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Race Driving Fundamentals: Practical Demo

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Practical Demo


00:00 - At this point, we've learned a lot about the cornering, the apex and we're now bringing this all together with how we can prioritise a particular corner or set of corners.
00:10 In other words, how we're going to position the car for a particular set of corners on a racetrack so Andrew for a start, if we're heading to a racetrack that we've never been to before, choosing maybe the key corner or corners at the track, the ones that we know we're going to potentially have the biggest reward for focusing on, what can we look for there? - You can just look to see which way the next section of corners does go, if it's a section of S's for example, some corners if it's a really long straight at the exit, making sure you're prioritising the run out onto the straight.
00:41 There's so many things to look for but at the same time it's really important to actually, when you're looking at it on a map to think about things are maybe different when you actually get there like cambers or grip surface changes so it's a good reference to have but then there's so many things to factor into when you actually get to the track.
00:59 - Now we're going to focus for this module on two specific sections of Highlands Motorsport Park, the first is arguably one of the more critical corners which is the exit from the forest hairpin leading onto what is about the longest section of straight.
01:13 So that's one area that we'd need to focus on, the other that we're going to look at is a section through the left hand carousel leading to the right hand sting and how we'd choose the apex for that particular corner so let's head out onto the track and we'll have a look at those aspects.
01:29 Alright Andrew this first section here that we're looking at, the exit of the carousel into sting behind me.
01:35 And what do we need to keep in mind with this corner? - So one thing to keep in mind is the cambers, straight away on a corner like this, there's quite a nice big camber into this part and then goes off camber up over the right hander so straight away you sort of think right, I need to make sure I'm nice and straight up over the off camber corner so it's really important to just straighten that exit up.
01:57 - So by straightening that exit what you're talking about here is potentially compromising your line through the carousel slightly in order to gain time for the subsequent sections of track? - Yeah definitely, you know you may be losing two to three 10ths here but you're gain five, six 10ths in the next part of the corner because if you get on the gas too early and run wide here, you make yourself quite a right hand turn off camber, a car with a lot of horsepower as we've talked about just really will throw the car and you'll be suffering all the way through the next section.
02:26 - Alright so at the moment we're standing right at the very end of the curbing at the exit to the carousel which is quite different to where the geometric centre of this corner is so this is where we want to try and position the car? - Yes right here is the best place to position the car which takes quite a bit more patience on the entry, we're lucky with all the camber that allows us to still carry more speed in, if there was no camber but yeah really helps position the car and just that bit of patience and then you can get the exit quite nice out of here.
02:55 - So we can also see, if we actually align this here from the cone at the corner exit, to the cone on the curbing on the right hand side of sting, basically if we're hitting the curbing here this kind of almost gives us a straight line hit out to the sting? - Yeah it's nearly dead straight and then nearly the exit curb, it makes it near on dead straight up to there as well.
03:15 So it's surprising, if you get it right, the feeling that there's basically, it becomes no right hander which is the sting so you can hardly feel it, you're just trying to have the steering as straight as you can up over there and what you end up doing as well is you may have a bit of a short shift on the gears as well just to help settle the car a bit.
03:31 But yeah it's all these things that you're just constantly looking for.
03:35 - Alright let's head onto the next section of the track.
03:38 Alright Andrew we're here at the forest hairpin and one of hte more important corners on this track due to the track it leads onto this long straight and this perspective gives us a really good indication of that.
03:49 We've also got quite a fast entry into this hairpin as well so how does that factor in and what are we going to be doing on this corner? - Yeah so there's two really important things is getting in and getting out, minimising the turning time in the middle and making sure you get that right are the two biggest things there.
04:06 - OK so we've got a cone on the apex behind us as a bit of an indication of where we should be trying to clip that apex, so late apex on this one, getting that corner exit optimised? - Yeah definitely, that late apex is really important here because of that exit out of the corner, it's such a straight long part of the track and yeah just being that bit further out makes such a difference.
04:28 If you apex too early you're just going to take so much longer to get back to full throttle and then you're just going to compromise the exit, it may feel fast on the way in to have that earlier apex but you're just going to lose so much time on the exit.
04:39 - Now we've also got a concrete strip that's been laid on the outside of this corner outside the track limits so we can also take benefit of this and run out onto that concrete apron as well on the corner exit? - Yeah you can use as much of that as you need and basically if you're not out on that part of the track then you've got to sort of think, why is that? Maybe I'm making the exit too shallow so you've got to think about where you're getting on the gas as well 'cause there's road that's there to be used and as we know we want to use as much road as we possibly can.
05:08 - Alright we've got a good indication of what's going on with these two sections of corner so let's chuck you in the car and see what it looks like.
05:15 - So now we're going to have a look at prioritising which part of the corners are the most important.
05:21 So as we come down into the carousel we're going to really focus on the exit, it's a late apex and then we're straight up over the hill here.
05:29 The reason for that is it's a very fast run down into the hairpin so you want to maximise the exit, sacrificing just a little bit of time in the middle of the corner.
05:38 Now we're coming down to the hairpin, want to really focus on our exit out of here as well.
05:45 Sacrificing a little bit of turn time, getting the exit just right 'cause we've got such a long straight out of here so we just want to really focus on getting the car rotated and having nice early power out of the exit.
06:00 - Alright Andrew, prioritising the apex for a given complex of corners, now this really follows on from our discussion about early and late apexes and particularly, no surprises here, the forest hairpin, we've kind of done this corner to death, we know that it's going to require a late apex for all of the reasons we already understand but let's talk about the carousel and then the right hand sting corner that follows that so what do we need to keep in mind here? - Yeah so it's a really important one through the carousel, it seems like a pretty generic corner with a lot of camber, nice easy corner through there but you've got to be careful of the exit because the next corner is off camber so the big problem there is if you've run too wide through the carousel of the left hander, and then you've got to make a tight right hand turn, all that camber, and if you've got a car with a lot of horsepower, the off camber can cause the car to slide, go into a bit of a slide and if that happens then you affect your run all the way through the next complex so it's important to lose a 10th or two to get the exit a bit cleaner so you're nice and straight up over the sting.
07:00 - So again just for those who aren't aware of the track, the run from sting there for a lot of cars will essentially be flat, right up to the forest hairpin so it's almost like prioritising a corner that leads onto a long straight even though it's not quite straight.
07:14 So just taking into account these aspects such as the camber and where that's going to lead us so effectively if we were just looking at the carousel on the own, will we be looking at an earlier apex for that corner than what we need leading into sting? - I think the apex point would be pretty similar but you'd just be able to get on the throttle and run wider earlier I think is the outcome there.
07:35 So you end up just having to hug it quite a lot to basically make the next right hander not existent, you want to be as straight as you possibly can so it's really important to just hug it that little bit tighter so there's a bit of patience involved to get that right but it just pays dividends massively when you do that.
07:51 - So Andrew obviously what we've learned here at Highlands, we can't expect to rightly apply this to every racetrack out there around the world but what we want the viewers to be able to take away from this is more the fact that we can't apply the theoretical perfect or geometric apex or racing line to every corner on the racetrack and expect optimal lap times, it's really about experimenting with the apex, thinking about what's coming up, thinking about what you've just gone through and then experimenting to find out what gives you the optimal time? - Yeah experimenting and experience as well, the more you keep doing it, the more you'll figure out that OK this corner's got a little bit more camber, OK there's a bump here and what things to really think about and that's where if you're lucky enough to have data as well that you can analyse that and see which points are going to make it a bit easier for you.
08:38 - Yeah absolutely.

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