Is Corner Weighting Worth It?

How important is properly corner-weighting your race car? Ask anyone involved in anything even remotely close to professional motorsport competition, and they’ll tell you just how essential it is in order to create a stable, consistent driving platform.

While many assume vehicles come with a perfect weight balance from the factory, this simply isn’t the case with OEMs not always factoring in driver, fuel, and engine (remembering some vehicles have multiple engine package options for the same chassis) positions in their original calculations. This is why corner weighting can help you dial in your car’s balance to improve handling and stability in general, or even with a bias for your specific local circuit.

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Corner weighting involves placing the car on four scales (one under each tyre). This lets us understand how weight is distributed around the vehicle, which is extremely important as an unbalanced chassis can create a range of issues that you often see on track — repeatedly locking one wheel under hard braking, inconsistent handling in left and right corners, and a general lack of driver confidence.

One of the key metrics we’re typically interested in is what’s referred to as the cross weight percentage. This is simply the weight on the front right and rear left corners expressed as a percentage of the total car weight.

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The other metric is the left weight percentage. You can probably guess that this is the front left and rear left weights expressed as a percentage of the total weight. In both cases, we’re typically aiming for a value of 50% if we’re trying to achieve equal handling characteristics in both directions.

So how do we change the corner weights?

There are a couple of options, the first being physically moving weight around the car through the relocation of parts and equipment, however, there’s usually a limit to what you can actually achieve with this technique, particularly if the car is already built. The other option we have at our disposal is to jack weight around the car by adjusting the ride height at individual corners in order to achieve the balance we’re after.

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While it’s often overlooked at the grassroots level of motorsport even though many that are part of clubs potentially already have access to equipment like this, you won’t find any professional teams at the circuit without a set of scales, and every driver – no matter their level – can benefit from understanding and manipulating the weight balance of their race car.

Want to learn how to corner weight your own vehicle? Enroll now and start learning.