Hi. I have a last race of the year and in testing i had the second best time. Can you guys help me improve it even more so i can win the race : )
And do you recomend any setup changes
Hi Mike, very nice driving overall. It’s always hard to assess driving from video, especially when the pace is already quite good, but I noticed some things that I would recommend you explore in practice.
Make sure you are giving full priority to the most important corners (the ones that lead onto long straights). In both the right-hander that leads onto the ‘back straight?’ and in the final right-left-right that leads onto the front straight, it ‘feels’ like you might be just slightly prioritizing entry/mid-corner speed over having the kart stable at the rotation-point (apex) so you can really ‘pull the trigger’ early and hard to get a good run down the straights.
I don’t know how quick the #55 kart is (who passed you about 5.5 min into the session), but he did pull away a bit, so worth looking at what he’s doing differently they you. I recommend watching your video in slow motion (.5 speed) from 5:55 to 7:02. On the first lap after you let him past on the straight (smart move there BTW) I noticed two things:
a) He drives a much rounder line/trajectory on corner entry than you do. This is especially true on the entry to that really long right-hander, and on the right-hander leading onto the back straight. This seems to allow him to roll more speed into and through the turn. This can sometimes cause mid-turn snap oversteer, but with his driving/setup, this is not happening. Your tighter entry makes it feel like you are still trying to bleed off speed at the apex so you can get the kart rotated, instead of having the rotation in motion and focusing on getting back to throttle ASAP. A great example of this is the right-hander at 6:15). Watch this super slow (.25 speed). Notice how he uses more track on entry, turns in very smoothly, and rides an almost perfect max slip angle on the rear tire through and out of the turn, with essentially no ‘correction’ needed. You take a much tighter entry into the turn and therefore, you have to add a lot of steering input to coax the front end into the apex, but that much steering angle added that quickly shakes the back end loose, and you end up having to manage correcting that all the way to the apex and beyond, which means you can’t get on the gas early and hard.
b) He is driving to what the kart/track want instead of to the ‘rules of racing’. For example, at 6:00 he does not force his kart (by steering input or slowing more) down to the apex. Instead he’s about 1/2 a kart width away from the apex, but you can see that the line/trajectory he is driving is in harmony with the kart setup and that turn. That said, on the 2nd lap you were behind him you started to adopt his line/trajectory, so try to recall those laps and see if mentally you can ‘feel’ the difference.
c) He controls the energy and rotation of his kart very well… in harmony with the kart setup, his driving style/technique and the track. A great example of this is the right-left-right that leads onto the front straight (6:20). For the first right-hander he takes a roundish entry and exits about mid track. Over the bumps there he holds the wheel straight just for a moment to settle the energy down, and then turns into the left-hander, but the energy in the kart is still a bit unsettled, so when he turns left the back end steps out. However this is clearly something he had done on purpose, so he manages that slide, and uses the ‘rebound’ from that left-hand slide to ‘power’ the right-hand rotation he needs to get down to the apes of the final right-hander’ that leads onto the straight. This is a great example of what I call ‘driving the energy’ and using that energy to load tires in a way that produces the rotation, line, and trajectory you want.
Think of it like slalom skiing; you load the skis to make a turn, as you are completing the turn you use the ‘rebound’ of the original load to unload your skis (unweight yourself) so you can rotate your hips and skis for the next turn, and then as gravity turns your ‘unloaded’ weight back into ‘load’ on your skis, you use that load to make the next turn.
You tend to straight-line the first right-hander into the left-hander, so you’re not really carrying any rotational momentum into the final right-hander, so you have to slow down and wait for your front end to do all the work of getting the kart to turn.
Anyway, this is just my $02 worth (and it’s worth every penny ). Also, you are doing great, the stuff I’m talking about is very subtle, and only matters at the pointy end of the field, so that’s why I’ve taken the time to point it out.
Good luck on Sunday!
If you want to learn more about tire loading, energy management, etc. grab the PDF here.
Thank you soo mutch and i will be using this help to drive better. I also noticed that my wheel turns in every direction. Like when im in a corner i dont go thrugh it and thean start turning the steering wheel back i turn it back and forward back and forward etc like im sliding alot. Is this setup or my driving? And the guy infront was a senior on new tires btw…
The oscillating steering could be a bit of both (driving & setup), but I would look to driving first. As I mentioned in the one example above, your entry (straighter vs rounder) influences how rotation forces build. A straighter entry usually requires more and quicker steering wheel input near the apex, but since speed (kinetic energy) moves like water, this creates a pretty large ‘wave’ of energy, that can accelerate rotation force very quickly, and overpower the relatively unloaded outside rear tire.
If you have not planned for this, then when you add correction to try and catch up to the rotation/slide momentum, it’s common to correct a bit too much, and create another wave of energy going back the opposite direction, so you end up with a back-and-forth ‘tank slapper’ of steering until the energy level/speed drops enough that you can get the kart pointed in the right direction so you can get back on the gas.
However, if you know this rotation wave will happen when you turn in, then as soon as you start to turn in, you can immediately add enough correction to ‘jump’ the rotation wave and ‘cushion’ it to a controlled stop (this may feel like you are correcting before the slide has even happened, but give it a try and fine tune the timing until it feels right to you). When you plan for the wave, and you preemptively manage its energy, then you take control of the rotation (you are acting instead of reacting), and when the kart rotates to the angle (trajectory) you want, you use the throttle to load the rear tires, stop the rotation and drive the optimum rear slip angle out of the turn.
Now go kick the senior guy’s butt, and you will for sure be the fastest junior.
Good luck tomorrow!
Ohhh bad news its raiiiiin. I dont know what setup to use only have driven 1 time in the rain…