Rotation Q&A

I was watching a YouTube video on Miata vs GR86 and stopped when they started talking about handling. The video is queued up to the point where they talk about rotation.

90% of car enthusiast who talk about rotation have never experienced it and have idea what it actually is. I’m sick of hearing people misuse the term, so in this post I’ll explain.

What exactly is rotation?

Rotation is a form of oversteer. It is better described as off-throttle yaw.

What exactly is oversteer?

Oversteer occurs when your rear tires are sliding more than your front tires. If none of your tires are sliding, you’re not experiencing any kind of oversteer. If you’re doing some spirited driving on backroads and think you’re rotating the car, you’re probably not. In the video above, the car steps out a couple inches. Was that rotation? It was the start of it, but like lots of enthusiast drivers, that’s where it ends. If you’re driving on public roads, that’s where it should end.

What exactly is yaw?

There are 3 axes around your car. There is the pitch axis, which you experience as fore-aft movement when braking or accelerating, the roll axis, which you experience as side-to-side movement in cornering, and the yaw axis, which you experience during a spin. If you haven’t spun your car, you’re probably driving too nice a car or driving on public roads. Get yourself a beater and learn to drive on a skid pad. If you still haven’t experienced a spin, you’re not trying hard enough. Spin not, win not.

Is drifting rotation?

No. Like rotation, drifting is a form of oversteer, but drifting happens with throttle on, and rotation happens with the throttle off. It’s that simple.

Is a donut rotation?

No. A donut is a form of junk food. Also some media house that makes videos about car stuff.

What about FWD drifting?

The only way a FWD car can oversteer is with the throttle off. There is no way to sustain oversteer. Does that mean FWD cars can’t drift? Yes, technically they cannot. But let’s take pity on those drivers (like me) and call their form of extreme oversteer “drifting” anyway.

Do you need to trail-brake to rotate?

No, but it helps. Any time you decelerate while turning, you have an opportunity to rotate. Lifting off throttle in the middle of a long sweeper will point your car tighter into the corner. That’s a form of rotation. Braking lightly in the middle of a corner will do the same thing even faster. However, the most common way to induce rotation is via trail-braking at the corner entry.

How do I trail-brake?

Most intermediate drivers hit their brakes hard, and jump off them equally hard. Focus on a soft release. Watch your brake pressure trace. What if you don’t have a brake pressure trace? Get a sim rig? Plug an AiM Solo DL into a modern car? If you don’t have these things, try using my counting method. As you approach a brake zone, get your threshold braking up to 8 or 9 (out of 10). Then try to release it as 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Once you have the soft release wired into your habits, try mixing some steering in at the 1. And then later at the 2.

Can I use the hand-brake to rotate?

Yes. Using the hand-brake even a little bit will swap some of your cornering traction for deceleration. You don’t need to lock your wheels to create rotation with the hand-brake, although that’s what a lot of people do. However, using the hand-brake is cheating in my opinion.

What about flicking?

The Scandinavian Flick can be used by itself or in conjunction with other techniques to induce rotation. By briefly steering away from your intended direction, you can create a little extra weight transfer. Flicking isn’t very useful on track, but it is used frequently in Rally racing. It is rarely the faster way around a corner, but the reason rally racers flick isn’t really for speed, but safety.

How do I prevent myself from spinning?

First off, if you drive around trying not to spin, you will never learn how to control a spin. You must experience spinning to control spinning. It’s sort of like swimming. In order to swim, you have to get in the water. The question you should really be asking is…

How do I control yaw?

  1. Turn off stability control. In many modern cars, it cannot be completely turned off without pulling some fuses. If you can afford to track a modern sports car, you can probably afford to buy/rent a POS Miata for training purposes.
  2. Go to a skid pad. Don’t train on a live track. Don’t practice in the street. Alternatively, invest in a simulation rig.
  3. To increase yaw, put all season tires on the rear of your car.
  4. Practice. Fall down. Get up. Dust yourself off. Practice more.

How do I know if I’m rotating?

A rotating car will feel like it’s steering itself. The first time it happens, it will feel strange, like you’re in a swivel chair. The easiest way to experience this is to snap off the throttle while going around a skid pad. Provided the car was near the limit of grip, it will step out in the rear all by itself. It will feel like magic.

Actual left-footed driving

Racing/wrenching buddy Tiernan came over to help install an Able Motion left foot accelerator pedal. These kinds of devices come in 2 forms: fixed and portable. The fixed ones have to be fastened through the floor of the vehicle, while the portable units are mounted to a heavy plate of steel. I decided not to get a portable. I feel like it wouldn’t be stuck down very well, and in the case of an accident, it would turn into a 15 lb steel missile.

The install required some customization. Two of the bolts went through the floor, but didn’t have enough thread to tighten all the way. Of course, I have lots of old vehicle hardware lying around, so we swapped those out no problem. The other 2 bolts were not easy to locate on the underside of the car. So for these, we used some pretty large machine screws. It’s now very stable.

If you look at the picture, you’ll see two red clamps. These allow the unit to be removed easily for right-footed driving. The design of the clamps isn’t all that good because once again, the threads ended too soon. That said, it’s firmly in place and nothing is going anywhere.

I took a drive around the neighborhood and was pleased to find that my Assetto Corsa practice paid off. I can drive smoothly left footed. Mission accomplished.

In slow, out fast, and other lies of the racetrack: part 6 of 6

6 Big Lies

It’s time to wrap up this series of posts on the suspect advice of so-called experts.

  1. Drive the racing line
  2. In slow, out fast
  3. The first driver to full throttle wins
  4. You should be on throttle or on brake, never coasting
  5. Imagine a string connecting your steering wheel and throttle pedal
  6. Separate braking and steering

Separate braking and steering

One of the first things I heard in my high performance driving journey is that one should separate braking and steering. As a novice, that was probably a good thing to hear because when you mix the two, you may end up spinning. However, once you’re beyond the rank novice stage, mixing braking and steering is exactly what you’re supposed to do. Trail-braking is probably the most important skill to master. It serves several purposes.

  • Smoothly transitions from a front-heavy braking stance to a balanced, corner stance
  • Adds grip to the front to aid steering
  • Lowers grip in the rear to aid rotation
  • Provides resistance on the steering wheel to help you estimate speed and grip

As a coach, I teach trail-braking from the first lesson. Not the aggressive form of trail-braking where you’re rotating the car, but the soft release of the brake pedal to keep the suspension quiet. Once you learn that, it naturally transitions to a bit of coasting, which is an essential, if brief, phase of cornering. The rotation-style of trail-braking is the curriculum of the high intermediate.

Separate throttle and steering

I think an alternative, and better lesson would be to tell people to separate throttle and steering. Cars turn better when you lift off the gas. As soon as you add gas, the front gets light and loses grip. If you keep adding gas, you may find you need to lift to prevent running off track at the exit. On the other hand, as soon as you lift off the gas, the steering becomes very responsive and you can really point the car where you want. Next time you’re in a corner and you feel the steering is a little heavy, get off the gas and let the car turn in by itself. Then add throttle and watch as it miraculously straightens out.

On a related note, if you’re trying to get some drift out of a corner, don’t mash the throttle to break the rear tires free. While that might work a little, you’re not using the weight transfer and suspension to help you out. Instead, lift off throttle and a wait a moment for the weight to transfer. Now add throttle and the rear will have an easier time breaking free. Plus you’ll have the weight on the front, which will help you with the steering correction to prevent spinning.

It’s a conspiracy!

Let’s summarize this whole series of posts, because it’s all a conspiracy to keep you safe slow. The typical expert advice you’re given is intended to keep you safe, and honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you’re going to get good at driving, you’re going to have to go through some unsafe shit. This is the hard truth. There are only two things that matter.

  1. Driving the limit
  2. Rotation early in the corner

You can’t experience the limit without sometimes going over the limit. You can’t experience rotation without sometimes over-rotating. Practicing this stuff will get you into trouble. Make peace with that one way or the other. Meaning decide (a) that you’re not going to do this shit, or (b) that you are and you will pay for your consequences.

In slow, out fast on the racing line with separated inputs and nannies on is a safe way to experience a high performance car. It is not high performance driving, however. Muscle memory can’t be bought. It has to be earned, the old-fashioned way, with lots of falling down and getting back up. Is it worth it? I think some people see a mountain and have to climb it. Others can admire its majesty without conquering it. Enjoy your driving however you like it. Don’t let some fucktard on the internet tell you how to have your fun. That said, if your fun needlessly endangers other people, then you’re the fucktard.

Review: City Car Driving

I recently had surgery on my right Achilles, and have been on a quest to improve my left-footed driving in the virtual world in preparation to driving left-footed in the real world. Towards that end, I decided to buy City Car Driving (Home Edition) because it’s supposed to be a realistic traffic simulator.

Not Kansas

I’ve driven in the US, Canada, and UK, and have been a passenger in cars in various parts of Central America and Western Europe. The traffic patterns in CCD are a little different from what I’ve seen, and I’m guessing the setting for this game is Russia.

Vehicles

CCD gives you plenty of vehicles to choose from right away, which include some familiar looking Japanese and European models as well as some that are probably Russian. Sorry, what I know about cars in the US is small, and anything outside of the US mostly non-existent. The Steam Workshop is full of additional vehicles. I paged through them and subscribed to a few favorites: Lancia Delta Integrale, Ford Crown Victoria, Honda CRX, Mazda Miata, and a 1990s Toyota Corolla.

Graphics

The graphics are charming. Meaning they are pretty low resolution and look on par with original rFactor. I have a pretty good graphics card, but on high resolution (which was still low quality) the game delivered about 85 fps rather than the 144 I was expecting to sync with my monitor. There is a lot going on in the game, however. This isn’t a racing sim with 10 cars on track. It’s a city sim with hundreds of vehicles as well as people. Maybe that’s the reason. Anyway, this is city driving and one doesn’t need more than about 30 FPS to be playable.

Controls

Setting up the driving controls was pretty straightforward. I’m using a Thrustmaster wheel and pedals, so I don’t know how difficult it would be if they were different devices. That said, the game had no problem recognizing and using my external hand brake.

The viewing system can use buttons, hat switches, keyboard, mouse, or even VR. I used buttons on my wheel for looking left, right, and back. Unfortunately, 3 buttons isn’t really enough to view around your car. The game really needs VR or a head-tracker (e.g. TrackIR) because operating the vehicle controls and the view controls at the same time is awkward.

Realism

The reason I got the software was for the realism. How realistic was it? If I had VR or TrackIR or something, I think it would be highly realistic. The other drivers act a lot like drivers in the real world. There are people who will cut you off and blow their horns. There are people who drive too slowly. There are confusing intersections with confusing signage. It felt a lot like driving in a foreign country. Also, like city driving, it wasn’t much fun. Just a lot of stop-n-go with your head on a swivel. For someone who has never driven before, I think this might be a decent training tool because the driving situations are complex and varied. I think the developers have done a really great job of making something that feels like actual driving. I don’t mean this from the perspective of physics, but from the behavior of the other drivers. I didn’t drive in such a way that I could really test the physics.

Refund

In order to get a refund via Steam, you have to stop playing before the 2 hour mark. So that’s what I did. I can’t imagine playing this for more than a few hours. But for someone who has never done any real driving, I think 10-20 hours would be a fun and practical introduction to real driving.

In slow, out fast, and other lies of the racetrack: part 5 of 6

6 Big Lies

We’re half way through 2022 in the middle of the racing season. Let’s continue to talk about the expert advice that’s holding you back.

  1. Drive the racing line
  2. In slow, out fast
  3. The first driver to full throttle wins
  4. You should be on throttle or on brake, never coasting
  5. Imagine a string connecting your steering wheel and throttle pedal
  6. Separate braking and steering

String Theory

The advice goes like this: imagine a string connecting your steering wheel and throttle pedal. When the wheel is straight, you can depress the throttle. But when you turn the wheel, it pulls on the string and raises the throttle pedal. This is supposed to get novice drivers to open the wheel as they accelerate. I think. I’ve heard this advice called “String Theory”. Hey, let’s take a really complex physics model that has nothing to do with racing and borrow the name for attention! Once again, the emphasis is on the corner exit. Yes, if you mash the shit out of the throttle when your wheel is turned (even slightly) you could spin. Watch this dumb fuck turn off his nannies and then nearly kill himself and his passenger in T1 at Willow Springs. I guess this is what “string theory” is trying to prevent. If you want a thrill ride where you provide the gas and the car does the work, leave the nannies on. If you want to learn how to actually drive, you’ll need more than “string theory”.

Brake string theory

There’s another version of string theory where the focus is on the brakes. During threshold braking, the string is taught and the steering wheel is straight. Good. But then as you release the brakes, you have an opportunity to add some steering. What happens if you mix braking and steering? You get oversteer. That’s what trail-braking is all about. At the end of the braking zone, mixing some braking and steering will cause the car to rotate. This is where the magic happens. The car turns without hardly steering. This is also where the danger happens. It’s very easy to spin.

Spinning is generally looked down on when you’re on track. Some organizations will kick you out after 3 spins, and others will do it at 2. Is this a conspiracy to keep you from learning the deep secrets of driving? Yes. The faster drivers don’t want you to learn how to properly steer a car and so they make rules to prevent you from learning.

In order to prevent yourself from spinning, you have to counteract the excessive rotation with a steering correction in the opposite direction. It must be fast and the magnitude might be kind of large. If you do too little, too late, you will spin. If you do too much, you may find yourself fish-tailing and possibly making matters worse. At the end of the day, your muscles must be able to make the corrections automatically. It’s not something you can learn from a book or by imagining a string connecting your wheel to your foot. It takes training, hard work, perseverance, etc.

Imagine corrections

Instead of imagining a string connecting your dick to your ass, or whatever, I think intermediate drivers should use their imaginations to make steering corrections. Even if you don’t have the muscle memory to save a spin right now, it might be a little closer to the forefront of your mind if you think about the actions you’ll need when the time comes.

Here, I made up a rhyme so that you can remember it more easily.

Light feel? Counter wheel!

Hopefully you can get to a skid pad or a simulator to work on this. The moment you feel the steering go light is the moment you have to act. The actions are:

  1. Steer quickly in the opposite direction
  2. Wait for the car to “settle”
  3. Steer back to neutral
  4. Drive your way out

More Lefty Practice

I’ve done some more practice on Karelia Cross. On the first day I was surprised and happy to hit 1:05. On the second day I was hitting 1:05 routinely and even got a high 1:04. Today, I’m hitting 1:04 routinely and am only a few tenths from 1:03.

I really thought that muscle memory would be more in the muscles, but it’s more in the brain. I don’t yet have good habits about how to anchor my heel to the floor. So I sometimes end up with a floating foot going back and forth between pedals. But even with this difficulty, I still find I’m able to modulate the pedals okay. At this point, I don’t expect to get much faster. That said, I still feel I have a lot of work to do to make my motions automatic. Street driving is full of stop and go traffic that isn’t anything like racing. I need to practice that before I drive for real.

City Car Driving

There is a simulator for driving cars in traffic. I’ve never tried it. Normally, I would wait for a Steam sale and pick this up for whatever discount was available, but given that I might be driving in a week, I thought I’d pay the full $24.99. Honestly, that’s not much if it actually gives me some authentic practice.

Here’s what their website says.

Our company designs software and hardware products for car driving education and entertainment: smart AI systems, virtual models of cities, car simulators, special vehicle simulators, industrial car driving simulators etc. We also design car driving computer games, on the basis of our own technologies and experience.

 

The car driving game named “City Car Driving” is a new car simulator, designed to help users experience car driving in а big city, the countryside and in different conditions or go just for a joy ride. Special stress in the “City Car Driving” simulator has been laid on a variety of different road situations and realistic car driving.

Check back soon for a review.

Lefty: day 1

Today is day 3 after surgery but day 1 of trying to drive left-footed. I decided I would use 2 typical test scenarios: Brands Indy and Karelia Cross. As usual, the car is NA Miata with default everything. There was a slight wrinkle this time, which is a left foot setup. That was simply turning off the throttle, turning the clutch into the throttle, and then setting the transmission to automatic. 3 clicks later I was ready to roll.

I know from previous experience that my benchmark times are approximately as below. My goal was to reach a “fast” time.

  • Brands
    • Personal best: 1:01.7?
    • Fast: 1:03
  • Karelia
    • Personal best:  1:02.8
    • Fast: 1:05

Brands Indy

First stop, Brands Indy for 20 laps. My first timed lap was a 1:05.34, which is not that bad. I then put in several crap laps before a 1:03.9. I was very surprised at that. Towards the end of the session I got better and more consistent, and my fastest 3 laps were 1:02.84, 1:03.26, and 1:03.63. Not a very tight group, but much better than I expected. But Brands Indy isn’t all that demanding of either pedal. Here’s a graph showing brake pressure, speed, and throttle position. Red is right-footed and blue is left-footed. This isn’t my best right-footed lap, but it’s a pretty good one. As you can see, my braking technique on the left side isn’t all that great. I brake gently at first, then too much, and then don’t modulate the pressure very well.

Karelia Cross

I love Karelia Cross and other dirt tracks because the low traction makes you really have to work. Unlike Brands, you can’t just drive from memory. Every lap is a little different. I had to jump back and forth between pedals quite a bit and a few times I think I was going for the clutch. My fast lap was a 1:05.42, which is faster than I thought I would go. I was thinking I would get there eventually rather than on the first session.

Muscle memory?

I have never actuated a throttle with my left foot before. I don’t have any muscle memory on my left foot for how to modulate throttle to prevent from spinning. And yet I found I was doing this automatically. Trail-braking was harder, but I could still do it a little. Shocking stuff. I’m not going to say I’m glad I have an Achilles injury, but I don’t think I would have done this experiment without an injury. If you’ve got a sim rig, you might give it a try. You never know, you might get into an emergency situation where you have to race left-footed and you’ll be glad you trained for it.

Achilles Update: Crisis = Opportunity

I just had surgery on my Achilles. It was torn up pretty bad, and they used someone else’s to put me back together. So now I’m a bit like my Yaris with Corolla brakes. Or my Z3 with E46 brakes. Or maybe part zombie?

It’s going to be a long recovery. I’m supposed to stay 2 weeks at home and then they’ll take the stitches out and slap a cast on me for 2 weeks. After that I’ll be in a walking boot and start physical therapy. The recovery is about 1 year.

Crisis represents opportunity. Let me tell you about 2 opportunities.

Billiards

Some of my favorite high school memories are playing pool over at Dan’s house. Later, in college, when my parents moved to NYC for a year, we took over their house and installed a pool table. Since then, I’ve always wanted to have a pool table but never had the opportunity. Knowing that I was going to be out of commission for a while, I rearranged my garage and storage shed to accommodate a pool table. I can’t wait until I’m well enough to play. I’m thinking about ways to track my progress as I improve. If you have any ideas, let me know.

Left Footed Driving

I’ve never felt the need to learn left foot braking. The few times I’ve done it (kart or F1 sim rig), it didn’t feel terrible, just awkward. Now that my right leg is out of commission for a while, I’m thinking about left foot driving. Not for HPDE or racing, but just to get to work. My plan is to learn this on my sim rig by swapping the inputs in software. I’ll probably change the spring in the pedal too, as the clutch is kind of heavy.

There are plenty of left foot accelerator pedals on the market. Some of them are bolted into the car, and some are portable. I’m not sure which one I’ll get. Commuting to work is about to get a lot more interesting. These only work with automatic transmissions, so the Z3 is going to be lonely for a while.

In slow, out fast, and other lies of the racetrack: part 4 of 6

6 Big Lies

We’re half way through 2022 in the middle of the racing season. Seems like now is a good time to talk about some of the stupid shit people say in the guise of offering helpful advice.

  1. Drive the racing line
  2. In slow, out fast
  3. The first driver to full throttle wins
  4. You should be on throttle or on brake, never coasting
  5. Imagine a string connecting your steering wheel and throttle pedal
  6. Separate braking and steering

Always on brake or throttle

I’m sure you’ve read that you’re supposed to always be on brake or throttle, and that coasting is a no-no. But I don’t subscribe to this at all. In fact, I think that coasting is very important. First off, why do people say you shouldn’t coast? I think it’s because novices coast too much. They coast at the end of braking zones. They wait to add throttle in a corner. Excessive coasting is a waste of time, literally, so instructors counteract that by telling novices not to coast. Does coasting make them slower? Yes. Does speed matter at the novice level? No. So who cares if they coast? I certainly don’t. What does matter at the novice level? Safety and fun. Telling novice drivers to be on brake or throttle all the time may make them feel uncomfortable, which results in less safety and less fun. Let them coast. They will get over it eventually.

YSAR isn’t really concerned with the complete novice. The focus of this blog is more on the intermediate driver. And the problem with intermediates isn’t that they coast too much, it’s that they coast too little. The typical intermediate driver has the following pattern of inputs.

  1. Mash the throttle
  2. Mash the brake
  3. Go back to step 1

Trail-coasting

Last time I talked about the importance of maintenance throttle and corner entry speed. So how do you enter the corner on the limit? Mark Donohue says “exiting a corner on the limit is like walking a tightrope, entering is like jumping on a tightrope blindfolded.” I disagree. Trail-braking helps you feel your way into a corner. The self-centering tug on the steering wheel is an indication of how much grip and speed you have. As you let off that last smidge of brake and are coasting, the car is still decelerating while it turns into the corner. Coasting while turning is a soft form of trail-braking. By modulating how long you coast, you can set your entry speed exactly how you like.

Take a look at this ancient diagram from Piero Taruffi’s classic “The Technique of Motor Racing”. Back in the old days, people didn’t trail-brake as much as today partly because tires were different. Look at segment 2. Braking is done, steering has begun, and the throttle is off. Coasting, deceleration, and turning! That’s the soft form of trail-braking I’m talking about. I’ll call it trail-coasting for lack of a better term.

For optimal corner entry speed, your suspension must not be rocking fore-aft or side-to-side. You want the ultimate balance of speed and grip, and that comes with having the car stable. Trail-coasting helps keep the car quiet. It also adds confidence. Without any focus on your feet, you can focus more on the feel of the car. A little coasting will give you the confidence to enter corners at a higher speed. If you go in too fast, coast a little more. If you enter too slow, coast a little less.

If you want to get better at using coasting to your advantage, you need to practice. My favorite track for this is Lime Rock. T1 is a long, decreasing radius corner that requires a lot of patience through trail-braking and coasting. The other corners are all coasting corners if you’re in a low power car. Here are my favorite training cars for Lime Rock in the virtual world.

  • rFactor 2: Skip Barber
  • Assetto Corsa: Formula Ford or Skip Barber
  • iRacing: Formula Vee or Skip Barber

If you’re training in the real world, try to pick just one or two corners per lap. Medium speed corners are best.

In slow, out fast, and other lies of the racetrack: part 3 of 6

Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted. My injury has me feeling sorry for myself and I haven’t been motivated to write about cars since I haven’t and won’t be driving them in a sporting manner for some time.

6 Big Lies

We’re taking a deep dive into stupid driving clichés.

  1. Drive the racing line
  2. In slow, out fast 
  3. The first driver to full throttle wins
  4. You should be on throttle or on brake, never coasting
  5. Imagine a string connecting your steering wheel and throttle pedal
  6. Separate braking and steering

Full throttle!

All else being equal, the first driver to full throttle wins

— some racing authority

The problem with this statement is that it gives one the idea that full throttle is an important goal. If you want to spend a lot of time at full throttle, stop the car in the corner, and drive out of the big hole you created. Clearly, that’s not a great idea.

One of Ross Bentley’s favorite coaching exercises is that he asks students to estimate how much of the track they are at full throttle. If the student says 65%, he says try 67%. I think this can be a good exercise, but again, the emphasis is on full throttle, which I don’t really like.

Zero steer

Let me tell you one of my secrets: the key to driving faster isn’t full throttle, it’s maintenance throttle. When does maintenance throttle happen? In the middle of the corner. From the time you let off the brake to the time you’ve wound the steering all the way out, you’re on some form of maintenance throttle, not full throttle.

If you’re full throttle in the middle of the corner, you didn’t go in fast enough

-Ian

There isn’t much nuance to full throttle. That’s why it doesn’t separate bad and good drivers. Anyone can mash a throttle pedal. When you’re in a 4 wheel drift, which Paul F. Gerrard calls “zero steer”, you change direction with the throttle pedal. More throttle: increase radius. Less throttle: decrease radius. If you’re steering the car primarily with the steering wheel, you’re not in zero steer. You’re not at the limit. You went in too slow.

Driving the limit

If you want to get a lot faster, don’t focus on how much time you’re on full throttle. Instead, focus on how much time you’re forced to be at maintenance throttle because you couldn’t go any faster without falling off the track. Exit speed is determined by mid-corner speed. Mid-corner speed is determined by entry speed. If you’re not at the limit on the entry, you won’t be at the limit at the exit.

How do you know if you’re at the limit through the corner? Data of course. You need to compare your data traces to faster drivers. Where do you get that data? I don’t really know in the real world. But it’s easy to get in the sim racing world. As an added bonus, you can make sure that the people you’re comparing to are using the exact same car with the exact same setup and weather.

That said, you can’t rely too much on data. Ultimately, you drive the car by feel. You have to figure out what it feels like to drive the limit. More importantly, you have to figure out how it feels to be OVER the limit and then still be able to navigate your way through without crashing. This is why I say that the only thing better than driving the limit is a brief trespass and safe return from well beyond. Trusting your skills to save you feels even better than executing the perfect corner.

So the big question is, “does sim racing make you faster at cornering in the real world?” YES, it definitely worked for me. I’ve driven less than 100 hours on track in real life, and only a couple hours in the rain. Yet my rain corner speeds are much faster than other people I race against.

How do you learn to enter a corner on the limit if you don’t have a sim rig? I don’t really know. But if this is your plan, take your time and don’t do something you’ll regret later.