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Old 05-11-2011, 11:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by CR0SS View Post
What should we practice? Practice should always have a goal and purpose or it is not nearly as effective. Also if you go out and practice bad techniques those become your habits. So again what should be practiced and how? Drills or exercises I think would be huge. I am surprised that for how long RC racing has been around no one has thought of these. Would it be beneficial to go out to the track with some tape and lay down the good line to drive in one or two corners then concentrate on hitting that line slowly then trying it faster and faster? Each lap only concentrating on those two corners. Just driving around a wide open track there are way to many variables that effect your lap time. I think coming up with ways to work on just a couple of variable at a time would help the most. Then put all that practice together for more consistent lap times.

What are the skills you need in RC racing and how can we try and isolate them so we can work on them and improve them. Things that come to mind are, throttle control, braking, cornering/steering, and vision.
CR0SS: Right on the mark. As a musician I know the evils of practicing mistakes and the value of drills and skill building exercises. In the 1000's of RC related pages I have seen the in the last few months the only one I have run into that try to address "how to drive" directly are at Tamiya.

https://www.tamiyausa.com/articles/f...?article-id=18

https://www.tamiyausa.com/articles/f...article-id=206

I'm actually putting together a "practice" car to go out to an empty parking lot at lunch and put in some practice time to try these.

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There is no point trying to isolate a couple of the corners on the track to work on. The whole track is connected, the whole track has an effect on how you approach those single corners.

For those of us that need to think about what the car is doing (and don't have the innate ability to "just drive" it), consider the difference between on-power and off-power handling, consider the difference in handling between slow and fast corners.

Racing on-road is a bit simpler than off-road. You can assume that the track conditions are consistent across the width of the circuit, so you can focus on your lines, which are the same as in full-size racing. Slow-in-fast-out and make the corners as shallow as possible to carry the maximum speed through them.

If you need to change your setup, do small changes, and one at a time. Make your OWN judgements on the difference it makes. One of the simplest changes you can make to adapt your car to a track is to change the steering lock (dual-rate), again a little at a time, and not to the extent that you can't physically navigate the track any more.
digitrc: I was really looking for a way to isolate a particular action, perfect it and then master the next one (When I'm doing figure 8's I can play around with this to a limited extent). Right now there's no rhyme or reason in my mind why some laps are slower then others when each one feels the same to me.

On power vs off power handling, car behavior in the beginning, middle and end of a corner seems to make up this black art of driving rc cars fast. I know that my car is as fast on straightaways as anyone else's and where i'm loosing time is in the corners.

One challenge I have is knowing what to change when I have to make changes. Slowly with enough reading and asking questions some concepts are beginning to sink into my brain. I have played with EXPO but not dual-rate. I will start experimenting with it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:35 AM   #17
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One thing that helped me get consistent was getting my eyes checked. My vision wasn't bad at all but as soon as i got my glasses my driving got a lot better. I am now able to look a few turns ahead and work my way around traffic and maintain a clean tight line.

The other thing that helped my driving was practicing with the fast guys. We practice tons of laps taking turns chasing/leading. When im at races now i feel very comfortable in both leading and chase positions. I do get nervous once in while during a race, but then i just reflect back to practice session with the fast guys and it helps me maintain my composure.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:44 AM   #18
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One thing that helped me get consistent was getting my eyes checked. My vision wasn't bad at all but as soon as i got my glasses my driving got a lot better. I am now able to look a few turns ahead and work my way around traffic and maintain a clean tight line.
Vision is huge. You always hear look ahead. I have only had one coach/friend that showed me HOW to look ahead. I am still trying to figure out just how to get it to work in RC. On the bike you would look ahead at the spot on the trail you wanted to go, the next part was very important. One you looked at that spot you would focus your eyes. This allowed your peripheral vision to come into focus. Things in your peripheral vision your mind would just react to. On the bike things directly in front of you were in your peripheral vision. If you just scanned the trail as you looked ahead you would have to glance down to catch a rock directly in front of you. Your mind would have to process this and then do what it needed to do. The slightly longer response would mean the difference in avoiding something or hitting something. Depending on your speed as you got close to the spot you focused on you would then look ahead on the trail and focus on the next spot.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ercwhtsd View Post
I didn't get the oppurtunity the last time you were here, playing "cat and mouse" or follow the leader is also a great help and sometimes very overlooked.
Eric, I'm grateful for all of your help getting me setup and for running with me when the opportunity arises.

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This should help
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Articles...ArticleID=1299

You know how lot's of people say "Slow is Fast", there is a logical reason to that. I am faster coasting through a certain section of my track than trying to "blast" through it. When I am concentrating on smooth lines instead of loads of throttle, brake, run wide, throttle, brake and so forth, I end up carrying more speed through the ENTIRE lap instead of just being quick through one section then shooting wide and loosing all that time advantage with a mistake. Find a rhythm through the track and once it's second nature start pushing it to see where you can make up time and where it's better to just coast through.
BrodieMan: That's a great article. I like the concept of goal points and finding the "smooth" line. I'm going to talk to my track owners and see if there's an possibility of using some sort of temporary apex marker on the track

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Sounds like you know the basics, car set up, practice and track time. Start slow, find your marks or hitting the apexs, get very consistent with that, there is your goal. Then increase speed slightly, which can be done by reducing your throttle down to lets say 50% and increase by 5-10%. Granted this method doesn't exactly work with nitro, but does apply to on road or off road electric.
the_weasel: That's solid!
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by CR0SS View Post
Vision is huge. You always hear look ahead. I have only had one coach/friend that showed me HOW to look ahead. I am still trying to figure out just how to get it to work in RC.
This is something I have tried to do but can't do consistently. For awhile I was trying to train my eyes to arrive at a corner just a moment before the car does and then stare at the apex and then "watch" the car go through the corner with my peripheral vision and then train my eye to the next corner/apex. I can only manage to string two or three of these together before I crash or focus on the car.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by @Art_Mighty View Post
This is something I have tried to do but can't do consistently. For awhile I was trying to train my eyes to arrive at a corner just a moment before the car does and then stare at the apex and then "watch" the car go through the corner with my peripheral vision and then train my eye to the next corner/apex. I can only manage to string two or three of these together before I crash or focus on the car.
I have not figured out a good way to do it either. I need to spend more time on it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:18 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by @Art_Mighty View Post
This is something I have tried to do but can't do consistently. For awhile I was trying to train my eyes to arrive at a corner just a moment before the car does and then stare at the apex and then "watch" the car go through the corner with my peripheral vision and then train my eye to the next corner/apex. I can only manage to string two or three of these together before I crash or focus on the car.
I have always looked at an area about 2-3 feet around the car, with the car slightly off center to the rear. That way you don't get tunnel vision just looking at the car.
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:48 PM   #23
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My quick tips:

The way you stand at the drivers stand needs to be in a natural, focused way.
Dont grip the Tx to hard , or hold it at a funny angle. Relax your arms , and dont tense up.

Also, lots of practice with lots of tires.

I learn a good amount about my car when I let someone else drive it while I put my head low in a turn and watch the car in the corners.

WAY back in the 80's , there was a guy whose mom video taped every run. He was always 1st,2nd,or 3rd ,and so was I. That night , after the races , we would go back to his house and watch it all on the VCR, and eat cereal.

We learned alot having watched,paused,slow motioned, that nights racing, still fresh in our minds.
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:57 PM   #24
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Practise braking.
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @Art_Mighty View Post
This is something I have tried to do but can't do consistently. For awhile I was trying to train my eyes to arrive at a corner just a moment before the car does and then stare at the apex and then "watch" the car go through the corner with my peripheral vision and then train my eye to the next corner/apex. I can only manage to string two or three of these together before I crash or focus on the car.
Honestly, just stare your car down. Any time you break focus on your car, your probability of crashing goes up. Your peripheral vision will widen as you practice. Even when you are in traffic, stay with your car. I can't tell you how many times I dotted out or crashed by "peeking" at another car around me.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:45 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Drew Ellis View Post
Yes cat and mouse is a very good. Also the flapper game. See how many flappers you can touch (just barely touch) but still be running a fast lap time. We used to play that game at the old gate. It was a blast.

We called it the :
See how many flappers Jimmy can touch before he explodes his car into a thousand peices game...

This was good in foam....not a good idea with rubber tires...
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:56 PM   #27
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Practice, practice ,practice and then practice some more. And then practice some more. When I started getting fast and consistent I was running 4 days a week. The more you practice/race the better you will be. It almost turns into work. But its so fun.

Hope that helps, wish you the best.

Thanks Drew
Drew nails them both... this is it..Take your beatings, chase the fast guys, cat and mouse, we had one at the old Gate called "Twister"

2-3 cars, line up for a main start, TQ calls the tone, you have 2 laps to make a pass. whoever wins gets a point.

Now rotate cars back, TQ from first run goes to the 3 spot and so on. Now with lipos, you can do this for a long time.

I think we found this helps, not only Starts for mains, but clean passing, and it makes you get in the right mindset quicker. Most guys come in and do 3 or 4 shake down packs, get warmed up before they pay attention to anything thats going on. (personal problem in the past) when you goto a big race, you don't get that. By the time I was "ready" it's the first qualifer...very poor planning...everytime that car hits the track...it better be gametime, take something away from it....

One take away I have had in the past year....this game is alot more mental than I thought it was, part of the work Drew is talking about is the mental prep, avoiding distractions, focusing on the task at hand. It's not just beating laps into the track.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:57 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by robk View Post
Honestly, just stare your car down. Any time you break focus on your car, your probability of crashing goes up. Your peripheral vision will widen as you practice. Even when you are in traffic, stay with your car. I can't tell you how many times I dotted out or crashed by "peeking" at another dude around me.
I knew it....
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:01 PM   #29
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a useful study. Thank you.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:00 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by digitrc View Post
Racing on-road is a bit simpler than off-road. You can assume that the track conditions are consistent across the width of the circuit, so you can focus on your lines, which are the same as in full-size racing. Slow-in-fast-out and make the corners as shallow as possible to carry the maximum speed through them.
This statement is absolutely false based on my limited experience, which is all on temporary tracks.

On our temporary carpet track, there's a distinct groove, and you'd best stay in it, otherwise you'll pick up a bunch of dirt on your tires, and ruin at least your next lap, if not the rest of the race. The grip level in and out of the groove is vastly different, too. We also have some bumps in the carpet that cause the car to do interesting things, and we have some tape seams that can mess with the car if you hit 'em the wrong way.

My other experience is with a temporary parking lot track that's sprayed. The groove gets more sprayed, and thus has more grip, but not nearly as drastic as the carpet. There's also more dirt off-line, similar to the carpet, but it tends to scrub off easier. The parking lot also usually has imperfections that often make a big difference. Maybe there's a rough spot you need to avoid, or a dip that if you hit it just right, it'll let you rotate the car hard, and if you hit it wrong, it'll throw you off line.

In both cases, the surface can change quite a bit from one round to another. The carpet starts out slippery and gains grip over the evening. Outdoors, the track temp changes throughout the day, and grip tends to fall off as the spray loses its effect.

EDIT: Concerning speed, if not consistency, the best way I've found to get faster is to watch a better driver drive my car. For one thing, I watch how the car moves when they drive it, watch corner entry speeds, see when they're pulling the throttle, watch the line, and listen to their lap time. Then I try to do the same thing. I usually get a faster fastest lap out of it, but consistency goes way down.

-Mike
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