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Race Driving Fundamentals: Turn Into the Apex

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Turn Into the Apex


00:00 - Now that we've learned about the separate cornering phases, we're going to dive into each in detail and give you some actionable steps that you can apply to your own driving.
00:08 We start with the turn in which is the first real phase of the corner.
00:13 During this phase, the main focus is getting the speed right via the brake release as we covered in the braking section.
00:19 But of course we also need to make sure that we're turning in at the correct moment and that our steering input is very smooth and gradual.
00:27 If we refer to our traction circle this is the phase of the corner where we're wanting to move from a situation where the tyres are solely providing longitudinal or braking force to a point where they're starting to provide lateral cornering force as well.
00:41 As we've already learned, this is going to require us to release the brake as we turn the steering wheel.
00:47 Remember from our trail braking module, a good guide here is to release the brake pedal at a similar rate that you're increasing the steering lock.
00:54 It's important to focus on one smooth and constant movement of the steering wheel once we start turning into the corner and after the initial turn in, we'll be adding lock to the steering until we reach the mid corner phase.
01:07 The same goes with the brake, one slow linear release.
01:11 Not off and on the pedal.
01:13 If you aren't smooth with the release, it'll affect weight transfer around the car which can reduce the front end grip right where you need it most.
01:21 This will usually result in the car understeering and running wide of your intended apex.
01:26 It's important to be sensitive here to what the car is doing as we're releasing the brake pressure.
01:33 If you notice the front of the car tends to pop up as you release the brake pedal then this is a sure sign you're being too aggressive or abrupt with your brake release.
01:41 Choosing the turn in point is another obvious consideration during this cornering phase.
01:47 It doesn't matter how well you manage the inputs if you turn in prematurely and reach the apex early or alternatively you turn in too late.
01:56 If we turn in too early, it makes the exit tighter which means we'll have more lock on as we come out of the corner resulting in a longer period until we're back at full throttle acceleration.
02:06 If we turn in too late on the other hand, it'll mean that we've had to over slow the car before the initial turn in sine we'll need to be able to turn more tightly in order to reach the apex.
02:18 Of course in racing, turning in too late also means that we're opening up the door for other competitors to pass easily down the inside of us.
02:25 The turn in point will be driven by where on the corner we want to clip the apex and in turn this will be driven by the type of corner you're approaching and just as importantly what the corner leads onto.
02:37 We'll be covering the racing line in depth further into this course so we won't worry too much about this right now.
02:44 As a general guide though, we tend to favour a later apex that opens up the corner exit for a slow corner that leads onto a long straight.
02:52 On the other hand for a fast corner or a corner leading onto another corner, often an earlier apex can be beneficial.
03:00 During the turn in phase, we always want to be asking ourselves what's holding us back? What's preventing us from going faster? If you can keep this in mind as you move through this initial phase of the corner it can help you assess what the car is doing and in turn what you can change to allow you to go faster.
03:18 For example, let's assume we're finding that the car is understeering at turn in.
03:22 This means that the front of the car has less grip than the rear so we can then consider what we could change about our technique to help improve front end grip.
03:31 Assuming you're not trying to turn into the corner while you're still hard on the brakes, you could try trailing the brake a little more to help maintain weight transfer forward, improving front grip.
03:42 Conversely, if the rear of the car is loose at turn in, you could try releasing the brake earlier to transfer weight onto the rear wheels and improve rear grip prior to turning in.
03:53 Most novice drivers tend to think that they're stuck with the handing characteristics that their car has, but subtle changes to our technique can go a long way to taming these traits and that can add up to a significant improvement in lap time.
04:07 To summarise this module, the turn in phase of a corner is all about the setup.
04:12 If the braking point has been nailed coming off the straight and the right amount of speed scrubbed off at the perfect turn in point, you'll be nicely set up for a smooth transition off the brake and onto the steering which should happen at a similar rate in unison.
04:27 Every action has a consequence in racing and that's especially true for your turn in.
04:31 Be mindful of how your car reacts as you try different turn in points and you'll begin to understand your car's behaviour and how you can get the most out of it during the initial corner phase.

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