Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Smooth driving

  1. #1
    WVSTREETS Guest

    Default Smooth driving

    The best drivers are always the smoothest.
    In every discipline from drifting to track driving, aggression doesn't equal speed or finesse. When driving near the limit of your vehicles handling it's particularly important to drive as smoothly as you can. This is because if you're driving at 50% of the car's potential, you'll be able change gear as roughly as you like, and brake, accelerate and steer aggressively. At speed, however, this can lead to poor track times and increased risk of an accident.
    Important elements to consider include the following:
    Steering

    Hold the steering wheel at the ten to three position (Figure 1) to allow fairly tight radius corners to be tackled without having to take your hands off the wheel. If your car requires a large number of turns from lock to lock you should reposition your hands on the wheel accordingly before taking a tight bend. Shuffling your hands is not a smooth technique. Dedicated article on steering here.
    Figure 1: Correct steering position for maximum smoothness


    Braking

    Pressing the brake pedal smoothly and progressively, never stamp on the brakes, and don't get into the habit of allowing ABS to sort out locked wheels. This doesn't mean that you can't press the pedal hard, but ensure that the pressing and releasing motions are smooth as this will keep weight transfer spikes to a minimum and hopefully reduce the chances of a locking wheel. Dedicated braking article here.

    Acceleration

    Smooth accelerator inputs are more important in more powerful cars as there is a greater likelyhood of wheelspin. Engine braking is just as important as acceleration, so bear weight transfers in mind when lifting off. 'Lift-off oversteer' can result if you come off the gas mid way through a corner.
    Gear changing (in a manual transmission / stick shift)

    Avoiding shock loads through the transmission is essential, especially in a powerful car. When changing down, releasing the clutch rapidly will result in rapid forward weight transfers and in extreme cases, the driven wheels can lock. Use rev matching where possible to smooth out down changes, and release the clutch with mechanical sympathy in mind. A poor down change can invoke oversteer in a rear wheel drive car when driving close to the limit. When changing up, remember that a missed gear due to a rushed gear change is much worse than taking a little more care with the shifts.
    Figure 2: A smooth gear shift is vital to get the best times on the track

    Weight transfers

    Rapid weight transfers caused by aggressive steering, acceleration, braking or gear changes can upset the balance of the car. This can lead to loss of traction and possible loss of control. Conversely, weight transfers can also work in your favour. For example, lifting off the throttle briefly before entering a corner can increase the available grip at the front wheels, lead to a better turn in, and reduce understeer. For more information, visit the weight transfer page.
    Figure 3: Large weight transfers can be produced by aggressive steering

    Rev matching

    Rev matching is a technique used to prevent unnecessary weight transfer during down-changes in a manual transmission car. For a demonstration of why this concept is useful, select third gear and accelerate to about 3000rpm, then quickly select second and release the clutch fairly rapidly. You'll notice a large forward weight transfer as the engine speed is forced to increase. This can also cause the driving wheels to lock in extreme situations.
    Rev matching will make you a much smoother driver when changing down through the gears, a skill which is essential for the track and can lead to faster lap times. This technique is performed by depressing the clutch, selecting the required lower gear, increasing the throttle, and then releasing the clutch smoothly. You'll need more revs if changing from forth to second that from fourth to third. With practice, this can result in very rapid and very smooth changes, and is almost essential if driving on the track. Rev matching can also be performed while braking, this is known as heel and toe. When you first start to learn this technique, you might find it hard to predict the amount of revs you'll need for each gear, but remember any increase in revs is better than none.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    2,755

    Default Re: Smooth driving

    Good write-up! I wish I could heel-and-toe, but it's so damn hard.
    http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a53/brummy167/sig13.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Big Chimney, West Virginia
    Posts
    925

    Default Re: Smooth driving

    Quote Originally Posted by brummy View Post
    Good write-up! I wish I could heel-and-toe, but it's so damn hard.
    in most cars that are sold for use on the streets, the car companies put the pedals in them so you cannot heel toe as a safety concern. I remember reading about it in Car and Driver a few years back as part of the DOT safety regulations.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Dunbar, WV
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Smooth driving

    Great post with lots of good information...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    2,755

    Default Re: Smooth driving

    Quote Originally Posted by WVUCRUISER View Post
    in most cars that are sold for use on the streets, the car companies put the pedals in them so you cannot heel toe as a safety concern. I remember reading about it in Car and Driver a few years back as part of the DOT safety regulations.
    That explains a lot actually. I never even thought about it like that. Lol, I just thought I sucked at heel and toe. (probably still do, but I might be better if the pedals weren't built in such a way)
    http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a53/brummy167/sig13.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Clarksburg, West Virginia, United States
    Posts
    8,635

    Default Re: Smooth driving

    lol i dont even know what heal to toe is (hangs head in shame) great thread tim!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    5,618

    Default Re: Smooth driving

    Quote Originally Posted by LOWCOP View Post
    lol i dont even know what heal to toe is (hangs head in shame) great thread tim!!
    don't worry i don't either, all i know is that it has to do with rev matching, and i can do that in my car just fine....

    Nice find Tim...

    Does anyone know the rules and regulations for track days?

    224hp/280tq | 17lbs of boost | Neuspeed P-Flow Intake | Replacement Forge DV | EuroJet Boost Gauge
    "And remember kids, procrastination is like masturbation: in the end, you're just screwing yourself."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •