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Beginner needs some driving advice

Discussion in 'Chit Chat Room' started by KubiG37, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. KubiG37

    KubiG37 Rookie

    I'm relatively new to realistic racing (played NFS Shift before though), and I'm having a bit of a trouble with a "philosophy" of how to setup my cars.
    I mostly play with GT cars like BMW M3 GT2, Porsche 911 GT3 2016 or Corvette C7.R.

    The issue is that I'm obviously not very experienced for such cars, and because of that I tend to "tune down" the cars to be more predictable at handling, have a bit more aero than necessary, more undesteer than oversteer, at the expense of being slightly slower perhaps. But is it good idea?

    When the car is easy to handle, I can focus more on learning the track, ideal raceline and such, and making consecutive clean laps is common, but it seems somewhat slow. When I use "faster" settings, I can cleary make quicker times in specific sections of the track, but only sometimes, and the entire lap is usually a constant struggle with the car trying to drift out of corners and fly out of the track, and so sooner or later I inevitably fail and crash. 2 consecutive clean laps of Nordschleife/Le Mans without penalty or crash is just impossible.

    Also similar cars are often so radically different, and I don't know why. For example driving a BMW M3 GT2, or the Corvette C7 is a leisure for me, compared to Porsche GT3, which I'm unable to get safely under control, no matter what (internet included) setups I use.
    It just keeps spinning out control, its traction is jumpy over kerbs, sometimes it understeers horribly in turn, only to send me into unrecoverable spin the very next turn, It's very sensitive to any throttle changes, even on straights, and I just battle with it all the time (which is fun, and that's why I love it, but... :-D ). Any advice is welcomed :)

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  3. LeSunTzu

    LeSunTzu Alien

    2 consecutive clean laps of Nordschleife/Le Mans without penalty or crash is impossible for other players than you, believe me. Those tracks are immensely boring and tricky at the same time. I leave them to masochistic drivers:eek:, except when obliged for a championship. Jokes aside, they are the worst tracks to improve your driving.

    Now that you lap on a real good, fun, interesting and challenging track like Silverstone or Barcelona:D, you should focus on driving with the default setup with minimum adaptation (medium tires with correct pressures as you see them in the tyre app or sidekick after 3-4 laps and the gearbox tuned for the track). That way you learn the car as it is. If you start by fiddling the set up to your own personal taste, you may end up with something comfortable but way off pace because it does not suit the car. After practicing with almost default setup, you know the car well and then you are able to modify the setup to have it both quicker and more comfortable, and then finally you can fine-tune it for a quali lap. Loading someone else's setup won't be of any help, except if you are lucky.

    A quick unstable setup may reward you with a nice qualy lap, but will likely destroy your race.
  4. Turk

    Turk Alien

    I'd agree with LeSunTzu, I more or less gave up trying to master setups. The only thing I focus on is tyre pressures, toe, camber and I might soften the rear suspension a click on a track with long corners.

    You have to adapt to the car is basically the point. Setups can only do one of two things, make a slight improvement on the car, or make a mess of the handling. The porches in particular need a different driving style, they are heavy at the rear and you have to use that to your advantage.

    Also the longer you spend on track the better, I did a few hour long races on racedepartment and I was better better for it.

    :eek: Nordschleife boring?!!
    Haiden773 likes this.
  5. Tberg

    Tberg Alien

    Practice driving consistently on default setup. If you can't put in 6-10 minutes of clean laps, you're not consistent enough to gain anything by setup, will probably just get you confused on which areas you need to improve. Setup is something you practice as well, it takes a long time to learn how stuff affects your driving to the better. Small chunks, big progress.
    LeDude83 and Alistair McKinley like this.
  6. ALB123

    ALB123 Alien

    Well. I am consistently inconsistent. Does that count?

    It's a grind, @KubiG37... I think the last time I completed a clean lap on Nordschleife Obama was in the White House. I'm not even joking. Overall my driving has gotten worse in the last 12-16 months. I don't know why. That really makes racing a nightmare. I wouldn't dare go online anymore. I don't want to be the guy playing Plinko on everybody else. Speaking of Plinko...This is what I am going to look like the next time I finish a clean lap on the 'Ring...

    (Skip to 5m 10s -- for some reason the forum isn't posting the link with a time marker in place)
  7. Turk

    Turk Alien

    Consistency is the most important thing. It's even more important than being fast. I can't tell you the amount of races I've won simply because I was the one that didn't crash. Try doing some long sessions.

    I know I had a habit of doing 2 or 3 laps, pitting to fiddling with things I didn't understand, do a few more laps, and achieve nothing. Now, once I've got tyres that are good I just go out and do laps, as many as I can. There are practice servers online that you could join without "racing". I wouldn't completely dismiss driving online, there are practice servers you could join that aren't as competitive. I just think there's something more involved about racing against people rather than AI.
  8. Tberg

    Tberg Alien

    Yeah, consistency is key, always has been, but will not win you races when you get to drive equally skilled or better drivers than the casual online driver.
    Racing against AI doesn't learn you how to race for real, but can be good for practicing overtaking without overshooting the corners or crashing out. You need to know the track well enough so you can be right on the rear bumper of an opponent, not able to see ahead of you and still not screw up the corners or getting surprised by the lack of downforce, opponent early braking etc.
    There's no real way out but practice, read about racing, watch videos of about racing etc., then put in the time. What REALLY teaches you something is driving better drivers, preferable a lot of them on grid, where mistakes are punished and talked about post-race. This is usually only possible in leagues, but it's here the hair is grown on your privates. Once you've tried going wheel to wheel for an entire race with one or more drivers, swapping positions, trying to outsmart each other during each lap and gain the advantage, all without crashing each other, then you know you've become a better racer. Getting faster and learning setup is something that you should always work on along with improving as a racer. Setting one quick lap is nothing if you can't do 40 of them under pressure.

    Edit: sorry with the little OT. About setup, you'll be fine with learning tyre pressures, gear ratios and wing, maybe adjust the brake bias to your liking, but that's it. Really easy stuff to do and have a big impact on the car and laptimes.

    I have to link to Aris video, they will get you going:

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
    Turk likes this.
  9. Nao

    Nao Alien

    These are vastly different cars and have to be driven quite differenty. For starters GT2 and GT3 are quite different - gt2 almost needs to be driven like an open wheeler while gt3 drives more like a normal car. Then Porsche has very different mass distribution, and you could say "rear wheels are the car, while fronts are just a stick guiding a camel".

    Normally everybody will tell you stuff like "consistency is most important" "slow is fast" etc. Which is correct, but I'd argue that you'll have to learn to control oversteer at some point no matter what, and the faster you do it the quicker you'll get the feeling of the car. So you can grind slow, safe laps for ages until you are ready to proceed to faster setups, or you can jump right in, clench your teeth and learn it outright with a proper approach.
    For this to work several things would need to be set: your hardware setup needs to be "ok", you need to know the track really well so no long or difficult tracks like nords/laguna etc (ie: shorter silverstone or vallelunga layouts). And lastly you'd probably want to start with something slower than GT2/3. To be honest a drift spec car would probably be best here (stuff like D versions of BMW Z4 or E92) - you don't have to drift them, just try to drive fast.
    Your quest should be to get a feeling for where the car is going, where front wheels are pointing and where they should be pointing. As well as getting the feeling for car's yaw acceleration - that tells you if car is under or over steering. Also another thing that driving drift cars teaches you reading the speed - which is very important. In GT cars you can get away with being medicore at it, but try to drift a street car with wrong speed (especially on entry) it will be so obvious that you'll learn it whether you want it or not.

    Anyways, safe setups are definitely good for learning the track, but after that you start learning the car and it's oversteer that teaches you more. After you get the car feeling to ok level you can learn proper lines with a safe setup again. Just don't try to do everything at once - having too much to focus on just wastes practice time. Get comfortable doing one very particular thing - might be as small as getting one corner right every time in one car, then switch to another car or do a 180° on the setup (from understeery to ovesteery), get comfortable again and return to the previous one - you'll see a lot new things and learn a lot.

    In general try to keep the cycle of getting comfortable -> change while focusing on one particular thing, and you'll improve fast. And this works for anything, even hardware stuff like filed of vision (fov)

    "Tuning down" setup usually does not mean the car will be slower, a good driver will do similar laptimes with either oversteery and understeery setup. When tuning down you are essentially putting a leash on yourself to not overdrive it - it's good when you want consistent driving like when learning track or when racing with other people. But when learning a car all you'll get is a bunch of bad habits. So you have to be conscious on what you are trying to achieve. And again, focus on one thing, don't worry about something else being not perfect, you'll sort that out after you master the thing you are after.

    Ah and regarding the Porsche, the key to driving over kerbs or being rough on the throttle is to not overload the rear outside tyre (bacause often like half of the cars weight is on it!). When you approach the kerb (at apex usually) you want to ease off on the cornering somewhat - this will make rear inside wheel take more load and help A LOT in dissipating the energy of the bump/kerb. So try to unwind the steering right before a tough part of the track.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  10. MrDeap

    MrDeap Hardcore Simmer

    I learned from downloading from a reputable person setup. The front tyres turned blue in the tyre app. :D
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  11. Tberg

    Tberg Alien

    Well, if it was the temparature indicator that turned blue, setup might still have correct pressures. But, you need to push the car and drive as the guy you downloaded the setup from, or tyres may never get in the window.

    Maybe you don't have the talent to get better, I don't know. You can't use your age as an excuse though :D
  12. KubiG37

    KubiG37 Rookie

    Wow, thank you all guys for the comments, I didn't expect so much of help. :)
    That's exactly what I do :D, and in the end the car is usually set so off that I can't even find out what's wrong, and have to revert to default and start all over again.
    In this regard, how would you rate the default setups in AC? I noticed that some people use radically different setups (with many values all the way to max, or min values), and often arguethat (some) car is bad with default.

    Another question: What about tyre temps? Whenever I use anything other than Soft, I just can't get them up to correct temperatures by driving, they just stay dark blue all the time, for some cars only the rear ones usually heat up after time. I often have to setup tyre pressure to match the cold temperatures. But at the same time, I usually don't drive for longer than 4-5 laps, after that I usually try to tune something in setup, thus resetting the tyres (or crash and ragequit the game :D )... Or are they supposed to heat up so slowly?

    Anyway I'll certainly try the tips you talked about, and try sticking closer to the defaults. ;)
  13. lordpatou

    lordpatou Simracer

    About tire temp, set the pressure first, and sometimes you can not have tire warm enought, it's normal, you got to deal with it.
    But always set good pressure, or tire won't work well.
  14. MrDeap

    MrDeap Hardcore Simmer

    Nah, I had to bomb dive the turn with the brake. It made a massive improvement in the lap time.
  15. plaid

    plaid Alien

    As a beginner you shoudln't tune the setup to gain milliseconds, but it can help to ask for tips or download setups somewhere to match the car more to your preferences. Can really be helpful to make GT3's more fun for example.

    Yes, that its likely to fail makes it fun. There isn't much that comes close to a rally track imo, but the NS is one of the rare exceptions.

    That makes AIs so important.
  16. chakko

    chakko Alien

    From a driving point of view, i find the Nordschleife pretty boring too. Pretty boring corners, and layout. I doubt that it's so popular for the track's characteristic anyway, rather because it's a track whose layout hasn't changed so much over the years, unlike Spa for example. And because it's dangerous.

    Personally, i'd take Spa, Monza or Silverstone over the NS every day.
    chksix likes this.
  17. Mogster

    Mogster Alien

    I’d go for one of the short layouts for training.

    That way you can really work on optimising the few corners there are and see results quicker which keeps your motivation up.
    Thomas Cameron likes this.
  18. Serge M

    Serge M Alien

    With setups there’s several stages, first it’s the basics: tyre pressures, gearing and downforce.
    Second is camber, alignment and sway bars.
    Once you are comfortable with the first two you are delving in to the third, the black art of suspension tuning, at this point you have to ask, what is it about the current car behaviour you don’t like and want to change.

    Remember that things aren’t as simple as fast setup/slow setup, a fast setup is one you are comfortable with and that’s different for every driver. I once ran a setup of someone who I class as alien fast, we were using the F2004, I couldn’t do a single lap with it. My own setup ended up within a few tenths and nothing like the set up of the alien guy
    Ace Pumpkin likes this.
  19. Default setups are very well driveable in general. Extreme setups rarely works with race cars but on road cars the range of adjustments are probably so narrow that things like maxed out camber might be the best option. "Bad default setup" is probably the most common excuse. ;)

    The best advice I can give is to do the exact opposite you're doing right now: "Listen" to the car and if the car is doing something you don't like, try to change the way you drive the car instead of manipulating the setup. Skilled drivers can do similar lap times with many different setup philosophies but the thing is that they are changing their driving to max out the car abilities instead of masking some possible driving errors with the setup.

    Always question the way you drive a car. :)
    Ace Pumpkin likes this.
  20. plaid

    plaid Alien

    Not sure if that this is supposed to be sarcasm... Seriously, The Ns is probably the reason why I bothered to get into realistic racing games that don't include rally tracks. The average circuit appears to be made with a pencil ruler and a divider in a coffeebreak, without bothering about how fun and exciting it is for the drivers. While the race-ability is probably a factor making them wi(iiii)de and not so dangerous that it turns into a device to support the local mortician.
    For actual racing the track is maybe not the best choice, cause of that the NS makes up for it and Im sure its the layout. In case of Spa, Monza and Silverstone I would say its vice versa. :D
    Ace Pumpkin likes this.
  21. chakko

    chakko Alien

    No sarcasm. I just find the Nordschleife to be a very boring track to drive on. I don't like the corners, and i don't like the layout. And, as you mention, it also sucks big time for racing. The only Nordschleife i found remotely interesting to drive was the one in GPL, lacking all those dumb curbs.

    If you like it, hey, fair enough. There is no wrong or right, all a matter of taste. Let's just say i donÄt get the obsession for it at all. There are much more interesting tracks for racing in my eyes. And i'm not a hotlapper.

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