Q: “What is the best technique to get the car to rotate more when needed while racing in a series or a race that has a fixed set up in iRacing?”
A: While your question specifically mentions sim racing, my answer applies equally to the digital and real worlds. And I’m going to assume you’re talking about rotating the car when entering corners (as opposed to being aggressive with the throttle and causing corner exit or power oversteer).
Before we get into the answer to your question, to review what we mean by “rotating the car,” go to this previous Ask Ross post: How do I rotate my car into a corner? Of course, this post will also provide some answers to your question.
Here are some things you can do to increase rotation:
- Braking technique: Focus on the timing and rate of release of the brakes. This will help the car rotate with a minimum of steering. Remember that the braking technique may vary for every car, corner, and lap as conditions change. Typically, trail braking (a slower, longer release of the brake pedal) keeps more load on the front tires, and less on the rear, resulting in more rotation. However, sometimes more trail braking overloads the front tires, resulting in understeer – or, at a minimum, less rotation. That’s why it’s important to experiment with the timing and rate of release of the brakes.
- Steering input: Sometimes – but not always – a quicker turn of the steering wheel at the turn-in point, in combination with the right timing and rate of release of the brakes, will help initiate some rotation. I believe that a reason for intentionally making the car rotate is so you can turn in a tiny bit earlier, therefore having a larger radius and being able to carry more corner entry speed. So, the line you drive will impact the amount of rotation; the amount of rotation you initiate will dictate the line you can drive.
- Throttle control: We know that the sooner we begin accelerating, the faster we’ll be down the next straightaway, but that can sometimes lead to applying the throttle too soon. Sometimes (notice how often I’m using “sometime,” since there is almost always an exception to what I’m saying here – although what I’m saying works more often than it doesn’t), to allow the car to finish rotating, you have to wait a moment before beginning to apply the throttle. Sometimes you have to patient with the throttle, because if you apply it too soon, load is transferred to the rear, stopping the car from rotating. In this case, it’s not what you do, but what you don’t do.
- Practice: Spend time practicing these techniques in iRacing to develop a feel for how your car responds to different inputs and find the best approach for getting the car to rotate more when needed. In my Sim Racing Academy, I have a series of deliberate practice drills for things like making the rotate more or less.
Remember that the key to getting the car to rotate more effectively is a combination of braking, steering, throttle control, load transfer, and line selection. Practice and experimentation will help you find the best technique for your specific car and racing conditions.
NOTE: If you don’t want to wait for me to answer your question(s) here, you can always use my new SpeedSecrets.ai by signing up at SpeedSecrets.ai. The real beauty of using this app is that you can get out of your car after a session on track, and immediately ask it questions and get your answers, as well as what you should work on for the next on-track session. Since it’s “trained” only with my content, it really is like having me with you at the track.