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PI Tips and more for beginners.

PI:

 

Over the past few days I've been watching some of the newer guys as they leveled up in rookie class.  Lots of questions about how I, Strat, Zyg, Alex, and so on are so fast while they struggle to get within 5 seconds of our lap times.

Guys, its the way you assign your performance points.  PI has a drastic impact on how your car performs so I'm going to break it down for you. 

 

Power- Each point added is a direct influence on how effective your engine is, how fast it revs, how quick it hits peak power and rpm.  Its extremely important that when you get to 60 PI that this be maxxed out at 20 or you are going to get romped every race.

Braking-this directly effects stopping distance..how effective your brakes are.  None of us fast drivers assign any PI points to this section..the brakes at 0 PI are plenty sufficient to slow the car for the corners.  Its just a matter of finding the right braking point to do so.  Here's a tip on that for a beginning racing driver..turn on the reccommended braking points in game options..and brake a car length before them..adjust from there..but usually a car length is sufficient.

Grip-How much grip the car overall generates in the corners..more grip, means more speed in the corners, which means lower lap times.  You want this MAXXED out 20 points

Traction-reduces wheel spin but again, not used by us fast drivers..we manage our wheel spin by managing engine revs and making sure we accelerate at the right time.

Weight-this directly affects your car's acceleration..a car that weighs less accelerates faster.  Depending on the driver, this can be maxxed, half or none.  This one depends on driving style..better acceleration is good on short tracks..ok on long tracks but see aero before making this decision

Aero-This affects car's top speed..the higher the aero the easier the car can hit maximum speeds...great on long tracks..ok on short tracks.

Now..when you build a car you have to decide..do you want a car thats kind of balanced for both long and short tracks..strictly a long track powerhouse, or a short track dominator and assign either weight or aero or both accordingly.

Here is the car that can run a 1:12 on Ark 1 blue with no widgets.

Notice how the PI is set over on the right, Nothing in braking, traction or weight.  This car hits top speed on the straights maxed out, gearing selection full left but on a short track..its acceleration is somewhat..wanting so I have another car for those tracks thats setup differently in PI. 

 

Racing Line:  

 

Now I see new and old drivers alike making some mistakes here..some mistakes worse than others so let me talk about racing line from the point of view of a real world race driver.  I drove sprint cars and dirt modifieds for quite a number of years, before that, did a lot of "ahem" illegal street racing.  So when I talk about this stuff you know I'm not talking out my you know what.

Lets bring a corner we are all familiar with into the picture..Ark 1 blue, tunnel turn..we all know this is a fast left hand turn and is a hairpin on top of that.  Hairpin turns are some of the toughest corners to try to figure out how to do fast.  Now..if you have the in-game driving line on you know the recommended line..and its pretty close but doesn't quite straighten the corner enough...so I do it just slightly different but it is a good starting point for a new driver.

As you approach any corner at speed you want to be on the outside of the turn in this case, the right side of the track..brake, and cut to the apex, when you get to the apex you want to be able to reach out of the car and touch it..your tires should just graze the apex..do a fast 1 count..hit the accelerator..as you accelerate out of the corner you should let the car ease to the right side of the track again, just inside of the wall..you want to use the whole track.  Now in a hairpin, the apex is halfway through the full 180 degrees of radius.

Here's what I'm talking about:

Braking point

Apex and start acceleration <note> you can see corner exit up ahead and to the left..thats your hint you've got it right. 

Exit

Doing it this way gives you a smooth transition all the way through the corner and speed on exit.  Next post will be on setups.

 

 

Lets talk about setups.  I'll post a screen of Mine and then talk about why I have it set the way I do.

Downforce: On this particular track I like a little bit more downforce than I would run on any ark 1 track or FF, because of a number of different reasons.  First, its a shorter track, tighter corners, and narrower.  So I've set my downforce at 4r.  This will push the car down on the track harder..giving me better control, and more speed through the corners.

Gearing..gearing is per track and no, I don't recommend using the automatic setting..turn that off. 

Aero balance-You'll notice I have it said at 1L and thats to keep the tail end of the car planted on the pavement instead of sliding off to the side..This setting never changes.

Mechanical balance: yup, its full right for oversteer..I manage it myself..I don't want the car telling me how tight it can turn..I want the maximum capability..again..its for speed. This setting also never changes.

Springs: again, this depends on the track..hard springs don't handle rough surfaces too well..for rock island, Fort fast green and yellow, soften them up, but everything else, harder is better.  You don't want the car's body rolling side to side in the corners too much. you want some body roll but not a lot.  weight sifting to the outside wheels is good..to a point..too much shift and your inside tires can actually come up off the ground and you lose grip.

Brake balance or as I like to call it Bias.  This is just as important as your downforce.  You can screw up your aero balance, mechanical balance and springs, but if your brake bias is good, you can compensate for those three.  Notice mine is 4L..this again is going to depend on you and where you brake coming into a corner BUT, you want more braking force on the front wheels than the rear.  We've all ridden in cars in the real world.  When you hit the brakes hard, the front of the car dives down towards the road, transferring weight to the front of the car.  This is not accidental, its by design, because you steer with the front wheels hence under emergency braking you get more traction, and grip for better control. In racing its done by design to give more control in the entry of the corner..I've found anything less than that setting can cause the back tires to lock up, causing a slide or worse..a spin.

Now, setups are going to vary from driver to driver depending on your driving style, but if most of us were to sit down and compare notes..we wouldn't find that much difference from one to the other among us PI 60 guys that are running those awesome lap times. 

 

DK

I must be MAD, as i DON'T brake at that corner:)  hehe.  All i do is a simple downshift, just before i clip the apex. I find this gives me enough momentum, to bring me out of the corner. A very nice guide though:D

If you need help, just ask ;D
If only if i was a MOD! Oh, wait....;D

you should brake so you are accelerating out of the corner..not coasting..thats where your speed comes in but it was just used as an example corner.

DK

Dark, you should become a teacher :P

It is true that no one adds PI points in the braking catagory, it is worth noting putting points in it, does help if your trying to outbrake someone for a position.  If your doing Hotlap Challenge you don't need them.

Somebody made a comment to me today that really surprised me.

They said I was so fast because I had a premium account.  Lets clear this up.  Premium accts and standard accounts are no different when it comes to the races offered.  Premium account holders have access to the same servers as a standard account holder.  The only differences between a premium account and a standard account is access to more car blocks when building cars, access to more aesthetic car parts like mirrors, wheels etc.  We still get the same tire choices, the same engine choices.  Our cars still have the same limitations.

So how are we able to turn the lap times that we do.  Simple.  Practice, car tuning, practice, and more practice.  Most of us "fast" drivers understand that turning good laps comes down to estabilishing a rhythm.  That rhythm lets us nearly always brake at the same spot for the same duration, when to hit the gas to come out of a corner and so on.

I see a lot of guys struggle to keep up with others at same PI and same level and they struggle because their cars are sliding out of control in the corners.  Guys, if your car is skidding you are either overdriving the corner or your setup is off.  A car thats skidding is losing time.  If you are hearing squealing from your tires under acceleration thats engine power being wasted and its costing you any kind of chance of hanging with the guy in front of you who isn't skidding.  If you can get that under control that is where your speed is going to come from.  Keep that car planted all the way through the corner..accelerate just after the apex when you are reducing steering input,  brake earler to keep from sliding away from the apex.  

The most common mistakes rookie drivers make in real world racing is braking too late..they try to force the car to corner.  In real world racing this not only causes higher lap times, but also destroys the tires, and overheats the brakes, both are required to be kept in as good as shape as possible to win races.  

In this game we aren't penalized for skidding the tires other than laptimes and speed, but its still detrimental to fast lap times.  Keep those tires gripping, not sliding.  I can't stress enough, tire squeal is bad, that means your tires are losing grip.  

DK

usk esrb_rp

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