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Any tips on how to get faster in the Stock Cars?

I've been driving for about a month but almost exclusively the the 80's opal's (which are a blast). I recently have been trying to drive the actual Stock Cars and cannot for the life of me get any actual speed. I race the AI at about 87-89% and can hang around 20th with a stock setting adjusted only for 22 degree steering and brake decreased to 85%. I tinker with the brake bias and move it forward 1-2 clicks each race.

However, in the race. I can be smooth but then it seems like the AI is just plain faster getting off all the corners but much slower in. I find when I race them that they hit me from behind coming out of corners and I get hit going in.

I'm using a driving force pro (would love a G27 but have no cash). Any advice on how to get faster with these cars other than the just keep putting in seat time? I'm also getting used to the tracks as many feel too small and short for these cars.

GSCE has good tracks for fun and skill improvement .
Skill and aggressiveness of the AI should be adjusted for each track and category, together with its driving style so that it can be fun.

If you are getting touches of AIs on the outputs of the curve, is because you are slow in these sectors and that is exactly where you should improve. Soft on driving is important, but "soft" is not synonymous with slow.

The curves are the points where you will improve your lap time. Cars theoretically has the same performance and reach the same final speed, then that will make a difference in the curves .

Four important points to make a curve as well:
1 - Point of braking;
2 - Entry;
3 - Tangency;
4 - Output.
Error in one of these four points is practically lose a good turn.
A track has several curves, get precious thousandths in each one will have a great improvement in the final result back .

Again I repeat that much practice is required. Among alone in a training session and focus on only one curve to do it properly, then the next turn and so on, the replay can be useful as well as checking the time of the sectors.

Use the default settings (its only change the lock like steering and brake pressure, as your machine) and avoid aids. - Be consistent, 5, 10, 15 laps without error and at the same time (with a maximum difference of 1s between them). By achieving this, their time and skill will be much better. After that you can think about being more aggressive to reach its limit and then start playing with hours and hours of setup adjustments.

Hope that is useful .
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Try to lower the front/back (experiment w/ rake). Front @ 2.9cm i think has given me lots of speed...and some overheating too.

Before that, if your wheel has logitech profiler lower your axle(s) sensibility by 10% - brakes and accelerator/gas. Do the same in the game (try 5%/10%). Try same races with maximum wheel rotation in profiler - and with more then 540º.
Just give it a go this way to see if you gain more confindence in the car by snapping oversteering less.

Hope this helps ...but they really are a handfull.