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Driving Technique Discussion

Discussion in 'ACC General Discussions' started by Karsten Beoulve, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. Nao

    Nao Alien

    That's an interesting topic. Think of downshifts as dynamic balance changers, the faster you downshift the more oversteer and rearward brake balance you'll get. So how exactly you should downshift will depend on how you need the cars balance to change on entry. This changes with car, setup, weather etc. but most importantly with driver's confidence and skills.

    What i've found is that if you are fresh on track will little practice the car handles much better with brake balance moved backwards. At that point you will want to downshift calmly, with an initial delay and slower (following lower engine rpms). Then as you gain confidence in the car the optimum brake balance will shift toward front at which point aggressive (high rpm) downshifts will be more fitting. This is probably the reason why if you look at youtube hotlaps most of them have pretty aggressive downshifts - because they are in the groove already and it was their best lap. But I believe that aggressive shifts are result of driving fast but not necessarily the other way around. So shift in a way that will give you the most control over the car. And if you haven't got a feeling for downshifting yet, start by shifting calmly (delayed and slow). It will be much more obvious/natural to feel when it's not the right way to shift than if you'd start aggressive.

    For laptimes it's much more important to have a good entry speed than to get everything from braking, so slower shifts should be the answer from that perspective too. Notably not only by having more consistent deceleration speed but also having an option to momentarily increase car's braking/agility for corner entry by quickening last shifts, which should make you more comfortable braking later and taking more speed in.

    Also since this is ACC, gt3 cars which have pitch sensitive aerodynamics might want to have initial downshifts delayed a bit if you have bumpy or not straight braking zone. On the other hand on flat and straight zones the gt3 brakes (except the pad 4) can't fully exploit the grip at high speed so initial aggressive downshifts can save a few meters.
    Lastly in rain you want to delay shifts to not mess up the ABS. If the car does not give you issues when aggressively downshifting, it means your brake balance is likely too far forward.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
    Kopiller and Shooter80 like this.
  2. Burnleyhome

    Burnleyhome Gamer

    Mega response. I come watching F1 with their very aggressive downshifts, but thats due to the high number of gears and wicked small braking zones.
    I don't know enough about setups to mess with them, and most advice I have is until you are within 2 secs of alien times, don't bother as you need to spend time on driving.
    Following this, I haven't played with brake balance or anything other than tyre pressures.
    With them, after 5 laps I see what the values are and then adjust initial pressures to make them all close to 27.5 after 5 laps. I'm slowly getting through all the tracks and don't know how much they are helping me, or my time on track improving my techniques.

    With braking in the dry...
    Straight braking... aggressive downshifts at high rpm - Silverstone Copse (1st corner)
    curved braking... calmer lower rpm downshifts - Silverstone Stowe (fast right hander) or Brooklands (2nd to last corner)
    Kopiller likes this.
  3. Nao

    Nao Alien

    No setup till 2s off alien is pretty good advice*, but i'd consider brake balance 5th control element (after steering, brake, throttle and gears). In F1 they adjust it every few corners when pushing really hard, no need to do it that often for GT3 but it is useful to check it every now and then. Sometimes even on the same track, same car in same setup you may feel different values being better.

    I'd definitely recommend trying lower brake bias (like even -5%) which makes the car much more responsive when you do initial laps at lower pace. Then dial it back up as the car starts to oversteer on entry as you start to push more. When you get a feeling for how the car reacts to different brake balance, it will become much clearer how to downshift.

    * If you want get some advantage from setups but don't do the complicated stuff, have a look on 4 settings: rear ride height, front and rear brake ducts and front anti roll bar. Brake ducts control tyre temps - when you have overheating tyres open them up (and close if it's very cold). Increasing decreasing rear height fixes issues with high speed oversteer (usually), and front roll bar controls slower speed balance (often if you rise one it might be good to reduce the other a little and vice versa) . That's it, the default setups are already pretty good in terms of getting the most out of the car, but the 4 mentioned settings can help you getting the most out of the driver and weather.

    edit: Thou the main benefit from messing with car balance through setups is actually driver improvement. As you can usually achieve what the setup changes gives with better car control. So if you find a setup change that makes you faster, return to default setup and try to make the car drive the same way. Then bam... free laptime gain :)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
    Kopiller and Si. like this.
  4. Hi mate :) It's me again :p

    There's a similar thread at Racedepartment about finding lap times. So I've made a comparison between the guy and me. Keep in mind I'm not alien fast :p
    He's doing a lot things wrong around Spa and the video should help to improve his lap times.
    It suits this thread very good, I think. :)
    Link to my reply:
    The comparison:

    Maybe also interesting for you another comparison around the N├╝rburgring GT:

    Greets After_Midnight
  5. Nao

    Nao Alien

    Such a simple brain fart and nobody corrected me. It should be decreasing... anyways best to look at aero variation and be happy with any setting that lowers it to get stability.
  6. Does it have disadvantages on a track like Misano, where the curbs are relative flat? Of course on tracks with high curbs, i could sit on the ground, maybe i can avoid it with higher rear bumpstop?
  7. Nao

    Nao Alien

    That's a great question i'm not that qualified to answer, i've only driven a few cars in ACC seriously. None of them had any issues going as low as possible on the rear, but i could happen. If anything i'd be concerned with jumping high kerbs. When front is launched upwards from the kerb the rear compresses and can impact the ground (chassis roll flex was introduced recently to combat this and other behaviors). Over flat kerbs i'd doubt it would hit. But who knows... too stiff fast rebound damping could bottom out the car on flat saw kerbs... also in AC there was one car that notoriously bottomed out the rear: nissan GT3 (well mid-rear to be precise).

    As for bumpstops, if too low rear would cause issues they could help yeah. But just riding on them can have significant oversteer effect, which on a more aerodynamically understeery platform could even worsen the problem. I think in this case there should be no definitive answer on when to adjust what and in which direction, as this things can always change car to car, track to track, and even driver to driver. Best is to go on track and experiment.

    Lastly dropping the rear down may have an effect of moving the aerodynamic center of pressure backward causing understeer, but unlike increasing rear wing angle (that also brings understeer) the reduction of rake from lowering the rear can potentially reduce overall downforce, so it's not like if there is no bottoming out issues we should slam all our cars down for free downforce.

    edit: I recommended rear ride height instead of rear wing in the previous post since it has more gradual and naturally balancing characteristic that also does not mess with top speed. But if you feel any issues just don't drop that low and compensate with rear wing or rise front height.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  8. exited22

    exited22 Gamer

    I can't recommend enough the video from @n1lyn about rear ride height.

    He talks and explains very well, backed by motec data, that lowering the rear ride height too much can indeed have a big disadvantage.
    The aero balance in the setup screen is calculated on a stationary and somewhat standing car, so you will have a lot of dynamic rake change when increasing longitudinal velocity or going through a corner (weigh shifting on braking and accelerating, etc.).
    It is probably most obvious on the Porsche and its special drivetrain placement and layout, but the physical basics explained in the video should apply to every car in ACC.

    To maybe add something more, the lower you set the rear, the more the center of gravity shifts to the back. So you will have a more rearwards aero AND mechanical balance.

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
    n1lyn, Shooter80 and Nao like this.
  9. Nao

    Nao Alien


    ps: @exited22 About the center of gravity, i'd forget it. Went to calculate it once and the few milimeters of ride height ended up being equal to moving gloves or a small water bottle around the cockpit.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
    exited22 likes this.
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