Today’s Tip – Rotation

IMG_6326smMastering the rotation of the car into the corner will give you access to some of those last few tenths of laptime you are chasing.

The goal of rotating the car is to change the direction of the vehicle as you approach the apex of the bend to make the car point more towards the next straight rather than towards the outside of the corner.  This allows you to get on the gas harder and earlier.  The key is in the brake release and how you manage the weight transfer in the last phase of the deceleration into the bend.  Each car will react differently in this crucial phase of the corner and mastering the technique is definitely easier for some cars than it is for others but keep practising it as it is a skill worth having.

As you brake toward the corner you will start to turn into the bend, rolling out of the brake as you wind on the steering as we discussed in the Tip ‘Grip Usage’ in May last year.  The last phase of this brake release is where you set up the car for the corner exit.  As you release the last little bit of brake, keep the brake pressure a moment longer and using the weight over the nose of the car let the rear of the car drift out slightly.  We are not looking for armfuls of opposite lock and big, smokey skids, just a little change in attitude of the car.  Once it has given you those few extra degrees of rotation you will have a clearer line of sight to the exit of the corner allowing a harder acceleration.

A good video to demonstrate this is below, from one of the friends of Learn To Race: Javier Morcillo back in 2009 at the old Snetterton circuit.  In particular the entry to turn 2, what used to be called Sear, you can see how Javier uses the end of the braking phase to rotate the car into the corner allowing him to get on the power early for the long back straight.