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The Art of Racing in the Rain

Discussion in 'ACC General Discussions' started by eRacer212, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. eRacer212

    eRacer212 Racer

    Please don't move this to support forum, not because there are questions it mean it has to be in the support forum. Thanks

    I watched the film The Art of Racing in the Rain a couple of days ago, never had the time to read the book (that dog knows more about racing that 90% of GT Sport players… respect to Enzio).

    It made me thing about ‘creating your own conditions’, and I was wondering what do you guys do to race in the rain. Can you share a bit about it? Tricks? Advice? Techniques?

    For instance, my car losses traction at high speed in the Kemmel straight, and looks like a happy Enzo with a happy tail. I’m a rookie and have no idea of how to solve this.

    What do you do? Do you use less pressure to have a better tyre patch? Do you use toe out in the front tyres? Or do you change the aero balance?

    How do you find grip in the rain?

    Thanks in advance for sharing.
    Tim Meuris and Son like this.

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  3. eracerhead

    eracerhead Simracer

    First thing that’s usually recommended is to raise the car a few mm to prevent aquaplaning, and soften the suspension a bit to make bumps less upsetting in curves and/or transient grip situations.

    I know little about toe beyond what Aris discussed lately, so I’d be unlikely to change it at all. I’m guessing a touch more toe-IN would be better, as turn-in would be more gradual and thus more controllable?
  4. LeSunTzu

    LeSunTzu Alien

    If you want a wet setup, use the preset wet setup. Otherwise set ECU to wet mode, raise ABS, move brake balance to the rear, raise TC - all of which you can do in car. Then be careful with braking distances, be easy on the throttle, and accept that you will need to do more corrections than in dry conditions.
    Chris 576 likes this.
  5. FelixR1991

    FelixR1991 Simracer

    Kemmel is full of puddles. No, not the dog breed, the standing water kind. Just keep the wheel straight and the power on and you'll be fine.
    eRacer212 likes this.
  6. Captain Barracuda

    Captain Barracuda Hardcore Simmer

    Racing in the rain is easy. Just go faster than the other cars. Be better than the other racers.
    Maciej Malinowski and Georgeagea like this.
  7. eRacer212

    eRacer212 Racer

    You mean that this is actually... normal? And real racing drivers go at 200 kmh feeling the car loose because aquaplaning? There is no way, apart of what @eracerhead suggested, to improve this?
    Again, I'm a rookie, I have no idea about racing in the rain. I'm baffled.
  8. FelixR1991

    FelixR1991 Simracer

    Yes, it's normal for puddles to form once it has rained. o_O

    I don't know if it is exactly like real world racing, but they do have in put from real world driver's so I reckon it must be close yes.
  9. Hi,
    you have to subtly play with your right foot and make some adjustments to the ride height, contrary to what @Captain Barracuda says running in the rain is not so simple.;)
  10. Captain Barracuda

    Captain Barracuda Hardcore Simmer

    To provide a more fleshed out answer than my previous effort - Yes, IRL drivers do deal with aquaplaning, the biggest difference is there's real fear involved so they actually slow down for these conditions. In sim racing we don't have this fear so we approach these conditions differently. I've aquaplaned on a freeway going 100kph IRL, I'm sure a race car travelling 250+kph possesses the same ability to aquaplane like aforementioned road car. :confused:
  11. eRacer212

    eRacer212 Racer

    Ok... I no longer want to race IRL, this racing in the rain thing + just watched Alex Zanardi's crash (someone mentioned the documentary in other thread) is enough to dissuade me. These guys are titans. I think I will stick to sim racing.

    Back to the subject though, if there is no way of mitigating the aquaplaning effect in straight line, is it there any way of improving the handling of the car in slow and high speed corners?

    Thanks in advance for sharing.
  12. Luis Branco

    Luis Branco Hardcore Simmer

    This is my insight of driving in the rain and in changing track wetness conditions.

    The setup surely has an influence in racing in the rain, the tyres even more (obviously), but also adjusting the TC and ABS to the track conditions, and, as important as the rest, is how controlled and timed is the use of brakes and throttle while considering, also, the track (kerbs included) available to use for the conditions available.

    In the wet, the driving should be (much) smoother and more progressive than in the dry.
    It also helps to change a bit the way corners are approached.
    If in the dry it can be helpful to take some corners where the rotation of the car helps to point it out and pass with a higher speed, in the rain it is not a bad idea to use a different approach, with the car much more stabilized during all the turn and having it straight before accelerating as fast as possible.
    The same principle applies to braking.
    In the dry trail braking is very effective, but in the rain and in the wet, best results are achieved by doing practically all the braking before turning in, using much less trail braking than in the dry.

    Also relevant is the use of kerbs when the track is wet.
    Either accelerating out of corners or braking upon them, some kerbs, and also the green turf inside the kerb, can have much less grip than the wet track and cause either difficulties when braking, creating understeer or oversteer, depending how the brakes are applied, and oversteer while accelerating.
    Also there are some kerbs that, when used, even when not braking or accelerating - usually kerbs on corners where they're used to widen the track – can unsettle the car significantly, sometimes simply due of their banked nature, others by causing a sudden grip difference between in and outer tyres, either causing a complete loss of control or having to struggle to avoid a loss, both reflected in the lap pace, so, those kerbs should be avoided in the wet.

    About the track itself, puddles and different wet track parts aside, while considering the above about how to settle the car for turn in and acceleration, a green wet track, either on the race start or during race, when after some time of rain the track is washed, can be used with roughly the same line (kerbs limited, as from above) as with a dry track.
    However, with a rubbed wet track can be good idea to change the racing line to avoid, where possible, the normal line, which should be looked - at least until the track isn’t washed - as low grip kerbs/green turf. As the race progresses, and the rain persists, the normal lines can be resumed again.

    When the track conditions are changing, either from dry to wet or from wet to dry, is advisable to progressively dial the TC and ABS to the level suited for track conditions, TC in particularly.

    In wet conditions an high ABS level can be kept as long as the track has still some water and lowering the settings can jump more steps (not the best use of ABS settings, though), to the point that ABS can be kept on high even in almost completely dry track, but the same doesn't applies in the inverse situation and, as the track becomes wetter, is advisable to progressively change ABS level up, not waiting to change it until the track is completely wet.

    TC, should be used more progressively for both a drying track as for when wetness increases, lowering it step by step as the track dries and increasing it as the wetness increases as well.
    Unlike ABS, in a drying track, even if some water is still present, lowering the TC can be quite helpful for better pace lap, just as the contrary applies, when the wetness increases.
    In short, changing ABS from high to medium to low, in just 3 steps (although not the best approach) while the track dries doesn’t influence so much the pace and car control as progressively adjusting the TC, but as the wetness increases, progressively adjusting the ABS can be just as relevant as progressively adjusting the TC.
    Georgeagea and Plastic_Manc like this.
  13. stephen_b

    stephen_b Racer

    What I do in the Porsche. Start with the wet setup, this is fine for anything up to and including medium rain in my opinion. For heavy rain or storm conditions I will:

    1) Raise the front and rear ride heights up to 15mm and 10mm respectively. I always raise the front more than the rear to increase rear end stability and this also helps a lot with aquaplaning. Although I think the volume of water that can accumulate on track may have been dialled back a bit in 1.2 (I've not done much wet weather running but it doesn't seem as bad as it did previously).
    2) A click more rear wing, again for stability.
    3) A couple of clicks less ABS and TC. TC I may lower further once out on track as this can really be overly intrusive on corner exits and having already make changes elsewhere to make the car more stable I find it just cuts down on your straight line acceleration.
    4) Pay attention to where the puddles and streams are forming on track and modify you line to avoid them. Yes there are some as noted on the kemmel straight which can't be avoided. The trick here is to breath on the throttle, maybe change up early into a higher gear or in the most extreme cases I will even brake a touch to scrub speed. There is a spot on the Nurburgring after the Schumacher S where a stream forms across the track just before the braking zone for the left hander. I did an old competition race for one hour in heavy rain/storm conditions there where I was breaking in each lap to make it through safely.

    Bottom line is in wet conditions people are going to be making more mistakes than normal so whatever you can do to minimize yours through setup and driving technique, even if it compromises ultimate pace, will probably pay off over the course of the race.
    eRacer212 likes this.
  14. Luis Branco

    Luis Branco Hardcore Simmer

    Do you find less tendency to block the wheels and to avoid increasing chances of aquaplaning when braking with a dialled down ABS setting in a water saturated track (heavy rain and storm), by means of only setup changes?

    I ask because, if for TC, changes in setup and/or with smoother inputs I do find room to mitigate the use of TC, I do not for ABS use.

    When braking in a drenched track, I never find any improvement by lowering the ABS.
    When I reduce the ABS in the wet to a level lower than the wetness requires, as it happens in heavy rain and storm, I have to increase the braking distance, anticipating the braking point, either to have room to reduce speed enough to take the turn without compromising the line due to brake locking, start aquaplaning and sliding, either with oversteer or understeer, or, at the best, to have time to regain car composure before starting to turn.
    When that happens, mainly in heavy rain and storm, exactly the conditions you presented, I usually increase ABS again to where it was before, having to wait for the wetness to lower a bit until I can set a lower ABS level.
  15. stephen_b

    stephen_b Racer

    Purely a personal subjective feeling with the ABS. I think I have a light touch on the brake pedal which probably helps.
  16. LeSunTzu

    LeSunTzu Alien

    Braking depends a lot on your hardware too.

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