O is for Oversteer

Oversteer is a common cause for spectacular crashes. The funny thing about oversteer is that you can experience it from too little throttle or too much throttle. Lifting in the middle of a corner causes trailing throttle oversteer (TTO) while putting down too much throttle causes power on oversteer (POO). In both TTO and POO, the front wheels have more grip than the rears. That’s pretty much the definition of oversteer.

In TTO, the oversteer is caused by weight transfer to the front tires by snapping off the throttle pedal. It’s almost like jamming on your brakes in the middle of a corner. FWD cars generally have around 60% of their weight over the front tires, so they are naturally prone to oversteer by their weight distribution. RWD cars are closer to 50/50 weight distribution, but the act of snapping off the throttle causes the rear wheels to drag, which induces oversteer because the rear tires are both braking and cornering. So don’t lift in the middle of a corner! Set your corner speed before the corner and then use maintenance throttle through the corner to add weight to the rear tires.

POO is only experienced by RWD cars. When a tire starts spinning it loses almost all its lateral grip. Even low powered cars can experience POO. Rain, hills, and and kerbs can all cause POO and a combination can be really spin-inducing.

Listen to the throttle in the following clips for TTO and POO. What would you do differently?

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