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    Thread: Guide to driving FAST on tracks!

    1. #1
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      Guide to driving FAST on tracks!

      I shall try to put down a few points that will help people to understand the correct techniques to driving fast. Most of the techniques are what one uses in track racing. Following the same on streets could be dangerous.

      We shall discuss the following points in this thread:

      1. Importance of SMOOTH driving.
      2. Grip.
      3. Transfer of weight.
      4. Braking.
      5. Shifting.
      6. Oversteer and Understeer.
      7. Racing line.

      Most of what I will be writing in this thread is from my own experiences from the track days I have done and also by referring to some sites for the exact definitions and to re-check my theories. Do feel free to correct if I am wrong anywhere.

      PS: All pics in this thread are courtesy drivingfast.net.
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2017 Skoda Octavia VRS - A 400+HP corner craving machine!
      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
      2019 Polo GT TSI - The Commute Workhorse.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Tuning - Importers for Audiofrog & Arc Audio/APR Tuning Authorized Dealers/Engine Remap Specialists for all makes/models.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

    2. #2
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      1. Importance of driving SMOOTH!

      This is the first most important factor to driving fast on tracks. Being smooth is very important, aggressive driving doesn't translate to faster lap times. The smoother you are, the faster you go. Smoothness comes in various modes.

      1. Steering - Ideally, hold the steering in 9-15 position for best control.
      Name:  steering_normal.gif
Views: 762
Size:  7.5 KB

      Remember, steering inputs should always be gradual, progressive and smooth. Wrenching with the steering wont help matters, it will only unsettle the balance of the car.

      While cornering, aim for the apex, keeping the racing line (will get to it later in the thread) steer smoothly in the shape of an arc. Once you touch the apex, start steering in the opposite direction smoothly. Don't let the steering slide back through your fingers.

      2. Braking - One of the most important factors while driving on track. Remember you have to brake faster than you can normally accelerate. The riskiest factor about braking is, it can easily unsettle the balance of your car. Hence one needs a lot of practice and a clear understanding of the correct braking technique.

      3. Acceleration - Similar to braking, acceleration also has to be smooth. Stamping on the throttle too early will lead to excessive wheel spin specially at start or during the wheels turned in while take a corner.

      Thumb rule is never to accelerate unevenly. Once you put your foot on the accelerator pedal it should gradually go all the way down. Never blip throttle mid corner unless the car is unsettled. Same with the brakes.

      Watch this video of how the legendary Jackie Stewart explains to James May. The video is a MUST WATCH.

      Listen to what Jackie has to say carefully.

      PS: Will get into the nitty gritty of all the other details shortly. This is just the beginning step.
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2017 Skoda Octavia VRS - A 400+HP corner craving machine!
      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
      2019 Polo GT TSI - The Commute Workhorse.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Tuning - Importers for Audiofrog & Arc Audio/APR Tuning Authorized Dealers/Engine Remap Specialists for all makes/models.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

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      Damn nice video. I am motivated.

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      Rahul - Thanks for starting this thread. Will be following this one closely. All who have track exp can pitch in here.

      I noticed when I went on track last Sunday, the smoother one drives, the faster one can go. Bikes were a lot easier to go faster on.
      2012 Cruze Eco 1.4Turbo ... Commuter Car

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      Or, you could just get Advan Neovas and turn into a corner waaaay too fast and keep your foot on the throttle and let the tyres handle it!

    6. #6
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      Sorry for the delay guys, had to travel to a place close to Calcutta the whole of last week, shall continue this thread in the next few days.
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2017 Skoda Octavia VRS - A 400+HP corner craving machine!
      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
      2019 Polo GT TSI - The Commute Workhorse.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Tuning - Importers for Audiofrog & Arc Audio/APR Tuning Authorized Dealers/Engine Remap Specialists for all makes/models.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

    7. #7
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      2. Grip...

      Tyres are the only means of contact between a car and the track surface. Thus tyres play a very important role in going fast. A good set of tyres will offer you lots of grip and this grip along with other factors makes you consistently clock faster lap times.

      Name:  grip.gif
Views: 737
Size:  8.2 KB

      The picture above shows the contact patch on any tyre. It has two sets of forces, longitudinal and lateral.

      Longitudinal forces comes into effect when a car accelerates or decelerates. Whereas the lateral forces help you steer into corners. To be able to achieve maximum grip always try to have the maximum contact patch available on the surface of the track.

      Again, to get maximum grip available its is important to drive SMOOTH. Accelerating too hard before hitting the apex causes excessive wheel spins, braking hard for no reason causes wheels to lock, going up on 3 wheels sounds exciting et all, but one tyre is completely off the ground and you are missing the grip available and so on.

      One can increase grip further by supplying additional aerodynamic downforce by adding wings, spoilers etc.

      But on most road cars, selecting a good soft compound tyres should do the trick.

      Grip also depends on the surface you are driving on. A good rubberized track will have lots more grip than compared to the same track drenched in water. So always get to know the grip levels your car has on that particular surface before going all out.
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2017 Skoda Octavia VRS - A 400+HP corner craving machine!
      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
      2019 Polo GT TSI - The Commute Workhorse.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Tuning - Importers for Audiofrog & Arc Audio/APR Tuning Authorized Dealers/Engine Remap Specialists for all makes/models.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

    8. #8
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      3. Weight Transfer.

      Weight transfer plays a very important role in track driving and day to day driving too.

      As the name suggests, it tells us how the weight distribution of the car changes when you accelerate, decelerate, steer etc. Now let us look at the different situation.

      1. Acceleration - When one accelerates, the weight of the car moves from the front to the rear. Opposite in direction to the force applied as shown in the figure below.
      Name:  acceleration.png
Views: 633
Size:  9.6 KB


      So when you accelerate in a FWD (front wheel drive) car, your front wheels have less traction as the weight moves towards the rear and the rear suspension compresses more while the front lifts a bit and thus the front tyres wheelspin excessively. However weight transfer in case of a RWD (rear wheel drive) car aids traction.

      2. Braking - When one decelerates, the weight of the car moves from the rear to the front as show in the figure below.
      Name:  braking.png
Views: 649
Size:  6.5 KB


      3. Steering - If you think weight transfer plays an important role during acceleration and braking alone, think again. The importance of weight transfer is most noticed while cornering and a good idea of how weight transfer works might save you from a certain crash if your reflexes are quick.

      Weight transfer causes two phenomena while cornering.
      a. Oversteer.
      b. Understeer.

      Both these will discussed at length a little later in the thread, but now let me just get into the generic details.

      Now imagine you are turning into a corner, you have approached it too fast. You panic and start braking. What happens then? Weight transfers to the front end of the car. Your rear wheels are actually losing traction, because the front end of your car has compressed. Basically you are inducing oversteer (tendency for the rear to get out of line). This is how most people spin out be it on tracks or on roads.

      To over come this, one must always accelerate out of a corner rather than brake so that the rear wheels have grip. Now, how many of us knew that?

      Similarly, if you approach a corner to fast and find yourself understeering, then a slight press of the brakes could help you regain your racing line.

      Thus one must always keep in mind how transfer of weight affects the handling of a car around a corner. Its a real life saver.
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2017 Skoda Octavia VRS - A 400+HP corner craving machine!
      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
      2019 Polo GT TSI - The Commute Workhorse.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Tuning - Importers for Audiofrog & Arc Audio/APR Tuning Authorized Dealers/Engine Remap Specialists for all makes/models.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

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      Nice, Rahul, this is an interesting thread, learning a lot will try adapting this in my driving!

    10. #10
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      Fantastic thread buddy.
      I am glued.
      why call it a ' building' if it already built?

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