Q: “How does the Bump/Rebound/Spring Ratio settings in the rear suspension affect a cars handling? I’m driving a FVee with zero roll suspension. So I don’t know how the suspension basics differs from a more conventional suspension. Anyway, my main struggle with this car is that it turns in well, but mid-corner when I try to get back on the throttle it understeers a lot, so I end up having to release/accelerate a few times during the corner to get the car to the line I want. A few times I managed to get the car in the perfect mini-drift that rotated the car just enough to be able to get on throttle and exit cleanly. But it wasn’t easy to replicate. So how much of this can I improve with my driving and how? And what can I do with the setting to help out?”
A: It sounds like stiffening the rear (shocks, springs, bars) would be the right direction to go. Or softening the front. I don’t know what adjustments you have available to you, but that’s the direction. What you’re trying to do with these adjustments is to control the rear of the car so it doesn’t roll over so much, keep more load on the front two tires. Or, by softening the front, you’re allowing both front tires to stay on the track surface longer, giving them more grip.
If you want more information about tuning shock absorbers (dampers), I have an eBook called Shocks for Drivers, and it’s available here. Also, for more advice on how to tune your car’s handling, download my free How to Tune Your Car’s Handling eBook here.
But how about the driving side? Supposing you can’t change anything on the setup, how would you overcome this by adjusting your driving?
To clarify, it sounds like the understeer only begins after turn-in, in the mid-corner. So it turns in well (nicely balanced with no oversteer or understeer), and as you begin to accelerate the understeer starts.
One thing to consider is to minimize the amount of time you spend turning the car. In other words, reducing the amount of mid-corner. To do that you would turn in slightly later, allowing you to begin unwinding the steering sooner. Another way of looking at that is to “square off the corner” with a later turn-in and apex. That means the first part of the corner will be a little tighter radius, but as soon as you’re finished with the entry part of the corner you can begin to straighten the wheel – just at the point where the understeer would have begun. This might work in some corners (but probably not in all corners); it will depend on the radius and speed of the corner.
What you’re currently doing is the right throttle approach. By easing up on the throttle you load the front of the car more, giving it grip.