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egonzalez
2009.05.16, 07:17 PM
Driving Style/Radio Setup


I wanted to get the opinions of my fellow racers on their driving style and radio setup. Any input that you guys can share will be appreciated.

• What is faster using brakes or rolling the car into the turn without brakes?
• Is out-in-out the best way to maximize corning speed? (referencing entry and exit to a turn’s apex)
• Do you select the front tires based on the stickiest(most traction) that your car can handle without it over steering and with the least amount of turning radius required to negotiate the turn? In theory, less turning radius equals more corner speed. Is this correct?
• Does it just depend on your particular driving styles and no one driving style is faster then the other?
• We talk a lot about the car’s setup but what about radio tweaking and proper radio setup. Where do you guys begin? This seems to be big selling points of all high end radios.
• +/- steering curve +/- end point settings, etc…
• Do you balance your cars steering radius left and right to be equal? etc…:eek:

MillerTime
2009.05.16, 11:28 PM
My thoughts:

Driving Style/Radio Setup


I wanted to get the opinions of my fellow racers on their driving style and radio setup. Any input that you guys can share will be appreciated.

• What is faster using brakes or rolling the car into the turn without brakes? Almost always rolling the corner. Especially in a stock class where power may be limited, you don't want to waste momentum by braking.
• Is out-in-out the best way to maximize corning speed? (referencing entry and exit to a turn’s apex) That depends on the course layout, particularly the section after the turn. You often want to take a corner in the way that best sets you up for the next section, and that's not always out in out. If you do a search on race cornering strategies you'll find alot of stuff for full scale racing and that generally applies to RC scales too.
• Do you select the front tires based on the stickiest(most traction) that your car can handle without it over steering and with the least amount of turning radius required to negotiate the turn? In theory, less turning radius equals more corner speed. Is this correct? I think that could be a personal preference thing. Given the option I like to have as much steering as possible and then I adjust my steering input to the most I can apply. I like that because in a race situation you may sometimes need to take a different line than your preferred line, to make a pass or block one, avoiding a car on the inside rail, etc. It's also a balance between front and rear so that the car handles as close to neutral as possible, but again that's a preference thing.
• Does it just depend on your particular driving styles and no one driving style is faster then the other? I think so. There is one style of driving that is almost always preferred however, and that's smooth driving. As I mentioned before, that's even more crucial in a stock class setup where your available traction may exceed your available power, you need to carry speed and setup for the next section. It's amazing how a driver that takes a line to carry speed and setup for the next section can appear to have a lot more horsepower.
• We talk a lot about the car’s setup but what about radio tweaking and proper radio setup. Where do you guys begin? This seems to be big selling points of all high end radios. Some areas of radio setup are personal preference - for example I like to have 100% of the available steering and throttle and then I adjust my input to what the car and conditions will allow. Some people prefer to have their radios set to limit the available steering or throttle so they can go full throw without breaking traction. I will say that it's absolutely critical to have a radio that allows you to adjust at least the endpoints/dual rates, and I really like a transmitter that allows exponential adjustments too.
• +/- steering curve +/- end point settings, etc…
• Do you balance your cars steering radius left and right to be equal? etc…:eek: Yes

I'm by no means a pro but I've done a bit of RC racing of different types for many years. One thing that I often see is a really fast driver that has a personal preference that seems completely against the common logic. A huge part of driving well is feeling comfortable, relaxed, and confident.

color01
2009.05.17, 12:30 AM
In Stock class, you should probably never brake... especially if you drive an out-in-out line, the cars simply don't need to slow down all that much. The last time I drove at Fast Pace Racing, I only let completely off the throttle in one place, and that was the end of the straight (the PNWC layout goes into a hairpin at the end). Otherwise I was on at least half throttle for the entire lap. :eek:

Out-in-out is fastest for a simple corner, however when you have a full lap that is many corners strung together, you have to adjust your line to setup for the next turn afterwards. Sometimes you have to compromise your exit from one corner to get a good entry on the next one -- the most notable case being consecutive hairpins or S-curves.

Front tire choice is entirely up to the driver's preferences, but in general, a mildly understeering car is the fastest and most consistent on the track. Overly sticky front tires cause a lot of friction, which means lots of steering but also reduced cornering speed. It's often advantageous to run harder front tires and use harder rear suspension settings to balance the car out. I tend to get better results nowadays from harder front tires and more steering throw than the opposite, possibly because I can have more steering "resolution" with harder front tires, which means a bit more precision, which means tighter lines.

If you have REALLY fast reflexes, you can drive like Grant (Matsushima) and just banzai every corner... but for the rest of us it's probably safer to take it easy and play a smoother game. If you want some references, look up the PNWC videos from past championship races. Most of the winning drivers are smoother drivers, either that or they set up their cars to make them look smooth (NOT sarcasm, btw -- like radios, cars should also match their drivers). I personally drive as smoothly as possible unless I find that the particular corner requires more steering than I have, in which case I have two options, 1) be sane, and slow down, or 2) be insane, and enter with a drift. Option 2 eats tires though, and so I'm learning how to restrain myself. In the end I think Option 1 is faster solely because it's more consistent, and when you slow down you can hold a tighter line, which can make you faster even if your absolute speed is lower.

I have slow hands and only decent reflexes (exception: adrenaline high :D), so I need the fastest and most aggressive response from the radio possible -- hence why I got an EX-1 UR, I absolutely love the Ultra HSR mode. I also like to have as much resolution as possible on my controls, so I use the dual rate a lot, and try to leave the steering and throttle curve alone. I use up to 10% Punch if needed, say for some Mod motors (zero low-end grunt). I put 5% Punch on the steering to get around the ASF PCB's mild dead band. Steering Curve I prefer to leave at 0, but it really depends on the track I go to. I used something like -20% at Kenon (obscenely sticky RCP) and up to +35% at ILR (slippery RCP).

For drifting, you actually could get away with +100% steering curve, the cars need to react faster anyways. :p

Left/Right steering should always be balanced for a track car (oval cars are a different story), unless you have some disability or injury that prevents your steering hand from working evenly in both directions. That means that the end points should be set such that the max. steering angle of the car is equal left and right. If your rear pod is tweaked or out of alignment (this actually happened on an Atomic motor pod I had once), then you can compensate by adjusting the endpoints, but then your car's actually traveling straight with the chassis pointing sideways. :eek: It's not an ideal situation, so I just bought myself a new motor pod.

egonzalez
2009.05.17, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the replies.

MikeL
2009.05.17, 12:13 PM
Using a little dual rate, or epa as absolutely needed always helps corner speed, if the track is too tight though, you can't get away with less than 100% without slowing down too much for slow corners. You can use the radio to fudge your setup a little bit one way or the other though, if you don't have enough turn in, you can raise your steering curve (expo, whatever your radio calls it) making the wheels turn a little faster off center, and vice versa if it's too twitchy. I've had the best luck when my car is balanced, but there are times when it is lacking corner speed this way, it tends to be faster when it's on the edge, but that usually puts me into a few barriers ;)

egonzalez
2009.06.15, 08:28 PM
Any more comments on driving style/setup????? More input would be appreciated…

racerlog
2009.06.15, 09:26 PM
i would recommend you try driving a few different cars while at the track -- no matter how weird they might feel. you may find different aspects you like. i know i like my cars a little loose in the rear -- cause i think it is faster. the most important thing though is to have a car that you can drive consistent. once you are consistent then worry about getting consistently fast :)

all in all, i think you had a good showing at the nyrc atomic regional. just imagine how much better you will be at the pn regional after getting almost a month of flat track practice at our new, smooth, air conditioned race track!!

egonzalez
2009.06.15, 09:55 PM
i would recommend you try driving a few different cars while at the track -- no matter how weird they might feel. you may find different aspects you like. i know i like my cars a little loose in the rear -- cause i think it is faster. the most important thing though is to have a car that you can drive consistent. once you are consistent then worry about getting consistently fast :)

all in all, i think you had a good showing at the nyrc atomic regional. just imagine how much better you will be at the pn regional after getting almost a month of flat track practice at our new, smooth, air conditioned race track!!

Thanks for your input... I can't wait for this Thursday.... I it will :cool: racing to say the least....

EMU
2009.06.16, 03:45 AM
I like a car that I dont have to push too hard to run at race pace. The most important thing for me, is a car that is fast, but feels slow. It shouldnt be very edgy, but should have good transition speed and lots of corner speed. I want a little more steering off throttle, but not to the point that the car will lose the rear end. I typically use a hard rear end suspension, with mid/hard front tire setup (ATM AW40/40 slick are my usual front tire with Kyosho 20d radial or ATM 8d radial rear tire). For slower motors, I go with less overall grip on the car. Too much grip makes me feel like I scrub off too much speed in the corners. I like the car to rotate more on throttle, but not to the point that it spins out. I dont want the car to push out as I get on the throttle. Once I hit the apex, I want to be able to get on throttle for the exit.

I usually push harder in qualifiers than I do in mains. Qualifiers are much shorter than the main. Its more important to push to get to the highest qualification you can. Once you are in the main, its much longer, so you can just try to focus more on consistancy. I try to run as fast as I can without overdriving the car. I dont want to wear my tires and lose punch at the later stage of the race when I would need it.

I dont drive slow. Just not as hard as I would in qualify. I try to run as tight of a line as I can, and pace the cars around me... looking for opportunities to get passes clean. After the halfway point, I start to push a little more, my tires should be at optimum temperature, where people that use a softer tire are starting to lose a little grip.

Obviously race strategy is different in every race, especially depending on grid position. If you start in the back, you are going to push a little harder to get to the front. But the important thing, is not to push too hard early on. People are still trying to find their rhythem, and evaluate their cars. The best way to make passes is by other drivers mistakes, or other people pushing too hard to make a pass and leaving an opening where you can jump up 2 positions early in the race. I usually gain a few positions on starts when I start towards the rear, since people fight for positions too early and end up losing a few... My general rule, is not to try to battle for a position until after the first few corners. I try to give the cars around me room, and pace the cars in front of me. If there is a clean opening, I take it. Otherwise I try to wait it out a little to find something that is clean. Its important to pass, but more important to make a pass without taking yourself or another car out. You also dont want to slow yourself down too much when you make the pass. Example would be the block pass. This may get you the position, but will lose time on the cars ahead and bring the cars behind closer...

If I start in the front, I am not going to try to make any passes for the first half of the race. Unless the leader is getting away, and I know I am considerably faster than the car ahead. If we are all close, then I will ride it out for some time to try to get a gap on the cars behind. Every time you battle for a position, you allow cars behind to catch up, and the car ahead to build more of a gap.

Racerlog, one thing that is difficult about driving a few cars on the track, is that you lose feeling for the car you are driving. I know this from driving many classes at big races. I think it is best to decide which car feels best before the race, and fine tune that on race day. If you are only driving one class, test a couple cars on the surface during practice, and choose the fastest one that feels the most consistant. This may not be the car that puts down the fastest lap, but will be the car that will be able to string along the most fast laps. Look at the top 10 lap average, not just the top lap...

When setting my endpoints, I put the car on the track, and make a circle left. Then make one to the right. I want to set my endpoints so that they are basically equal. I dont use any steering curves. I occasionally use throttle curves depending on the motor I am using, and what I want to get out of it. With a 70t, I usually use a positive curve. I want more control on the top of the throttle band. So I can let off just a little as I go through sweepers. With a straight curve, I feel there is such little trigger movement to the deceleration that I get when I let off the throttle. With a modified motor, I usually use no curve.

I disable Virtual Inertia on all of my cars. I used to use brake a lot, even for stock. But that was before I had VI disabled on the cars. I still occasionally use brakes, depending on the layout, and the position I am in on the track. In general, smooth in, smooth out is fastest and most consistant. Some layouts require heavy braking, although most PN layouts, I rarely brake. Sometimes there are one or two corners that braking will help. Most of the time, drag brake and scrub will be sufficient to slow you down enough for the corner.

It is always important to take the driving style of the drivers around you into consideration. Some drivers are slow in, fast out... other fast in slow out. Know what they do, so you can anticipate passing locations and prevent collisions. I like to pace cars a little before looking for a pass, so that I know it will stick and where I have to defend the line after making the pass (where they run well on the track).

egonzalez
2009.06.16, 09:45 AM
Thanks EMU for your input.... By driving smooth you not only shave seconds off the clock but you also less prone to tire wear, tweaked chassis, bent rims etc...I also disable Virtual Inertia on all of my cars. I ran the same tire combination at the atomic race.. (AW40 and Kyosho 20 treaded and zero off set all the way around.) I agree that fast car that feels slow is the winning ticket, but without a timing system, it is difficult to come to this conclusion. I will try to make better use of race results in the coming weeks. I also noticed that the ability to read the fastest line around the track is important.

color01
2009.06.17, 01:37 AM
Wish I had a coach like you, EMU. Growing up on Need for Speed is so bad for actual racing. :D

If you have a decent mental clock, you can judge your setups by pushing the car as hard as it can go around the track for a few laps and seeing where you're faster or slower. And of course you can use the cars around you as a general guide -- after all, when you race, if you're the fastest on the track for that main, you win.

One more thing I'd like to chime in on is the use of throttle curve to adjust drag brake. If you run a positive curve, then you're taking power away from the motor more slowly than if you run a negative curve, thus the initial drag braking effect is actually lowered (assuming your finger is moving just as fast). So if you want a lot of drag brake, for example, at the end of the straight, but don't want to hit the brakes, you can try running a negative throttle curve. This is what TJ does, and we all know how fast he is. :) Eventually I'll figure it out, IMO there is a lot of merit to it.

yasuji
2009.06.17, 02:17 AM
go till u see god then brake:D
BANZAI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tjay
2009.06.17, 05:58 PM
I never use brakes. I don't know how.

99% of the time, I'm on throttle. The only time I let off to neutral position is when I'm coming in too hard on a turn, usually after the straight-away.

I don't blimp my throttle when driving 2wd, however awd is different story...

I now use 3PK because I like the feel of the throttle. I has longer range for more resolution. Same goes to the steering. It's not too snappy like the super dooper advance feature you get on a UR and no, it is not the same if you lower down the curves or changing it to "high" instead of "advance".

MikeL
2009.06.17, 09:58 PM
I was thinking about this as I was trail braking my 1/1 car into the office parking lot :eek: If you've driven some fast guys cars and said, damn this car has so much push how do you get around the track? well that's it, the get into the braking zone enough to unload the rear which makes the car turn in. I can only do it if I get the radio settings right, once past neutral for some reason I can only get full brakes, lol. So if the radio/esc has enough drag into nuetral the car will do it, I've found this very hard to do on a Z and still have reverse.

MikeL
2009.06.17, 10:06 PM
I never use brakes. I don't know how.

99% of the time, I'm on throttle. The only time I let off to neutral position is when I'm coming in too hard on a turn, usually after the straight-away.

I don't blimp my throttle when driving 2wd, however awd is different story...

I now use 3PK because I like the feel of the throttle. I has longer range for more resolution. Same goes to the steering. It's not too snappy like the super dooper advance feature you get on a UR and no, it is not the same if you lower down the curves or changing it to "high" instead of "advance".

I've never seen you drive, but I have seen and driven fast guys cars who also tell me they are on throttle the whole time, but if you watch their trigger finger it's really not :) You have to let off even 20% just to get some weight transfer, 100% of the time I remind myself to calm down and go a little slower, I go a little faster :)

egonzalez
2009.06.18, 12:06 AM
Thanks for all the info/input…I’m glad were finally getting some good drivers sharing and participating in this discussing. Keep it coming… How much can we attribute to raw driving talent? If we had to give a percentage value to driver talent over car setup, what would those values be? (80/20)?

-J-
2009.06.18, 12:17 AM
Raw talent = 70% (if not more)
Setup = 20%
Equipment = 10%

herman
2009.06.18, 12:52 AM
pretty good read thus far...
If we had to give a percentage value to driver talent over car setup, what would those values be? (80/20)?
i've always wondered how would top level drivers do in a completely box stock race... literally no setting up of the car whatsoever... i figure given all things equal, talent for the most part would indeed play a bigger role than set up...

open it up to having different set ups, and having the access to better parts allows for many factors / variables to consider...

having better batteries alone, i believe is a huge advantage... that's why some races in japan include hand out batteries (the throw away kind) during races, so that the playing field would more or less be equal...

as for tips... (not too much of a radio set up, but more on your driving style) i asked a wise old (well not so old) or should i say more experienced driver... what's your secret? and he told me... in order to go fast... you have to go slow... ????...

kinda didn't make sense at first... but he goes on to explain that... at first it does sound weird, but you will have to develop your driving style, which means consistently going through the track without any mistakes, and discovering your own racing line...

going fast just invites some room for error... for inconsistencies... in summary go as fast as you can without making any mistakes... be consistent...

after taking it all in, it all made more sense...

and in order to be more consistent, you have to practice, practice and practice... :D

hope this helps...

Tjay
2009.06.18, 12:55 AM
I've never seen you drive, but I have seen and driven fast guys cars who also tell me they are on throttle the whole time, but if you watch their trigger finger it's really not :) You have to let off even 20% just to get some weight transfer, 100% of the time I remind myself to calm down and go a little slower, I go a little faster :)

When I say. "I don't let off the throttle". I mean I don't put the throttle to neutral position. Of course you have to release the throttle from full throttling. How do you expect to go around the corners without slowing down? I just always have my fingers on throttle. Not necessarily in FULL throttle.

racerlog
2009.06.18, 07:39 AM
I know when I'm at the track I try to track how I did in each qualifier / main and map those results into car setup or line/strategy changes. I make sure to count if I had to get marshalled (or back up in mini-z), what was my fastest lap (and how many), what was my average lap time, what is the difference between my fastest and average lap time.

All in all, generally there is only three things you can do out on the track to be faster
1 - don't blow out and need to get marshalled
2 - stay consistent / hit your lines
3 - find better lines, change setup and go faster!

Edel - often you have the fastest lap in mod 02 qualifier or mains at Maj's, so I think you have #3 covered... but maybe your car is too much on the edge to successful complete items #1 and #2?

color01
2009.06.18, 12:49 PM
I now use 3PK because I like the feel of the throttle. I has longer range for more resolution. Same goes to the steering. It's not too snappy like the super dooper advance feature you get on a UR and no, it is not the same if you lower down the curves or changing it to "high" instead of "advance".
I'm pretty sure the UR felt too snappy because you always left it on Quick Response set to 120%, lol... I leave it on 60-90% nowadays because it's as you said, not smooth enough at high percentages. Response time be darned, the smoothness makes the car a lot harder to unsettle.




Egonzalez- driver skill probably makes up 80% of the equation at the 1/28 scale, especially with our wonderful RCP foam barriers stopping the cars dead cold when you brush them. Setup and equipment make up the rest of it, with equipment making the smallest difference IMO (better batteries are not going to make up for missing the apex at a corner).

herman
2009.06.19, 03:18 AM
...better batteries are not going to make up for missing the apex at a corner

agree... but wouldn't you agree having better batteries would indeed be... er ''better''?... ;)

better is kinda relative... it's been more of a "feel" thing (i.e. it feels like it has more punch...)

if i remember it right somebody pitted some batteries against each other in determining the better battery... just can't remember who...

anyway given this info, wouldn't you go for the better battery?... if i had the means... of course... but yep i would still have to make that apex though... :D

given all things equal... it's driving skill that will set one apart from the others...

as an individual (at your own skill level)... it's they way you set up your car according to your driving skill that will set you apart from the others...

what may work for one, may not work for the other... so in a sense, develop your style, then your set up according to your style, and see if a certain change would generally benefit your runtime... and most importantly have fun doing it.... hope this helps :D

color01
2009.06.19, 05:52 AM
Of course better is better, lol... but anyways, I meant that I would care about having the best equipment only long after polishing driving skills and chassis setup. Case in point, I'm still running my old packs of Orion 900's... they were still good enough for a lap record at Kenon so I really don't bother getting the "latest and greatest" batteries. Though obviously if I had them, breaking the record would be made easier (I tend to get passed on the straightaway, go figure. :o)

Tjay
2009.06.19, 12:35 PM
I'm pretty sure the UR felt too snappy because you always left it on Quick Response set to 120%, lol... I leave it on 60-90% nowadays because it's as you said, not smooth enough at high percentages. Response time be darned, the smoothness makes the car a lot harder to unsettle.

I never messed around with Quick Response. It was always on "OFF". Unless otherwise, OFF is default to 120%.

Though obviously if I had them, breaking the record would be made easier (I tend to get passed on the straightaway, go figure. )

not necessarily. Slower car= tighter corners. So while others are pushing, you're cutting. This also depends on the layout of the track. If there's more straights that turns then faster motor/best batts is a must.

Good example. Lex Tyler at PNWC Vegas. His car was the slowest out of the 8 cars on the grid and still manages to take 1st home by driving much tighter lines... watch the videos.

color01
2009.06.19, 08:38 PM
I never messed around with Quick Response. It was always on "OFF". Unless otherwise, OFF is default to 120%.
Really? :confused: Whenever I borrowed your UR it always felt like you had it on, especially on the throttle.

I don't remember last year's PNWC Vegas layout, but this year's regional layout is open enough that I think horsepower could make a difference... prove me wrong TJ, take that 2WD Stock title already. ;)

egonzalez
2009.06.20, 12:06 AM
Great discussion…. Therefore, at the end of the day it does not come down to a good or bad driving style.
1. Tune your car’s setup to suit your specific driving style.
2. Your ultimate goal should be to stay as consistent as possible.
3. The car should feel and seem slow but smooth while turning faster lap times. (tight cornering)
4. Batteries are factored in depending on the class that you are racing in. (Mod v Stock)
a. Some motors require batteries that have more top end and some require more punch?
5. Practice… Practice…Practice 80/20 (Driving Talent to Setup and Equipment ratio)

Please feel free to add/edit the list above…

Tjay
2009.06.20, 03:56 AM
Really? :confused: Whenever I borrowed your UR it always felt like you had it on, especially on the throttle.

I don't remember last year's PNWC Vegas layout, but this year's regional layout is open enough that I think horsepower could make a difference... prove me wrong TJ, take that 2WD Stock title already. ;)

I only mess around with Curves and HiPoint. To be honest with you, after the KO race I totally changed my driving. By no means that my 3PK change my driving but it helped out a lot. The resolution I get from this thing is just amazing... super smooth and I'm sure you can do the same on the KOPROPO's but the throttle feel (travel) is just not the same for me.

You're right Brian. Motors and batteries do make a difference but you can still compete with a slower motor especially if you're running against aggresive driving style.

I'm stuck in 2nd place at PN regionals in '08 and KO GP in March '09. I hope to improve it this year. We'll see. :)

Tjay
2009.06.20, 04:07 AM
3. The car should feel and seem slow but smooth while turning faster lap times. (tight cornering)

Let me explain this part. You litterally have to smoothly turn your steering wheel while slowly letting of the throttle (not all the way to neutral position) just like how you would on a real car and when it's safe, get back on the throttle smoothly. By doing so you're eliminating wheel scrub and this makes your car corners harder and faster. You guys really have to pay attention to this as this is all what every driver forgets to do.

I suggest to build a car that pushes to teach the driver to let off the throttle and learn to have a better throttle control.

Davey G
2010.11.27, 01:33 PM
I have raced with TJAY and the way he describes his driving style is the same way that I would describe mine. All actions are to be slow and smooth, nothing is to be abrupt. When entering a sweeper turn the wheel as little as possible and let off throttle just enough to get it to go through but not scrub. For hairpin turns I enter the turn by slowly letting off throttle, slowly turn the wheel to a mid point position, then at the apex turn the wheel all the way to get it to snap through, then slowly turn the wheel back to exit smoothly. When it comes to dual rate some people say I use a lot. But I REALLY dont. I use the throw at the apex of the turns only, not all the way through. When it comes to throttle I always use negative expo because I like the feeling of having my finger on throttle even though the percentage of throttle is backed down. My theory is if your car pitches or kicks in the turn, you lose time. You never want to see your car double steer or pitch in or out of a turn. Straight line chicanes and turn the wheel as little as possible. Hope I was of some help. Any questions on radio setup as away. :D