Tuesday, November 7All That Matters

Any racers here can suggest how to get faster?

Iso Oksjarvi (wet) in a Citroen C4 Rally

View Reddit by simonj13View Source


  • Mohavor

    The two best peices of advice i have ever recieved are:

    Go fast on the fast parts and slow on the slow parts

    Tighten the nut behind the wheel

  • mvw2

    I don’t have the game and haven’t sim raced for many years, but I do race in real live as a hobby (autocross/rallycross) and have done so for more than 15 years.

    Driving fast is a mix of many elements. Some of these you don’t get with sim racing, like tactile feel and where your mental time gets placed in a real vehicle. Setting that aside, driving is about deliberate motions to perform an intended function. Part of the requirement for this is understanding the car and its functional behaviors underneath you. Power delivery, brake balance, suspension setup, awd system behavior, everything the car does needs to be understood. You need to be capable of making judgement calls on what you can achieve in the vehicle and develop your driving mode around the capabilities and limitations of the car. In the real world I’ve driven everything from a Honda Civic to a Dodge Viper. I have a heavily built Subaru that I race. For awd cars, the biggest challenge is they are cars of understanding and commitment. To drive a awd car fast, most of how the car will go through the corner is done before and at the beginning of the corner. The entire rest of the corner is there to fix your misjudgement and mistakes. You need to understand now the awd system works, how the handling is set up, can read the road surfaces, and gauge entry speed, placement, and rotation.

    Some notable bits. Again, I’m translating from the real world to a sim here, but the principles should be similar.

    First, on deformable surfaces you almost never coast. Grip comes from deformation, so it’s often beneficial to be more aggressive with inputs, with braking, with acceleration, with attack angle. This is inverse to things like asphalt and ice where you have to be much more delicate and specific with sticking at the limit of grip. Off road, you’re taking advantage of deformation. So you can often brake harder with some lockup. You can accelerate harder spinning tires. You can corner harder sliding and with some attack angle. You can dig into the ground and use it. How much the game takes advantage of this, I don’t know.

    Second, typically if you’re countersteering you’ve made a mistake. It’s also VERY bad practice to countersteer in a fwd or awd car in a corner. Because the car behaves very differently on or off throttle, generally this is a dangerous concept. Any countersteering should be quite minimal or done off-throttle. In all cases, you’re washing out the car in the corner doing so, again, you’ve made a mistake on entry. You want to get into the habit of tuning the car and driving the car so that all you ever really need is very near straight or slight turn in. A very neutral car will have nearly no steering. Slight understeer can be more stable, and it may require slight turn in to counter. The front tires have the capacity to pull the front of the car into the corner (same with fwd cars), so you can often modulate handling balance with turn in angle to some extent. If the car is set up to oversteer, it’s usually slower. Oversteer isn’t specifically sliding, in a sense, but it is a condition where you have to give up some performance to manage the driving line. Some cars will naturally oversteer though or be tuned to do so, and you will find a steady state line to require slight countersteer. Ideally, this should be tuned out if possible. This will have to do with the suspension design and the torque split of the awd system.

    Fast cornering is cornering on throttle. If you’re coasting or braking in a corner, you’ve messed up. Both deformable surfaces and awd benefit from at least light throttle through a corner, even a steady state radius. In most cases, braking is done before and/or at corner entry, and then ALL of the rest of the corner should be on throttle. You should be managing your driving line with steer angle and throttle amount, but you should almost never be off throttle or braking…unless you messed up the corner entry. As well, the entire course should be on brake or on throttle. There should almost never be a time you’re not braking hard or accelerating hard. And in steady state corners, you’re still on throttle at least some and simply waiting for the exit to roll into the throttle fully.

    Driving fast is a lot about being very deliberate in motions. It’s not just gauging grip and speeds. It’s also amount of inputs and even input rates. How fast or slow you steer affects weight shift and tire loading. Do you stab the gas or roll on? If it’s turbo charged, do you modulate throttle around the boost profile? When braking, do the pads bite linearly or non linearly? Do they vary with heat? Do you have to change brake force based on aero and vehicle speed? Do the biases of the car setup force you to apply these inputs differently and at different times?

    Driving fast is also about being deliberate in placement of the car. At every point of any course, there should be a position and angle you want to be at for the vehicle. There’s a driving line you want to be on at all times. There’s a speed you want to be at all the time. In your mind, and of what you can see and know, there is an ideal virtual race going on that you are attempting to match. There is specific intent in everything you do with the car. It’s proactive versus reactive.

    Applying real world driving to a sim is a mixed bag. The sims don’t necessarily include everything in the physics of cars, in the car setup and tuning, the physics of the road surfaces and tire contact patch behavior, and so on. So part of this is also tailoring your driving to what the sim programming does. You will drive certain ways to fit it. Most racing games are arcadic in various degrees. The few that aren’t is generally an exercise of sliding off the track into the barrier on the very first corner. It’s a good sign of a good simulation that you crash basically right away. But the physics needs to be good and decently comprehensive. Once it stops trying to be a true sim, arcade mode throws a lot of things out the window. Now it’s not about driving like the real world. It’s driving to the arcade mechanics, and these can be all over the place.

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