Cornering is one of the most critical skills in sim racing. It is the art of taking a turn at the highest possible speed without losing control of the vehicle. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced sim racer, mastering cornering is essential to your success. In this article, we will provide you with tips and techniques to help you improve your cornering skills and take your sim racing to the next level.
The first step to mastering cornering is to understand the basic principles of racing lines. The racing line is the path taken by the vehicle through a turn. It is the fastest and most efficient way to navigate a corner. The ideal racing line is different for every turn and depends on various factors such as the angle of the turn, the speed of the vehicle, and the type of vehicle. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss different types of racing lines and how to choose the best one for each turn.
Understanding Cornering in Sim Racing
The Physics of Cornering
To master cornering in sim racing, it’s important to understand the physics involved. When you approach a corner, your car’s weight shifts to the outside, causing a loss of grip. This is known as understeer. To counteract this, you need to transfer weight to the inside of the corner, which will increase grip and reduce understeer.
Another factor to consider is the racing line. The racing line is the optimal path around a corner that allows you to carry the most speed through it. By taking the racing line, you can reduce the amount of time you spend turning, which will help you maintain speed and reduce the risk of losing control.
There are several cornering techniques that you can use to improve your lap times and reduce the risk of crashes. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Braking: Brake early and gradually release the brakes as you turn into the corner. This will help transfer weight to the front of the car and reduce understeer.
- Apex: Aim for the inside of the corner, known as the apex. This will help you maintain speed and reduce the distance you need to travel around the corner.
- Acceleration: As you exit the corner, gradually apply throttle to transfer weight to the rear of the car and increase grip. Be careful not to apply too much throttle too soon, as this can cause oversteer and spinouts.
- Trail braking: This technique involves braking while turning into the corner. It can help reduce understeer and improve cornering speed, but requires practice to master.
By combining these techniques and adjusting your racing line, you can become a master of cornering in sim racing. Remember to always be mindful of the physics involved and stay focused on the task at hand.
Mastering Braking and Acceleration
Braking is one of the most crucial aspects of cornering in sim racing. To maximize your speed through corners, you need to master the art of braking. There are different braking techniques you can use, such as threshold braking and trail braking.
Threshold braking involves braking as hard as you can while still maintaining control of your vehicle. It is best suited for straight-line braking and can help you reduce your lap times significantly. On the other hand, trail braking involves gradually reducing your braking pressure as you approach the corner. This technique helps you maintain control of your vehicle while entering the corner.
Accelerating Out of Corners
Once you have mastered the art of braking, the next step is to focus on accelerating out of corners. The key to accelerating out of corners is to maintain traction and control of your vehicle. You need to be patient and gradually increase your throttle as you exit the corner.
Weight transfer is an essential factor to consider when accelerating out of corners. As you apply the throttle, the weight of your vehicle shifts to the rear wheels, providing more traction and allowing you to accelerate faster. However, you need to be careful not to apply too much throttle too soon, as this can cause your vehicle to spin out.
ABS and Throttle Control
ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) is a crucial feature in sim racing that can help you maintain control of your vehicle while braking. ABS prevents your wheels from locking up, allowing you to steer your vehicle while braking. However, you need to be careful not to rely too much on ABS, as it can increase your braking distance and reduce your lap times.
Throttle control is another essential factor to consider when accelerating out of corners. You need to be precise and smooth with your throttle inputs to maintain control of your vehicle and prevent it from spinning out. Gradually increase your throttle as you exit the corner, and be mindful of your vehicle’s weight transfer.
In conclusion, mastering braking and acceleration is crucial to improving your lap times and becoming a better sim racer. By mastering different braking techniques, accelerating out of corners, and understanding ABS and throttle control, you can take your sim racing skills to the next level.
Perfecting the Racing Line
The Racing Line Explained
The racing line is the most efficient path around a corner. It allows you to carry the most speed through the turn and set yourself up for the next straight. The racing line is made up of three parts: the entry, apex, and exit.
The entry is the point where you start to turn into the corner. You want to approach the corner on the outside of the track and brake in a straight line. As you start to turn in, you want to gradually release the brakes and begin to apply the throttle.
The apex is the point where you reach the inside of the corner. This is where you want to be as close to the inside of the track as possible. You should aim to hit the apex at the slowest speed possible, as this will allow you to carry the most speed out of the corner.
The exit is where you start to straighten out the car and apply full throttle. You want to track out to the outside of the track, using all the available space.
Finding the Apex
Finding the apex is crucial to perfecting the racing line. The apex is the point where you reach the inside of the corner. To find the apex, you need to look ahead and identify a point on the inside of the track where you want to aim for.
The best way to find the apex is to look for a visual reference point, such as a curb or a patch of grass. As you approach the corner, use this reference point to guide your turn-in point and aim for the apex.
It’s important to remember that the apex is not always the same for every corner. The radius of the corner and the speed at which you are traveling will affect the location of the apex.
In conclusion, perfecting the racing line is essential for mastering cornering in sim racing. By understanding the racing line and finding the apex, you can carry more speed through the corner and set yourself up for the next straight.
Improving Consistency and Lap Times
The Importance of Consistency
Consistency is key to improving your lap times in sim racing. It’s not just about driving fast, but also about driving consistently. If you can maintain a consistent pace throughout the race, you’ll be able to shave off valuable seconds from your lap times and ultimately finish the race faster.
One way to improve consistency is to focus on your driving technique. This means paying attention to your braking points, throttle control, and steering inputs. It’s important to be smooth and precise with your inputs, as any sudden movements can upset the car and cause you to lose time.
Another way to improve consistency is to practice. The more you drive, the more familiar you’ll become with the track and the car, which will help you maintain a consistent pace. You can also use telemetry data to analyze your driving and identify areas where you need to improve.
Tips for Improving Lap Times
In addition to improving consistency, there are several tips you can use to improve your lap times:
- Brake later: Braking later into corners can help you carry more speed through the turn and ultimately reduce your lap times.
- Smooth inputs: As mentioned earlier, smooth and precise inputs are key to maintaining consistency. This is especially true for throttle control, as any sudden movements can cause the car to lose traction and slow down.
- Find the right line: Experiment with different lines through corners to find the fastest way around the track. This may require some trial and error, but it can ultimately lead to faster lap times.
- Use track limits: In sim racing, you can often use the track limits to your advantage. This means running wide on exit or using curbs to help rotate the car through corners. Just be careful not to exceed track limits, as this can result in penalties.
By focusing on consistency and implementing these tips, you can improve your lap times and become a faster, more competitive sim racer.
When it comes to mastering cornering in sim racing, it’s important to understand that different tracks require different techniques. Here are a few track-specific techniques to keep in mind:
Bathurst: A Case Study
Bathurst is a notoriously challenging track, with its steep elevation changes and tight corners. To tackle this track, you’ll need to focus on maintaining your speed through the corners and keeping your car stable on the steep inclines and declines.
One technique that can be particularly effective at Bathurst is trail braking. This involves braking later than usual and gradually releasing the brakes as you approach the corner, allowing you to carry more speed through the turn.
Another important factor to consider at Bathurst is tire management. With so many tight corners and elevation changes, your tires will be put under a lot of stress. Make sure to take care of your tires throughout the race to ensure you have enough grip to tackle the challenging corners.
Camber refers to the angle of the track surface in relation to the horizontal plane. Understanding camber is crucial for mastering cornering, as it can greatly affect your car’s handling.
Positive camber, where the track surface slopes upwards towards the outside of the corner, can provide more grip and stability when cornering. However, too much positive camber can cause your tires to wear unevenly and reduce your overall grip.
Negative camber, where the track surface slopes downwards towards the inside of the corner, can provide more grip and allow you to carry more speed through the turn. However, it can also cause your car to slide if you’re not careful.
By understanding camber and how it affects your car’s handling, you can adjust your racing line and technique to make the most of the track’s surface and improve your cornering performance.
Maximizing Vision and Awareness
Vision and Awareness Techniques
One of the most critical aspects of mastering cornering in sim racing is maximizing your vision and awareness. To do this, you need to focus on several key techniques that will help you see and react to what’s happening on the track.
Firstly, it’s crucial to look ahead as far as possible. This technique is called “looking through the corner,” and it allows you to anticipate the direction and severity of the turn, giving you more time to react and adjust your racing line accordingly.
Another essential technique is to use peripheral vision to keep track of other racers around you. This technique will help you avoid collisions and maintain your position on the track.
Finally, it’s essential to maintain a balance between focusing on the track ahead and keeping an eye on your car’s instruments and gauges. Keeping track of your car’s speed, RPMs, and other vital stats will help you adjust your driving style and ensure that your car is performing at its best.
Assetto Corsa and Other Sim Racing Platforms
If you’re using Assetto Corsa or another sim racing platform, there are several tools and features available to help you maximize your vision and awareness.
For example, Assetto Corsa offers a telemetry system that allows you to monitor your car’s performance in real-time. This system provides valuable data on your car’s speed, RPMs, and other vital stats, allowing you to adjust your driving style and optimize your racing line.
Additionally, many sim racing platforms offer customizable HUDs (heads-up displays) that allow you to display critical information in a way that’s easy to see and understand. These displays can be customized to show speed, RPMs, lap times, and other important stats.
Overall, by using these techniques and tools, you can maximize your vision and awareness on the track, giving you a competitive edge and helping you master cornering in sim racing.
Expert Advice and Resources
Driver61’s Cornering Tips
Driver61 is a well-known name in the sim racing community, and for good reason. The team provides expert advice and coaching to drivers of all levels, from beginners to professionals. Their website offers a wealth of information on cornering techniques, including articles, videos, and online courses.
One of the key cornering tips from Driver61 is to focus on your vision. Look ahead to where you want to go, rather than where you are currently positioned on the track. This will help you anticipate the corner and make smoother, more controlled movements. I was also taught this when I passed my CBT, it’s a key skill that’s used on motorbikes.
Another important tip is to use your feet effectively. Smoothly apply the throttle and brake pedals to maintain control and avoid oversteer or understeer. You can also use heel-toe downshifting to maintain your speed through corners.
ACC and Other Sim Racing Resources
Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC) is a popular sim racing game that offers a realistic driving experience. It includes a range of tracks and cars, as well as a variety of settings to adjust the difficulty level.
If you’re looking to improve your cornering in ACC, there are a number of resources available. The official ACC website offers tutorials and guides on various aspects of the game, including cornering techniques.
There are also a number of online communities and forums dedicated to sim racing, where you can connect with other drivers and share tips and advice. The Sim Racing subreddit is a great place to start, with a wealth of information on all aspects of sim racing.
Overall, mastering cornering in sim racing requires a combination of practice, patience, and expert advice. By following the tips and resources outlined above, you can improve your skills and take your driving to the next level.