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Practical Corner Weighting: Wet vs Dry Conditions

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Wet vs Dry Conditions

03.39

00:00 - It's all well and good optimising your car's setup and handling for a dry racetrack, however sometimes it's going to rain and there can be some significant advantages in changing your car setup to suit.
00:11 When you want the car to handle well in the rain, your firstly need to understand that the car will obviously have less grip due to the wet road surface.
00:19 If the car has less grip, then there's going to be less lateral force applied during cornering and as a result the car will exhibit less body roll.
00:28 One of the issues with a wet track is that we want to transfer weight less aggressively so as to not overcome the available grip.
00:36 This makes the car less edgy and more predictable which increases driver feel and confidence.
00:43 There are a whole range of suspension setup changes that we would typically consider for a full wet setup aside from corner weighting alone.
00:51 This would consist of softening the spring rate and softening or disconnecting the anti roll bar front and rear as well as adding more downforce if possible.
01:00 Tyre pressure also plays a very important role as a tuning tool during wet conditions.
01:06 These specific adjustments are of course outside of the scope of this course and would generally be the first option when dealing with a wet track, however there's still some other considerations we can make around the corner weighting.
01:19 One of the changes you could make would be to lift the ride height slightly to allow for more body roll.
01:25 This will make the weight transfer during the initial turn in less sudden meaning that we're less likely to overcome the available grip.
01:33 If we raise the car, we still need to keep a good cross weight percentage as this is still the defining characteristic for the car's balance.
01:41 The reason we wouldn't want the car high on a dry track is because with the increase in track surface grip, the amount of body roll would be too high and the car will end up going light on the inside wheels which will reduce the available grip overall.
01:56 It's important to mention that raising the ride height like this will create a range of other considerations such as affecting the toe and camber, as well as altering the roll centre height and the centre of gravity height so it can't be considered in isolation.
02:11 We also need to consider that when the track is wet, or if the track conditions are changing that making a ride height change like this can be a fairly time consuming process and may not be the best solution to your setup problems.
02:26 There's no rule of thumb here that you can apply to every vehicle and finding out what magnitude of change would suit your car needs to be found through trial and error.
02:36 To start with, I'd suggest a reasonably sized change in height of perhaps 5 mm front and rear since you want to make a change that's large enough for you to notice the affect and you can fine tune your adjustments from there.
02:49 It's advisable that you test changes like this outside of a race environment so that you can be certain that the change has a positive affect for your particular car.
02:59 It's important to understand that different drivers may also have different handling preferences when driving in the rain.
03:05 Particularly for a novice driver, understeer can be easier to manage in the wet compared to oversteer.
03:11 More experienced drivers however may prefer a slight bias towards oversteer so that the car can still be steered using throttle input.
03:19 There are a variety of ways we can alter the handling balance between understeer and oversteer however in terms of simple ride height adjustments we can promote understeer by either lowering the rear ride height or raising the front ride height.