If your throttle response when you’re sim racing isn’t perfect, you’ll be leaving lots and lots of time on the table. In this video, I’m going to show you how you should be picking up the throttle to accelerate yourself out of the corner as quickly as possible and lower your lap time.
Hi, I’m Scott Mansell, head coach from Driver 61 Sim Racing, where we teach you to better your technique, win races and fulfil your driving potential.
So one of the biggest problems I see when I’m coaching drivers, both in the real world and in sim racing, is that their initial throttle response, the first bit when they get on the accelerator pedal is too harsh.
Now, the problem here is that that means that the dynamics of the car are all upset and you won’t be utilizing the grip as well as you possibly can. And so we’re going to take a look at one of our subscriber’s footage to examine their throttle response and see how it’s affecting the car when they’re driving.
Obviously, the green is the accelerator pedal and the red is the brake pressure. And let us follow the driver around for a lap or two. Just look at how jerky the throttle response is, the drivers on and off the accelerator pedal all the time.
Now, the issue here is that when you do that, first of all, there’s two things that can happen.
If it’s really hard and you stamp on the accelerator straightaway, if it’s a rear-wheel-drive car, it will just light the rear tyres up and cause the car to will spin and oversteer. Dropping all of the grip out of the car. And when you do that, when you drop all the grip out the car in such a harsh way, it means that you’re not driving the car in the smoothest way possible.
Now, the second thing that can happen, is you affect the weight transfer in the car dramatically.
So rather than just lighting the rear tyres up and getting wheelspin you, you might just drop weight into the rear of the car. So if it’s too harsh, slightly too harsh in a short period of track, in a short period of time, the weight as you get on the accelerator goes to the rear of the car.
That means that the car will then understeer because the rear has more weight, more grip than the front of the car. The problem here is that you’ll be using the cars grip for steering, all of the grip of the tyres at the front because they’re over the limit that’s sliding and you won’t be using all of the grip of the rear tyres. There an imbalance in your sim car.
And so when you’re not using all of the grip of every tyre around your car, then you’re leaving time on the table and you’ve actually you’re driving to a lower limit because you’re taking grip away from the car. That’s a recipe for being slow in sim racing.
So. Again, let’s watch this. You can see he is on, off, on, off, on and off the accelerator.
Now, typically this comes from not having vision in the right area. It’s not because of the sensitivity in the accelerator foot. It’s because of a lack of vision. Poor vision. Not looking far enough ahead.
This reactive throttle response can come because the driver is looking too close to the car. They’re not looking far enough ahead. They’re not giving themselves the information and enough ahead of schedule, really.
And so they’re having to react to the car or to the track, rather, by going, oh, I’m not sure when to get on the accelerator pedal. And coming in and out of it. So my advice here for this driver is to try to look further ahead. We’ve got some other tutorials on vision and how far and when you should be looking ahead to help you in your sim racing.
We want to be looking towards the outside of the corner at this point here. Now down to the next apex and across. Back to the apex. Looking through to the next on now to the outside and to the outside of this corner.
When you give yourself the information like this and look quite a long time ahead, maybe a second and a half or two seconds, it means that you can be much more precise with your throttle response if you understand where the exit of the corner is.
And you’re looking at there long before you actually get on the accelerator. You know exactly how much to get on the accelerator. Anything before this, then you’re not giving yourself enough information. So as a rule of thumb, before you get to it, just before you get to the apex, you should be looking out towards the exit point of the corner because it’s at that point, just before the apex that you want to be just about getting on the accelerator.
Now, the next piece of advice is that actually in the middle of the corner, there’s not that much going on in your pedal work. If you are stamping on the throttle early, your sim racing will suffer.
A lot of drivers talk about needing to be on the brakes at the maximum or on the accelerator at the maximum. And that just simply isn’t true.
There is a period as we enter the corner where we’re trail braking with very little pressure. And I’ve got a video on that as well, which I linked to. And then just after that, we are picking up the accelerator quite early, but with a tiny amount, maybe 10 or 20 per cent.
This is because we’re trying to re-engage the engine, not transfer the weight too quickly to the rear of the car and keep the momentum up through the corner. So there’s a gap in the middle of the corner where we want to be on the accelerator just a little bit before we then head out of the corner.
That’s the most important part. If you find yourself on and off the accelerator, first of all, think about your vision and then think about how you are actually applying the accelerator and look back at video like this.
So you can specifically look at the throttle trace and understand how you are getting on and off the accelerator pedal. Do that and it will make you a much faster and much more consistent driver.
So now that you’ve learned about how to apply the acceleration in sim racing and how that makes you faster on track, why don’t you check out the short playlist I put together that will teach you about trail braking, braking points and racing line. Just click up here on the playlist and I’ll catch you in the next video.