Suck Less at Sim Racing (10/10) advanced training exercises

When I started this series of daily posts, I had thought that after 10 days we would have a much better understanding of how the world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. After 10 days, I don’t think it’s any clearer to me. I have no idea if this is going to last 1 month or 1 year. The only thing that is clear to me is that the Dunning-Kruger effect is in full force. Everyone is a pandemic expert. It comes down to training. Are you a PhD virologist with a decade of experience? If the answer is no, shut the fuck up. I don’t care which side of the societal rift you’re on. Shut the fuck up.

Advanced Training Exercises

What exactly is the advanced level of driving? To me, it’s when your lap times are better than 90% of the drivers. That generally puts your lap times within 1-2% of the lap record. At that point, you know your virtual car and track pretty well. For some drivers, the journey to get to the 90th percentile doesn’t take long. But breaking through that barrier can take forever.

Once you have your reference points and corner geometries optimized, there’s only more thing. No, it’s not heel-toe shifting or left foot braking. The advanced level of driving is really about optimizing the slip angle of your rear tires on corner entry. Honestly, that’s where the last 1% of the speed is.

In order to break through the intermediate barrier, you have to learn to back up the corner. That is, you need to get your steering inputs done earlier. This can only be accomplished by driving with yaw early in the corner. By early I mean before the apex. Yaw after the apex looks cool, but doesn’t make you fast.

The practice drill I have for you is this:

  • rFactor 2
  • Lime Rock Park
  • Skip Barber F2000 (Regional tires)
  • 4th gear only

The Skip Barber is modeled beautifully in rFactor 2. Every input has an effect on the handling. The car is pretty fast, but the tires are not grippy. By driving in 4th gear only, you can focus entirely on coordinating your braking and steering. Also, your entry speed and angle will be critical to your lap time because you can’t make up for a poor entry having 4th gear power. You will run into the speed limiter on the straight, but if you’re doing things correctly, you should be able to break 1:02. Watch your delta timer like a hawk. After 1000 laps, you’ll have figured out what works and what doesn’t. 1000 laps? Not all in one session, but if you really want to improve, you have to train. 1000 laps in one car at one track is a start.

4 thoughts on “Suck Less at Sim Racing (10/10) advanced training exercises

  1. Well, I’ve gotten down to 1:02.6 with another 40 laps or so…
    I find I still feel like turns 1-2-3-4 are done poorly every time, it seems like I have no stable reference for 1-2, then I screw up the exit of 3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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