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Race Driving Fundamentals: Practical Discussion

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Practical Discussion


00:00 - We've just learned about brake bias and while this is definitely not a control that you're necessarily going to have on every car that you take to the track, definitely as we start developing the cars more, adjustable brake bias is something that becomes pretty commonplace.
00:16 Now Andrew when it comes to adjusting this brake bias, I think there's a lot of misunderstanding around this and this is where we do get into nuances of a particular car, a particular corner and driver preference.
00:27 We've talked about the fact that brake bias will generally need to be adjusted as the fuel load burns off, really important for an endurance car.
00:36 We've talked about the fact that the brake bias will need to be adjusted for dry vs wet and I want to start there because I think until we really understand weight transfer, this is a concept that might seem a little bit backward.
00:49 Surely in the wet we don't want the rear of the car locking, we want the car nice and stable so it might on face value seem that we might want more forward bias, that's the opposite so just talk us through that.
01:01 - Yeah sure so the reason you want to actually put the bias towards the rear a little bit in the wet is you've got so much bias when you're in the dry on the front tyres to throw that weight forwards to get that load forward, that you obviously in the wet don't have as much grip so you can't throw that weight forwards.
01:19 - We're not getting that same weight transfer in the wet because the grip isn't there.
01:22 - Absolutely you're not getting that same transfer so you're actually pulling the weight forward to get more even braking to slow the car down that way.
01:29 So you're trying not to lock fronts, you're trying to pull that weight back a little bit.
01:33 - Basically in the wet, optimising the amount of braking grip that is available from the rear due to the lack of weight transfer forward.
01:40 - Yeah and you can obviously go too far as well, you do end up with too much rear bias and that's where it becomes a game of playing with those biases and sometimes in the wet, without getting too much in detail about wet conditions, it changes lap by lap as well.
01:56 So you might start going backwards and then it might start feeling right and then all of a sudden your braking's not as good because the track's drying up so it's not something that you go oh it's a wet race I'm just going to wind the bias and leave it, it's forever changing but definitely if it's wet, you would be wanting to go back to even that bias out.
02:13 - Now the other thing we see with a lot of professional series, one that we watch here a lot in New Zealand is the Australian Supercars Series and we see a lot of those drivers, particularly when they're on a quali lap, they'll be adjusting the brake bias at multiple positions during the lap, anti roll bar settings too but that's a separate conversation, and they'll be doing this multiple times depending on the corner so can you talk us through what they're doing there and why that's advantageous to get that last couple of 100ths of a second out of that lap time.
02:41 - Yeah so what they're really doing there is they're changing the bias, so for a big stop corner they're putting the bias further forward to just get that weight further onto the front of the tyres to load them up more to get that initial stop a bit better.
02:55 As we see a high speed corner though, usually adjusting it to the rear a little bit and when I say a little bit, they are only increments but it's a way that makes it a lot easier to adjust and what they're doing there is they're putting that weight back a little bit just so they're not, when they're touching the brake it's not throwing too much weight to make the car nervous, it's just pulling a little bit of weight back so it makes it a little more even under brakes.
03:17 - So this is just about controlling our weight transfer for a fast corner where we don't want to upset the balance of the car.
03:22 - That's a perfect way to sum it up, controlling that weight transfer as much as you can and getting the maximum braking efficiencies out of the car.
03:29 - Now another example I'll bring in here, and again it's really difficult because it is so hard to bring in generalisations that we can apply but let's say we've got a front wheel drive car and we're maybe competing in a low speed event, maybe an auto cross or something where we're generally not getting much out of second and third gear.
03:47 Now front wheel drive car, quite often is going to struggle with understeer and struggle to rotate around the corner so can we use our brake bias there potentially to aid with that? - You could, there's two different ways to look at it.
04:00 There could be a point where you want to go further forwards on the bias to get more weight forward as you hit the brake to allow the car to rotate around a barrel or something like that.
04:09 Or maybe you want to go all the way to the back to lock the rears to get it around the barrel.
04:13 But that's when a handbrake can come in for example and you can get using that and then probably you want that bias further forward so again as you can see from my answers, there's no one direct answer until you get to that more professional level then yes you're always going further forward on the bias to get that bigger stop out of the car to get more efficiencies and stop the car quicker then and then you're always going back for the high speed corners where you need less brake to settle the car.
04:37 So it's when you're getting to that professional level, last little bit, yes there are a bit more guarantees that you do with the bias.
04:44 - So couple of things around that, I think the key here is just getting the viewers having an understanding of what that bias is there to do and from there it's obviously a case as with everything in this course of actually testing to find how it works for your particular car best and your particular driving style but the other aspect that goes hand in hand with this is as we're learning and getting more experience, probably making multiple bias changes per lap like a professional supercars driver, probably not the best place to find your lap time and concentrating on driving the car's probably your best bet? - Yeah you're looking, when you're starting to play with bias per corner you're looking for literally 100ths of a second, you're not going to win a race by doing it.
05:26 Unless you're all in exactly the same car, that's when it does make a difference.
05:29 But when you're learning you want to set the bias somewhere where the car feels nice and comfortable and maybe you've had a couple of laps where you find that you're just starting to turn in and it's locking and you're pushing wide, so maybe you want to go a bit further to the rear on the bias.
05:44 So that's when you're playing with it maybe every second lap, every third lap.
05:48 - Alright I think that concludes nicely our section on braking so let's move on with our next section.

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