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Old 09-08-2004, 02:56 AM   #1
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Default How do you practice?

I'm fed up with sucking. I need more tracktime. I don't have a feel for my car yet. This is my 7th or 8th race already and I feel like i've plateau'd. I need to drive the car more than just once a week, and 60 laps on that day.

Where do you practice? How do you get better? We don't have a local track that's open all the time to go and run. I'm thinking about bringing my car to work and practicing when I'm on my breaks.

Another idea is to buy an off-road Mini-T or something similar to drive in my backyard.

I am wasting a lot of time experimenting with setups when all that could be done with a day of practice and a lap timer. Instead, after 4 weeks of experimentation, I've finally started getting a feel for tires. Can't just change tires in the middle of a main, ya know?

I could go to the local schoolyard but the floor is dirty and i pick up a lot of garbage and end up destroying my car. I'm really leaning towards the off-road route though those cars look like they're quite limited.

Sigh
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Old 09-08-2004, 05:46 AM   #2
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Drive everything and anything that you can, that is what I do. I drive my sedans in parking lots and down not busy streets. I drive my e-maxx, XX-4, BJ4x4, and T3 where ever I can. Practicing with a 2wd on a slippery surface really makes you appreciate a 4wd sedan with loads of traction. Just my opinion.
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Old 09-08-2004, 05:55 AM   #3
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I mainly race carpet, the only problem is that the tracks around here don't really offer you the ability to practice... The day's that I can go, they aren't open for practice... I'll through rubbers on my cars and find a parking lot or the street but the handling is completely different let alone my cars are too stiff for asphault...
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Old 09-08-2004, 05:57 AM   #4
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run a 1/12 scale on the same track, get a feel for it (might take a few days) . Then go to 1/10 you will see a differance immediately. But when u get time at the track run till ya time runs out. Ask the other guys who run like there on rails questions, remember it takes time nothing happens overnight!!............What the hell am I saying I SUCK TOO !!!!!!
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Old 09-08-2004, 05:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: How do you practice?

Quote:
Originally posted by donoman
This is my 7th or 8th race already and I feel like I've plateau'd.
7 or 8 race meetings is hardly time to worry. It normally takes at least a year before someone can confidently race their car around a track and compete.

Don't distract yourself by playing with setup when you haven't got the basics of driving sorted yet. Just leave the car with a box setting, or if it feels really difficult to drive, ask a more experienced driver to take a look and get the car to a safe starting point.

Do any RC driving you can - it all helps to increase your level of control, even if it is a different class.
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Old 09-08-2004, 06:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: How do you practice?

Quote:
Originally posted by donoman
I'm fed up with sucking. I need more tracktime. I don't have a feel for my car yet. This is my 7th or 8th race already and I feel like i've plateau'd. I need to drive the car more than just once a week, and 60 laps on that day.

Where do you practice? How do you get better? We don't have a local track that's open all the time to go and run. I'm thinking about bringing my car to work and practicing when I'm on my breaks.

Sigh
Like Sosidge said. It takes time. I try to find a parking lot or a tennis court. I like the tennis court cause one of the track I race on is on one. **BEWARE*** The tennis court will wear tires faster the asphalt.
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Old 09-08-2004, 07:14 AM   #7
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Try to have a game plan in your mind before going on the track. Since it may be tough to get more track time, you'll want to focus on making your laps productive. It could be as simple as focusing on a specific turn. I would try picking up a b4 or bk2 and running some offroad as well. You'll learn a lot more about control that way as well.
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:09 AM   #8
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All of the above suggestions are excellent, another way to help with your hand/eye coordination is playing video games. I like Gran Torismo 3 for my PS2.... you will get better hand eye coordination and a pretty good feel for racecar dynamics at the same time... definately play games that are of higher speed......

The 1/12th scale way is also one of my favorites,just finda cheap used one you don't neeed the latest and greatest unless you plan on racing....

Get as much track time as possible,try to keep your car/cars on the track for the every moment you can don't stop practicing until 30 minutesbefore the first heat,then concentrate on "freshening up" your car, ya know rebuild/replace the motor, clean it up,fix broken weakened parts....ect.
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:30 AM   #9
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i used to tinker around with my tmaxx (now needs a new engine) and that helped me get a better grip on handling, because driving something thats top heavy, you have to learn to be smoother (especially on the stock truck shocks), and that showed up on the track, even tho i still smack the boards with my tc3, break a-arm's half way through the main and continue running running even tho people are yelling to take me off the track.

Also, if you want to get a better feel for your car and if your esc has a pot on it to adjust amps, turn the pot all the way down, it lowers the take off speed, so if you are trying to get a hang of going around corners, it acts as a traction control. Also it works great if you are running a 19t in the sportsman class.

Also, like everyone said, dont be afraid to ask questions, the true drivers are willing to help other drivers who need help.
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:45 AM   #10
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Default Mini Z?

How about getting a mini z for practice? It's a good practice for your fingering and eye coordination. You can make yourself a little track which doesn't require much space and even change the layout of the track to suit your level. You can even get your mates at work interested if you build one in your office hehe. This solves your problem in finding a place to play during office breaks and at least you can still play r/c even if its pouring outside. Just a thought. Cheers.
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:46 AM   #11
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The thing is, you need more track time. Play time is not the same as track time. Since you don't have a track you can go practice at except during racedays, you need to maximize your track time their. Don't waste time playing with setups too much. Yes, setups will get you an extra few tenths off your laptime, but you will see bigger gains by sticking with a close setup and learing how to drive it and take those tenths off that way. Just get the car comfortable to drive and practice as much as you can on raceday.

1)Start off easy and have a friend time your laps. Concentrate on driving about a two feet off the pipe at a comfortable pace that you can drive without moving off your line and without crashing. Get it so your lap times are within a few tenths from lap to lap.

2)Then start to pick up the pace toward the end of the run. Learn to keep your car on the same line 2 feet out push it a bit harder each lap.

3)Then start moving your line in a few inches at a time, get comfortable with your new line, then move it in a gain.

It might take you a few runs or maybe a few racedays to move from step to step but if you do it like this you will get better much quicker. The mistake most people make is trying to go too fast too soon. Learn control of the car first, then try to go fast. I used to help people learn to race by putting some cones out on the track in the corners a foot and half out from the pipe and playing follow the leader. I would run up front at a slow pace and the new guys would just try and follow me around, staying in the same line as me. After a couple of minutes of this, i would go a little faster, then a little faster. I would keep an eye to make sure the guys were keeping control of their cars. If we were going to fast for some of them, I would slow down a little.

Don't over drive your car or your abilities. Don't worry about if your as fast as the other guys, if you drive so that your in control of the car, the speed will come.
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Old 09-08-2004, 11:11 AM   #12
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There is no replacement for track time. RealRace and VirtualRC is not too bad though. Do you feel you can make your car do what you want it to? What kind of car? If it's a higher end vehicle, then the box stock setup is usually a good starting point. Get some tires that work at the track. Have you ever tried following other cars? Try following cars that are slower than you at first...then move on to faster cars. Don't try to pass, just try to follow. This teaches you many things...like where you are fast on the track, where you are slow on the track, where you can make up time, where you can try to make passes, where other cars are more planted than you..stuff like that. I can usually get a feel for the fast lines on a track by following people.
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Old 09-08-2004, 11:13 AM   #13
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These are great ideas, and you could do more. For practise treat it fairly serious, and go through motioons similar to how you would in a race. You can bring some track dots (like the plastic ones companies like Hot Bodies makes) and duct tape them down in a parking lot and practise specific turns. This will help, but won't replace racing time. Racing is the best practise, but try to replicate parts of it, its better than nothing.
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Old 09-08-2004, 11:35 AM   #14
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As Roger Penske has said:

"Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."

This goes well with a few of his other quotes:

"Effort equals results." and "Luck is where opportunity and preparation meet."

If you treat racing like a job, and prepare as if everything depends on it, you will be successful.
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Old 09-08-2004, 11:47 AM   #15
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donoman.

I'm going to gilroy friday we can go early and practice

basically stay with one setup and drive drive drive,,
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