Suck Less at Sim Racing (9/10) intermediate training exercises

The next 2 days are somewhat pivotal in the history of the health of the US. We haven’t faced a pandemic in 100 years, and the exponential spread of COVID-19 is very concerning. Lots of events are being cancelled from the local schools to the NBA. During this time of social distancing, one activity that is seeing a surge in popularity is sim racing. So I thought I would do a short series of daily posts on sim racing as we buckle down and survive these next 2 days (or whatever it is).

Types of Corners

One of the problems intermediate drivers have is not understanding the 3 types of corners. They may think they understand the 3 types, but when it comes to driving, they fuck it up. So let’s just review the 3 types of corners to make sure we’re on the same page.

  • Type I corners are the most common type of corners. They have a straight before and after, and people think in slow, out fast as they navigate them.
  • Type II corners are the most rare. They are driven the opposite of Type I: in fast, out slow.
  • Type III corners are complexes of corners where it’s important to throw away the ideal line, possibly several times in succession, in order to prepare for the last corner.

Type II Exercise

Most sim racers can drive a Type I corner reasonably well. The problem is that they drive all corners like they are Type I corners. For this exercise, go to the following tracks and work on your technique in Type II corners.

  • Lime Rock – Everyone on iRacing has driven Lime Rock Park because it’s one of the free tracks and always featured in the Rookie placements. And almost everyone does T1/T2 wrong: they overslow the entry, speed up in the middle of the corner, then slow down as they run out of room at the exit. The Turn 1 & 2 complex is a basically one giant decreasing radius corner, not two independent 90s.
  • Summit Point – Another Type II is T4 at Summit Point (another track all iRacers know). Many racers try to take both T4 and T5 as Type I corners. Go through T4 fast and throw away the entry to T5.
  • Other Type II corners include VIR South T1 and Willow Springs T9.

Drive on Dirt

Drive on dirt tracks. When there’s less grip you have to fight understeer and oversteer more often. Get used to it because achieving balance is the key to speed. So the more time you have in an unbalanced state, the more you’ll be able to get out of your vehicle on any surface.

  • DiRT Rally is dirt-cheap on Steam. The courses in Greece are my favorites.
  • Assetto Corsa has some nice dirt tracks, like Karelia Cross. The NA Miata with default setup is a great training vehicle here. 1:05 is a good target.
  • iRacing has dirt tracks, but I can’t comment on them since I never drove them.

Tomorrow: advanced training exercises

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