Exploring the full potential of a car on the track means understanding the physics behind it, and working your way to get faster lap times.
But before letting your ride loose, you need to understand the concepts of oversteer and understeer, and how to counter them.
Oversteer is when the vehicle turns sharper than the driver intended, and if uncontrolled, could result in a complete spin. If you encounter this, don’t slam the pedals, as that’s the worst thing one could do under these circumstances. The right way to deal with it is turning into the sliding and pointing the front wheels in the direction you want to go.
Understeer, on the other hand, is when the front tires skip across the surface, and can be corrected with additional steering lock, but if you don’t get this at the right time, then you could go off the road.
After mastering these skills, you can try to keep a controlled slide, which is the ultimate balance between the driver and the machine, and requires loads of throttle, and a fast movement of the wheel. As soon as the car starts going sideways, you need to keep the steering pointed to the way you want to go, and the accelerator planted to the floor.
BMW’s BTCC racing driver, Colin Turkington, who is the man explaining these concepts, was also willing to demonstrate the correct trajectory that needs to be kept on the track, which includes where to turn, when to brake, and how soon to accelerate.
Smooth driving is one of the most important lessons every driver should learn, and it’s much more than a simple concept, as it can take a lot of time to master.
Achieving the perfect launch is yet another skill that needs to be practiced, but once mastered, it will allow you to achieve the shortest possible time between the lights going out, and the clutch being released.