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Ovals

Discussion in 'iRacing' started by Carl Abrams II, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Hi guys. This story-telling circle tracker is back after a 6 month hiatus and I'm going to try to once again inject some ovalness into this mostly European, twisty track forum.

    I've got some work to do since I haven't had much time on the NTM, but I hope to again provide some insight and setups for Mods, Trucks, and Sprint Cup. I've also got a friend that's trying to drag me to Street Stock and Nationals, so there may come a time when I've got all the oval covered. (Bah, who am I kidding. I want to do it all anyways ;))

    I'm not a wiz on setups and mostly just tweak existing sets to order, but I've posted sets in the past that came home winners for a few members including myself. I hope to provide more of the same soon. Also, I think I'm pretty good at helping understand cars and tracks, which is way more important in my opinion.

    Feel free to ask if ovals ever have you scratching your head. No matter how mundane, I never tire of talking oval racing, be it sets, racing lines, pit strategy, rules, etc. Hopefully, this time around I'll have an opportunity to dedicate myself and will be able to add some content to this wonderful site in the near future.

    Until then, keep it shiny side up. See you on the track!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Yoeri Gijsen

    Yoeri Gijsen
    aReDeeeLeMeS Staff

    Sounds good, Carl. Welcome back. You've come at exactly the right time as we launch an oval series next month. Perhaps that's a good platform for you to hone your skills on.
     
  3. Thanks, Yoeri. It's good to be back racing again.

    I saw the oval series and immediately got excited, only to find the races start right when I must leave for work. Bummer, but I hope to make some other events in the future.
     
  4. Yoeri Gijsen

    Yoeri Gijsen
    aReDeeeLeMeS Staff

    Ah, that's a bummer indeed. I hope we can be of service some other time. ;)
     
  5. Hey Carl, I used to start off as an oval racer but havent really been driving on an oval for the last year or so. I kinda want to get back into it would you mind tutoring me on being quick? Because I remember having a hard time with the trucks on oval :speechless:
     
  6. Certainly, Juen, but it would help if you could identify what areas you need help in, unless you want the grand tour =) I could do that, but wouldn't want to bore you with beginner stuff if you're already somewhat versed in Trucks.

    And I'll tell ya, "quick" isn't necessarily what I do. If you want to set WR times, you're asking the wrong guy lol. BUT, even though I'm consistently a full second or more off the pole position times, I still bring home podiums with a few wins scattered in. My first win actually came in a field where I qualified 12th nearly 2 seconds off pole. Racecraft is where I excel, and I think I could certainly help in that area.

    So, if you can identify a certain area you need help in, post it and I'll get on it. But, if you want to get into the whole thing top to bottom, we could do that too. Just be warned, it'll be a long read ;) I look forward to working with you
     
  7. Thanks for the quick reply.

    If you look at my iRacing history (same as my name here) you'll see that pace isn't necessarily something I struggle at (of course depends on the oval and car). I have had some very good racing where I can run with the top guys in my split but where I struggle the most is tyre management.

    With the trucks at mid sized ovals like Charlotte or Texas I had a hard time just getting my tyres to last. At the start I sometimes find myself the fastest car on track but after 7-10 laps I just drop like a rock and end up a full to even two seconds slower than the leading pace and thus dropping me to become a slow moving lapped car.

    I know oval means to pace yourself and not full throttle it all the time and saving your tyres, but I end up dropping anyway. Even with supposedly good race sets I find myself just unable to keep the tyre drop off at a minimum where some guys manage to drop only .5-.6 tenths with worn tyres.

    I want to be one of those guys lol I want to learn how to manage my tyres and be quick in the process. So that gives you an idea of what I'm looking for?

    Also don't be afraid to ramble about ovals. I actually love oval racing, was raised on NASCAR tbh :p (eventho I dont like it anymore shhhhhhhh).

    Also call me JJ please :)
     
  8. Carl Abrams Could you please contact me jwestling @ gmail.com Have a few questions of you :)
     
  9. JJ, it sounds like your set feels perfect right from the green flag. It is my opinion that it shouldn’t. I’ve found that with my driving style (a steady, save-your-stuff pace), any set that feels good out of the box is going to lose that feel when you really need it, like at the end of a race. Usually, a car tends to get tighter and tighter as the laps pile up. A car that feels good at the green is soon going to get tight, causing you to crank the wheel more, which overheats the RF, which makes it tighter, which makes you crank more, etc and so on until you have to get way off the gas just to make the turn. Since you’re not complaining about spinning, I'm going to assume that this may be part of the problem.

    Loosen that car up. It could possibly take an entire reconfiguration of your driving style to drive loose, but this might fix your problem. Firstly, you won’t be able to go hard at the green. It’s a challenge getting used to watching two or three guys pass you at the jump, but fight the urge to race. The first few laps should be all about filing in and getting settled. If someone’s really holding you up, you should get around them quickly and easily. If you can’t, don’t force it. Racing at this stage of the game is going to leave you miserable when your car goes to hell in the deep laps. Ride in their shadow, maybe run close and pressure them to bobble, but don’t kill your car. Likewise if someone is up your trumpet. Go high into the corner, let them by quickly, and settle right back in. Unless you can determine it’s going to be a caution fest with many pit opportunities, running hard early is a recipe for failure.

    After you’ve settled and just start running, you should feel the car come to you. As the tires heat up and the RF wears, the looseness will ease up and the car will start to go neutral. Look at it like this: A set that's good from the green has the balance AND the tires peak at the same time, about 5 laps in. From then on, they both fall, making the "fall in overall performance" seem extreme. With a loose setup as I described, your tires peak before your balance, which will hurt your overall peak performance. BUT, as your tires fall off, your balance is still coming to you, counteracting the fall. The end result is you won't set the fast lap of the race, but you'll be able to hold a quick lap for longer. As your set comes to you, you still should not force issues since it’s still early enough to rape the RF, but you can take liberties with passing people. And you will. All those guys that had the perfect cars at the green will start falling off. Your lap times will fall too, but should fall at a lesser rate than the “perfect at green” guys. In the races that consist of several series of 20+ green flag runs, I’ve always improved my position regardless of how many people passed me at the start. Once you do this once or twice, and see yourself blowing the doors off all the guys you let pass, and feel the control you now have, letting the guys go at the beginning will be a lot easier to stomach.

    Some additional things to help with wear and fall off include slow in, fast out. Piling your car into the corner really uses up that RF. Instead of just sliding it mid corner, you’re sliding all the way into and through it. In my races, 90% of the guys I race nearly run me over going into the turn because I seem to go in so much slower. It just happened again in a Street Stock race last night. Guy nearly ran me over 5 laps in a row until, suddenly, he started fading. And fading. And before I knew it he was gone, RF burnt up and I left him in the dust. Commit to your racing style and don’t allow yourself to be bullied out of it. Also, your turn-in into the corner should be as smooth and gradual as possible. Quick yanks into the corner causes the tires to slide as you overcome their grip level. All those extra slides, into every corner, times 40 – 60 corners will use up your stuff with no real benefit.

    With all this being said, certain race characteristics could force you to adjust or even abandon entirely everything I just wrote. Caution fest races need to be attacked since you'll only get so many chances to improve your position. Races that tend to go green flag to flag might require you to race harder and earlier, lest you reach a point where you just can't catch up. But being smooth and resisting the temptation to race too early should go a long way into making your car last longer.

    I always post my sets here, and I'll start again once I get some time to test and tweak. They're always looser than basic, and almost always looser than iRacer supplied ones in the forum, so feel free to check them out. Hopefully this stuff will help, but if you already run loose and I totally missed the mark, well, I'll still be here and I'll try again lol. Until then, good luck.
     
    • Like Like x 5


  10. Actually you're right. I always fix my set in which it always does lol.

    Loved your write up dude. Really appreciate the insight. If I have any more questions or problems I'll PM you directly but thanks for taking the time to give me a bit of your experience. Curious, this applies for open wheel oval racing too right? Do you have an opinion between NASCAR and IndyCar oval racing?
     
  11. Yoeri Gijsen

    Yoeri Gijsen
    aReDeeeLeMeS Staff

    Nice write up, Carl,

    This surely applies to stock cars and it will also apply to indycar to some extend, though probably to a lesser extend as the IndyCar allows for in-car adjustments and because it relies on downforce much more than stock cars do.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Thanks, JJ and Yoeri. To be honest JJ, I'm a total redneck. To me, "open wheel" means SK and Tour Mods lol. But, while I think Yoeri brings up a good point about in-car adjustments and superior downforce, I think the basic concept can be applied to all racing, even Road. While the specifics of the problem and how you may fix it may change (different corners than RF, tight vs loose, and what changes to make), the concept of "staggering your peaks" to get a more consistent set up should still prove true.

    In real life, I boycotted Indy racing back during the IRL vs CART days, so iRacing's Indy never really pulled me in. I suppose I might get into it someday since events like the 500 seem like a bunch of fun, but right now I'm focusing on learning to make sets. Shared truck sets never really seem to fit, and the Sprint Cup scene seems almost hostile. Rather than waste hours searching and begging only to get a set that doesn't quite fit, I'd rather spend the time learning to make my own. Now if I could only forget all the bad habits I picked up from tuning old NASCAR games and Forza ;)

    Again JJ, it was no problem discussing this. While I don't mind discussing by either thread or PM, if you have something other than a real quick question, I'd prefer it in thread form. Not only does it add to the information base of the site, but it may encourage others to add their two cents and create offshoot conversations. Just a thought, I'll be here either way =)
     
  13. Yoeri Gijsen

    Yoeri Gijsen
    aReDeeeLeMeS Staff

    Personally I've tried a couple of times, but never really persisted. The main problem is that I don't really know what goals to set and what to look for. What settings do I work on first and what must I try to achieve with them? It's completely beyond me... I'd be interested to know how you tackle that.
     
  14. I love oval racing but I hate it I can't make a setup. I use the setup analyzer now, that is a nice help to build a stable set. I will read JJ's post later, when I have some spare time :p

    I think there are some nice tips in it :)
     
  15. Yoeri Gijsen

    Yoeri Gijsen
    aReDeeeLeMeS Staff

    What's that? How does it work? Where can I get it? :p
     
  16. It's this:
    http://teammpr.org/Analyzer.html

    and here is the topic about it:
    http://members.iracing.com/jforum/posts/list/1822473.page

    It was $5 in the beginning, so I'd thought why not. It's pretty nice.
    You fill in some variables for example, you're tight at the exit and you fill in what kind of feeling it is (you have some options). Then you get 5 tips what you can do to make the car more loose.
    It also has some more explanations of what each part in the car does and what the overall effects are when you increase or decrease it. I will make some screenshots when I'm home.
     
  17. My goals are always changing, depending on the car, track, and how familiar I am with the combination. Assuming both are totally new, my goals start at finishing on the lead lap with 0 inc, and move up to finishing within top 10, top 5, podium, etc. In order to do that, I need the car to fit my style, which is one that starts loose, works it's way toward neutral, and never gets tight. Since the majority of supplied and shared sets are far tighter than I can manage, this is where things get interesting (or down right infuriating).

    I'd start with eduacting yourself in the basics of what adjustments do. In addition to what Niel provided, the iRacing forum is full of information, ranging from handy, 1 page quick reference charts, all the way to multipage breakdowns of each and every adjustment and exactly what they do. Don't try to absorb it all at once, just find something easy to remember and understand and start there. Trackbar is my favorite. Up is loose, down is tight, and that's about it. Of all the adjustments, this is probably the most direct since it doesn't really affect much else on the car.

    Once your comfortable with that, it's on to shocks and springs, camber, and tire pressures. Here's were the difficulty begins to rise exponentially. Any change you make is going to change something else on the car, and often changes cause multiple reactions. Say you want your car to be looser in every part of the corner.You stiffen the RR spring and find you're loose through and exiting corner, but you're still garbage entering. So you throw on a stiffer LF shock to loosen corner entry, but that will in turn tighten the middle and exit and negate the affect of the RR adjustment. In addition to the counteracting effects, these changes change nearly everything else about the car. With stiffer or softer suspension, your tires will travel differently, requiring camber adjustments. Changing camber changes the ride height, requiring height adjustments. Changing ride height changes the weight transfer, requiring shock and spring adjustments. Shock and spring changes affect the travel, requiring camber adjustments. See where I'm going with this? =D You can drive yourself not only crazy, but away from the sim entirely with just how frustrating this stuff can be, and this doesn't even include caster, stagger, ARB preload, and all that mess. I don't mean to ramble, but rather wanted to give an idea of what's in store rather than just saying "it's hard" and leaving you clueless.

    My suggestion, in addition to a little reading to familiarize yourself with the adjustments, is to begin with one of the lower class cars. The changes available are few and will give you opportunity to tweak and learn without becoming overwhelmed. What I do is hop in, do 15 laps or so to feel the car out and bring my tires up to temp, then hop in the garage. Tire temps will tell me what my car is doing. Temps are read as Outside-Middle-Inside (OMI) or IMO depending on which side of the car I'm on, and they should be close to similar for each individual tire. A tire that has a much higher middle temperature is over inflated, a much lower middle is under inflated. A high outside or inside temp relates to camber; too much or too little depends on which side of the car your looking at. Lower class cars will allow you to get familiar with changing these values without worrying about ride heights, ARB preload, shock collar offset, and all that mess. Tire temps should also give clues to how my car is handling. Although the RF should be the hottest tire of all, a RF that's 30-40 degrees hotter points toward a tight condition as I'm overworking that tire. A RR that's within 5-10 of the RF shows a loose condition. Knowing how to read and digest these numbers can point you to where you need to adjust. Even if my car FEELS terrific, a RF that's 40 degrees hotter is going to burn up too fast and is something that needs to be fixed, regardless of how it feels.

    I wish I could help even more, but to be honest, I'm just scratching the surface myself with getting into the more intense adjustments. I spent 6 hours reading and 2 hours testing Trucks last night with limited success. I managed to peel .6 off my time, got within a second of pole and moved towards the balance I needed, only to try to fine tune it more, knocking it out of inspection, "fixing" it again, and ruining it entirely lol. For now, I try to work first with tire pressures and camber to get my temps right, then start messing with those, the track bar, and mild shock/spring adjustments to get the balance. I go back and forth between doing these two objectives (temps vs balance), and then I just run it. At this stage of my game, too many adjustments gets me in a heap of trouble. Hopefully in the coming weeks, I'll be able to put together some stuff for the next season and supply some solid tips in the forum.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Hi Carl thanks for your tips on setup. i havent really tried much oval racing yet (just messing around in the street stock at min) but am thinking about it for next season to add a bit of variety in my racing(just waiting to see what tracks ill have to buy) it all sounds very daunting to me (just getting to grips with setting up the open wheel road cars which gets me frustrated at times lol)
    the reason im posting is not sure if youve seen this vid, found it over at another site (wont let me post the name of the site to credit them it just changes it to racedepartment when i post lol but it starts with inside and ends in racing). its a bit over my head at the min,probably because ive not really got into ovals yet but thought it might be useful to others.
    warnig it is a bit long not much under an hour
     
  19. Yoeri Gijsen

    Yoeri Gijsen
    aReDeeeLeMeS Staff

    It's a very good video. I've seen David Cater post setups before, but I never really tested much in the A car. This is however very helpfull, because he explains his decisions and tells what he's after. He tells you what goals he sets to start with.

    I've made a partially transcribed summary in text:

    A-class Chevrolet Impala

    Speed
    - Track Bar - High = Faster
    - Nose Weight - To rear = Faster
    Trick: working them together without getting too loose

    Front ARB
    Negative preload = Chassis is bound up
    Detach unbinds the chassis

    Ride Height
    LF Spring down (lower than RF)
    Even across the front and even across the rear
    Use tyre pressure (right side) as little tweak
    Needed for side grip on banked ovals

    Tracks bars
    High left turns well, but drops off

    Biggest difference
    Front Springs
    Track Bar

    => Drive laps =>
    (Too much Nose Weight - nose slides up)

    Remove Nose Weight with Balast Forward setting
    Add LR Track Bar to get the car to turn
    LR Track Bar will affect entry more
    RR Track Bar will affect center of. Up = More center turn. Down = more center grip.

    Sway Bar
    Sometimes a stiffer Front Sway Bar will put the LF down and provide more grip in the center of the corner.

    Front ARB
    Most important part of the car.
    Cater always uses chain. He doesn't like the solid link.
    Diameter: Thickness
    Asymmetry: Stiffness. More = stiffer = more corner center stability
    Link Slack: Dynamic Cross Weight that applies center > off. High = Postponed effect = More free roll = Less forced turning = More speed = More loose.

    => Drive laps =>
    (Nose pushes down. Car sits low on the banking without pushing up. However there is looseness on the exit because the Cross Weight does not prevent the car from loosening up enough)

    Instead of bringing RR Track Bar down the Link Slack is cut in half (=usually too much). Put the Asymmetry up 1 and reset the Link Slack to what it was on the last test run. You now hve a stiffer front end without losing the free roll of the Link Slack.

    => Drive laps =>
    (Still loose, but much smoother transition from stability to looseness)

    Bring the Link Slack down.
    Cater emphasises once more the importance of Front ARB. The suspension can be set right, but if the Front ARB isn't the car will move away from you sooner or later in the stint.
    Also use left-side Tyre Pressures (by lowering them) to counter the car moving away from you late in the stint. Reset your Ride Height afterwards.
    Bumpy track = More Front Spring
    Since it's Texas the Front Spring get lowered by Cater and he resets Ride Height afterwards. Left is higher than right, which then is solved by lowering the left-side Tyre Pressures. As a result he gets lower legal front Ride Height.

    Rear End
    Rear ARB is negative, so it is set positive with the lowest possible value (see above)
    Don't worry about ARB Diameter and ARB Asymmetry in the rear.

    Caster
    7.8/3.9 on speedways
    4.4/3.8 on superspeedway
    Don't touch it besides doing this

    Truck Arm Mounts = Extention of rear Springs
    Lower LR Spring = Help on entry and loose exit - Same for Truck Arm Mount
    Higher LR Truck Arm Mount = More stability
    Lower RR Spring = 'Bite' off the corner (tight exit) - Same for Truck Arm Mount (mostly set at 'bottom')
    Use the rear Spring to make the car rotate paralel to the white line

    => Drive laps =>
    (Car feels good. Still tight in the center and a little loose off. It sets right, but takes a little too long to do it)

    Bump & Rebounds
    Rear Rebounds are nearly always going to be less than your rear Bumps.
    RR Rebound affect entry.
    Set rear Rebounds symmetrically.
    LR Rebounds affect exit (e.g. spinning as you are almost on the straight)
    RR Bump affects exit. Lower value gives more 'bite' (less spin on throttle)
    RF Rebound affect exit. Lower value flattends out the corner by giving more grip. Use when the car rotates too much on exit.

    => Drive laps =>
    (Feels good off 4, but flattens out a bit too much off 2)

    Possible solutions:
    Link Slank for more free roll
    Adjust RR Track Bar to (idk)

    (Cater does a recap)
    Additional notes:
    Less split between LF and RF Springs on less banked tracks (possibly).
    Tyre Temperatures mean nothing as long as iRacing doesn't have it right.
    Tyre Wear is important.Try to keep the Tyre Wear on the RF tyre even all across the tyre (within 5% rate).
    Add RF camber if the car goes loose on long runs.
    LF Camber can be set a little higer than the RF Camber.
     
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  20. You're welcome, Sandy, and you're right, it is pretty daunting. But like anything else, if you want to know and are ready to work for it, it'll come to you. You just can't get discouraged while getting there. Lord knows I've thrown in the towel just about everytime I've tried to learn lol. But all those tries added a little more each time, and now I'm starting to "get it". I still don't "got it", but I'm getting it lol. Like I suggested to Yoeri, just start simple. Learn a basic tweak, find a setup in the forum, and see if you can make it better. Once you can do that without having to look up what your tweak does, you got it. Move on to another. Pretty soon you'll have a pile at your disposal and can really make a set "yours". Good luck =)

    That's a good cheat sheet, Yoeri, and highlights a lot of the issues I'm having. I'm NOT saying anything Cater says is wrong; he is the master. It's just a lot is counter-intuitive from what I've learned in the past. Sorting it out has been trying. Also thanks for bringing up the temps in the recap. I remember the temps were bunk back when 2.0 came out. I figured they'd have been fixed by now, hence my instructions a few posts back. I guess they're still bunk, so ignore that part of my previous ramble ;)

    Managed to put together a somewhat decent Kentucky Truck set. It's in the setup section if anyone wants a go. It's the first of hopefully many, keep those fingers crossed.
     
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