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Motorsports and Skilled Driving Discussion for Organized Racing and motorsports and tips and techniques at becoming a better driver.


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Old 06-17-2003, 12:13 AM   #1
KEINsm
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Entering corners too fast by accident

I've had a few near miss incidents (a few people here have actually seen me crash once) where I enter slow hairpins too fast by accident.
Instead of doing what is logical (induce oversteer to avoid understeering into the outside barrier), I panic and brake to slow down while turning!
I want to ask for the expertise of those with long track experience.
What the best way to handle this situation?
The answer seems obvious: "you're supposed to slow down BEFORE the hairpin, you ******* ******"
The problem is that the corners I encounter are almost always blind and it's often my first time around the circuit.

I drive a car with a staggered wheel/tire setup.
My car is significantly underpowered for the tire width.
It's almost impossible to break the rear tires loose with my lack of power.
It's a pure grip car.

Help me, oh great ones.
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Old 06-17-2003, 12:36 AM   #2
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I think you just answered your own questions.

A) reduce rear tire width (why are you doing this anyway? Is it a GRIP car or a SHOW car??)
B) take the first lap or two (or three) around an unfamiliar course SLOW. Within ANY sort of official organizing body, the first laps out are warmup laps anyway. Don't let your nuts think for you.
C1) When understeering get into the habit of letting off throttle and unwinding, and then braking. If it's really too late, it's your own fault for running a stupid staggered tire setup and not learning the course; deal with the consequences!
C2) Yank ebrake with manual "arm" abs.
D) depending on just how underpowered you are, consider running your fatties up front and the skinnies out back, as though it were a FF car.
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Old 06-17-2003, 08:24 PM   #3
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I like adey's idea of yanking the ebrake, its not called the emergency brake for nothing. The situations you are describing could be classified as emergencies, thus offering justification for using the ebrake.
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Old 06-17-2003, 10:40 PM   #4
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You must be really full of yourself to think you can go balls out on your first lap on a course you're not even familiar with. Come on...use a little common sense.

First off, the car setup has little to do with your situation. You KNOW the car is going to understeer, so you must drive around it. You don't see all the FWD cars at your track event slamming into the outside barrier do you? It's all on you!

On your first lap, your adrenaline is pumping, you're in "fight or flight" mode, and you're not in the state of mind you need to be in. Drive the car at 6/10's for a couple laps and allow yourself to adjust to the surroundings...brake way earlier than you think you can! It doesn't matter that the guy in the civic that knows the track like the back of his hand passes you in turn one...because you are gonna leave turn one in one piece and survive to give him a run for his money sometime in the future. Once you're comfortable, start pushing your braking points up 5ft. every lap. Before you know it, you'll be braking beyond where you thought you would. When you reach the point where you can't shuv a pin up your a$$hole with a 5lb. sledge, BUT the car still goes where you want it to, that's probably a good place to set your braking point for the rest of the day...DON'T GO BEYOND IT!

Even so, under racing conditions (which you should never be in unless you are at least somewhat familiar with the track and how your car will behave on it), you're gonna F up at some point. If you don't, you're just not going fast enough. When this happens, you HAVE GOT to have a cool head on your shoulders. If you panic and go into "fight or flight" mode, it's all over but the crying. If you stay cool enough to think about what is happening, you can avoid or at least lessen an impact.

But to get to your question...
Understeer under braking is easy. You're simply overloading the front tires...so unload them. Lift off the brakes...they're not doing you any good when the tires are locked up. Now unwind the steering wheel until you feel the car come back to you. Hopefully, you'll regain control in time to avoid that tire barrier...at least, maybe you'll be able to get the car turned so you hit it at an angle instead of head on.

Good luck...and for God's sake, be careful!
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Old 06-18-2003, 09:46 AM   #5
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excellent advice above.. I'm just going to add a couple things.

1. LOOK where you WANT to go. Not where your GOING. Your hands will do the rest. If you are going off course, or about to spin out, DONT LOOK AT THE WALL. you will hit it, if you do. Remember this.

2. "In a Spin, Both Feet in" this is a safety thing to keep you from killing yourself, and damaing propery. It means when you loose control, and realize there is no recovery. Immediately hit the Clutch, and Brakes at the same time. This will bring you to a stop as quickly as possible. Also remember #1 while doing this.


Braking In the corner when you are too hot with the wheel turned WILL cause you to spin out in any car. Your better bet when you realize you are too hot, is to straighten the wheel, then brake hard to get to where you need to be with your speed, and then turn back into the corner. DON'T BRAKE WHILE THE WHEEL IS TURNED. braking while turning is something you do when you have mastered your braking zones, and aer looking for additional corner speed, and rotation. You should not be trying this yet.

Also - Seat time is your friend.. Get lots of it. The more the better. With an instructor. Listen to him like he has your nuts in a vice, cause he can make the difference of you destroying your car, or running fast, confident laps.
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Old 06-18-2003, 02:02 PM   #6
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wow...excellent advice!!..

only one small thing to add which i have been told by instructors...

watch other drivers.

while your car is different and has varied characteristics one good way to get a feel for a course is to watch other, more experienced, drivers...see where they initiate breaking and turn it...watch where they get back on the gas...watch their lines..

then take this and apply it to yourself..

and like everyone said..start slow, then go fast..
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