to online sim-racing, the term hot-lapping, and more particularly the word used to identify a driver who hot-laps, is colloquially referred to as a hot-lapper. A driver so named is generally a driver who is very fast, but very inconsistent; an example of this can be seen form possessing the ability to put down an extremely competitive lap-time, struggle to find consistency in their results, and likewise may spend many hours of qualifying in order to garner a single, quick and valid, qualifying lap-time.
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