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Don't anticipate understeer... make it understeer.

Understeer - Good Thing or Bad Thing?

Here's another excellent driving tip from pro driver Dion von Moltke. It's about managing long-duration turns, which has always challenged me. The photo is of me in my C6 Corvette working around a180 degrees at the Las Vegas Speedway. I lost time on this turn on every lap. I'm confident I'll save some tenths with this advice.


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Read on . . .


Rally4Vets CEO Robert Hess driving his C6 Corvette at Las Vegas Speedway

Begin article:


"From years of coaching thousands of grassroots drivers and racers I've found a few specific areas that are the most common separators between the very fast grassroots drivers and everyone else.  One of those common areas is how those drivers handle longer duration corners.


This weekend I was out at COTA with the PCA and watching drivers attacking turns 6 and 18 really inspired today's topic.


For those of you that don't know COTA turn 6 and 18 are pretty long duration corners that really just require a small lift and no brakes.  That means we enter the corner with all the weight on the rear and we know if the car is going to do anything at corner entry it's going to understeer.


What a really good driver will do in these corners is attack the entry and keep full throttle until the car really starts to understeer.  Then they will smoothly lift off the throttle once they get that understeer.


What most drivers do though is enter the corner and preemptively start to lift because they know it's eventually going to understeer.  Why is this a mistake?


Well, with the earlier lift they enter the corner slower which means they need to get back on throttle earlier in the corner.  That causes them to drive through the corner with a lot of consistent maintenance throttle.  The visualization I like to give is by doing this they have essentially turned their car into a speed boat on water.  You know how when you see a speed boat the front end of the boat is way up in the air?  Well, that's what we do with the car which means we aren't using weight transfer at all to help get the car rotated.


When you carry full throttle deeper into the corner and make the car understeer and then slowly lift off the throttle you transfer the weight to the front which gives you the rotation. That gets the car pointed better towards the second apex and let's the driver get back to full throttle earlier at corner exit.  That means they carry full throttle deeper into the corner and get back to full throttle earlier - it's a double win!


It can be intimidating early on to really make the car understeer.  The best place to start experimenting with this is longer duration corners, that are lower or medium speed, with lots of runoff road.  Turn 6 at COTA is a great example of the right type of corner to slowly work up to playing around with this!"


This bit of advice really hit home for me and I hope it helps you.


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