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Old 05-23-2019, 02:44 AM
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Default Driving Techniques and Tips

Done a few searches on the forum but cant seem to find any thread on driving techniques or tips. I started racing around 4 months ago and whilst I'm improving I'm pretty keen to hear any tips any of you fast guys might have or if you have any links to other posts or videos to help me out. Most of the info I can find is more about setups.

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Old 05-23-2019, 03:20 AM
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Where to get racing tips?

advice needed for RC offroad racing newby
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:41 AM
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Boy, I have a lot I can say on this subject.

But the most important thing I can add, is when they look to see how skilled a pilot is, they just ask "how many hours?" Or "How many hours in type?" Clocking time, is the best thing you can do.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:52 AM
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Best I can suggest is to focus on being consistent. It’s great to turn a fast lap, but if the rest of the laps are in I wide time range, that fast lap doesn’t do much.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:57 AM
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track time .clean laps.slower is never faster(dont like that saying)
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:46 PM
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So what you're reading here that isn't actually being said, is Lap times Use them, study them, and learn from them. As Nerobro wrote about, time invested in practice. If you practice a lot that means you get a lot of wheel time. You'll learn how the car reacts to jumps, corners, mistakes, etc. You'll get better at seeing your car on the track, hand/eye coordination. You'll probably be making changes so you begin to learn what those changes feel like on the track. Hopefully you run with other cars, then you learn to drive in traffic and how not to wreck others or yourself. And in all that practice, if you have the opportunity to run a transponder and look at the times when you're done, you have a tremendous opportunity to become a better racer. BillyKelly nails it with fast laps. Folks always look at that and think it's something cool. Sure it is if you have the fastest lap in qualifying and you TQ , but if it only happens once in a run, and it's way faster than your average laps, the somewhere you are inefficient overall. And all to often that fast lap is followed with a crash somewhere in the very next lap, so your 1 second faster lap was just ruined by a 5 second slower lap with a crash.

This one is for the rc guy who doesn't like the saying slower is faster.. I loaned a 17.5 motor to my buddy for his kid. They geared it very conservatively and the boy ran a clean and respectable qualifier. Much better than was typical IMO. But the boy said it was slow, he got passed in the straight, etc. So they geared it up, it was much faster. He was one lap SLOWER in his next qualifier. I asked him how it felt, and he said it was faster! I asked him how it was faster, and he answered that he passed everybody in the straight! When I told him he lost an entire lap due to being "faster," he still was overjoyed he didn't get passed in the straight. I guess it's all about perspective and big picture thinking.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:20 AM
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First off, let me like Jbrow1's reply. It's solid, and his point about "slow cars" is a very good one. Being able to control the car is critically important. "Driving a slow car fast" is very rewarding.

So how about some actual race advice. What i'm about to start talking about, comes straight out of racing books. Think "bob bondurant" and such.

Lines are important. If you want to work on lines, the most important corner of the track, is the last corner before the straightaway. Every bit of speed you carry onto the straight, is speed you don't need to gain ON the straight. The next corner to pay attention to, is the one for the ~next~ longest straight. And so on, and so forth. If you keep that in mind, most of the rest of the lines "sorta figure themselves out".

Sounds great, doesn't it? Well.. there's a problem. Getting your car ON those imagined lines. That's where all that practice comes in. So does slower cars. As long as the car is fast enough to need "to be driven" slower gives you more time to put the car where you want it.

Driving a "good car" helps. If a car is predictable, you're more likely to get it where you want it to be. This means, having the car well maintained, matters. Is your servo saver loose? Does your servo center reliably? Are your linkages sloppy? Are they stiff or sticky? Are your wheel nuts tight? Are your shocks acting the same on both sides? Is your geometry the same on both sides of the car? Any of those can make the car harder to drive, and then you can't get better at driving, because you're trying to drive "the car" versus the track.

To share some of my experiences. With USGT, if the wheels are cracked, I'll be able to drive "most of the time' just fine. But ~sometimes~ the car will get all squirrely. So that needs checking. My TC4 would sheer drive pins, on the axles, and the car would be 100% just fine, until it was under hard acceleration, when it would try to steer. But it wasn't an obvious problem until I pulled the corners apart.

I suppose what i'm saying is "maintain your car" or you can't get better at driving. You don't need a setup station, just get things symmetrical, and "close".
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:04 AM
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Watch the racing lines of the fast guys. Try to follow the same lines consistently. If you're struggling to do it consistently, slow down a bit until you can. Gradually build your speed up again slowly while still maintaining the racing line.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:49 AM
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This is how I use my lap times. I care most about the efficiency and St. Deviation. Efficiency is just fast lap divided by my avg lap. As stated above, if there's a large gap then you are inconsistent in your driving. St. Deviation is just another way of telling you how tight your times are, smaller the number the better. Total laps is just running total of my practice laps during a season. Good way to keep track of maintenance, as I write short notes after each session.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:09 PM
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Here's one from earlier that day. Efficiency was close to the other, but St. Dev was doubled because of lap 13 and lap 15 where I snagged a corner tube costing seconds. No 19 second laps here, I didn't find that corner/acceleration line that led to 19.x laps until the end of practice My goal for this run was to try and have all laps in 20.xx which I did well until the last three laps.

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Old 05-26-2019, 01:13 PM
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More practice the better is almost always the answer. The problem is practice isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Not many can get to or have track close enuff. Or for those that have parking lot racing, there usually only set up on the day of racing.

This has been, and most likely, the only way I’ll have to practice for some time.

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Old 05-26-2019, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Billy Kelly View Post
More practice the better is almost always the answer. The problem is practice isnít always the easiest thing to do. Not many can get to or have track close enuff. Or for those that have parking lot racing, there usually only set up on the day of racing.
That's awesome Billy, that is basically what I do also. I use the app LapTracker on my iphone. I built a cradle for it to hold my phone and put it in a low speed corner or where I know I can hit same line in the beginning of the straight and not hit the phone. It broadcasts each lap time via bluetooth to my earphones, and it's amazing what that alone can do. When I'm done it emails all the runs to my email as individual runs, which open in a spreadsheet, which I save as an excel document.

I agree practice can be hard to come by. Once I was able to build my own track at home, and utilize lap times.. I felt like all the years I raced previously where I just showed up on race day with no practice, were a waste. They weren't actually wasted because I had fun and made friends. But I never became the racer I wanted to be until I was able to and actually practiced outside of raceday.

The take-a-way from that IMO is a couple things. #1 Have fun. #2 Temper your expectations to the amount of wheeltime you put in between racedays. #3 If you don't get much practice time, the slower is faster mantra applies even more IMO.

I apologize if it seems like I'm trying to force my opinions in this thread. It's not that, it's just I've seen so many folks over the years become frustrated with their performance on race day but never drive their rc's until the next race day. To me the satisfaction comes from running a clean qualifier or main. Consistent laps with hopefully no marshall interruptions. Once you begin to understand driving within your limits (slower) allows you to have more fun, the speed will then come soon after; When the mentality of speed changes from drag racing the straight, to realizing speed is the time it takes you to do your most number of laps at the buzzer in X amount of time.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:36 PM
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im an on road guy and fairly new. i picked up on things by repetition. then by tuning one thing at a time and watching how my lap times changed. i found that making the car easier to drive almost always had good results in the beginning.

now that i can stay out of the barriers itís getting harder to get faster. more work with smaller results. But i noticed something about the real fast guys at my local track and this will be my 3rd stage. what i noticed is that 3 or 4 really good guys know each other well and are helping each other. they practice with there cars side by side or in very close proximity. the fastest guy will wait for one or two of the other guys and they almost drive side by side on in-line. it forces you to focus on a much tighter line if two cars are always battling.

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Old 05-27-2019, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
Watch the racing lines of the fast guys. Try to follow the same lines consistently. If you're struggling to do it consistently, slow down a bit until you can. Gradually build your speed up again slowly while still maintaining the racing line.
I think the fast guys take the "safe" line, versus the fast line. It's not the same thing.
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Old 05-27-2019, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Nerobro View Post
I think the fast guys take the "safe" line, versus the fast line. It's not the same thing.
It shouldn't really matter in the context of my post. Pick a line and focus on repeating it, even if it is the safe line instead of the fast line. The goal is to be able to stick to a line consistently. Once you can do that, then experiment with different lines.
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