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Finding the fastest racing line

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 12:06 am
by JohnW
I suspect that if you are interested in sim racing, you're already a fan of the real thing, so the concept of the "racing line" is something you already know and have a general idea of what it looks like. What you may not know is this optimum line varies based on the type of car you are driving.

An extreme example is between a low horse power and low grip car and an F1 car. In a car that has low HP regaining any speed lost in the corner is very hard to get back, so limiting the loss of speed is a big concern. That means the corners will be taken at the mathematical widest arc and smoothest turn in and turn out. However, with a car that can accelerate and brake as fast as an F1 car, speed can be sacrificed in mid corner so that it can be gained on entry and exit. You will see high speed cars make a later turn in to allow them to get on the throttle sooner and gain time all the way to the next corner as well as try to brake in a "straight line" into the corner.

There are also times when you need to optimize the entry or exit of the corner and sacrifice another part of it to have the best time through a section. Drivers will focus on the most important corners during the lap to optimize the lap. For instance, a corner that leads to a long straight will have it's exit marked as the most important to be able to gain speed from the exit to the next braking point. If that means a small sacrifice for the exit of the corner before to achieve that, so be it.

I'll post corner images and good books on the subject shortly.

Re: Finding the fastest racing line

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2022 2:16 am
by JohnW
I've been flexing my Google skills and found a few quick pages on the racing line basics.

Here is a summary of turn types and the lines for them.


Keep in mind that depending on the car, you can go faster altering the above lines a bit. Often with a little but later turn in and later apex if the car you have has plenty of grip for braking and turning.

If you need plenty of deeper details, check out Speed Secrets " Professional Race Driving Techniques.
At Amazon

For even more with car setup instruction, I like Going Faster, Matering the art of race driving.
Amazon Link