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Race Driving Fundamentals: Full Cornering Process Demo

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Full Cornering Process Demo


00:00 - So far in this section of the course, we've discussed each of the individual phases of cornering, what we should be looking for, what we should be keeping in mind.
00:08 We're here at the track now and Andrew's going to bring all of this together with a practical demonstration of all of those phases of the cornering.
00:17 So what should we be keeping in mind when we're trying to go through the braking, the corner entry, with the trail braking, our apex and then our corner exit, what's the key things that a novice driver should be focusing on? - I think the biggest ones are just hitting your marks, making sure you're getting that brake pressure done right, hitting our apexes and that just creates consistency which then makes it easier to learn and then to just keep improving as you're going.
00:42 - Now another thing we discussed during the modules as well which can be really easy to overlook is that if you've got a problem in one phase of the corner there's a better than average chance that it's actually being caused by something you're doing previously so is this something we need to focus on? - Yeah it is and then think about when you're on the corner exit, what's actually going on in that previous phase, maybe you've been on the gas too early or maybe you've carried too much speed into the corner so just always thinking about what's going on.
01:09 - Alright I think that we're going to do now is head out for a bit of a track walk and we'll look at the particular corner that you're going to go through and focus on what references you're going to be looking at when you're at speed.
01:20 - Alright Andrew we're here at the entry to the forest hairpin.
01:23 This is quite a fast entry to this corner, depending on the car obviously but our car's probably 160, 170 km/h and you're sort of a little bit compromised as well because you're not actually entering this corner straight so can you talk to us about how that affects where you position the car and what you're doing? - Yeah so that actually comes back to the corner beforehand and making sure that you compromise that corner as such to make sure that you do end up straight under brakes because if, it's such a hard heavy braking zone down here into the hairpin that you do want to make sure you're nice and straight on the steering before you get on the brakes because if you have any sort of lock on, a car with ABS, you're going to get that ABS coming on a lot easier and it'll really affect your braking position and there's a lot of bumps as well into this corner so if you're not straight you don't have a nice run down into the braking point then it can really affect you and you'll end up wider and wider.
02:12 - Now in terms of a reference that we've chosen here, over here to our right we've got a green piece of curbing so obviously this is a reference only, it's not necessarily going to be our braking marker but we can align our braking point relative to that? - Yeah you can, it's obviously car dependent, some cars you can end up braking, you can nearly reference the car length beforehand as a braking point or you can see it just pass your peripheral, then you're on the brakes.
02:40 There's different ways to use markers, it doesn't have to always be right on your actual braking point, there's different ways you can work it out but it's always important to find something like this curb to just add that consistency in and get that braking happening in the right spot every lap.
02:54 - Now in terms of positioning the car on the track as well, so because we've still got this slightly curved entry to the corner and we're trying to straighten it out, we don't want to be right on the very outside of the corner at this point? - No definitely not, it sort of works out we're actually nearly braking in a bit of a diagonal into this hairpin because you're sort of, from the way we come into it, you actually end up braking outwards towards the outside of the corner to have yourself straight on steering, you don't want to battle it and try keep turning the car in, you commit to the brakes, keep it dead straight on the steering and that's why you end up in that little bit of a diagonal running wider.
03:25 - Alright well let's go check out the point where we'll be likely turning into the corner.
03:29 Alright Andrew so we're at about the point where we're going to first start turning into the hairpin and one of the issues is there's no real obvious reference point.
03:38 Now there's a tyre wall out to the side there but that's so far off the track that at this point we're kind of looking towards the apex we can't reallyuse that so how do we deal with this? - Yeah one of the biggest ways to deal with it is just to really focus on your apex point of the corner and it sort of becomes instinct of where your turn in point is, the more you try find somewhere to turn in and you keep looking outwards to the outside of the corner, you end up generally missing your apex, sorry your turn in point all the time.
04:07 So you're better to just keep focusing on that apex point and naturally you just start finding your point.
04:14 It sounds really wishy washy me saying it like this but it's really hard, if you spend all your time focusing on something to look for to turn in, you just end up wasting time and you're just looking to the wrong points, you become quite digital on the steering, it becomes quite rough so you're better to just keep those eyes in and it just naturally comes.
04:33 - Fair to say though as well, the turn in point, you say it becomes instinctive and I know exactly what you mean, I know it sounds wishy washy but it really isn't and it does get driven as well by the point that you choose for your braking because that drives the point where you're going to wash off enough speed to actually allow you to start getting off the brake and turning the car in? - Yeah it does and it comes back to as well, thinking about your exit, if you've got a whole lot of lock on the steering at the end of the corner, when you're trying to get on the gas, think about right, maybe I did turn in too early, I've wasted so much time in the middle of the corner, so you know next lap to just turn in that little bit later and naturally you do find that when you think about it you do keep turning in that little bit later and your reference is by looking to the inside of the track, start lining it up a bit easier.
05:14 - Alright so we're also beginning our trail braking here, so we've done the majority of our braking, essentially in a straight line as you mentioned, diagonally out towards the outside of the track to straighten that up as much as possible.
05:25 We're now getting to that turn in point which we know we need to start releasing the brake so we're now starting to trail brake towards the apex and we can actually see we've got a reference cone there that's there or thereabouts the apex we're going to be shooting for.
05:36 We've already talked about the fact that with this corner, because it leads onto a long straight a late apex is beneficial.
05:43 Let's jump up to the apex now and see our vision for the corner exit and how we can deal with that.
05:49 Alright Andrew standing here at the apex and for a start it's really obvious, just that straight run we've got to the corner exit which we'll talk about in a moment.
05:57 We've got the marker cone again which we've already mentioned and that kind of gives us an indication of the fact that that is located around the apex for that late apex.
06:06 We've got the curbing on the inside here which is quite interesting though, we've got conventional curbing and then inside of that we've got this green section with some quite large raised curbing so does this affect where you're going to position the car and how much of this curbing we can use? - Yeah and that becomes car dependent as well.
06:23 Some cars, they like a bit of curb because what could happen is it actually can help unload the car and rotate it that little bit quicker.
06:30 Other cars you just want to stay away from it.
06:32 A lot of the time a corner like this where it's a nice low curb you can use a bit of it and it does make things a lot nicer so you sort of are aiming for it and can help you get that better exit for sure.
06:44 - So again just experimentation, see how your particular car responds on the curbing and taking a little bit of care because of course some of the more aggressive curbings on some tracks can actually damage your suspension if you're not careful? - Yeah they definitely can and that's why it becomes important that you do track walks because you'll pick up which curbs you just want to stay way away from.
07:04 And what curbs are usable so you're getting this bank of information before you even hit the track.
07:11 - So at this point we've got our trail braking complete, we're basically at our maximum lateral G force so this is the roll phase you talk about so at this point we're expecting no braking, no throttle and we're starting to eye up the corner exit, getting ready to start getting back on the throttle? - Yeah this is the real patience part of the corner, this is where you're asking the most force out of the car to really get it rotated to get back onto the throttle so the roll phase, it's only a tiny little part of the corner but you just want to focus on that one application of the gas on the exit, so that's where you just take that little bit of time to be a little bit more patient and then it becomes so much easier to get the exit right so patience is key in this part of the corner.
07:50 Lose a 10th to gain two or three.
07:52 - And particularly as well, given that this is a hairpin corner, so one of the slowest corners on the racetrack, so during that roll phase you really do feel like you're at snail's pace and that temptation to get back on the throttle is really just right there the whole time? - Yeah definitely and you think back to that GG diagram, you just crack a bit of throttle, it may feel fast but it's not, it just changes the balance completely and really affects what's going to happen on the exit and the balance of the car's just completely out.
08:21 - Alright so let's talk about the exit because we're in a good place to also see the exit from here so again we're leading onto one of the longest sections of straight of the track which is why we choose the late apex here.
08:31 And we've got the width of the track but we can also see that there is a section of concrete apron that's poured to the outside of that, there's a little cone marking the end of that so we want to allow the car to run out onto that? - Yeah definitely, if your exit's right you may as well use that bit of extra curb out there and it just allows you to maybe get on the throttle that little bit earlier because if you're on the throttle that little bit earlier and harder, it'll naturally push the car wider so you're sort of going to be right out to the outside and then have to come back onto the track after that so when I say get on the throttle early it's still just that one smooth application and you just be nice and aggressive but positive with it is probably the word, be really positive with that throttle application and the naturally you've got no choice but to run out onto that little apron part.
09:16 - And from the driver's perspective as well, that's what we're feeling if we need to let the car run out and use all of the track that's a good indication that we've actually got the corner exit correct? - Yeah definitely and if you feel like you're nowhere near that part of the curb or if at the apex you're just feeling really slow, just always keeping thinking about what's going on and why that is happening and there's got to be something within your technique that's, always think to the phase beforehand and what's going on there to affect why you're not using all the road or why you're super slow at the apex.
09:48 - Alright well let's chuck you in the car and see how it's done.
10:26 Alright with our demonstration there of the full cornering process, Andrew let's sort of go back over what actually happened there on track and hopefully it was the epitome of what a perfect corner should be but give us your perspective.
10:39 - Yeah so the most important part of it is just the single application everything, you've got the one brake application, you've got the one release of the brake, you've got that one roll phase and then the one acceleration phase and it's just making sure it's nice and tidy with each application.
10:54 If you've got to revisit something back harder on the brakes or double take on the accelerator, then you've got to think about what's happened and why that has happened.
11:02 - And we can see, pretty much exactly this in the data traces as well.
11:06 If we look at the brake pressure, we look at the steering application and the throttle, we can see all of that.
11:12 It's important to mention as well if you are looking at this data, while we talk about one application, understandably there is going to be a little bit of noise in this data so we do see that somewhat erratic nature but if we kind of put a line of best fit through it, we've got exactly what you're talking about.
11:27 Particularly there as well, we've got the trail braking phase where you can see that you're starting to get off the brake, the brake pressure's being reduced and you combine this with your turn into the corner and again as you say, you've got that section through the apex where you're not on the throttle, you're not on the brake and then on the exit of the corner, again as the steering is being unwound, you've got that smooth increase in the throttle so maybe it's not always going to look like that but this is what we're trying to aim for.
11:57 Now the other thing as well is bringing this back to the GG diagram or our traction circle.
12:02 So if we overlay that, over that particular corner, you can see that you haven't got a perfect ride across that rim but that's the theoretical aspect of it and it's not always going to look like that.
12:14 What we're trying to stay away from though is the more linear approach where it's all longitudinal G force and then it's all lateral G force so generally if we've got this right, it'd be fair to say that we're hopefully getting that circle or egg shape but maybe just something that's a bit more of a straight line between longitudinal and lateral? - Yeah that's correct and so many things can affect that depending on the setup of your car it might not ride it quite as nice as you need or if you've had a little bit of a snap oversteer and there's so many things that can adjust it a bit, I wouldn't say change it but just do change that GG diagram a little bit so yeah and that's where time, spending as much time as you can in the car really does help improve that.
12:55 - And again it comes down to it is very difficult to have these general statements that we make so some of these do need to be adjusted to suit your own car and your own track but hopefully you've now got a better idea of what everything should look and feel like when you have got your full cornering phase correct.

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