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Critique my lap(s)! AC - MX5 Cup @ Nurburgring

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by Nick Hill, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    2 laps (second is cleaner than the first, as I recall):

    ^ Warning: no editing whatsoever performed - watch at your own risk! :D

    TC/ABS (as long as all other aids) were off; setup was default (other than tire pressures)

    Track conditions were whatever the defaults are for an AC practice session (which I think is optimum/100% grip @ noon).

    Track map for common reference:
    [​IMG]

    EXCUSES: :whistling:
    I've actually spent a fair amount of time in AC (going all the way back to early access days), but I've really not lapped very consistently in it for quite a while. On a whim, I dropped into a US club race the other day and we ran this car/track combo, so I just happen to be kind of "in the groove" (or as close as I get to it) here.

    I actually did a lap that was a tenth or two faster than the ones captured here, but I felt these 2 laps were much more controlled and representative of my driving style.

    I would not be posting this if I couldn't take it, so fire away! Where am I losing time? Noticing any car behaviors that scream "setup adjustment needed"? Think I should have to "blow" (i.e. breathalyzer) before racing again? :D
     
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  2. RasmusP

    RasmusP
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    Would you be fine to get this thread moved into the ac section? As @BhZ mentioned, it would be placed there better :)
    Also a little note just from my phone without watching the video: you should always use factory driving aids as only then the cars behave as "planned". Kunos optimized the cars handling with that to replicate the real life as well as possible. After testing exactly this, you will start to feel what is right for what car, and that's usually the factory setting.

    So the mx5 cup has abs in real life! (the old one didn't). Use it! :)
    TC on the other side... I like this car better without it and I think it doesn't have TC enabled in the real cup races :)
     
  3. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    @RasmusP sure, go ahead and move it!
     
  4. BhZ

    BhZ
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    Ok so...where to start...general driving:
    - You often steer too much, scraping your tires, losing speed and you are probably encountering understeer as well. To help you in this, you should increase the volume of your tires (i notice it's quite low) so that you can hear when you are steering too much.
    - Shifting: you upshift too early. If i remember correctly, you should shift as late as you can on this car. Downshifting is quite bad. Take the first corner as example. You brake and from 5th gear you go to 2nd. You should make your way through each gear. If you do so, you'll exploit the engine brake and you'll shorten the braking distance.
    - Braking and accelerating: Apply the brakes quicker (possibly with ABS, see what @RasmusP said) and be more gentle with the accelerator. You often have to correct the oversteer, which means that you either accelerate too early or too much. I think it's both.
    - Tire pressure: the pressure is not uniform among the 4 tires, so there's something wrong there. Download Protyres, it will show you in detail what you need to change to get the best tire pressure in each tire.

    Now the lines:
    - Turn 3: during braking (or slightly earlier than that) point the car toward the turn. Don't stay that wide, it will make you faster as you can brake a little later.
    -Turn 9-10: you missed the apex in both corners, forcing you to steer more which made the car oversteer. In the end you had a wider line and less speed because of the slide.
    -Turn 12: Missed the apex. Apply the brakes to help you in corner entry. Let the car go and apply the throttle as soon as possible without having to correct the line with the wheel.

    It's probably not everything. Without ABS i'm not able to check the braking points you are using as i've never driven the car without it. Just a curiosity, are you using a wheel?
     
  5. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
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    It appears he's using a wheel. But also I'll add:

    T4 (Mercedes Arena exit): Widen your entry to left a bit more and "throw" your car when turning to maximize apex cornering, speed gain, acceleration optimization and time reduction as well.
     
  6. DowntownSIX

    DowntownSIX
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    I'd also add that to combat some of that understeer BhZ mentioned there are some turns where trail braking will help you get the nose tucked into the apex with greater entry speed (like you did on lap 2 @ T11). Looking at the video you could make a decent amount of time on T3 getting tucked in for a much stronger exit on T4/5 for the straight.

    I disagree with some of this - your upshifting looks good to me, you'll be well into the downward curve of the torque at 6000rpm and peak HP is circa 6000rpm so there isn't much to be gained from wringing it's neck. You seem to be dragging out the gears in the right places where an upshift so close to a braking zone would be detrimental.

    Downshifting - you definitely want to be taking advantage of the engine braking, especially at T1 but downshifting through every gear probably won't do you any favours. In those sitauations T1 I'd drop from 5th to 3rd, then to 2nd gear. If you're trying to heel toe through 3 gears in 2 seconds you're not spending enough time with the clutch engaged to really benefit from the engine braking, plus dancing on your pedals that fast will have an effect of the consistency of your braking pressure because in sim racing you aren't getting the longitudinal G-force telling you how hard you're braking.

    Really solid OP, all the right information.
     
  7. RasmusP

    RasmusP
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    I like where this is going :) sadly I have no time at the moment to add something to the discussion. One thing though:
    What are the reasons for you to use the engine brake?
    As far as I understand car physics: the brakes are strong enough to lock all 4 wheels. The balance is adjustable.
    When the wheel is on its grip limit, it's the limit.
    The engine brake just adds brake power to the rear wheels.
    The only benefit I see is less brake degradation on the rear but is that a real problem in AC?
    I never experienced fading brakes in this game but if I'm wrong please correct me, here to learn something too! :)
     
  8. Mr Deap

    Mr Deap

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    Aside from the very good tips above, you can do 360 to get a better core temp for rear tire so it stay green for the next laps.:D

    There's this method also with the G meter(http://www.racedepartment.com/downloads/g-force-and-tyre-data-app.8348/)
    [​IMG]

    Kind of stupid :poop: to look at, but the ball should be a tiny bit above the horizontal bar at the apex if the corner is nailed. Most don't look at the G meter, it can be a first for some.

    You can trail brake unrealistically extremely deep(use less brake input if you want longer so the ball stay above the horizontal line). You can slowly release the brake like a clutch & steer the steering input(if possible leave the car rotate bit) into the corner at a synchronized rate till you meet the apex in a super exaggerated way. Try to time your accelerator right on the apex & any early throttle input is slower. If there's no braking involved, full throttle at the apex.

    For quick overhead cam, use the arrow & mouse to move the camera, hold shift to slow down your arrow input.
    **Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\assettocorsa\system\cfg\camera_onboard_free.ini
    You do the change in the ini file-> SPHERICAL_COORDS=0.1
    SPHERICAL_COORDS is the F5 view

    It allow you to judge if you really use the whole width of the track correctly in a symmetric way while abusing trail braking till the apex.
     
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  9. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    Guys...wow! This is awesome! :thumbsup:

    I don't think I've ever been more pleased to be told I suck at something! :laugh:

    I'm joking, of course - no one is saying "you suck"; this is all constructive/actionable advice, just like I suspected I would get. Many, many thanks!

    So, full disclosure, I'll tell you my timing isn't great - I made my post Friday afternoon (my time) before heading up to the mountains for the weekend. I won't be able to actually turn laps until Monday, so please don't feel like I'm not making use of the wonderful advice - I'm just up in the Rockies and away from my rig.

    Between now and then though what I might do is type up a post that summarizes the advice, asks some follow ups, and puts things in a priority order (trying to tackle it all at once on the first lap out in my experience = extreme frustration). Some of this stuff might take a fair amount of practice, such as my tendency to dial in too much steering - I have a strong suspicion that is probably a very well-worn habit on my part and will take some prolonged conscious effort to stop.

    Thanks again, everyone - more to come from my end!
     
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  10. BhZ

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    People should really understand that getting faster is a step by step procedure. It requires practice and time. Everyone always suggests trailbraking... That's too advanced for his level. He can't brake properly in a straight line and you want him to trailbrake without considering the fact that the way he uses the steering wheel is completely wrong. Why don't we start with the basics, we let him practice and then he will come back with a new video to show us what he can improve?
    @Nick Hill nothing against you, i actually appreciate a lot people who put effort in they driving tecnique.
     
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  11. DowntownSIX

    DowntownSIX
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    You've challenged me there, and in AC terms, you might be right.

    The most effective braking is when your tyres actually have a little bit of slip and during threshold braking you should be modulating to stay in that state. While you're modulating, the transition between slip and non-slip becomes easier to manage when the engine is also trying to slow the car.

    Other, less theoretical, reasons I can think of are below but some of them only really apply in real life and some are just a feel thing so definiately up for debate.

    - Engine braking gives me more finite control in the braking zone (the car transitions smoother between threshold and light braking and won't lurch if you don't maintain constant brake pressure during heal toe)
    - Mid to high range revs are easier to hear so gives me a better non-visual indication of my speed
    - Dropping from 5th to 2nd (for example) is REALLY hard to rev match
    - If you're in a high gear braking for a slow corner the clutch can 'pull' you if you don't downshift early enough
    - Reduced brake temps (doesn't apply in AC)
    - If 100% brake pressure doesn't overcome the available grip on the tyres you'll slow faster

    That's it, that's all I can think of. Subjectively, I feel much more in control of the car when I'm sitting somewhere in the middle of the rev range during braking and as I say, some of this just isn't moddelled in AC.

    Given that me and BhZ have muddied the waters somewhat I'd finish by saying - have a go at leaning on the engine for braking and see how it feels. If you're not comfortable with it, ditch it and revisit when you have a really solid lap and are looking for that last 5%.

    @Nick Hill - I'd love to see another lap in a week or something to see your improvement.

    Is faster IS a step by step procedure, thanks for that revalation, but I'll do the OP the respect of assuming he's smart enough to take the suggestions in this thread and apply them in an order and at a pace he's comfortable with.
     
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  12. BhZ

    BhZ
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    Love the sarcasm in healthy threads. So why aren't you giving him all the information he needs about the setup?
    Trailbraking comes natural after a while. I started doing so even before i knew what it was. Telling him to consider it now is just a waste of time for him as he won't be able to use it and he will probably be faster without it. That doesn't mean that he is stupid, but if a faster guy suggest me something, i assume i have to do that and so will try to do so. It's not a case that in school teachers don't give you the entire programm the first day and say "see you at the end of the year, hope you'll be prepared for the tests".
    Anyway, i've given my advice, I have no time for cancerous conversations.
     
  13. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    OK, I've done a full review of everyone's advice - I'm really blown away, you guys have put serious time and thought into this and I really, really appreciate it!

    Again, unfortunately I won't be able to get a wheel in my hands again until Monday, but in the meantime I've worked on trying to distill the advice down into somewhat of a priority ordered list. I've determined priority based on what I learned from reading a Skip Barber school book once - from biggest possible time gains to least: (1) the line, (2) corner exit, (3) corner entry, (4) braking. I've also marked who the advice originally came from as well as some comments (I have a lot more to say about some items than others, but don't take that personally - I'm going to give every tip its due).

    I've also added a "general tools/technique" category to the front for stuff I felt was too cross-cutting to tuck away in a specific category.

    @DowntownSIX - yes, I will absolutely post a follow up video (maybe more - with so many things to work on, this could be an iterative process).

    Also, @BhZ - yes, I am using a wheel.

    So, here goes:

    1. General tools/technique:

    [BhZ] Too much steering; increase tire volume:
    Dude, let me tell you - this one really rang true to me, as I already had some nagging suspicions around this very topic. I was watching an in-car cam view of one of my R3E laps and I noticed I have a very peculiar habit to suddenly dial in a bunch more steering right around mid-corner. I had never noticed I was doing it until I watched my replay and - sure enough - watching the two laps above, I see myself doing the same damn thing in a completely different sim/car/track. My suspicion is that, as a start to pour on throttle around the apex, I start to sense the car wanting to come away from the curbing and I try to fight it with more lock...this tells me that (1) my notion of where the apex really is on those corners is probably off and (2) I need to take your advice to crank up the tire noise and improve the coordination between my ears/eyes/hands.

    [RasmusP] Enable ABS:
    Another tip that rings very true to my ears! Probably a little over a year ago, I was doing a lot of lapping in AC and just felt as though I couldn't get the same feel for the brakes as I do in ISI-based sims. I can't remember the specific car I was using, but I did a little testing at that time and found that I was actually faster (by quite a bit) with ABS on! So why didn't I stick with it? Well, I posted my observations (on a completely different forum, btw) and people told me I was nuts and I should check to see if I was running on a green track! :laugh: ABS is going back on straightaway (for this car, at least - probably many others, from the sounds of it).

    [BhZ] Use protyres:
    I've already checked it out - looks amazing; great tip! I'll familiarize with the docs between now and my next wheel time.

    2. Proper line

    [Mr Deap] Use overhead view in replay to evaluate line efficiency:
    Yes, will do! Seems painfully obvious - why the heck am I not already doing this??

    [BhZ] Too wide at turn 3 entry
    [Lorenzo Bonder] Get wider at turn 4 entry; "throw" the car a bit:
    I am going to attack these together, as I think they probably very much go hand-in-hand. I'm not surprised in the least you guys found some weirdness in this sector, as my confidence in the turn 3/4 combo is very, very low and I've experimented with many different lines but have never been happy with any of them.

    [BhZ] Missed apex at turns 9 & 10:
    Despite hearing many times "there is no throwaway corner," I still manage to be very lazy through this section. Good advice, gonna tighten this up, as there is really no excuse for mistakes on the 2 easiest corners of the whole track.

    [BhZ] Missed apex at turn 12:
    Also not surprised to hear this because, after the T3/4 complex, this is my second least confident turn. I've been experimenting with a slight lift and different turn in points, but I will try to incorporate just a touch of brake to see if I can't get a crisper turn-in (critical turn with such a long straight following it).

    3. Corner exit

    [BhZ] More gentle on the throttle throughout:
    I suspect I am especially lazy with this on the MX5 - it being so low powered, I have to wonder if I feel I have license to just really mash the throttle without giving much thought to car balance. I will make adjustments.

    4. Corner entry

    [DowntownSIX] More trailbraking; e.g. entry of turn 3:
    I have to wonder if having ABS enabled will drastically improve my trailbraking. I realize you wouldn't believe it to see the laps I posted above, but in my recent R3E lapping/racing, I've actually been trailbraking quite aggressively (and, I think, effectively). I just have never had the same "feel" of the brakes in AC like I do in R3E - hopefully ABS will help close that gap and my follow up video will show much tidier technique in this area.

    5. Braking

    [BhZ] Jump on brakes quicker:
    I don't want to blame everything on ABS, as ultimately I have to be accountable for my own technique, but I really have to wonder if some of the timidness we're seeing in the above laps is a result of me just lacking general confidence in my ability to dial in appropriate brake pressure. I think it's very likely I have a moment's hesitation before I really get on the brakes. If ABS really does make the difference I'm hoping it will, I feel I can make big gains in this area as, again, based on my recent R3E lapping, I am really not "scared" of the brakes in that sim.
     
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  14. Mr Deap

    Mr Deap

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    ABS allow you to corner faster. ABS automatically adjust the brake fluid level for each brake when cornering. Without ABS you will more likely to lock the inside front tire no matter how good you are at braking. Also the driving physic in sims game promote a large disparity in the usage of ABS.
     
  15. DowntownSIX

    DowntownSIX
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    You should be so light on the brakes on entry that ABS won't matter. If you're causing ABS to intervene you are applying too much brake pressure.

    I'm with you on the ABS thing - I've found in R3E and AC my braking distances are shorter without ABS in most cases. I strongly suspect because I'm concentrating properly on modulation and application that I'm maximising the braking zones instead of mashing a pedal and having a computer compensate for me being rubbish. I have the same relationship with traction control, with it on I can't 'feel' the car on corner exit and my throttle application suffers. It's a taste thing.

    The MX5 is slow enough to cover up a multitude of sins but this one will pay off big time in the faster car classes and even more so when you add downforce to the mix.

    I tried to describe the process but have up and found a graph on Google that does a much better job:-

    [​IMG]
    You can be more aggressive on the brakes at speed because the rotating mass of the wheel is harder to stop than at slow speeds. Downforce is a similar story except your aero is dynamically increasing the weight of your car at speed and therefore increasing grip, as your speed reduces, so does your dynamic weight and the available grip follows.
     
  16. HypoToad

    HypoToad

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    What did you expect from a bunch of fanatics? ;)

    They certainly know their stuff, I have improved a lot from reading things posted on here, before it was almost stressful, now it's really enjoyable, not sure I will ever get near the "alien" stage but having fun.

    Not that I know much about all the physics but my advice is to start slow, just do laps following all the advice at a leisurely pace until it's second nature, then slowly start going faster, I was amazed how much quicker I was by simply slowing down and doing things right.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  17. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    @BhZ - could you do me a big favor and tell me a few specific instances across the 2 laps where you're seeing too much steering being used?
     
  18. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
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    ABS doesn't really work like that. They are just a bunch of actuators that release the valves in your brakes, cutting off or reducing brake pressure.
     
  19. BhZ

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    So, I considered the first lap in the video and these are the turns where you steered too much:
    Last turn, just before starting the first lap; t1 slightly too much; t3 way too much; t6 as well and also t8,11,12.
    As a general rule, you hardly have to steer more than 90°. Slow turns can handle more steering, while medium and fast turns will never require more than 90. Sometimes you even steer more than 180°, needless to say that's way too much. If i were you instructor, i'd tell you to steer 90° at max for the moment. If the car goes wide, you are going too fast for that turn. With time and practice you'll start to notice how much you can steer and you will adapt to the car and track.
     
  20. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill
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    Well, promising results after the first session trying to incorporate everyone's advice - 2:19.8 (which is like .8 to .9 seconds faster - good progress!)



    [​IMG]

    This time, ABS was on (TC was still off). Tire pressures were adjusted to get more uniform temps.

    Some of you may cringe at this as you may feel I'm not ready, but I also went a click softer on the front ARB based on the mid-corner behavior I was observing.

    I really can't believe how little steering I actually needed to use vs what I was regularly dialing in! :confused: I went back and reviewed my original laps and really zeroed in on the corners where I really cranked on the wheel and, not surprisingly, I saw a precipitous speed drop off when I would do that ridiculous 180+ business. I suspect I was habitually going into corners overspeed and then had conditioned myself to use too much steering to bleed off a few extra MPH of speed to help me make the apex - not efficient!

    Really exhilarating to see the laptime improvement - thank you all! Fire away, gents - I'm looking for more! :thumbsup:

    (edit: adding track map for convenience)