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Old 03-28-2012, 06:03 AM   #16
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For what its worth I was wondering the same thing a few weeks back so I did some research from racing schools. What I found was this. You should always either be on the gas or on the brakes. Any coasting is slowing your lap times.

Now that being said I think our problem with rc is how much brake is needed and where do you apply the brake and pick up the gas. Personally I get faster lap times by coasting because I tend to over break the corner thus slowing my lap times. If you have great control over your car then braking the turn is the fastest. For most of us coasting will be faster and more consistent.
RC driving techniques are very different to 1:1 driving techniques, we spend a fraction of the time in each phase of cornering, it just isn't possible to be either on the gas or on the brakes all the time, often the time it takes your finger to activate the brake is longer than the time you need to be braking for!

Don't overlook that the fast guys are fast because they are fast. Those of us that aren't fast will find it easier to go faster by being smoother. Although if you are coasting in a straight line to shed speed for a corner, you are wasting laptime and should probably be braking.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:47 AM   #17
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RC driving techniques are very different to 1:1 driving techniques, we spend a fraction of the time in each phase of cornering, it just isn't possible to be either on the gas or on the brakes all the time, often the time it takes your finger to activate the brake is longer than the time you need to be braking for!

Don't overlook that the fast guys are fast because they are fast. Those of us that aren't fast will find it easier to go faster by being smoother. Although if you are coasting in a straight line to shed speed for a corner, you are wasting laptime and should probably be braking.
The technique is the same as 1:1. A turn is a turn and is handled the same way if its 5 feet wide or 75 feet wide, but you have a valid point about the amount of time spent at each section of the turn so the precision and reaction time is critical. Don't say you can't be on the gas or the brakes. It is very possible. Its a technique that I have been experimenting with for a couple of weeks. It is completely possible and it may prove to be more effective if used properly. So far I lost consistency by trying this technique but the fast laps are still as fast. If I continue to develop it may result in faster and more consistent laps. Just need to practice it more.

As far as the fast guys being fast they did something to become fast. Driving technique and execution are the number one factor in winning races. Don't discount a technique until you give it an honest try. Not trying it for a heat and giving up. I worked on throttle control for a long time. At first I lost .5 a lap learning something new. It has resulted in .5 faster laps consistently then the technique I used before. Took a step back to go forward again.
If this is all recreational and all you want to do is turn laps then this discussion really doesn't matter. Go out and have fun but if you have fun by getting every tenth out of the car and pushing yourself to be better than you were last week then this is definitely something to experiment with. It may or may not work but its worth trying.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:22 AM   #18
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It's a matter of control, when I have a fast racer turn some laps in my car I can always see that they have much better control when slowing down the car for a corner, not necessarily braking, but slowing to the "right" speed for that corner. Many of us throw the car in, and let the car scrub around the corner, I personally tend to get too much brake when I attempt to slow for the corner, so I too have resorted to rolling a bit to slow before the entrance. You can balance it a bit getting the drag brake into a range that works for your driving style, but training your finger to be more accurate is best. (every once in a while I feel like trying a stick radio just to see if it's easier to modulate the throttle).
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:29 AM   #19
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There is some great insights here, much appreciated.

My problem with the brake go method is of course you will come in to the corner fast, but while exiting, you are bogging down a little and jamming to get out of corners, where as by rolling through, you won't bog down
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:43 AM   #20
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The right speed everywhere is the key, whether braking , accelerating or coasting !!! How to judge whether or not you have the right speed is the problem here. Fast racers instinctively know how fast they need to be at each section of the track, but slower racers always think faster everywhere is the fastest way around and finding out they are wrong.... You will find top racers commenting more that their car is sometimes too fast, although it seems that they are going slow and can push it more... I say practice knowing the right speed, and forget about trying to blow by others in one section of the track to lose even more time in another section, and overheating tires in the process......
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:16 AM   #21
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Braking is key.. but hard to do right. Dialing out brake at the radio is the way to go. You only enough brakes to hold your line. When stuff happens on front Or you just perform the drive thru
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:39 AM   #22
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Rolling in slower classes seems faster, but it's harder to be consistent. It might work great on your home track where you're comfortable, but can be difficult at events with limited track time.

I try to stick with point and brake because it's safer, and I feel like it will be beneficial at large events. Also, it seems less prone to traction roll.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:57 AM   #23
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I'll chime in here, as I feel like I'm a decent club racer (R/C and 1:1) Great insight so far, so here's my 2 cents. I'm no Schumacher or Senna so feel free to disagree with me.

A tire only has so much Grip to offer in any given condition. For example, if your using some of the available grip to turn the car, only the remaining grip can be used for braking. Those familiar with Xbox Forza Motorsport games telemetry will know what I'm on about. I'll spare the engineering force/vectors/traction circle explanation - I can be long winded as it is.


As I have learned in full size racing and subsequently in R/C, the key to being fast in a race is too accelerate sooner, and brake later that your competition. Period. In a full size production based race car, you brake in a straight line entering a corner, using all the tractive effort the tires have to offer, to slow down. Any traction used for cornering while braking, means you can't brake as quickly. Same applies if you flip the coin, any braking done while turning means you cant go around the corner as fast. In real life this means you are seeing your competitors rear bumpers pull away into the distance (trust me I know what this looks like) This is a simplification (i'm not including trailbraking) but it brings me to my next point. When you have all your speed scrubbed off before turn in, you can apply power before the apex, and carry tons of speed out of the corner. This is the fast way, and the only fast way.

The complete rookie way of going through a corner is balls fast into the corner, gather it all up in spectactular fashion, and carry no speed exiting the corner onto the straight. This applies in RC and 1:1. Always remember, slow in = fast out. Fast in = slow out. Unless its a complex section of corners where the first apex can be "thrown out", you have to go in slow to be fast. How many times have you heard that before?

I also want to add that a race car (RC or 1:1) NEEDS to be told what to do AT ALL TIMES. By this, I mean the car needs to be accelerating, braking, or turning at all times. Maybe 2 of those at the same time, depending on the situation. If a car is just coasting along, the mass of the car is simply resting on the springs and being thrown around by bumps in the track, wind gusts if your outdoors - if you're accellerating, the weight transfer to the rear means more rear grip is available. Same goes for braking - more grip at the front, where you need it. Get what I mean? Not to mention, coasting into a corner means your late-braking competition will blast past you on the way in - they are still full throttle, remember?

In 1:1, even the slowest classes of race cars must use its brakes ALOT on any road course or autocross course. In RC, a class like VTA wont require much brake use - hardly any if the track is flowing - and momentum is key. But, you'll still lose 3 tenths going in too fast, getting in the marbles and taking the long way around. Obviously car setup will effect how you can drive the car. For Sedan, especially mod, its obvious that brakes are required. Obviously the less brake you can get away with will get you around the corner faster - and while you can sling a fast car like a sedan (even 17.5 blinky) wildly around corners, its not fast, wears your tires out, is hard on your hub bearings, and will wear out your front axles faster. And your fellow racers wont want to be within 6 feet of you on track, they'll just bide their time, wait for you to run wide, zip inside and you wont see em again till they are back on your bumper to lap you


Great thread by the way!

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Old 03-28-2012, 09:07 AM   #24
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Great explanation Fox88gt.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:23 AM   #25
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Great response Foss. I agree with all points. Since i've started racing r/c I've taken most of my driving knowledge from race philosophies I've learned from the Gran Tourism brand video games. Physics is physics and one cannot argue with that.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:35 AM   #26
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Braking is key.. but hard to do right. Dialing out brake at the radio is the way to go. You only enough brakes to hold your line. When stuff happens on front Or you just perform the drive thru
Yup, what I do is set my drag brake to the amount needed for most corners. So all I have to do is let off the throttle and I get the exact same amount of braking every time. Then I set the maximum amount of brakes for either the amount needed for any hairpin turns on the track, or sometimes for 2wd cars the maximum amount of brakes the car will take before spinning out.

Without doing that I cannot for the life of me apply the brakes consistently, the throw on most radios is just too small and light.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:57 PM   #27
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... the throw on most radios is just too small and light.

I agree. A nice feature on a tx would be a noticable increase in resistance halfway or two thirds of the way through the travel when braking. Actually, this would be nice on the throttle travel also.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:01 PM   #28
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I agree. A nice feature on a tx would be a noticable increase in resistance halfway or two thirds of the way through the travel when braking. Actually, this would be nice on the throttle travel also.
One of my fellow racers put foam in front of the throttle/brake, so it has more resistance when applying more than 50% brake.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:28 PM   #29
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Use VRC to train the brake side of your finger. True story.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:23 PM   #30
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There is some great insights here, much appreciated.

My problem with the brake go method is of course you will come in to the corner fast, but while exiting, you are bogging down a little and jamming to get out of corners, where as by rolling through, you won't bog down
With braking properly your exit speed will be the same as without braking. If your coming around the corner slower when you using braking, then you are over braking.

The thing about RC is our speedo's and motors have alot of drag built in to them, which is braking the car for you. (this is mentioned by acouple of previous posters). the drag is enough braking for most cases, its only those tight 180's where the driver actually needs to apply brakes, and if dont well you can really make up some time, or drive a tighter line into a corner to make a pass.

Its just another driving tool for the old "tool box". Might not be the solution all the time, but it doesnt hurt to be good at braking when needed.

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