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Old 05-11-2011, 09:17 PM   #31
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I agree with the focus on your car and your line. It's easy to start "driving" the cars around you when you get into traffic.

Also understand that there are different kinds of practice. Cat and mouse and follow the leader is great for traffic, driving under pressure, attacking and defending racecraft. I don't think that's what you're talking about when you mention consistency, which I think is a little more fundamental. The thing that helps me the most is spending time on track by myself. Can you dump a pack without hitting ANYTHING? Dialed back on a conservative pace? Or full punch? If you can't lap perfectly well beyond the race duration with no one else on the track (no pressure), then what makes you think you can pull it off in a race?

I just count laps in my head with a target lap count in mind. Start over from 0 if you touch anything. Don't let your mind wander or think of anything other than the rhythm, the line, and adjustments. The pressure starts to ramp when then number starts to climb and you get close to your target. Then it becomes about compartmentalization and focus, counting while putting the meaning of the count out of your head.

The best racers in the world in R/C and fullscale have a laser-like mental focus on their greater objective (winning the race, consistent fast laps) as well as a second nature physical mastery/familiarity of the mechanics that allows them to process, adapt and execute at speed without thought (attack/defend/traffic). Imagine having that focus for hours with the brutal physicality an F1 car or motocross bike. No thinking about the announcer, or who's watching, or lunch or your foot itching, nothing. You can probably yell out any top driver's name while they're on the stand, and they won't even consciously hear you much less acknowledge you. They're in the bubble.

Another area to pay attention to is your body posture. I tend to flex my left leg when I drive. That tension can lead to discomfort, distraction and inconsistency.
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Last edited by ruf; 05-11-2011 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:21 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by grippgoat View Post
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.

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Very true, On road and off road bring there own challanges equally. On-road is the quest for consistant perfection over the run...Hot lap is 11.5 you better run 11.6-11.7 over the 6 or 8 minutes your out there, thats what it will take to "be in the show" at a big event...also correct that the track does change, and having a car that carries corner speed is always key. in fact thats about it, corner speed is what TQ races, how fast can you get the car thur the corner consiantly. this is where the driver+setup comes in, sure you can have a car that rotates like crazy but 9 out of 10 laps you are hopeing it does not spin out in the corner. Or you can lock it down and watch all the corner speed gp away as you are waiting for the car to turn. The key is balancing your skils with your chassis, as you gain confidence and skill you can begin to free up the car more. once you understand "how" to handle the loose/fast car and keep the laptimes all togther, (within 1-2 tenths) progress is made.

I love the "hot lap" your read the lap sheet, sit at the pit and look at the car asking how to get 1 more tenth out of it...mean while your spread is 5-8 tenths over the run (hot lap to average lap) You are missing the real problem....
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:25 PM   #33
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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.
I think that's a bit of a "jerky" approach. Lead with your eyes all the time, not just snapping to corners. Like you're constantly pulling the car around the track with your eyes on the racing line. Focus on the line, not the car or corner. Car focus you won't be able to see ahead and react. Corner focus and you'll eventually clip it from "target fixation". If you can't do it for the entire lap, break down the track into logical "chunks" or sectors, and build up from there.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:34 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ruf View Post
I agree with the focus on your car and your line. It's easy to start "driving" the cars around you when you get into traffic.

Also understand that there are different kinds of practice. Cat and mouse and follow the leader is great for traffic, driving under pressure, attacking and defending racecraft. I don't think that's what you're talking about when you mention consistency, which I think is a little more fundamental. The thing that helps me the most is spending time on track by myself. Can you dump a pack without hitting ANYTHING? Dialed back on a conservative pace? Or full punch? If you can't lap perfectly well beyond the race duration with no one else on the track (no pressure), then what makes you think you can pull it off in a race?

I just count laps in my head with a target lap count in mind. Start over from 0 if you touch anything. Don't let your mind wander or think of anything other than the rhythm, the line, and adjustments. The pressure starts to ramp when then number starts to climb and you get close to your target. Then it becomes about compartmentalization and focus, counting while putting the meaning of the count out of your head.

The best racers in the world in R/C and fullscale have a laser-like mental focus on their greater objective (winning the race, consistent fast laps) as well as a second nature physical mastery/familiarity of the mechanics that allows them to process and adapt at speed without thought (attack/defend/traffic). Imagine having that focus for hours with the brutal physicality an F1 car or motocross bike. No thinking about the announcer, or who's watching, or lunch or your foot itching, nothing. You can probably yell out any top driver's name while they're on the stand, and they won't even consciously hear you much less acknowledge you. They're in the bubble.

Another area to pay attention to is your body posture. I tend to flex my left leg when I drive. That tension can lead to discomfort, distraction and inconsistency.
Another great post as well. and you are correct we did get a bit off track here.
I agree that all the "chaseing" pratices are more for racing. If we are focused on the qualifing part then yes, paying the upmost attention to how you handle each lap is key.

I tend to believe that sedan rubber tire has alowed driver to be a bit looser in the driving styles. it's not so much point and shoot like foam tires on carpet or 1/12th scale. Rubber tire racing seems to allow drivers to be a bit looser, you don't half to run the same exact line for the entire time. Rubber tires seem to let you float around more, you can change corner entry and exit and get the same lap times. its about what you are most confortable with and tring to stick with that gameplan. Foam tires on carpet is like sprinting, in fact all qualifing is sprinting but I remember on foams, it was puckered butt for 6-8 minutes.. touching flappers, and putting your car in dangerous places. Because the foam tire sedan did not get upset if you rubbed anything. Rubber tire cars will climb boards flip over, spin out, roll over. you need to widen the line a bit, respect the barriers more.

Anyone notice how in big events the Rubber tire mains are WAY better? in foam sedans it was a sprint to the front, then not making a mistake. In rubber nobody wants to upset the cars, as if you do you have no chance. it's one or two laps of feeling out the car, are the tires warm, does it push early than come into grip, or is the car good up front and pushes at the end. The tire has come into play again. In foams, you had grip from go...
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:07 PM   #35
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When you go out the very first time with your car for practice, prep the car like you would for a main. Set it on the grid and get on the stand. Find a cue that you don't control and pretend that is the tone. (I use the next person that comes through the door as the tone) Practice over and over getting out of the grid cleanly and quickly. Complete that first lap at race speeds and then line it back up on the grid and do it again. I see a bunch of guys qualify well only to dork it in the first couple corners. We usually start on the straight and your car won't behave the same when you are accelerating into the sweeper compared to decelerating through it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:15 PM   #36
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a local experienced racer once told me after i had a bad heat that "you don't win the race on the 1st lap". Since then, I've been repeating the line to myself every time i get on the stand. it's helped me a lot since then....
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:21 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruf View Post
The best racers in the world in R/C and fullscale have a laser-like mental focus on their greater objective (winning the race, consistent fast laps) as well as a second nature physical mastery/familiarity of the mechanics that allows them to process, adapt and execute at speed without thought (attack/defend/traffic). Imagine having that focus for hours with the brutal physicality an F1 car or motocross bike. No thinking about the announcer, or who's watching, or lunch or your foot itching, nothing. You can probably yell out any top driver's name while they're on the stand, and they won't even consciously hear you much less acknowledge you. They're in the bubble.
The mental side of RC car racing is huge. Most of it is mental as you have to process something out away from you. Everyone needs to find there own way to get themselves into the right mental state to perform their best. This will be different for everyone. This is where practice comes in. When it comes time to race practice is over, no more trying a new line or different setup. You need to just let the body do what you have been practicing and adapt for the others around you. Remember in practice you need to practice the fast line as well as other option lines to help with negotiating passes and traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chubbspeterson View Post
The key is balancing your skils with your chassis, as you gain confidence and skill you can begin to free up the car more. once you understand "how" to handle the loose/fast car and keep the laptimes all togther, (within 1-2 tenths) progress is made.
This is one of the things the OP is asking. What are ways to work on and develop the skills needed to drive the cars consistently.

What does everyone consider to be the fundamental skills of driving a RC car? What are specific ways we can work on these fundamentals? These are the same things that are great for a beginner driver and the consistent B main TQ that can't seem to break through to the A main.

Maintaining corner speed has been mentioned. Once you do have your car setup what are ways you can train yourself to allow your car to hold the corner speed it is setup for? Think of the guy that his throttle is like a on off switch. How would you get him used to holding partial throttle through a sweeper? Or the driver that pinches off every corner. What would be a way to get this driver to practice rounding the corner more to carry more speed?

This discussion reminds me of my friend that got me into touring car racing. His car was always dialed. Some of the top drivers(one factory team driver) drove his car and could ran lap times equal to or faster than their personal cars. But my friend was constantly in the B main. On the rare occasion he would just squeak into the A main. The car was more than capable. Now he needed to work on his actual driving. But getting the typical practice practice practice response from everyone he never progressed much farther.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:34 PM   #38
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The whole thing depends on how good the driver already is. I mean you can drive round the track 24/7 and once you are at a certain level you won't really improve much.

Once a driver gets to a certain level the major lap time changes will come in car set up.

As we all know you will feel when your car is pushing or loose, its up to the individual to make the call when to make a change. The best drivers in the world don't fear making changes and therefore move forward in lap times easily. Average Joe will be a little wearful of making changes that could seriously affect his/her race. They may of course make the wrong change and go slower.

If in doubt you can always ask a pro/fast guy to have a drive and see what they think.

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Old 05-11-2011, 10:57 PM   #39
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Are there any former RC pros that go around to tracks and put on driving schools? It is starting to look like the RC market is prime for one of these.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:47 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by grippgoat View Post
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
Naturally track conditions change as the line comes up, or if artificial grip is sprayed on.

My point being that in off-road, you need to navigate jumps and bumps to run a fast lap. On-road is all about the line and cornerspeed. If I tried to run an on-road line around a buggy track I'd be on my roof within a few corners.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:07 AM   #41
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Are there any former RC pros that go around to tracks and put on driving schools? It is starting to look like the RC market is prime for one of these.
that is a really good idea , wonder who will do this 1st ??
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:39 AM   #42
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It's not always possible, but walking around the track before racing gives you a very different perspective to it, and does help some people remember apexs.

Watch the A finals, they know the fastest way round a track - where to brake, when to get the throttle on.

Also, Its very easy to treat the throttle as an on off switch when you are racing slower classes frequently, try to have a less aggressive throttle reaction if you find yourself in that situation.

Power is nothing without control

Last tip: always, always always get practice in before the first round of qualifying.
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:43 AM   #43
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that is a really good idea , wonder who will do this 1st ??
I am surprised no one has. This always seems to be one of the top ways for pro drivers/racers to earn some extra cash.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:10 AM   #44
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I have noticed that our percetion of speed changes if we are watching the car go around the track vs. actually driving the car. For me the car seems slower while I am driving than when I am spectating. Keep this in mind when you are driving as speeds can be decptive when changing perspective. In other words, trying to copy someone elses "percieved speed" while watching can get you going too fast to make your car handle correctly.

I hope I said that right. LOL
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:38 AM   #45
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This discussion reminds me of my friend that got me into touring car racing. His car was always dialed. Some of the top drivers(one factory team driver) drove his car and could ran lap times equal to or faster than their personal cars. But my friend was constantly in the B main. On the rare occasion he would just squeak into the A main. The car was more than capable. Now he needed to work on his actual driving. But getting the typical practice practice practice response from everyone he never progressed much farther.
Well I'm not the person you're talking about, but that just about sums most of my driving

Good thread...
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