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PHYSICS Tyres! oh... it's raining...

Discussion in 'ACC Blog' started by Aristotelis, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. Aristotelis

    Aristotelis Will it drift? Staff Member KS Dev Team

    Tyres! And rain… But first…

    The Rules!
    The Blancpain gt series uses Pirelli tyres. Different sizes for different groups of cars, mainly 3 sizes depending the weight bias of the car. So front engine cars usually get 325/705/18 all around, mid engined cars get 325/680/18-325/705/18 front-rear and rear engined cars 325/660/18-325/705/18 front-rear.
    Compound is one and unique for all races, all circuits, all cars. This means that this single compound must work in all cars, all weather conditions and all kind of circuits.

    The above information is crucial in order to understand that these kind of tyres have an extremely difficult job to do. They have to work on cars that go from 40%, down to 55% of their weight to the front. Heavy cars that go up to 1500kg at full race trim while at the same time support well over 500kg of downforce, have to withstand at least 1 hour of hard racing before changing tyres and are driven in various circuits on various ambient temperatures by professionals and gentlemen drivers. At first I also thought “hey that’s easy, I only have 1 compound to do”, then as development went forward and Pirelli and teams started sharing data (thank you so much!) I knew I was into big big trouble… Luckily I have master Stefano always willing to accept a challenge!

    Let’s start with the slick tyres.
    Slicks have a wide operating range. They give decent grip from 40°C and up to 130°C. Obviously they have a narrower optimum range around 70°C to 90°C. Pirelli defines optimum pressure at 29psi (almost 2bar) but most teams will run a little bit lower. Pirelli though, advises against very low pressures as it is easy to deflate a low pressure tyre on a kerb or similar conditions… For safety reasons it is prohibited to go lower than 20psi (1.4bar) as minimum inflation pressure.
    The tyres are always in preheated in tyre heater racks up to 70°C but realistically around 65°C, so expect to start any session (except maybe hotlap) with tyres at around 65°C core.
    Pressure in AC now influences the stiffness rate in a non linear way and differently for vertical, lateral and longitudinal. The whole footprint flexes in all 3 axis and I believe you will definitely feel this when attacking kerbs. Damping of the tyre is also affected by heat.
    The heating in ACC now has 3 interacting layers. Surface, core and inside air.
    The surface heat is quite active, going fast up and down while influenced from slip, flex, rolling speed, ambient temperature, road temperature, air speed and rotational speed. Obviously it exchanges heat with the inner core too.
    The inner core, is influenced mainly by rolling speed, flex and surface and inner air temperature.
    The inside air is exchanging heat from the core and… brake heat.
    For the first time though, we are not going to show you everything, just what the real teams get to look at, which means pressure and core IMO temperatures.

    Tyre wear
    This is now calculated in 3 separated IMO layers in a way that camber and toe can affect different parts of the tyre wear. If you use excessive amounts of camber and toe on a circuit with very long straights, then you will experience much more wear (and heat, more about it in a minute) on the Inner side of the tyre, making braking and traction worse but not affecting a lot lateral grip… and vice versa of course. Tyre wear is also implemented in a different way. We actually simulate the tread depth and we lower the depth as the tyre wears out. So you start with 3mm of depth at fresh tyres and you wear this out. Normally the teams and Pirelli consider a tyre as a very consumed one at under 1.5mm. The tyre wear is influenced by the distance covered, but most importantly by the slip. The more you slip the tyre, the more it wears and by “slip” we consider not only actual dragging the tyre on turns, braking and acceleration but also toe and camber, so again, watch out on how you setup your car.
    Another important factor for wear is surface temperature. The harder you drive the more surface heat you generate, the faster the tyres wear out. Heck you could completely destroy a tyre by doing donuts for some minutes… Obviously you are not going to monitor tyre’s surface temps as it is rapidly changing and hardly measurable in real time (in the real life), but if your core temperatures are on target, then the smoother you drive the less wear you’ll have. Also graining, blistering and flatspotting are still there, with all vibrations now acting also on the suspension movement. Pirelli points out that those tyres do not suffer much of graining and blistering, but if you keep using wet tyres on the dry, well don’t expect miracles. TC and ABS levels can also play a role here. Since flex also influences tyre heat, a stiff suspension and dampers as well as high downforce, can also influence the tyre wear…. so many things, so little time, I know.

    The Overall Feelings
    All of this works together, obviously in real time and affects many aspects of the tyre behaviour. This is one of the biggest improvements of ACC. Heat, wear, grip, do not just influence tyre grip but actually change the tyre behaviour. Slipangles and slipratios, stiffness rate and damping, lateral and longitudinal flex that is now also simulated, all of them change in real time, depending all of the above factors. You can expect a cold slick tyre to not only have less grip, but to be way more nasty and on the edge. So if it starts raining and you’re on slicks, before aquaplaning issues, you might have to deal with a much more nervous car behaviour because the tyres lost heat and pressure. A consumed tyre has less flex too, generates less core heat and has different peak splipangles. You might find the grip acceptable but the behaviour changed for the worse. All is extremely dynamic and lots of placebo is going to occur…Be brave and endure the difficulties ;)

    Still, there’s more. ACC now simulates variable dynamic weather and so we have…
    Rain in ACC is not simulated by simply lowering the grip. We simulate mathematically an actual water film depth. Tyres go over it and depending on tread design, load, speed and more, they manage to drain the water out and have a contact with the ground… or not. If the tyre can’t drain enough water, then it starts losing contact, up to complete aquaplaning, which means total loss of grip, zero, null, nada. So in ACC the feeling you get from a wet circuit is a good grip but a constant feeling of “something is about to happen”. You might do a turn in a specific way and feel there’s more than enough grip, you might even think “hey that was easy after all, arcade™!”, only to push a tiny bit more the lap after, or have the rain fall harder 3 laps later and go completely aquaplaning sliding out of the corner. The wetness also lowers drastically the heat generated by the surface layer of the tyre, so temperature of the tyres will go down inevitably.

    Slicks can go into aquaplaning very VERY easy. I strongly suggest that you watch the first laps of the Hungaroring race1 of the Blancpain GT Series to understand how cars on slick struggle on damp conditions, but also how the BMW M6 that had wet tyres could work his way from 11th position to 2nd and struggle right afterwards when the dry line started to form. You can also see him searching for wet spots to cool down the wet tyres. Here's the video. Race starts in 33:00

    Also in ACC wet tyres will overheat dramatically in dry conditions and you can cool them down going outside the dry line, searching for wet spots. Beware that in such conditions it’s easy to place one side of a car in the wet spot or puddle, resulting in high rolling resistance force from the water depth (and sudden aquaplaning) that can easily destabilze your car.
    I will also mention the obvious…there is no way you can stay on the track under heavy rain on slick tyres. We’re not talking being slow or having difficulties to control the car… we’re talking complete and utter loss of control and sliding around on “ice”. Fear not though, for people that want to experience the graphical majesty of rain conditions but in a less hardcore grip situation, we have a nice option slider that will lower the amount of physics water… just for fun.
    Staying on the dynamic track subject, here’s how a track surface changes through different conditions.
    • A green track will get gradually rubbered. marbles can appear at the side of the rubbered line
    • If rain starts then (depending on the force) it will wet the track and the rubbered line will start to be very slippery. You might be forced to avoid it or explore alternative lines.
    • If rain keeps on pouring heavy enough, it will clean the rubbered line and you might be able to turn back to a more traditional racing line. When this happens? I don’t know, try, experiment and find out!
    • If rain keeps on going, puddles and “rivers” might start forming. Those also might force you to try different lines again. Puddles and rivers are placed in specific realistic places on the circuits, derived from actual drivers feedback and their onboard videos.
    • If rain is lighter or stops and many cars are lapping, a dry line might form or simply a “less wet” line. You will obviously have more grip over the dry line but wet tyres will overheat.
    • Finally puddles will be the last to dry out, so watch out even if the track is slightly damp and slick tyres are faster, puddles can still catch you out.
    Obviously this is a generic description of how the whole system works: in reality and when the whole thing will be finalized, your experience might vary a lot and can become more unpredictable. The whole idea behind it, is to have deal with unpredictable conditions that will force you to adapt.

    Special guest…
    Did you know that real drivers will go over the marbles to collect them on their slick tyres so that they gain a kind of “tread” which lowers a tiny bit the risk of aquaplaning? Of course you’ll have to deal with less grip and vibrations, but nothing is worse than aquaplaning and it might help you until you go in for your pitstop… or the rain might go away and you’re f***ed… ops!

    Then we have tyre damage… but that’s something we still working on and I’ll explain it to you later.

    So, what’s next? Aero I guess… back to writing. (where’s my coffee!)

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  3. Aristotelis

    Aristotelis Will it drift? Staff Member KS Dev Team

    I’d also like to point out a personal opinion.
    I think simracers have been going way too far with controlling every single aspect of their tyres. I see videos with tons of apps that show in real time surface temps, real time wear, real time blistering/graining… everything. We are all craving for the best possible simulation and then we use all of that stuff… we are borderline cheating to be honest. So I’d like to return to a more realistic situation where you get the info real teams get and that’s it.
    You want to see how much your tyres are worn with precision? Go back to the pits and read the depth. You can’t have it in real time while driving.
    You want surface temp? Sorry no luck. Core temp and pressure, maybe yes. Again go to pits and check. Same for blistering graining and so on…

    Obviously you’re going to need help from the pitlane to tell you what they see in telemetry, that would be nice. It’s not a promise, we’ll see how it turns out.

    Anyway, I’ll do a post about setup to clear things about that aspect too.
  4. Aristotelis

    Aristotelis Will it drift? Staff Member KS Dev Team

    Forgot to add some extra info on the wet tyres:
    They also have a wide operating range, but they are not preheated
    They give decent grip from 20°C and up to 80°C. Obviously they have a narrower optimum range around 30°C to 70°C. Pirelli defines a higher optimum pressure at 31psi (almost 2.11bar) but most teams will run a little bit lower, but not much
  5. Fred Joseph

    Fred Joseph I'm watching you ! Staff Member

    Oh yeah please, make it so we can't user external apps !
  6. D.Jankovic

    D.Jankovic Alien

    Love it. And find myself guilty of using tire aps too much. Like the idea Back to pits and figure it out :) nice read. BIG Thank you for your time and effort to write us all of the juicy details
    Carla, vlado Cro, JKI and 1 other person like this.
  7. Obizzz

    Obizzz Racer

    I’ve always found the idea of having a live percentage indicator of tire wear kind of silly and arcadish.
    TDS, Ethan Dean and ShredatorFIN like this.
  8. magzire

    magzire Alien

    I think the tire apps balance itself out between having to drive and not having a team of race engineers telling you everything to do :)
    MjNoisen, Jack_NL, MsportDAN and 3 others like this.
  9. mms

    mms Alien

    Thanks for the great write-up @Aristotelis, always appreciated!

    A few questions regarding the wet track:
    I thought the places of puddles and rivers would be calculated based on the laser scan mesh instead of manually placing it, was it too complicated to do it?

    As I understood the dry line is not dynamic, is it also based on feedback from drivers and videos?
    SlimCharles likes this.
  10. Aristotelis

    Aristotelis Will it drift? Staff Member KS Dev Team

    I respectfully disagree. Even the best engineers in the world can't tell you while you're driving: "your Outside surface is at 123.4°C, your Mid surface is 119.3°C and your tyre wear is at 99.3%!"

    We need to get back to the basics... in my era we would drive GPL and all we had would be a picture of Dave Kaemmer on the steering wheel (without FFB!) :p
  11. matz_AUT

    matz_AUT Hardcore Simmer

    Me thinks the same.
    I use the default type app, so I know when pressures are in the green, and can have a glance at the wear status.
    The one thing I still consider to be of too much information is the temperature.
    I gues in RL a driver would not always know when his tyres are on the edge of overheating, and with the app, its quite easy to see and you can ease off a little bit early.
    Without knowing the temperatures I guess I would sometimes push too hard and only notice it when the tyres begin to really loose grip
    mESCx likes this.
  12. Poloman

    Poloman Racer

    I actually love this idea,and hope there are more of this,but just one thought,can someone with good programming skills ,"cheat", reading these info somehow?
    JKI likes this.
  13. ShredatorFIN

    ShredatorFIN Alien

    Imo it should be included in pit radio ("watch out, your front left is beginning to overheat"), or alternatively very simple hud, that gives you info that engineers would IRL, not more not less

    I don't like the excessive apps either, should be just what a real driver gets. But being completely "blind" about that isn't realistic either, since you would have pit radio
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
  14. Aristotelis

    Aristotelis Will it drift? Staff Member KS Dev Team

    That was the initial idea, but it proved simply not practical and most importantly, not giving accurate and realistic results. In real life the water will flow almost everywhere, but where it accumulates or where it forms "rivers" depends also on what is happening outside the track, or a water drainage system, or most importantly something under the surface of the asphalt that changes how the water is absorbed. So I predict a certain puddle in a place that should keep it, but in reality the puddle would form in a completely different place. That's why discussing with drivers and having their onboard videos was the best possible solution.
  15. Jack Taylor

    Jack Taylor Gamer

    These detailed articals are so interesting to read,

    Watching all the Blancpain Sprint series' races this last few days has really opened my eyes to how much depth and detail ACC is going to faithfully replicate, futhermore, how much as sim racers we will need to adapt to dynamic conditions. I don't just mean to adapt to rain, i mean we are going to have to litrelly nurse these Pirelli tyres and use intelligent tyre strategies to finish our stints, as well as adjusting to the grip levels, or lack of.

    I look forward to further posts.
  16. Ethan Dean

    Ethan Dean Hardcore Simmer

    I for one thank you for writing these for us using clear, understandable, simple language, instead of waving your willy about trying to show how smart you are. I see the latter all too often in simracing and it makes me gag. "We now calculate the rotational inertia of the individual threads in the tire's carcass to a precision of 0.00000010 nibbatrons, which results in greater variance of the quantification of the anomalistic nature of the dynamic weight balance of the driver's testicles"... okay, but how does it affect the driving? Not that that depth isn't there in ACC and the equations don't matter, but to me it's not strictly useful and practical for me to know the chemical composition of the paint Pirelli use for sidewall lettering. Thanks for making it human. It all sounds absolutely fantastic, and I'm itching for it to be the 12th already.

    I completely agree. When you're competing, you want all the info you can get, regardless of if it's realistic or not. I always felt dirty using wear indicators, but you're flying blind if you don't, and you're at a disadvantage in a situation where it's advantage first and immersion second. I love the idea of going full purist and using only the real data teams get on-track and in the pits, and nothing more. That's true simracing to me.

    I will say though, is it not reasonable that the surface inner/middle/outer temps could be measured in the pits? Pyrometers are fun. I don't really know how else to accurately set my camber.
    Retrolux, LeDude83, WallyM and 4 others like this.
  17. zamex23

    zamex23 Simracer

    I am really happy about this decision. Less cheating apps while driving. Driver needs to think about what is happening with car, not just look at tire app and see..ooo my tires are overheated, lets take it slower for few corners.
    ShredatorFIN and Jack Taylor like this.
  18. mms

    mms Alien

    Yeah, but you could have done radar scans to see how much the soil is compacted around the track and build 3D water absorption maps to deal with that :p:D:oops:

    Thanks for the answer and your time, it makes sense! I'll wait for the answer on the second question maybe after the release ;)
    Ethan Dean likes this.
  19. BigFW

    BigFW Racer

    Fantastic insight to 'wet' the appetite (see what I did there :rolleyes:) for ACC. Thank you.

    I like the idea of less techy apps.
  20. Aristotelis

    Aristotelis Will it drift? Staff Member KS Dev Team

    Ops sorry forgot about that. Yes driving line is not dynamic but also from driver feedback
  21. Atrax

    Atrax Racer

    These are great, can't wait for more! :D

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