Lots of simracers struggle with traction, especially on the kerbs of corners. So let's take a look at the ways in which you lose traction and how you might avoid it in future!
As always, you can find the video's full script below in case you would like to read about certain details.
Struggling With Traction - Guide (full script)
Losing traction. It's super annoying and very common, especially coming out of slow corners. You're wanting to get the best exit to make the most time, but then the wheels just start spinning, and you can see the rear overtaking the front.
So the question is, why does this happen? And more importantly, what can you do to avoid it? And here's a spoiler. It's not just about applying less throttle. So, to understand how we can avoid losing traction, let's take a quick look at the reasons why we lose traction. And the ultimate reason is simply because your tyres cannot handle what you're asking of them. And that can be because of two different reasons. Either you're applying too much power, or you've got too much steering lock on.
So to further understand this, let's take a look at the friction circle, which visualises the grip that's available to us on each tyre. Even in a straight line, you can overload the grip available, particularly on race starts. Getting on the throttle too sharply pushes the tyres outside of their available grip limit and creates wheelspin.
You might wonder, however, why can you sometimes accelerate aggressively out of a corner, but the next time around, you can't? Well, the issue is quite likely to be with your steering wheel rather than with your throttle pedal. In the same vein as the way we saw before, if we're driving in a straight line, we can dedicate all of the longitudinal forces to accelerating.
However, if we turn in sightly, you can see that we're lowering the amount of power that we can put through the tyre. And that's why many of our videos focus on straightening up the exit because that's what's going to give us the most grip forces available.
The amount of power that you can put down does depend on the car that you're driving, however. You see, if it's got more power, you might need to take a different line that focuses on putting the power down in a straight line. Whereas, in a slower car, you might be able to turn in much more, as the cast simply doesn't have the force to exceed the grip limits available on the tyres.
So now that we know why we lose traction, what can you actually do if you notice a sudden loss in traction? Well, there's two things you can do. Firstly, you should gently come off the throttle. And this does mean gently, because if you suddenly jump off the throttle, that's going to throw all the weight of the car to the front and cause oversteer because the rears are suddenly very light.
And secondly, you should also open up the steering. This is going to bring back some of the longitudinal forces available to you. You might not be able to maintain that perfect racing line, but it's still going to be 10 times faster than going into a spin.
At the end of the day though, the best way to avoid losing traction is to prevent it happening in the first place. So here are some tips to avoid losing traction. Firstly, staying off the inside kerbs can really help as just driving around them helps to stabilise the car. This gives the rears more grip and therefore better traction.
Similarly, avoiding the exit kerb, particularly in high powered cars, is also something that can help. Kerbs have way less grip than asphalt. And so staying on the grippy surface can be where you can gain real time.
But not all kerbs are bad. Avoiding them all means that you'll have to turn in more, in and out of a corner. And so that means that you need to see which sacrifice works best in terms of lap time.
And this is where the Track Titan AI coaching platform can assist because here in the platform, you can see two lines and one uses way more kerb than the other. But it's actually significantly faster because it helps to maintain speed throughout the corner.
However, if we look at these lines, this line uses a lot of kerb and loses a whole lot of time because the driver experiences a loss of traction. So it's all about finding a balance.
And so to briefly conclude things, remember that losing traction just happens because you exceed the grip limits. So remember that you can avoid losing traction in the first place by finding a balance with the kerbs and if you do experience a loss of traction, remember to come off the throttle gently and counter steer to regain that grip and stay on the black stuff.