RWD vs. FWD: Part 7 – RR

There are a lot of high performance cars with a MR or RR layout. Porsche 911, Boxster, and Cayman come to mind as well as Toyota MR2. I don’t think about exotics since I would never own one. MR and RR vehicles have more weight in the rear, which might amount to as much as 40/60. Compared to something like 50/50, the 40/60 wins on a drag strip or 0-100-0 type of test. 40/60 has a lot of weight on the drive wheels during acceleration, and when stopping it has a more equal weight distribution on all tires. But what happens in corners? Let’s find out.

Driving Impressions

The RR layout was the most difficult for me to drive. This may because I’m not used to it. So, instead of collecting the top 10 laps among 20 total, I took the top 10 from 29. What made RR so difficult to drive is that RR really wants to swing out if you trail brake a lot, and it’s easy to get it to a point where it’s hard to recover. You can read this as Ian crashed a few times in the beginning, and that’s why he did 29 laps. I found I had to drive it in a much more point-n-shoot manner. By that I mean that I didn’t try to blend the inputs as much. Instead, I drove it thinking “square off the corners”.

Squiggles

I’m using pretty much the same setup as the last test. Red is a 200% power FR Miata in its usual 51.5/48.5 balance. Blue is a 200% FF “Miata” in 60/40 balance. Black is a 200% RR Miata in a 40/60 balance (because most Porsches I see are black). In the graph below, the same red and blue laps are shown from the previous post, and the top 5 laps are shown from the RR vehicle.

You can see in the brake trace that my brake release in the RR vehicle is more abrupt. I’m not using much trail-braking. Also, I’m much later to throttle because I’m waiting for the car to straighten up a bit. But once it is pointed in the right direction, I get to full throttle pretty quickly. BTW, squaring off corners like this is one strategy for driving in the rain (regardless of layout).

Lap Times

Well this ain’t no dragstrip and the RR configuration got its bit butt handed to it. Well, not that much. It’s less than a second.

Layout Best Ave SD
FR 59.4 59.744 0.202
FF 59.27 59.572 0.171
RR 60.18 60.388 0.132

Conclusions and Thoughts

Most RR vehicles have wider tires in the rear than front. I didn’t make that change or a host of others one might make when changing from 51.5/48.5 to 40/60. So there may be some good reasons why RR was slower than FR or FF. Had we started with a 911 and modified it for FR or FF, we might get different results. Let’s revisit some caveats.

  • This is a simulation, not the real world
  • I’m the only driver (so far anyway), and I have my biases
  • There is one testing venue: Brands Hatch Indy
  • The vehicle is relatively light weight (1080kg) and has moderate power (250hp)
  • The tires are modeled as street tires, not racing slicks
  • The base vehicle is a Miata, which is neither FF nor RR

That wraps up some of the easy tests I had planned. Aero is probably next, but I’ll be taking a break from sim experiments for a little while as my focus turns to racing in the real world in about 11 days.

RWD vs FWD: Part 6 – Power

In the last post I was showing that a FWD vehicle is faster than RWD vehicle in low grip situations. This appears to be because RWD has to balance lateral and longitudinal Gs on the rear tire while FWD can dedicate all of its rear tire to grip. Because of this the FWD vehicle exits corners faster. While I was driving RWD, being careful not to spin the car, it made me think about how one has to do the same thing with a high powered car. So is half the grip a lot like twice the power?

A high powered FWD car has a specific problem: the more it accelerates, the more weight shifts to the rear, away from the drive wheels. Because of this, I don’t think FWD will retain its advantage in a high power, high grip environment. How about instead of making educated guesses, I do some experiments (I’m not just a scientist in the play world you know, it is my actual day job).

Vehicles

I’m using mostly the same experimental setup as before with a couple tweaks.

  • RWD is a stock Miata with 200% power
  • FWD is the 60/40 FWD Miata with 200% power
  • Tire wear is turned off
  • Fuel usage is turned off

Driving Impressions

Driving with 200% power is more fun than driving with 50% grip. In both situations, the car is sliding quite a bit, but I feel a little more in control with 200% power. Driving RWD and FWD are both so much fun, but how you get the most out of each is really different. Here’s a simple way to sum it up:

  • RWD rewards precision
  • FWD rewards aggression

In a high powered RWD vehicle, you can’t mash the throttle or you go spinning off track. You need a delicate balance between steering input and throttle after the brakes are released. In general, driver inputs must be nuanced to get the most traction possible.

If you drive a FWD vehicle like a RWD vehicle, it works pretty well, but the real payback is when you don’t. FWD understeers and runs wide as soon as you add throttle. So you have to get the car pointed down track more quickly. This means getting oversteer in the braking zone and aiming for a mid-track exit rather than the usual track out. Once you add throttle it pulls you out of oversteer and understeers you to the exit. I’m going to borrow a little from Mark Donohue here to make an analogy.

  • RWD is like stepping onto a tightrope
  • FWD is like jumping onto a tightrope

Lap Times

  • RWD best 59.40, average 59.744 (sd 0.202)
  • FWD best 59.27, average 59.572 (sd 0.171)

I wasn’t expecting this, but FWD won fastest lap and average lap. The margin was so small that out of 20 laps, only 1 FWD lap was faster than the fastest RWD lap.

Squiggles

In the graph below, red is RWD and blue is FWD. This is the fastest RWD lap and the second fastest FWD lap. I’ve chosen these two laps to display because they are only 0.01 seconds apart and because they show some of the differences between RWD and FWD.

The sunglasses indicate regions where the RWD driver has to have a cool head because there’s a delicate mixture of throttle and steering happening (stepping on tightrope). The shocked looking glasses are where the FWD driver has created a lot of yaw in the brake zone (jumping on a tightrope).

Conclusions and Thoughts

I was expecting RWD to win this one pretty easily, but it turned out they were evenly matched. From a driving perspective, this was the most fun test so far because I had to change my driving style to fit the vehicle. I’m a little better in FWD than RWD. That’s probably not true for everyone. I think the performance is similar enough on dry asphalt that differences in lap times are more down to driver than layout. I like driving FWD, and I’m used to driving with a lot of corner entry oversteer. So I might be a little biased towards FWD than the next driver. It’s hard to determine how general the FWD advantage is without having more drivers.

Calling Assetto Corsa Drivers

If you would be so kind, please download the two vehicles below and drive them around Brands Hatch Indy. Which one is faster in your hands?

RWD 200 HP

FWD 200 HP 60/40

I don’t think you need to replicate the exact driving conditions, but if you do, here they are:

  • 9:00am, clear weather, optimum track condition, 20C, 0 km/h wind
  • Penalties on
  • Pro difficulty with no assists on
  • Default setup (SV tires and whatever alignment is)
  • 0x tire wear, 0x fuel usage, 0 kg ballast, 0% restrictor
  • Start from pits, no tyre blankets

Note: if for some reason the files don’t work, maybe try using Content Manager to replace the sounds with the NA Miata.

RWD vs. FWD: Part 5 – Snow-ish

If you believe common wisdom, RWD is better than FWD with one exception: snow. We know that’s not quite true from some recent experiments here on YSAR, at least in a simulation environment, because FWD can actually be faster than RWD on asphalt. Today I’m going to show some experiments on how overall grip affects the performance of RWD and FWD vehicles. In our test environment (Assetto Corsa, NA Miata, Brands Hatch Indy) we found that a FWD “Miata” with a 60/40 static weight distribution has nearly identical performance to the actual Miata. Let’s find out what happens when we start reducing grip from asphalt to snow (tire grip values reduced to 50%).

Impressions

Driving a RWD vehicle with 50% grip is quite challenging. It took a lot of concentration, which turned some of the fun into frustration. It is a great training exercise for oversteer recovery though. I spun a couple times and nearly spun about a hundred times.

The FWD vehicle with 50% grip was also challenging, but in a totally different way. It felt like I had to pay a lot of attention to optimizing entry speed and position. There was no way to work my way through a corner. Either I started the corner well and ended it well, or I started it poorly and ended it poorly. I ran wide at Paddock twice trying to get through there as fast as possible.

Lap Times

As before, I ran 20 laps in a row and selected the best 10 for analysis.

  • RWD fastest 1:21.069, average 1:21.531 (0.378)
  • FWD fastest 1:19.790, average 1:20.353 (0.255)

The FWD vehicle was about 1.2 seconds faster in both fastest and average measures.

Squiggles

In the graph below, red is RWD and blue is FWD. The 3 fastest laps of each are shown.

FWD spends more time on the brake pedal and also more time on the throttle. RWD spends a lot of time managing the steering wheel and throttle to prevent spinning. FWD also has to manage the throttle, but just to optimize traction.

Conclusions and Thoughts

People sometimes bash FWD vehicles by saying phrases such as “wrong wheel drive” and “the rear wheels just prevent the ass from dragging on the ground”. But the experiments I’ve done here suggest FWD is as fast on a grippy surface and markedly faster when things get slippery. Let’s bring out the caveats.

  • This is a simulation
  • The vehicle is light and low powered
  • The tires aren’t very grippy
  • There is no aero package

It may be that under high power and/or high grip, the FWD advantage goes away. One reason to suspect that is because FWD is more limited in how much power it can put to the ground: weight shifts to the rear under acceleration.

Looking at the data, I’m left with a new perspective on what makes FWD work. And it’s actually the reason most people give for why FWD doesn’t work. It is said that FWD asks the front wheels to do too much: brake, corner, accelerate. That’s true, but it leaves the rear wheels doing just one thing very well: lateral grip. FWD vehicles don’t have to share cornering and acceleration on the way out of a corner the way RWD vehicles do. That’s why the traces above show FWD beating RWD on corner exits. A driver in a RWD vehicle is balancing throttle and steering and hoping he won’t spin (or maybe he’s enjoying the drift). A driver in a FWD vehicle is just managing throttle to maximize traction and has no thoughts of disaster (or fun).

That’s all for now, but what’s next? Power, grip, or aero? Hmm…

RWD vs. FWD: Part 4 – Ballasting

In the last experiment, I discovered something rather shocking: on equal footing, a FWD vehicle can be faster than a RWD of the same Miata-ish specifications if the FWD vehicle has a static weight distribution more like a RWD vehicle than a FWD vehicle. That got me wondering about adding weight to rear of a FWD vehicle to improve performance. My Yaris is probably something like 65/35. Could I make it faster by adding weight to the rear to give it a more balanced center of gravity? Or would the extra weight be just dead weight?

Let’s see if I can improve the 65/35 FWD Miata by adding weight to the rear axle. The stock weight is 1080 kg, so I’ll add just enough weight to make 60/40 and 55/45 vehicles.

  • +90 kg (1170 total) -> 60/40
  • +196 kb (1276 total) -> 55/45

Lap Times

Last time I ran 20 laps and chose the best 10, so I did that again. My laps this time weren’t as consistent. It seemed performance was dropping from tire wear. Maybe I should have turned off tire wear and fuel usage. Well, I didn’t and this is the result.

Vehicle Best Average Std Dev
RWD 63.020 63.188 0.127
FWD 65 63.619 63.741 0.076
FWD 60 62.930 63.129 0.085
FWD 55 62.689 62.819 0.080
FWD 60 1170 63.529 63.816 0.167
FWD 55 1276 63.880 64.198 0.206

Again, we are focusing on the FWD 65 CoG which has been converted to 60 and 55 by adding ballast to the rear. As you can see, the 60/40 ballasted car set the fastest lap by about a tenth, but it was also slower on average by about a tenth. It was also harder to drive consistently. I got one really good lap on it, but I couldn’t match it again.

Squiggles

In the speed graph below, red is RWD, blue is 65/35, brown is 60/40, and magenta is 55/45. Looking at isolated laps isn’t all that useful to show trends but showing lots of laps on top of each other is cluttered. So I’m just going to put the fastest laps up because it looks better.

Conclusions and Thoughts

If you have a FWD vehicle with 65/35 weight distribution, crappy tires, and low power, you can add 70 kg to the rear to make it 60/40 and it might not change performance much. Your ballasted vehicle will hold corner speed a little better. It will also rotate more willingly. However, you’ll pay for that better handling in lower acceleration. On some tracks, like Brands Hatch Indy, those forces will equal out in lap time.

Am I going to add ballast to my Yaris? Probably not. I want my consumables as low as possible. However, it would be fun to do this test in the real world to see if I get the same results.

RWD vs FWD: Part 3 – Center of Gravity

Sorry, I got distracted by OkStupid for a couple days. Let’s get back to our previously scheduled content, which was RWD vs. FWD. Today, I did an experiment on Center of Gravity, which I modified from the original RWD 51.5 to FWD at 65, 60, and 55.

I’m doing all of my game launches from Content Manager, so the testing situation has changed a tiny bit. Here are the details.

Simulator Setup

  • Assists, nannies, whatever: everything off
  • Time 09:00
  • Weather: Clear
  • Track: Optimum
  • Temperature: 20.0 C
  • Wind: 0 km/h
  • Ballast: 0 kg
  • Restrictor: 0%
  • Setup: base with Street 90s (SV) tires

Vehicle Setup

The vehicles are all created by modifying the NA Miata with a build script, which is located at https://github.com/iankorf/acexperiments. The only changes made from RWD to FWD are the following:

  • ARBs are swapped front and rear
  • Track width is swapped front and rear
  • Center of gravity is changed: 55, 60, 65
  • Brake bias is changed with CoG: 70, 74, 78

Nothing else is changed. There are several things I could have changed, and you could argue I should have changed.

  • Weight was kept the same despite FWD vehicles being lighter
  • Power was kept the same despite FWD vehicles having less driveline loss
  • Tire pressures and suspension settings were kept the same despite having more weight on the front tires
  • Alignment wasn’t changed because I don’t know how to optimize that for FWD vs RWD

The FWD cars had no advantages, and I think you could argue had some disadvantages. A racer would normally tune their suspension and tire pressures to match their weight distribution. This is not exactly a fair fight.

Lap Times

I conducted the test by driving 20 laps in a row at Brands Hatch Indy and then selecting the 10 best for further analysis.

OK, so this came as a bit of a surprise, but FWD can be faster than RWD. When FWD is at 60/40 weight distribution, it is very similar to RWD at 51.5/48.5. But when the FWD balance is 55/45 it is faster than RWD. Also, at 65/35 it is slower than RWD. You might argue that I’m a better FWD driver than RWD and that’s the reason for this. But I don’t think so. In simulators, I spend much more time driving RWD than FWD. The 55/45 FWD wasn’t just a little faster than RWD. The slowest lap I did in the 55/45 was a 1:02.920. This is faster than every RWD lap.

Vehicle Best Average Std Dev
RWD 63.020 63.188 0.127
FWD 65/35 63.619 63.741 0.076
FWD 60/40 62.930 63.129 0.085
FWD 55/45 62.689 62.819 0.080

Squiggles

In the graph below:

  • Red is RWD (because all Miatas should be red)
  • Blue is FWD 65/35 (because my Yaris is blue and is probably ~65/35)
  • Black is FWD 60/40
  • Green is FWD 55/45

The difficulty in driving 65/35 is that it understeers and has low mid-corner speed. To compensate for the lack of grip, I took a slightly different line starting at 2500 feet, sacrificing the exit so I could get well set up for the critical downhill corner. This is why the blue line deviates a bit from the others. What was really surprising was how much faster the FWD cars were in Surtees. I usually think of Graham Hill Bend as the most important corner on the track.

Conclusions and Thoughts

Can you imagine a FWD Miata with a 55/45 balance? It would be faster, lighter, and cheaper than its RWD counterpart. On the other hand, it probably wouldn’t do so great in the 0-60 tests, and nobody in their right mind would buy a FWD roadster. Well, I’m not your usual car enthusiast, so please make mine in British Racing Green.

I’ve actually fantasized about making a FWD for Lemons racing. Not because I thought it would be any better, but because it’s such a stupid idea. Nobody swaps a RWD car to FWD, and the last car you would do that with would be a Miata. Now it’s starting to make some actual sense.

Since my Yaris has such a forward weight distribution, I’m wondering if it would be faster if I added ballast to the rear. In a drag race, it would go slower, but on a skid pad it would go faster. Is a race track more like a drag strip or a skid pad? Certainly it depends on the track. This kind of experiment is easy enough to do in Assetto Corsa. Maybe that’s my next experiment? Check back and find out.

OkStupid: Part 4 – DTF

I was recently registering for the upcoming 24 Hours of Lemons race at Sonoma and noticed I could add solo drivers with a click of a button. I thought it would be fun to check out their advertisements and comment on them (red text is me). This is part 4 of 4.

Let’s do it

  • Long-time wrencher, welder, enthusiast. I’ve done autox and motorcycle track days, looking to get into wheel to wheel auto racing. Useful in paddock and car prep, shitload of tools and truck to use. If you drive a motorcycle, you’re probably more aware than most about danger. Tools and truck are a plus.
  • 58YO. Done a bunch of track days and autocrosses as an adult. Third-rate mechanic, but decent metal fabricator, welder and painter. Looking for a team to drive for. Willing to do my fair share of work and $ contribution. Knows his strengths and weaknesses and is up-front about sharing expenses. Probably won’t flake out and back out of a race a day before the deadline.
  • I’ve been racing Lemons for 7 years and looking to get more seat time. As a driver I am consistent, get no black flags and take care of the car. As a crew member I have basic mechanical skills and bring a good attitude. Sounds like an excellent teammate. Mentioning black flags and taking care of the car are good points to make.
  • Lemons racer since 2011. Races – 25 Lemons and 2 Lucky Dog. Best race, Class C win in the Kia Pet 222 at Button Willow true 24 hour race. Tracks run – Sonoma, Thunderhill, Buttonwillow, Chuckwalla, The Ridge, Indie, Miller, Willow Springs. Can wrench. 10/10 experience overcomes lack of personality.
  • 1. Loves to have fun! 2. Can fix anything and a pretty good welder too. 3. Drives pretty good, hobby job is HOD driving coach 4. First track day was in a 1970 VW beetle, after that I built a 1972 Vega with an RX3 Wankel engine, will race whatever…. (1) Useful skills (2) I like lists too (3) That’s enough for me to like you.
  • While I was in the military I was a driving safety and riding safety instructor. I am a regular at 2 tracks in Wa, Pacific Raceway, and Ridge Park. I’m a big time DIY’er, so I’m also good at unconventional repairs, and reading what’s wrong with a car. Ooh, I like this one. Being tuned into the car is a lot more important than FTOD.
  • I am a 58 year old female that has driven from Texas to California (and back) approximately 35 times. Been driving since I was 11, and love driving! Big girl, strong and not pretty. Determined. Want to get involved. Know mechanics fairly well. I love the passion here. It would be weird to drive from Texas to California and not back though. Just saying.
  • I’m 30 and I can fix stuff sometimes. Mainly work on Japanese vehicles but a American car shouldn’t be an issue. I pretend like I know how to drive fast but would like to learn more. I have all my own tools and a truck. I like the mixture of competence and humility with a dash of humor. How are you not already on a Lemons team?
  • Been a shade tree mechanic for 20 years. Racing experience in auto-x and drag (racing that is). I have a fair amount of tools and lots of costumes that I bring to the table. I have a couple of vehicles that can tow, but no trailer. Blah blah blah lots of costumes! You’re in.
  • I got first place at an indoor go kart track one time. 10 years + mechanical experience automotive, motorcycle, aircraft. Do it yourself shade tree fixing shit with coat hangers and duct tape. Electrical, plumbing, welding, good at all master of none. You’re so Lemony I want to squeeze you and make lemonade.
  • I’m new to LeMons, want to put a car/team together soon, but for now throwing my driving skill and stamina hats into the ring. I have 12 laps on nurburgring, delivered chinese food in a new Fit, and taken folks on jeep tours to bottom of grand canyon. You had me at Chinese.
  • 26 years old, 5’11” tall. I like long beaches on the walk. I have a suit/helmet, an unhealthy amount of 16″ 4.5×5 steel wheels. Can weld decently, basic mechanic skillset. Have built a Lemons car recently. Tell me your buy in. Fuck me now.

My OkStupid

Let’s see, I guess it’s my turn to write a Lemons match-making blurb. How is this?

10 years of endurance racing, zero black flags, love driving in rain, occasional Lemons staff, placed 3rd overall in a Yaris, given away 3 racecars (so far), and you suck at racing (not you personally, that’s my blog/book).

OkStupid: Part 3 – Hmm

I was recently registering for the upcoming 24 Hours of Lemons race at Sonoma and noticed I could add solo drivers with a click of a button. I thought it would be fun to check out their advertisements and comment on them (red text is me). This is part 3 of 4.

Hmm… that might work

  • I graduated at college of the desert with two associates degrees in automotive technology been working on cars for 20 years and live in the Riverside county area. It’s always nice to have mechanics on a race team, and it’s useful to provide your location. That said, there is nothing here to make me reach out and say hello.
  • In SF, CA. I can/want to drive, can contribute $, can tow, and wrench: done brake systems, tune-ups on air-cooled (VW, 356, 911), and fuel injection on diesel (6.2/6.5 Detroit). I have an 84 GMC Suburban that can haul, but don’t have a trailer. A good fit for someone driving an older or obscure vehicle. Not sure this one would be interested in a 2007 Yaris.
  • I’m interested in joining a team as a driver or mechanic. I currently track my Miata and E36 M3 at SoCal tracks like Big Willow, Buttonwillow, Streets of Willow and Auto Club Speedway. I don’t have any mechanical specialties but can wrench. I like that this person wants to join as driver or mechanic. That says a lot about this person as a teammate. Probably a good person to have on a Miata or 3-series team.
  • I’m 17 year old from Mississippi. I would love to get the experience of being in a race team weather it’s as a driver or a mechanic etc. I have a 16’ Miata did acouple things myself to it and would love to put the thing I’ve learned to the test. Outstanding maturity and perspective for 17 years old. I’ve never had someone so young on my team, and that might be fun.
  • Hi, I am a TT driver that is ready to join the Lemons series. I have the skills in data analysis and can provide the tools needed to do data acqusition and analysis. I also have a transponder to lend to the team. Useful skills and experience. Just not a very interesting advertisement.
  • Driver, Mechanic, Welder Have and truck trailer. I have raced Lemons with other teams over the years but, I don’t currently have a team. I have raced several times at Sears Point and Button Willow, I consistently produce the fastest lap time for the. Apparently there’s a limited amount of space to describe yourself because the sentence ended abruptly. That’s too bad because this driver didn’t get to finish their bragging or display their personality.
  • Passionate, Focused. 3 Years of simulator training. 300+ hours logged on Assetto Corsa driving Sportscars, formula, and stock cars. Proficient understanding of vehicle dynamics, as well as race/tyre strategy. 2 Kart sessions under belt. Points Finish. I’m a sim racer myself, so we would probably get on just fine. It would be nice if he said something else though.
  • Have helmet will travel (driver) bbq pit master. It’s practically a haiku. Worth a look.
  • SCCA/ COTA Flag marshal. Lifetime race fan and sim racer. Willing to wrench and help. Desperate to drive! Flaggers understand safety, and that’s the primary concern on track. Someone take this driver.
  • My wife took one look at this page and then said “troublemaker” while shaking her head. Help me make her proud! Novice everything, just want to get involved (some track driving experience) – recently relocated to California. Points for not being boring. Everyone starts at the bottom. I take rookies on my team frequently.
  • Mature, fit, patient . Experienced with autoX and offroad motorcycling. Understand traction management & caring for the car. Once beat all the Corvettes with my FWD econobox at an autoX. I am in the Pacific Northwest. Can travel anywhere. Anyone who tracks a FWD econobox is OK in my book, even if they describe themselves in such somnolescent terms as “mature, fit, patient”.
  • Want to race/have fun with a Lemons team! Will provide beer :) Raced 600cc motorcycle and shifter karts, compete in time attack events in California, frequent track days 25+ year, fast/skilled driver, good mechanic. Thunderhill/Buttonwillow PB sub 2. 25 track days per year? Wow. A fast driver used to fast cars.  Not sure this is a good fit for a Yaris though.
  • From California and currently moving to Texas, I cqn drive anything. A fan of nascar and F1. I am currently a wheeled vehicle mechanic in the United States Army just looking for some experience in a Lemons car to eventually start my own team. Sounds like he has the right temperament and attitude to start a successful team. Someone join him.
  • I don’t have the time or space to build a car, so would love to join a team. I am very mechanically inclined and up to the driving challenge. I can also cook anything ina grill so I’ve got that going for me which is nice. I agree, the grilling skill is a nice bonus (is that a Stripes reference?). Seems like a good catch.
  • Experienced prepper/driver in offroad, dirt asphalt circle track, drag. Hot rod builder for 40 years. Alignment shop owner since 1985. I have a fully equipped fab, machine shop. Success in all aspects of automotive racing. Lots of useful skills and resources. Not useful if not local though.

OkStupid: Part 2 – I don’t drink

I was recently registering for the upcoming 24 Hours of Lemons race at Sonoma and noticed I could add solo drivers with a click of a button. I thought it would be fun to check out their advertisements and comment on them (red text is me). This is part 2 of 4.

Maybe if I was drunk, but I don’t drink

  • Used to be a professional downhill skater racing around the world, as well as a motorcycle racer. Competed in the AFM league racing 250cc bikes. Looking to drive but also happy to help wrench on the cars (low level experience). LOVE RACING SONOMA!!!! Maybe a good fit for a team looking for a fast driver, but all those caps and exclamation ARE TELLING ME TO RUN AWAY!!!
  • Mechanical Engineer looking to gain experience in auto sports. Very detail oriented and mechanically inclined. Willing to voluntarily support in any way possible. Congratulations, if you wanted to sound like a humorless, soulless robot, you have overachieved.
  • I am a motorsport enthusiast and have raced primarily on Laguna Seca. I am very into the Miata scene as I have a DIY channel where I am working to restore and make my car into a more nimble racer. I would love to drive to help a team if I can. Telling Lemons teams you’re into the Miata scene is sort of like going on a dating site and telling people you use legos as anal sex toys. TMI dude, TMI.
  • What if Cole Trickle baked cookie? I’m a competitive driver with experience in go kart racing and running track. I have a strong work ethic and gives 100% to the team. Did three different people write the three sentences here or are those voices in the same head?
  • I am decent driver, (i do time attack and hot hatch in the west coast) and have my own gear, Am pretty handy with mostly Mazda’s and dabble in Mopar products and have most of the tools to deal with them. Have my own truck. There are some good points here like having gear, tools, and a truck. There is also no personality.
  • I have driving experience and spent 10 + years as a Flyin crew member for IMSA teams. What exactly is driving experience? On the street or track? 10 years of IMSA crew sounds great. Here’s a tool wrap and one jack stand. Go do your magic.
  • Instructor for Porsche at experience center in ATL. SCCA competition liscensed. Degree in computer systems engineering. Can assist with car setup and data analysis. Over a thousand hours spent on track. Wow, over 1000 hours driving a Porsche at 6 tenths. Brandishing an SCCA license is always a red flag.
  • 21 years old Southbury CT Lock City drift events In my own 1989 Nissan 240SX Timed events at Lime Rock Park Seasoned simulation driver I.e. Assetta Corsa & Iracing on full Fanatec Sim Rig Fast Determined Looking for a race team. Sim racers can be pretty good drivers… or not. Anyway, I can’t get over the use of random capitalization and lack of punctuation. Please turn autocorrect back on because you can’t be trusted to write without it.
  • I can change tires and drain oil, carry heavy stuff, and that’s about it. Every car I have owned must be baptized (drive over 100mph, no matter the condition). This reads as “I don’t care about your car”. That goes over really well in an endurance race.
  • I love racing, I’m 44 years young I have done some arrive and drive karting Really want to get into spec Miata racing I can drive anything with wheels or with out I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lemons is not a stepping stone to Spec Miata. If you want to do Spec Miata, go there.
  • I participate in the 12 hours of Machismo in Fontana, CA. Avid track enthusiast in years prior to my first born son being born..that whole sob story. Looking to make long term connections to participate in events as often as possible! Reads like “legendary swinger looking to get back into the singles scene”.
  • Am a guy with passion for motor racing. And brevity apparently. This isn’t the old telegraph days. You don’t have to pay by the letter.
  • Complete novice looking to get into racing, figured lemons is the fastest way. I did 1 HPDE now I’m trying to figure out how to reach IMSA. Will be doing racing school later this year. I do have some natural talent and have watched racing all my life. No, no, you don’t want Lemons, you want ChumpCar. That’s the fastest way into real racing. Go there now (and don’t come back).
  • Life long hot rodder 62yrs. Frmr AA Fuel drag rcr. TV prsnality, Professor Ginz’s hot rods n racing (1993) Monster Garage 3 eps. all aspects of vehicle construction (welding, Lctrcl, cmput, pntng), nt mch rd course exp, thnk I dr ok. Like to laugh! Nt sre wht t fck w/ abrvs. tl;dl gfys
  • Hey there, so my name is XXXX XXXXX and I’m wanting to bring my 03 Subaru impreza to lemon races. Great, me too. Go build it and join the circus.
  • I am currently serving in the Navy, & should be transferring to SoCal later this fall. Have 0 mechanical skills, but willing to help fund car/entries to make up for that & want to learn. Once ranked top 100 iRating on oval lol. Please email! Zero mechanical skills and an ace at oval track sim racing? Teams must be lining up for your dance card.
  • I have a running 1991 Q45a that I’d love to donate in exchange for track time. That’s less of an incentive than you’re thinking. It’s like going to a dating site and saying “down to fuck, have used condoms”.
  • I am an HPDE instructor and instructor for the MSR Houston Track. I have raced Lemons and WRL in the past and have had no recorded incidences with either organization. I would like to find a competitive team that may need a driver. Lots of plusses here, but I don’t need people who need competitive teams.
  • I’m a neurosurgery resident in San Francisco, CA. I love cars. I have vehicle storage in a garage… I like to work on cars. I don’t have a gas-powered margarita machine. I wish I had more to offer… Yeah, we all do.

OkStupid: Part 1 – Unfucking likely

I was recently registering for the upcoming 24 Hours of Lemons race at Sonoma and noticed I could add solo drivers with a click of a button. I thought it would be fun to check out their advertisements and comment on them (red text is me). This is part 1 of 4.

Unfucking likely

  • I can drive anything really fast .. either your first or your last. If you’re going to say just one thing, don’t make it about speed. This is an endurance race you know. You can drive before the first or after the last driver.
  • Been racing asphalt and dirt for 24 years from 4cyl truck to sprint cars. Have some experience on road coarse via super care experience and porsche experience. Very mechanical work on and build all my own stuff. If you want to impress me with your attention to detail, try not having 3 spelling errors in one sentence.
  • Just some stupid kid from san diego who likes to drive fast. Imagine thinking your tiny bit of self-deprecating humor would carry the day…
  • Hello Lemons finatics, my name is XXXX and I am an aspiring Lemons participant. I’ve got racing in my blood and training to back it up. I’d love a chance to get my foot in the door of the lemons world. If ‘finatics’ was misspelled for greater effect, like wanting to race on an aquatic-themed team then maybe, but I don’t need someone with racing in their blood. I’d rather have someone with brain cells in their head.
  • I am a driver. Karting, Radical SR3. Would love to join a team looking for a driver. Willing to help with anything! Driving is only part of the equation, and not the most important part.
  • Wild and crazy good driver with a big truck and car trailer if needed! Even bad pornography is more imaginative than this.
  • My name is XXXX and I’m 30. I have a Class A CDL, have driven a nascar at 150 mph, driven a lamborghini and a Mclaren 570GT. I am real comfortable under high tense situations and love going fast. I have experience in suspension. This is literally triggering.
  • It might not sound too great but i grew up street racing and not just in a straight line. I have a 1 talent and passion and that is racing. Im not afraid to take calculated risks. Im also not afraid of highspeeds in corners. All i need is one chance! Well, at least we can agree that this doesn’t sound too great. Please don’t come to Sonoma.
  • I love the racing sport but sadly I’m only 13 and not eligible to drive an actually far yet, but I’m getting into competitive go kart racing and am looking for some inspiration. Please write back telling me how I can go pro! Don’t you hate Internet trolls?
  • I’m 52 have driven trucks for 27 years just retired now I am a boat mechanic and I love going fast. 52 going on 18.
  • I’m a 21 yrs old from Belgium, home of Spa. Grew up with fuel in my vains from a racing family. I’ve raced my whole life and would love to have some fun with racing. If it allows i’m down to travel wherever to race. Driver looking for a team :) Raced your whole life! All 21 years! OMG I need to sign you up right now!
  • Driver, done a few track days. Looking to learn and have fun! There is honesty in this one. Sadly, no personality.
  • I’m 18 and anything and everything to do with cars is what I love and I just wanna drive and I already drive fast so I figured I might as well try to do it legally. Please stop vaping. It’s killing your brain cells.
  • I ain’t not Jeff Gordon, but I know how to drive a fuckin car. First off, I don’t follow football. Second, if you’re going to use the f-word, make it work for you not against.
  • Experienced in all fields of racing please contact me @ XXX-XXX-XXXX. This isn’t a bathroom wall you know.
  • I have no IRL racing experience, and I cannot drive stick. All of my “racing” has been done in iRacing. I can’t provide any equipment or money as I’m saving for a baby. That said, I’ll bring positivity and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. There are more red flags here than a ChumpCar race.

RWD vs. FWD: Part 2 – Improvements

Now that I’ve built and tested a FWD Miata, my thoughts have turned to improving the study for the next round of experiments.

Upcoming Changes

First off, the FWD Miata doesn’t handle as well as I’d like. I like a FWD car that steers automatically with lift off oversteer. What I made felt sort of pig-ish. I know from real-world experience that my Yaris can be made to oversteer quite a bit by changing tire compounds front and rear. But I don’t want to do that as most cars come from the manufacturer with a square setup and most racing is done using the same compound front and rear. So I’ve got a bit of tuning to do, but I have to keep it in the spirit of an NA Miata to be fair.

In the next version, I’m not going to give the FWD vehicle a power or weight advantage. On the one hand, every FWD vehicle is going to be slightly more efficient than RWD, but on the other hand, racing regulations don’t always give such a bonus to FWD. Let’s see what the differences are and then determine if some bonus/penalty should be created to equalize them.

Previously, I made the various file modifications by hand and had two separate data directories that I swapped in and out. I had to re-start Assetto Corsa every time I made vehicle changes. Going forward I’m going to script everything so that all of the builds are in the game with a unique name, so it’s simply a matter of choosing a model from a list. This will also make it easier to keep track of the various data files in Race Studio. All of the code will be available on GitHub.

Methods

Previously I compared laps at Brands Hatch Indy and Karelia Cross. I’ll probably still use Brands Hatch, but I may drop Karelia Cross. I can change grip without changing surface easily enough. I also want to add some other analyses. Here are the things I’ll be doing.

  • Drag strip – 0-60 and 1/4 mile times
  • Skid pad – maximum sustained lateral Gs
  • Lap times – on short tracks with laps ~ 1 minute
  • Race Studio Analysis for in-depth analysis
  • Subjective comments about driving experience

Experiments

Here are the experiments I’m planning.

  • Weight distribution – what is the ideal weight distribution for a FWD vehicle? Motivated by the thought “how can I improve mid-corner speed of the FWD platform?”
  • Grip variation – who wins when the grip is very high or very low? Motivated by the thought “why exactly do FWD vehicles have an advantage in the rain?”
  • Power variation – who wins when the power is very high or very low? Motivated by the thought “is having more power just like having less grip?”
  • Elevation – who wins when the track is flat vs. lots of elevation changes? Motivated by the thought “FWD should be worse up hills and down hills”.