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Old 05-11-2011, 08:42 AM   #1
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Questions?? Becoming consistent...

There are a lot of threads here about the equipment but few that have much to do with the technical side of driving on-road RC Cars.

While I have some natural talents I have to work at things to get good at them and right now my challenge is consistency. Right now no matter which car I drive my lap times are very inconsistent. I am practicing as much as I can and using I'm using VRC when I'm traveling or can't get to a track

I think the most amazing things about the fast guys is how consistent they are with most laps being with .1 or .2 seconds of each other. At my tracks they have been very patient and helpful and I have learned a lot from them.

I know that this is something that primarily comes with time and practice. That being said there are a lot of great drivers on this forum and I would like to learn from you. Could I get some of you to chime in and share with me, philosophies, exercises, anything that helped you to achieve very consistent results with each lap?
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:52 AM   #2
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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
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:57 AM   #3
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It also helps to have a setup that is easy to drive fast.

If you have to manhandle the car around every lap, at some point you are going to miss your line.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @Art_Mighty View Post
There are a lot of threads here about the equipment but few that have much to do with the technical side of driving on-road RC Cars.

While I have some natural talents I have to work at things to get good at them and right now my challenge is consistency. Right now no matter which car I drive my lap times are very inconsistent. I am practicing as much as I can and using I'm using VRC when I'm traveling or can't get to a track

I think the most amazing things about the fast guys is how consistent they are with most laps being with .1 or .2 seconds of each other. At my tracks they have been very patient and helpful and I have learned a lot from them.

I know that this is something that primarily comes with time and practice. That being said there are a lot of great drivers on this forum and I would like to learn from you. Could I get some of you to chime in and share with me, philosophies, exercises, anything that helped you to achieve very consistent results with each lap?
Make your car push, a car with a planted rear is easier to drive and lets you focus on putting the car on a certain line instead of hanging on to it. This can of course lead to being slower than you would like, but its faster to run 20 consistent laps than 3 fast laps As you feel more comfortable start adding steering.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:08 AM   #5
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Practice is obviously the main thing.

Car preparation is important. If the car handles differently every time you go out that won't help your consistency. In particular, binding suspension and a tweaked chassis will make it very difficult.

Car setup is important. Set the car up so that the rear pretty much never steps out. This will be easier to drive consistently than an oversteering car.

Choosing the right motor is important. Just because the class has a 13.5T motor limit doesn't mean you have to run a 13.5T motor. I see loads of drivers who would actually do more laps if they put a slower motor in, as they'd be more consistent and crash less.

I can also see three very different cars in your signature. I would consider dropping two of them and concentrate on one. Switching between different types of cars will make it harder to learn their characteristics and how to drive them. Your practice time, prep time and money will all be diluted between the cars. Walk before you can run . This is a mistake I made when I was starting out; I never stuck with one car/class long enough to become any good at it.

Hope some of that is of use
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @Art_Mighty View Post
There are a lot of threads here about the equipment but few that have much to do with the technical side of driving on-road RC Cars.

While I have some natural talents I have to work at things to get good at them and right now my challenge is consistency. Right now no matter which car I drive my lap times are very inconsistent. I am practicing as much as I can and using I'm using VRC when I'm traveling or can't get to a track

I think the most amazing things about the fast guys is how consistent they are with most laps being with .1 or .2 seconds of each other. At my tracks they have been very patient and helpful and I have learned a lot from them.

I know that this is something that primarily comes with time and practice. That being said there are a lot of great drivers on this forum and I would like to learn from you. Could I get some of you to chime in and share with me, philosophies, exercises, anything that helped you to achieve very consistent results with each lap?
I took out the slop out of my car and found the car easier to be consistent with.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @Art_Mighty View Post
There are a lot of threads here about the equipment but few that have much to do with the technical side of driving on-road RC Cars.

While I have some natural talents I have to work at things to get good at them and right now my challenge is consistency. Right now no matter which car I drive my lap times are very inconsistent. I am practicing as much as I can and using I'm using VRC when I'm traveling or can't get to a track

I think the most amazing things about the fast guys is how consistent they are with most laps being with .1 or .2 seconds of each other. At my tracks they have been very patient and helpful and I have learned a lot from them.

I know that this is something that primarily comes with time and practice. That being said there are a lot of great drivers on this forum and I would like to learn from you. Could I get some of you to chime in and share with me, philosophies, exercises, anything that helped you to achieve very consistent results with each lap?
I asked a similar question in the off road forum and did not get much out of it.

We all know practice practice practice. 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.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:44 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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Here is the thing, the main thing in going fast is talent and you can't teach that.

The thing on making the setup easier to drive is not good. You need to start with a fast setup, which is usually harder to drive. But when you keep running it and keep maintaining it. You will see you self getting better and better.

I helped a guy here at home and that is what we did. I gave him a fast setup and he adjusted to it and taught his self how to drive the car.

If you guys what drills to do. Play with the eye and hand skills. There are a lot of books out there on this as they use it in a lot of training for different sports.

Thanks Drew
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CR0SS View Post
I asked a similar question in the off road forum and did not get much out of it.

We all know practice practice practice. 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.
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.

Before you try and do any practice, you need to be sure the car is working right. Copying a pro's setup is less important that simply making sure the car is working right. That means set it up at the right ride height with the right tyres, set up the ESC for full throttle and full brake, set up the steering for full lock without straining the servo, make sure all the mechanical parts move freely, and make sure the car runs in a straight line. It is amazing how many people try and go racing without getting these basics right.

As far as RC exercises go - Tamiya as ever is on to something with their little drawings at the back of each manual. Simply laying out some cones and practising driving around them in a consistent pattern is great practice for the basics of car control.

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.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @Art_Mighty View Post
There are a lot of threads here about the equipment but few that have much to do with the technical side of driving on-road RC Cars.

While I have some natural talents I have to work at things to get good at them and right now my challenge is consistency. Right now no matter which car I drive my lap times are very inconsistent. I am practicing as much as I can and using I'm using VRC when I'm traveling or can't get to a track

I think the most amazing things about the fast guys is how consistent they are with most laps being with .1 or .2 seconds of each other. At my tracks they have been very patient and helpful and I have learned a lot from them.

I know that this is something that primarily comes with time and practice. That being said there are a lot of great drivers on this forum and I would like to learn from you. Could I get some of you to chime in and share with me, philosophies, exercises, anything that helped you to achieve very consistent results with each lap?
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.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:50 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:53 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Ellis View Post
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.
Thank you for your time and response Drew. Running 4 days a week for how many weeks months?

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitrc View Post
It also helps to have a setup that is easy to drive fast.

If you have to manhandle the car around every lap, at some point you are going to miss your line.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeXray View Post
Make your car push, a car with a planted rear is easier to drive and lets you focus on putting the car on a certain line instead of hanging on to it. This can of course lead to being slower than you would like, but its faster to run 20 consistent laps than 3 fast laps As you feel more comfortable start adding steering.
digitrc / MikeXray, thank you. I have tried to make the cars as neutral as possible and for me it's easer to drive fast. Basically I don't want the car to push or oversteer but it tends to push a little when entering a turn on throttle so i tend to get out of the throttle for the car to rotate and then back on again as soon as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daleburr View Post
Car preparation is important. If the car handles differently every time you go out that won't help your consistency. In particular, binding suspension and a tweaked chassis will make it very difficult.

Car setup is important. Set the car up so that the rear pretty much never steps out. This will be easier to drive consistently than an oversteering car.

Choosing the right motor is important. Just because the class has a 13.5T motor limit doesn't mean you have to run a 13.5T motor. I see loads of drivers who would actually do more laps if they put a slower motor in, as they'd be more consistent and crash less.

I can also see three very different cars in your signature. I would consider dropping two of them and concentrate on one. Switching between different types of cars will make it harder to learn their characteristics and how to drive them. Your practice time, prep time and money will all be diluted between the cars. Walk before you can run . This is a mistake I made when I was starting out; I never stuck with one car/class long enough to become any good at it.

Hope some of that is of use
daleburr I appreciate the reply!

As for car preparation I do my best to ensure that everything's in working order and setup "right" (or as right as I can make it). I haven't measured for tweak yet but the car is fully balanced left/right and it's alignments match each other left/right. As for the motor I'm running either silver cans or 25.5 (VTA) so I'm not over motored. As for the too many cars thing? Your right. I'm going to set aside the F1 car for awhile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by defcone View Post
I took out the slop out of my car and found the car easier to be consistent with.
defcone, thanks for the reply. the cars are pretty new so everything is still "tight" more a less (less so when I hit stuff )
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Drew Ellis View Post
Here is the thing, the main thing in going fast is talent and you can't teach that.
This is a huge misconception in sports. Look at Michael Jordan, he did not make the cut on his high school basketball team. Talent is something that can be learned, some just have to worker harder at it. If you put your mind to it and do the right things you can teach yourself be be good at most anything. The challenge comes down to knowing what and how to work on something to become better at it. There are multiple books available that talk about this and what it takes to mentally allow yourself to become good. Saying you lack the natural talent is just a excuse you tell yourself to help accept your performance. Remember their are two types of people in the world, those that say they can and those that say they can't. They are both right.


Quote:
Originally Posted by digitrc View Post
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.
Yes, but isolating the corner could help with the skills of car control. That will later allow you to link the track to make you faster. It would help you with things like how to get close to the apex without hitting it, and just hitting your marks. This is not a direct drill to improve your laps times. It is to give you the skills needed in every corner to improve your lap times.

You are right about Tamiya and the cone practice. When I raced DH mountain bikes some of the most effective practice I did happened in a flat parking lot riding figures eights around cones. You would do laps around the cones working on specific things like where and how to look, upper body position and lower body position. Then you would go up on the course and use all those together to ride faster. Almost everyone that would work on these simple drills instantly saw a improvement in their riding. Who is to say there is not something like this available for RC racing.

Even simple things like how you stand on the drivers stand and hold the transmitter can make a difference. Do you stand the same way all the time? How about where you stand? Just moving a few feet changes your perspective of the track. When trying to be consistent try to figure out what variables you have total control over(car setup is one) and make sure those do not change. This way you can figure out what other things are effecting you. Just like setting up car when it comes to driving only change/try one thing at a time. This way you will know exactly what effect it has.

I know one of the things I am always working on is not turning the wheel of the transmitter back and forth to stay on a line. I know you want to slowly roll the wheel over but just getting used to the feeling takes some work. It is very easy to turn the wheel just a little to much then turn back and keep going back and forth. This is where practicing a single corner or driving cones can help. Starting slow and working more and more speed into it. It then become muscle memory to turn the wheel less and will just happen instead of thinking about it.

One of the keys to being fast is eliminate thinking. At the speeds our cars travel if you have to think about what to do you are already to late. The inputs into the transmitter need to be instant reactions with no thought. The only way to get this is practice but again you need to train your body the proper way to react. Ever had that feeling where you did not think you were going very fast but the lap times showed otherwise? That is because your body was just doing what it needed to do. You were not thinking and making decisions about where to go it just happened. As a racer this is the place you want to always be. Proper practice is key to getting there.
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