View Full Version : The Racing Line

2008.09.29, 03:54 PM
Hey fellow racers. In 1:1 scale racing, the drivers follow a certain "racing line." This is the line that flows through the entire track and gives you the fastest way around the turns, such as your apex and what not.
I notice that in go-cart racing and RC racing, that very few people know what the racing line is and even fewer seem to follow it. Over all laptimes would be greatly improved, and I beleive less crashes would happen if everybody followed this racing line. If you look at some professionally built race tracks for 1:1 scale cars, you will notice that most of the track is made of asphalt I beleive, and the racing line is what look's like concrete. You'll notice this concrete at the entrance of the turns.
Now, how to find this and mark this for RCP tracks? Does ANYBODY know the racing line for the Mini 96 and can somebody draw that line on say one of the track builders? How would you mark it? Sure, if your track is forever permanently attached to the floor you could paint the line, but let's face it, it's never permanent as we're always changing the layout, or simply putting it away for storage. So painting won't work.
I thought about tape, but tape doesn't go around curves very well as the edges tend to peal up.
What about useing chalk? Would chalk be easy to remove?
What do you professional racers think? Think it's a good idea to mark a racing line on the track? Would like to see one drawen up for the Mini96. Thank's!

2008.09.29, 10:09 PM
Marc, I don't think it's a good idea to mark the "racing line" on the track (IMHO). This racing track is usualy the mark of the tires that makes the fastest time... So if the pilot doesn't have the experience needed to determine the racing line and try to drive as fast as he can on that imaginary line, drawing it on the floor will not make him a better pilot. In fact, if a new pilot see a racing line and try to keep following it, may cause more accidents than running by himself.

You are right, we are always changing the layout of the track, and it is more difficult to draw those lines only with the tire marks.

2008.09.29, 11:00 PM
So you don't think the proper racing line is as important on the small scale as it is in larger scale? I noticed this with go-cart racing as well. When your with a small group that knows about the racing line, the laps are much smoother and faster. When you have amatures and kids, adults who don't know the racing line, the race can be some what a mess.

2008.09.30, 10:12 AM
having the racing line, like in real racing is what you strive for, is shouldn't be drawn, but you can picture it in you mind and then try and drive it, lap after lap, that is what will make you faster and more consistent.

the line that you see on a real track if actually rubber that is laid down by the tires of the cars that are running "rubbering in the track". they don't put the line on there for the drivers to follow. that would be simply silly. the difference between good drivers and great drivers are the lines they run and were they can find those little things that make them faster then the rest.

Same applies in Mini-Z racing. learn the line and consistently drive them and you'll be finishing at the top.

2008.09.30, 10:23 AM
Yes I am aware of the fact that tires are what is marking the racing line. But as I said, some tracks have what look's like concrete added to the entrance of the turns.
What my concerne is, "not that concerne is the right word but oh well," is that not everybody at the track follows this imaginary line and it look's like a big mess. Imagine how much neater the race would be if EVERYBODY followed through this line. Maybe a line needs to be made for practicing and then removed for the actual race?
When I race I try my best to follow the line, but it's awfully difficult when you have cars in your way that look like their racing drunk.
You can easily spot the difference between the really expert drivers, and the novice drivers. The real experts are smooth and gracefull and are propably following this imaginary line. The novice, is all over the track.
I'd like to get Cristian in here and get his point of view on this. We all know he's a superb driver and I bet he follows the racing line all the time!

2008.09.30, 10:30 AM
it looks like a mess because it is, if you have different skilled drivers on the track at the same time. hence the qualifying sessions and grouping at the races.

as those that gain the experience and control learn it, then they can advance. It should wouldn't hurt to point them in the right direction or help them with what the driving line should be, but I don't see it as practical to put it on the track.

the most important thing is actually corner entry and hitting the apex as close as possible, if you get that wrong it really kills your exit speed and lap times.

2008.09.30, 10:40 AM
Then maybe some how marking just the apex with say a "toothpick" flag at the corner. Kind of like how I dressed up my Mini96 on 4th of July. But only where that apex is and just tell people to aim for the flag.

2008.09.30, 10:49 AM
hitting the apex is nothing without the correct entry though. just think of it in this respect.

the tigher you take the turn, the more speed you sacrifice, not only going in, but coming out of the corner. the overall goal would be to slow down only what is needed to make the corner while driving the largest radius possible, any more costs you time, any less and you'll hit the rail on the exit.

2008.09.30, 11:03 AM
I agree with briankstan. I think, marc, if you have beginners on the track, you may introduce them in the "art" of follow the imaginary raceline, and show them with a fast lap, apointing how the raceline helps taking in and out of the turns.

And when you have a very "locked" track, with 180 turns, the "secure" racing line is a little different from the "ideal" racing line, 'cause a crash will not slow down your car, but it'll stop it. Them, you loose all the seconds you was fighting for.

I think each pilot have to have his own imaginary racing line, and the more experient this pilot become, more "organized" races will be.

2008.09.30, 12:34 PM
i dont think it is needed to mark the track to show the fast line
i.e philips line and my line differ in every corner but yet we can run within .01 of each other and be spot on with our mean time
philip is such a smooth driver and i am out of control;)
every one will have a different fast line
every one has a different take on what is fast....:D

2008.09.30, 01:04 PM
Thank you guy's for your inputs. I would love to watch a Mini-Z race with where strictly professionals are following this line or at least are so smooth and gracefull that they appear to be following a line even if it's their OWN line and noe really the TRACK's line.
My other point is this. A smoother driver can finish better than a well tuned car with a driver who's all over the track.
It would just be cool to see professional drivers who know the racing line race together.

2008.09.30, 02:13 PM
It would be like watching a F1 race, or a nascar race... but in 1:28 scale. It would be very cool!

2008.09.30, 02:23 PM
Yep! I'm sure there are fantastic drivers in Japan that do so.

2008.09.30, 06:37 PM
grant you are not out of control,its just controlled chaos :D

2008.09.30, 07:19 PM
Marc, at this scale, is is difficult to drive the 'line' consistantly. You have to leave some room for error. Especially at a racing event. Driving the 'safe line' is usually better, where you give yourself a few inches off the apex. I have found that my line has tightened with the 2.4ghz cars, as well as using the 70t motor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQdidRv8f_4 This is the PNWC 2wd mod race from PA. The white car is PN, you can see that he consistantly ran a tighter line than just about everbody else. Sometimes the line matters more than the speed through the corner, especially when you have a section with a few tight corners. It is usually best to set yourself up for the last corners exit when dealing with a few corners with little space between them.

Take in mind, that even the slowest people in the video are still very fast racers. All racers take pretty similar lines, as I think we were all driving pretty conservative (except Philip), 10 minute mains with an Anima II are no easy task. I drove too tight of a line, but was not on throttle nearly as much as you would think in the video, halfway down the straight I was coasting, then getting back onto the throttle as I turned in on the sweeper to keep the car from spinning out. I tried to coast as much as I could, but keep speed up. Turned out that I could have driven a little harder, but I was scared to burn the car or dump my batts.