How To Drive Your Tires To Go Fast – /SHAKEDOWN University

How To Drive Your Tires To Go Fast – /SHAKEDOWN University

It’s time for a mid-season
Shakedown University. Today, it’s all about how to
go fast, driving a racing tire, and a street tire. But in my version, you’re
taking the same approach for both. To get there, we’ll talk a bit
about tire management, how to set up the car, and adjust
the tires for max tire performance. And the real bottom line, how to
feel what the tire is doing so you can go fast. We’ll cover slip angles, the
friction circle, tire pressures, and camber thrust. And most important, we’ll get
you to understand the value of being smooth, precise, and
sensitive with your pedal and wheel inputs. Fresh from my visit with
Pirelli, we’ve got some insights into their F1 tires,
and talking to a few of their pro racers, some tips on how
to go freaking fast. Now, I’m sorry we’re doing this
from a studio, but it’s all about knowledge and you
putting the knowledge to practice, experiencing
it firsthand. That’s how you’ll learn. It may make for better video
watching me drive, but focus, my little Alonzos. This ain’t about me. It’s about you. So get ready. Our outlap starts when
we come right back. Let’s get the first key lesson
planted into your head as to the dynamic we are trying to
create when driving fast. Whether you’re on a race tire
or a street tire, the objective is to get the tire to
its maximum limit of grip as soon as possible, in any
move, braking, cornering, acceleration. That means our moves with the
car, and its controls– the pedals and wheel– are to be fast, firm, and
precise, and at the limit. I’ll explain. But I will say this right
here, right now. To go fast, you do not
beat on your car. You do not drive it like you
stole it, or throw it around like you’re Liam Neeson roughing
up the bad guys in those Taken the movie
fight scenes. No. Your moves with the wheel and
pedals are fast and quick, but to the max, like Liam. It may sound violent. It may feel abrupt to your
passengers in the car, but to the car, and to you, it’s still
smoothly all in control, which is why we’ll explain the
friction circle first to further plant into your head
what we are trying to accomplish with this hard,
precise, smooth driving thing. To start, think of your car as
your hand, a platform to balance as you break, corner,
and accelerate. The goal is to manage the weight
transfer, to control it with the goal of putting the
weight to work where you want it and need it– again, getting
it all to the max. Now let’s get to the friction
circle, which is our metric to understand that the tire only
has so much grip to give. What I mean is this. You can get 100% of the tire’s
performance on braking or acceleration in a
straight line. You can get 100% of the tire
in cornering to the side. But if you combine the dynamics,
and that mix of 100% allocation gets moved as
percentages between the two. So on the friction circle,
that sends the grip, or G-load, off in a tangent between
the x and y vectors of acceleration and cornering,
or braking and cornering. Now you can find such telemetry
on many driving SIMs and practice that yourself. Trail braking, for example,
is such a blend. It has you keeping pace
on the track. It gets you slowed down. A late apex opens up the corner
so you can accelerate, because you don’t need all the
maximum tire grip to get around the corner. Point is, think balance and
grip within the friction circle concept. Now thinking is one thing, but
feel is the visceral sensation you need to read the tires,
and by extension, the car. And that gets us to slip angles,
the angle where the tire is pointed versus where
the tire is going. Now each tire has a slip
angle for maximum grip. Radial tires have smaller
angles versus bias-ply. And race tires have the lowest
slip angle of all, so race tires require the most
precise steering. But– and here’s where I may
sound heretical– even street tires with their
bigger slip angles respond best to little inputs versus
big swipes at the wheel. Because we’re dealing with
single-digit slip angles– 2 degrees or lower on race
tires, 6 degrees and maybe a bit more on performance street
tires, and 50 degrees on any tire brand with a name that has
12 consonants for every vowel and way too many
Ys, Zs, or Ks. That was a joke. Back to slip angles. The rookie driver will slide the
car beyond the ideal slip angle and then pull it back. The better drivers will nibble
up to the max slip angle/limit, but not go over
the max grip, and therefore not lose lap time. And I’m saying that the same
precision works on all tires. You don’t get an extra margin
with street tire slip angles. Oh, and practicing in the rain
and snow will polish your precision skills. Keeping that sensitivity that
you practiced in the wet, using it in the dry will
deliver the benefits. Not letting the grip of a race
tire fool you into going all Monza Gorilla on the wheel
is a good bet too. And think of the pedals as
a rifle trigger, not a sledgehammer. You know, unless you’re McNish
driving his R18 or Vettel in his RB8. Then the down force allows you
to sledgehammer the brakes like the Thor you are. Let’s watch Josh Vietze on our
simulator here get a little bit of this car control, and
over-steering, and using slip angles to their advantage. When Josh Vietze isn’t editing
here at Drive, he’s one of our resident SIM drivers. He’s in his little launcher,
here, and he’s going to give us two laps, one around this
alpine course, a sloppy lap with a lot of slip angle, and
a lot of steering, and probably a heavy foot on
the gas and brake. And then we’re going to do a
clean lap, comparing lap times to show you where the
speed is found. So this is going to be an
atypical Josh lap, a dirty lap, high slip angle, a
lot of steering work, overdriving the car. [DRIVING SOUNDS] I can hear the tires working,
overworking. He’s moving beyond that slip
angle, beyond maximum grip. Heavy-footed into a brake
zone, locking it up. Last corner, scrubbing off
speed, over-correcting. All scrub, comes into
the final lap. A 1.097 is not bad. OK, Josh, now get ready and
give us a good clean lap, proper slip angles, precise
wheel movement. [DRIVING SOUNDS] Targeting a 1.096 on the sloppy
lap, and his best time here, 1.083. Point made. Thank you, Josh. Go back to work. Thanks, Josh Vietze. By the way, that was not
a Simraceway SIM. We’d still like one in our
studio, hint, hint, Simraceway. But if you go to the Simraceway
blog or their website, you can take advantage
of their test-drive promotions, discounts
on great cars like the Boss 302 Mustang. Plus they have new tracks, like
a Dubai street circuit, the Sonoma Raceway, and the
karting track out there, and Lime Rock Park, where I’m at
right now as you’re watching this video. So there you go, a promo and
corporate begging for our studio simulator, all in
one paragraph of copy. Back to the tire management
discussion. The ability to go fast is
directly proportional to the confidence you have in your
perception of the gap in the slip-angle threshold between “I
got it” and “Oh, my God.” To control that gap, feel the
tires through the wheel and the pedals. Yes, I said the pedals. Think about it. Now let’s talk tire pressure,
as that controls feel and performance. I’ll spare you with the under-
and over-inflation ramifications. You’re smart enough
to know all that. But tires are springs, so the
more pressure you put in the tire, it becomes a tuning
tool for the car. More pressure also quickens the
tire response and lowers rolling resistance. Tire temperatures. I got a chance to talk to a few
of the pro racers at the Pirelli Track Day when I was
back in Spain, Lucas di Grassi, Felix Porteiro, and
McLaren MP4-12C GT3 racer Alvaro Parente. Yep, my brother from
another mother, but a different country. He’s Portuguese. I’m Italian-American, but who
knows if my dad slept around. [LAUGHS] So running a tire within the
temp range is obvious. Again, it’s all about
slip angles. With a race tire, I love how
you can feel the tire temps come up and the tire
build grip. And remember, high slip angles
generate more heat, which may be a useful fact when you’re
warming up the tires, but may not be the best way
to race the tires. di Grassi, the guy who’s doing
the Pirelli F1 tire testing, said, once the tire is cooked,
not every tire can cool and come back to life. And Vettel in our New Jersey
visit for that Grand Prix, told me that the ideal temp
range is more or less 10 degrees, and he’s dealing
with a working threshold of 220 degrees. And the current F1 Pirelli tires
do fall off the cliff as they wear, and the drop-off
is immediate. Now you know when the tires
will go off based on stimulation data, based on the
pressures you’re running, and the car setup. Then you just count the laps
and watch the lap times. The Pirelli is working to make
the 2013 tire they’re going to produce more progressive
in that drop-off. The last piece to cover today is
camber thrust, the angling into the tires to enhance
the lateral Gs that a tire can generate. Radial tires being more
compliant means that more camber is useful for them
versus a bias tire. So remember that when you’re
driving old cars versus new ones, maybe online or
in the real world. The whole point of camber
is to create a flat-tire footprint in the corners. In effect, the camber stands
up the tire when you angle the car in. Monitoring even tire temps
across the tire will help you know how well the
tire’s working. Front camber will help
with turning. Rear camber will help with
stability of the car. More camber in front versus
less in back can affect turn-in of the car. We’re going to do more on setup
in another Shakedown. But for now, for today,
know this. Camber will help with
tire feel And that’s today’s message. The more clear the tire feel,
the more precise you can be with the car. The more precise you are with
your inputs, the more performance you’ll get out of
the tire, and the faster you’ll go for longer. It’s really as simple as that. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Leo! I love these videoes where you explain driving dynamics and how to improve performance both as a driver and on the car. But ther's a lot of expressions I don't understand and scenarios I don't have enough experience to ralate to. Can you make a crash course in racing expressions?

  2. Excellent show! One very minor suggestion, next time increase the volume of the simulator. Listening to the tires would have been easier to follow the explanation

  3. I LOVE DRIVE!!!i wish i had friends that give a crap about this stuff,i am the only person i know who can understand all the words that come out of Leo's's sad really,automotive racing is such an interesting and fun sport and it's the only sport almost all people can relate to cause we all drive cars,and most people don't even know how important it is to check their tire pressure or what camber is…drive should be shown at schools,they have info every buddy needs to know.

  4. This was actually very interesting facts, and when I see this I realize that driving smooth is the way to go fast.

    Overdriving the tires and making the rubber roll between the tire and the tarmac makes you loose the grip. Check my video (the one in dry) and u will see how overdriving can make u loose time. My gearbox was about to failure so I had to push a bit extra, which resulted in loosing more time in the end.

    to sum up, you have to drive on the edge to go fast, but not over the edge 😉

  5. I've got Allan Staniforth's "Competion car suspension." I'll be glad make another addition to the collection.

    My math model has the tire as a weak geometric body held in place by air pressure. Finding the contact patch area works. Camber changes the shape of the patch, and more sidewall makes the inner edge of the tire do this "arc" thing and loses contact witht he ground, putting the burden on the outside edge.

  6. tires are so important, i don't understand how ppl spend so much money on their cars and then they put $50 dollar tires on it. =/

  7. I was trying to beat the time of 1:08, and came up with a 1:11.634 with no assists. I hate mid-engined cars in Forza, they always understeer.

  8. Simple. Pressure = force* (area^-1), The vectors needed to make a circle lose magnitude with respect to the ground, so the tire will get mashed. This mashed surface will have vectors normal to the ground. I trust that you can work that equation. That area, coupled with the fact that the tire is a circle will allow you to see how much the tire smashes, and knowing conservation of length, you'll have to remember that under load, the tire will make a bean shaped contact patch.

  9. Your force is the weight on each wheel and your car's weight distribution will need to be known, or solved for with a piece of paper and a jack. Centripetal force will be your horzontal vector. For wide turns, the car has a low tangential angle to its turning circle, so you can assume linear duty per set of tires. Tighter circles require more information about the car, which needs to be found by integration, which is where I'm stuck. I know the bean shape is there, but can't reflect it.

  10. A lot of the dynamic things such as force distribution, slip angle, and tire deflection will require every little piece of information about the car, and a lot of time intensive effort with some serious computing power. It's true engineering.

  11. Thank you for these videos, they just keep on getting better. Really good stuff for amateur track day junkies like me. Would have been useful about a week ago as I almost killed myself on the track (video on my page). Asked too much of my tires in less than ideal conditions. Anyways, keep these videos coming!!

  12. Another thank you for doing it the right way – like a classroom – vs. the typical American entertainment way (you in a car, or at the track, or… ). Good focus, Leo, keep up the good work.

  13. All I read is a comment worth skipping…..

    Thanks for watching and getting nothing out of the vid except my alleged 'fly swatting'.

  14. We looked at it. Too hard to capture on the vid and not really the friction circle data I wanted to share, nor the tire temp story. The point was 'control = speed / lower lap times'.

  15. You are welcome. I see you are on the 'See-the-World-via-the-USA-Armed Forces' program. Honored that you are there for us. !!

  16. Does it help you if I say there are times I hate myself? Otherwise, jeez! Thanks for trying to create a /DRIVE insurgency. How's it going?

  17. Everything here applies to tarmac driving. The rules are a lot different on low-traction surfaces, like dirt roads, or snow and ice.

  18. yea don't listen to me, i was being an ass=__= but seriously though, on the "X Games RallyCross Is Ruining Racing!" episode you kinda came off a little douchey, it seemed like you didn't even want to accept his opinion. but seriously don't listen to me, i recognize that was an extremely ass comment and apologize, if it were me behind the camera i would more than likely be super nervous….. and sweaty….

  19. Something else to keep in mind – the sum of grip when longitudinal and lateral are combined is higher than either one by itself.


  20. Comfort & trust.

    If you don't feel it, all that glorious reviews means nothing. I honest feel these are the contributing factors when it comes to you vs friend and/or that person you dice with on given track/back road.

  21. no, it's actually Chris, he gets the most views by a huge margin..this is my first time actually watching an entire shakedown segment

  22. I like Shakedown Uni more than others usually. This one was one of the best for me to watch. My question for Leo is how do I monitor this without a temp gauge and a short track like Autocross/Solo?

  23. You are not alone my friend. I understand your pain. And when you get to talking about it or trying to teach someone, they stop listening. So sad since motorsport is such a wonderful sport

  24. Me too, i think i am the only brazilian who watch Drive and understand everything. I have just one friend who i can talk about racing because we are raised together and used to racing in track days. I started to learn your language by myself since i was 9 or 10 y.o, just to understand the magazines that my father bought and watch Top Gear and Motorweek. Here in Brazil, the automotive culture is not respected enough, we don´t have TV or Internet shows talking about it.

  25. I have lost all respect for Pirelli after seening their approach to F1. Michelin and Bridgestone each added to the show. What has Pirelli added? Problems for the teams and lots of attention for themselves.

  26. Big difference, especially in longer race courses with many corners. In conjunction with tire pressure settings, as the video describes, each settings in unique to many race tracks as well. Monza and Laguna Seca are two good examples that I can think of right now. It is about trial and error.

  27. Thats awesome! We are a cult haha I say differential and my friends become so confused. My ex girlfriend didnt know what a spoiler was…..I dumped her shortly after hearing that. Its awesome to hear someone from Brazil so interested. I salute you sir

  28. you should ask chris accompanied by a pro racer(to show more credibility) to explain regarding this.
    and gt5 is a better sim than forza.

  29. People need to be more open minded. You just gotta know what you want, what you're into. Does pushing the limits of going fast work for you and you prefer this type of thrill? Than things like this clip is your thing. You like driving awkwardly sideways and look out the window instead of the windshield? Than this video can only give you hints on how to improve your setup skills. Stop hating people! F1 is clean and smooth, rally is dirty and rough. Circuit racing one thing, drifting is another…

  30. About the hella flush stuff… well those kids are simply not interested into going fast anywhere really. Just interested into looking cool. It's like people that hit up the gym and train and build muscles to look good and people that hit up a martial arts school and train and build up muscles to be functional and fight or people that do power-lifting. Each style has its objective it's purpose. It's amazing how childish human kind really is most of the time…. Stop hating! Grow up!

  31. It seems that you have good taste in music as well. I just found the name of the song at the end of the video using Shazam. It's called "Mas Grande" by Philip Pope & Sean Lyons. Good day.

  32. This got me all fired up to try simraceway but I was not impressed. iracing is a rip-off but a better sim. The best performer for the price IMO is still SIMBIN. Race 07 WTCC, GT Legends. SIMBIN makes the best racing sims on the market IMO, and I've done the real thing!!

  33. I was able to find the song on the website (us audionetwork com). Search for the song Mas Grande by Philip Pope. You can listen to the full clip or purchase it for $1.25 for personal usage.

  34. Awesome episode !!! Leo ~!!! You keep doin what you doin at one point you have a chance to beat Chris Harris's view count !! Learned alot Thank you ~ !!

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