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Race Driving Fundamentals: Mid Corner

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Mid Corner


00:00 - The mid corner phase is where you'll be transitioning from the brake pedal to the throttle and if you got the last phase right you'll also be clipping your desired apex and reaching maximum lateral cornering force.
00:11 As we already know from the traction circle, maximum lateral G force means that we have no extra capacity to slow the car or accelerate it.
00:19 This is a key point that novice drivers miss because they instinctively try to get back on the throttle too soon.
00:26 Patience is the key here.
00:28 It's also critical during the mid corner phase to make sure all of your inputs are as smooth as possible.
00:35 I know I'm probably sounding like a broken record but we want to minimise the weight transfer during this phase of the corner so that the tyres can generate maximum lateral G force, smooth is fast.
00:47 As we head towards the apex we're reaching the point where we need to transition off the brake pedal completely and onto the throttle.
00:54 This is another area that's easy to rush and I'm sure you've been given some questionable driving tips over the years, something perhaps along the lines of if you're not accelerating, you're braking and if you're not braking you're accelerating.
01:06 But this simply isn't true.
01:08 The reality is, there's a point on most corners as we transition the apex where there should be no acceleration and no braking.
01:15 You should be purely rolling.
01:18 This roll phase is often very short but it's important not to rush it and try to transition to the throttle too early.
01:25 The way we transition off the brake and then initially onto the throttle is also critical to not upset the car's balance.
01:32 At this point we've already done our trail braking and we'll only be holding a very slight residual pressure on the brake pedal.
01:38 We want to bleed this off as gently as possible.
01:41 As we discuss in the last module, if we jump off the brake pedal too abruptly, the front of the car will tend to pop up which will transfer weight rearwards.
01:49 Once we're completely off the brake pedal, we should be approaching the apex of the corner and this is the point where we'll typically be generating maximum lateral force.
01:58 The tendency for most novice drivers here is to get back on the throttle at the apex but this is usually a mistake.
02:05 This comes back to the traction circle and the fact that we can't have any acceleration or braking when we're at maximum lateral acceleration.
02:14 This phase of the corner is crucial and requires plenty of patience.
02:18 The most common mistake beginners tend to make here is picking up the throttle too soon.
02:24 Even a minor increase of say 5% can be enough to transfer weight rearward, reducing front grip and causing the car to run wide.
02:32 This will then require the driver to lift in the next phase in order to regain front grip and ultimately extend the point where they can get back to full throttle.
02:41 Picking the throttle up too early is quite a hard habit to break because the accelerator is ingrained in us as the go fast pedal.
02:49 We need to treat it as our worst enemy mid corner.
02:52 When you feel that it's time to get back on the throttle, a useful little trick is to count to yourself, 1 Mississippi and then start applying the throttle.
03:00 This is going to help with not just your patience but also with timing the corner exit correctly which we'll be looking at in the next module.
03:08 Vision is also critical here with timing your throttle application.
03:12 We'll cover vision or where to look soon but for now, keep in mind that from the mid corner phase, we should be looking for our corner exit point so that we know when we can start to get back onto the throttle.
03:23 Almost universally, novice drivers tend to look too close to where the car is which means that they won't be able to spot the corner exit.
03:31 While most corners will have a relatively short apex that we can transition across briefly, some tracks may include very long corners where you're essentially hugging the apex for an extended period of time.
03:44 The way we deal with the mid corner phase in this style of corner is really no different, however due to the length of time we're hugging the apex, we will have the opportunity to make subtle changes to the car's balance with the throttle.
03:57 This style of corner makes it really easy to highlight the effective weight transfer on the handling balance of the car.
04:03 Assuming that you've managed to reach the apex at the grip limit, you'll find that by manipulating the throttle from the neutral point where you're maintaining a constant speed, you can alter the handling balance.
04:14 Adding a little more throttle will transfer weight to the rear which will tend to make the car begin to run wide.
04:21 Reducing the throttle but not completely closing it, on the other hand, will transfer weight forward which can help with front end grip and allow you to tighten your line.
04:29 Depending on the natural balance of the chassis, this can also result in a tendency to oversteer so some caution is required.
04:37 With these subtle changes in throttle position, it's possible to creep up on the maximum speed you can achieve in a corner like this, while manipulating the balance as required.
04:48 So to summarise this module, remember to be ultra smooth with all of your inputs.
04:53 Remember that you want to avoid picking up the throttle at the apex too early and accelerating too soon as this will cause you to run wide in the corner exit phase.
05:03 If you feel like you've arrived at the apex carrying too much speed or not enough, you need to fix this with your corner entry phase.
05:11 Assuming you can brake consistently, the point where you first apply the brakes will affect the speed at the apex while your turn in point will affect where you hit that apex.
05:22 Subtle changes to these two points will ensure you're on your desired line and reaching the apex at the maximum speed the car can maintain through a given corner.

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