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When a car is oversteering, meaning that the rear end is slipping towards the outside of the turn, it is obvious that we must correct this behavior, in order to stay on our line and on the track. The technique needed to achieve that, is easy to explain. Just counter steer your wheel towards the outside of the turn, and you'll neutralize the oversteering behavior of the car that tries to point the car more into the turn.
Unfortunately, it's much more complex to do than to explain. Counter steering needs as much a fast reaction and determination as precision and delicacy.
- An excessive counter steer action, can and will provoke the so called "pendulum" effect (technically called, dynamic inversion of roll). What happens is that by counter steering too much, the weight dynamically shifts at the inner wheels and the rear end snaps and oversteers on the opposite side, pointing instantly the car towards the outside of the turn.
- A slow counter steer action, on the other hand, is of course, inefficient. It will not stop the oversteering behaviour of the car, and finally it will probably end up with a spin.
You really need to practice as much as you can, and the only theoretical advice we can give, is to always look towards the direction that you want to go. It's the only way to instinctively apply the correct amount of counter steer. Fast reactions do help, but they are not always needed, because race driving doesn't mean react at whatever a race car does, but instead be able to provoke the desirable reactions from the car, depending on the conditions and our needs. A good technique is needed and it can only improve with experience.
Heel and toeHeel and toe is really nothing more than a conventional name for a technique that takes place while downshifting. In reality its significance is not literal any more, as modern pedals allow us to use the whole foot instead of just the heel and toe, or we could use the left foot on the brake and leave the right one on the gas for cars with semiautomatic gearboxes. So by saying heel and toe we define all the particular techniques we use to achieve the same result while downshifting. To make sure that the rear wheels won't lock under heavy engine braking while downshifting, it is necessary to make a blip with the gas pedal, in order to raise the engine revs, before engaging into a lower gear. In this way, the downshifting becomes smoother and does not unsettle the car, especially on rear wheel driven cars.
If you brake traditionally with your right foot, you can press both the pedals with the same foot. You keep your toe at the brake while still braking, and you position your heel on the gas, ready to blip it as needed. With good pedals, you can simply position half your foot on the brake and the other right half on the gas pedal. If you brake with your left foot, you can use freely your right foot to blip the gas pedal.
Let's see a step by step demonstration of the technique.
Start braking before the turn.
When the moment arrives to downshift, your left foot must press the clutch, while your right foot continues the braking process with its toe. Rotate your right foot so that the toe remains on the brake pedal, and position your heel on the gas pedal. When you move the gear lever from a higher gear to neutral, blip the gas pedal with your right heel just before inserting the lower gear! Like that you raise the revs of the engine.
With revs correctly raised, your left foot can release the clutch pedal pretty fast (but always progressively) while your right foot can rotate again over the brake pedal.
If you have done everything correctly, the downshift will be efficient, fast and without upsetting the handling of the car, and last but not least, you will have taken care of the gearbox mechanics without any abuse.
Learn and use this technique as it is mandatory for fast driving and absolutely necessary to bring a rear wheel drive car close to its limits. You can help yourself while learning this technique by mentally following a precise rythm. At start, every try will probably fail, but keep persisting and with more and more practice it will become second nature, automatic and very efficient.
Immages kindly donated from Turn Fast website
Double declutchingDouble declutching is a variation of the normal heel and toe technique, that is even more difficult and complex. It is necessary for gearboxes without synchro gears. (we will update FlyingPigPedia in the future and in particular the setup section, with explanations regarding gearbox internals and functionality)
This technique consist on double pressing the clutch up and down, when you put the gear lever from a superior gear to neutral. The sequence is like that:
- Press clutch
- move gear lever to neutral
- depress clutch
- blip gas
- press the clutch again
- blip gas again
- insert lower gear
Fortunately modern gear boxes, do not need such complex and difficult techniques any more.
Left foot brakingLeft foot braking is a very common technique in simracing, aided by the fact that there are no g-forces acting on the drivers thus helping them being more precise even with the left foot, and of course simracing pedals are easier to handle like this. The advantage is clear in terms that it gives much faster response without having to actually move your foot, and it can also give much more precision if you also need to use the gas pedal at the same time. By instantly pressing the brake, you can transfer the weight at the front tires, load them more and thus be able to better position the car in a turn where you don't really have to brake hard for it.
Furthermore, if you drive a turbocharged engined car, you can brake with your left foot, while always keeping the gas pedal pressed a little bit, in order to maintain the engine load and keep the turbine spinning, eliminating the turbo lag when the moment comes to press the gas pedal again.
Left foot braking is also very useful with front wheel drive cars, where while still accelerating hard, you can touch the brake with your left foot and thus make the rear wheels brake more or even lock (while front wheels keep accelerating under the engine power) provoking the car to slightly oversteer, which can help you deal with the typical power understeer of FWD.
Trail throttleWhen exiting a slow curve, some drivers usually try to apply as much power as possible to break the tires' traction and provoke a slip. This situation is of course bad for the tires, because they get consumed much faster. It also makes us slower, because the wheels rotate without actually pushing and accelerating the car. Even worse, if we use 100% of tire grip for traction, that leaves us with no lateral grip at all, and the car will oversteer badly.
Obviously in our quest for maximum acceleration, we have to modulate the engine power, in order to make sure that we use maximum traction without exceeding the tires' grip. In this way we are sure that we will always accelerate as fast as possibly permitted by grip conditions.
This power modulation is called trail throttle. As with anything regarding race driving, fast reactions do help, but they are not really needed. What you really need is the necessary ability to plan ahead and know how much power you can use in every situation. Every time we are forced to lift our foot from the accelerator only to contain wheel spinning, we lose time and speed. Modulation is the only answer. Apply power progressively and only if you're sure you can keep your foot on the gas for the rest of the straight that follows the turn.
Threshold brakingArriving from a long straight and approaching a turn, we obviously need to slow the car down in order to make the turn. While still on the straight, we can use 100% of braking power and available grip. That is what threshold braking is. Braking at the threshold of grip limit. Unfortunately, although threshold braking can slow down and eventually stop the car sooner, it forces us to remain on a straight line, because we don't have additional grip to turn.
Trail brakingModulating braking power in order to use less grip of the tires, makes it possible to successfully insert the car in a turn. This technique is called Trail braking.
Mastering this technique lets you to use the first part of curve while still braking. This means you can brake a bit later, which in return results in better lap times. You can also gain a better speed at turn entry, since while still under braking you load the front tires more, giving more grip and response (up to a limit of course since grip is not directly proportional to load).
Although it's a great technique, trail braking is also very difficult and requires great sensibility and experience from the driver. Braking a bit more than normal will lock the front tires and cause severe understeer. Braking a bit less, will not slow you enough to make the turn.
Trail braking does not confer a huge time savings per individual corner (perhaps one or two car lengths on average). Rather, it is its consistent and disciplined use that will significantly lower your lap times. Together with its inherent difficulty, this makes it an advanced technique.
Note: The term trail braking refers to the technique and has nothing to do with the use of the left or right foot for braking.
Various driving techniquesHere are some other driving techniques that can't be inserted in any specific category.
- Turn versus the curve to correct over steer (aka induced understeer). Expert pilots manage to use this particular technique to turn at the most extreme limit of grip, without upsetting the car very much. What they do is that they actually turn versus the curve instead of counter steering in order to control over steer. What it really happens is that while the car has less grip at the rear tires, and shows over steer behavior, the driver turns even more, asking more grip from front tires and eventually going over their limit, thus provoking understeer that amazingly neutralize oversteer! This can happen with extremely agile cars and very sensitive race slick tires, because its faster to provoke understeer at such cars, than countersteer and catch the over steer with the risk of a pendulum effect. Fernando Alonso demonstrates this technique in almost all the slow to medium speed curves with his Renault F1 car.
To better understand the theory behind this technique, you must study the behavior of tires and terms like slipangle. soon to come in Flying Pig Pedia.
- Keep the gas pedal flat down, while pressing violently the brake pedal to save an almost certain spin. This is another very particular technique that fortunately is easier to achieve with simracing pedals. It works only in rear wheel drive cars and consists of keeping full power on the rear wheels preventing them from blocking, while at the same time locking the front wheels with powerful braking. The front locked tires have less grip than the rear slipping tires and automaticaly neutralize the oversteering effect, possibly saving the car from an almost certain spin.
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Latest page update: made by Benjamin
, Jun 26 2006, 12:04 AM EDT
(about this update
About This Update
added to the trailbraking section and corrected a few small but systematic grammar mistakes: in English, you generally do not put an uneven number of commas between subject and verb ;-)
73 words added
33 words deleted
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|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|Anonymous||video||0||Oct 13 2009, 2:57 PM EDT by Anonymous|
|Themis||A little drifting tip||3||Jan 3 2009, 6:57 PM EST by Miles_Gloriosus|
Thread started: Jun 16 2006, 7:07 PM EDT Watch
Great analysis!! Thanks!!!
If you would allow me a slightly off topic tip. I want to mention a driving technique which is used in drifting, and not in racing (thus I'm not editing the content, just adding a comment is enough).
If you slightly push the brake pedal while sliding a RWD car, the slide will last longer even on the straight after the corner. I tried this on a wet track and it was very exciting!!
2 out of 2 found this valuable. Do you?
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|Anonymous||another good site...||0||Feb 1 2008, 8:04 AM EST by Anonymous|
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