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Motorsport Wheel Alignment: Wet vs Dry Setup

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Wet vs Dry Setup


00:00 - One of the problems with alignment settings is that the optimal setup is constantly changing depending on the track conditions.
00:06 In particular, what will work well on a dry track is definitely going to be too aggressive for a damp or wet track.
00:13 Now admittedly, at least for those of you just attending a few track days here and there, you're probably not going to be making dramatic setup changes before a session, just because some light drizzle has set in, but as you get more serious, there can be significant gains to be had in lap speed by changing your setup to suit the conditions.
00:33 We'll start with the quickest and easiest changes to make which includes tyre pressure and anti roll bars.
00:39 The principles around setting our tyre pressure haven't changed from what we've already discussed.
00:44 The fact we can't generate as much grip on a wet track, coupled with the cooling effect of the water however, means that we won't end up with the tyres getting as hot.
00:52 This means our cold pressure needs to be higher than what we'd run in the dry.
00:57 The next change we can make for a wet track is to soften the anti roll bars front and rear, or in some cases you may get the best results by disconnecting the bars entirely.
01:08 This allows the car to roll more which can reduce understeer and produce more grip mid corner by reducing the lateral load transfer rate across the axle.
01:17 In general it's a good idea to soften the anti roll bar at the drive end of the car more than at the non driven end.
01:25 If you have adjustable dampers then it can also be helpful to soften the bump and rebound settings a little.
01:30 This allows the car to roll, pitch and dive with less resistance.
01:34 This can ensure we don't overcome the available grip during transience when the car is changing direction.
01:40 Now we can move into the slightly more time consuming changes to the actual alignment itself.
01:45 In particular, what we'll find on a wet track is that we won't need as much negative camber at the front or rear of the car.
01:52 This is because we won't be able to generate the sort of lateral G force on a wet track.
01:57 And hence the car won't roll as much and the tyre won't deform as much.
02:01 Of course we can confirm this with a tyre pyrometer, but if you're running an aggressive camber setup to suit a dry track, you may want to start by removing one to 1.5 degrees of camber front and rear to suit a very wet track.
02:14 This is another place where your documentation will become invaluable as you'll be able to see what worked the last time you were at a specific track in wet conditions.
02:23 While braking performance is really beyond the scope of this course, it is worth mentioning that if you have adjustable brake bias, then you'll want to dial in more rear bias for a wet track.
02:34 This might sound counter intuitive, however we won't be able to generate as much braking force on a wet track and hence the rear tyres remain more heavily loaded than they would on a dry track.