Mixing Traction Ratios
In this video I introduce a critical concept that not enough people know about: mixing traction ratios. This key piece of theory will help you shave time at the track. I promise.
Hey everybody, Matt Covert here again howtobecomearacecardriver.com with another critical concept. This is something that helped me personally. Last year, in particular, when I started implementing this concept into my racing program. I’m excited to share it with you. And it’s all about mixing traction ratios. And I’m so excited we’re just going to jump right on into it.
Alright, a traction ratio – no, let me back up first. I want to talk about why this is important. Mixing traction ratios is going to help you reduce weight transfer, and we talked about weight transfer in a couple different videos, which I will like to up here on the screen. Alright? The goal with mixing traction ratios is to reduce weight transfer because, as I’ve said before, and I’m going to right all this out just so you can see it. Less weight transfer equals more grip. And that, of course, equals a faster car.
Any time that a vehicle changes direction or a driver makes an input through throttle or brake or steering application it has less potential grip, alright? So the further – or the more weight that you transfer around the vehicle, the less grip you’re going to have. And reducing that weight transfer is something that you can do. And mixing your traction ratios is going to help you do it.
So let’s talk about traction ratios just real quick before we hop into this. Your car is only capable of one hundred percent grip. It can’t get any better than that. OK? A traction ratio, let me write some abbreviates for the three driver inputs. OK we have throttle, brake, and steering. A traction ratio, theoretically, is saying that we’re using fifty percent of the car’s ability to brake – fifty percent of this grip ability to brake. And fifty percent of it’s cornering ability, or grip ability, to steer. We’re using half of the car’s ability to brake and half the car’s ability to steer. You can do two of the these things at a time. You obviously can’t accelerate and brake at the same time. But that goes for anything. If you’re coming out of a corner and you get back on the throttle and you’re starting to unwind the car, then maybe at first you have thirty percent throttle and you’re still steering seventy percent. And then a little way through the corner you’re, you’ve got it up to, coming out of the corner unwinding the throttle so you have a little less steering going. And you’re at sixty forty. And eventually you’re going, once you get on the back stretch, you’re going to get down to a hundred and zero percent for both of these.
Alright? These are examples of traction ratios. And this is extremely important to understand. Now we’re going to talk about how you can mix them together. Alright?
It was a long time ago. The old school racecar philosophy was that when you’re coming down, and this is very old philosophy, I don’t think, well it depends on the car, it doesn’t get a lot of use now. It used to be that you would come down under braking into a corner at a hundred percent braking. And then through the corner you would use a hundred percent steering. Let me write that up there. Braking, steering. And then once you got to the exit you would switch back to a hundred percent throttle. Just like that. That’s the old school method. OK?
And this, like I said, sometimes works better with some vehicles but it is must faster, usually, to do it a different way. Let’s talk about, and this is the mixing traction method, you can see obviously, in that last example, there’s no mixing at all. It’s just a hundred percent one way or the other. Mixing traction ratios. It’s faster if you trade off one type of input for another. So here we have the braking section, the steering section, and the throttle section. Yeah.
Alright, so let’s say that when you’re braking you get up to this point, you’re a hundred percent up to here, but then you start to turn in. Rather than letting off the brakes all the way, trade throttle for braking. And these lines don’t have anything to do with racing lines. We’re just talking about where the driver is inputting into the car, OK? So rather than stopping braking here, so rather than braking up to here and then immediately going from braking to cornering, you’re slowly trading off your braking force for your cornering force. Alright?
And you’re doing the same thing on the way out. Again, you are trading off your cornering force for throttle force. And let’s look at that, let’s just unwind this. Let’s look at it from kind of a bar graph, like single bar graph type situation. This might help make a little more sense, OK? So let’s make a couple lines that do this. And the length of this bar just represents the driver in put through a corner. OK this, again, is the braking section. Steering. And throttle section. OK? So you can see that the driver is trading off brake into steering. So right here is a hundred percent braking. And here, let me make a little arrow, he’s at a hundred percent steering. But right here in the middle, let’s say right about here, we’ll make a guess and we’ll say that he is thirty percent brake and seventy percent steering.
This is called mixing traction ratios. And there’s another video coming up about why this is faster. But it’s faster to mix these together than it so to do them one at a time. And this video is getting a little long so I’m going to wrap it up here. But it’s important to get this concept of mixing and I want you to rewatch this video again before you move on because this is really important. This is a huge huge huge concept to understand. It’ll make you faster, I promise. A few other great concepts are built off of this one so you really need to understand what this is, OK?
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