A little about the transition of a turn to wake you up or put you to sleep.


old fart
For some reason or another things seem a little slow on here. Because of it and having nothing better to do I felt like throwing some bull out there to be consumed.


During the transition on here I went over to the darkside for a fix and found it pretty much as void as activity as here during the transition. But I proceeded to setout and confuse the void I found anyway. Today gathering up thoughts from the darkside to be brought out into the light today, it dawned on me the area out on the track which may have the most speed to be found by drivers alone, is often over looked. I normally look at the transition or static area of the track as the apex or transition point or area of going from deceleration to acceleration. But if it is a true apex I now realize the point or area does not have to be limited to maintaining a constant speed or momentum, but can include deceleration or acceleration. I think what I may be trying to define, may be more of a driver function, then a specific portion of any turn. I'm thinking now it's may even be purely a driver function and skill, which in the case of LTO racing is almost 100% of the time performed at what could be looked at as the transition, static or even apex portion of a turn. To reduce confusion when I speak of a turn, it can include depending on circumstances and racing needs the whole end of a track from entry to exit. It also can be any of the turns an end of the track is split into, from being named turn one, turn two or any of the diamonded in turns. Each and every turn no matter where provides a transition, static or apex place for driver skill, to increase rolling speed beyond the maintaining of turn entry speed. The distance traveled under enhanced rolling speed can be a little as a lengthened point so to speak, to the majority of the total turn depending on track conditions.

Because were racing we are always looking for maximum speed. Maximum resulting speed on a straight no matter what the entry speed or gearing, involves having just enough grip to putting all available hp to the track with the least conflict for control of direction from the tires. To do so you would be operating your rear tires at there maximum slip ratio. A straight away is that simple to define for how to get maximum speed. But a corner presents a much more difficult task in defining what must be done to function at maximum speed, because it is much more complex.

This thread is intended to for me personally to put down thoughts to settle them in my mind about a particular portion of a corner, I see mostly over looked. That portion is more of driver defined portion, if not totally defined by driver input over a physical definition. In the process if I'm lucky I will learn from the input of others.

To continue on I have to first restate what I consider to be facts for a straight. And that is on a straight, "Maximum resulting speed on a straight no matter what the entry speed or gearing, involves having just enough grip to putting all available hp to the track with the least conflict for control of direction from the tires. To do so you would be operating your rear tires at there maximum slip ratio.".

Then comes the complex turn which has the same available grip, available hp, need to maintain momentum and driver input; limits and limitations. The turn starts with turn in which is simply the need to be able to start the process or you would continue straight. Were still racing and were still interested in what will provide us with the ability to carry or obtain the highest speed. Beyond turn in what will allow us to carry the most speed is to be able to operate our tires with the least slip angle occurring equally at all four tires and the least conflict for control of direction. And that will occur in all parts of a corner, weather you are decelerating, accelerating or rolling in the corner. I've never written it exactly like that before but I think if there is a goal for how to use your tires for speed, it may be a very good goal.

Next comes what everyone is interested in to win against competitors and that is to win against the stop watch. The discussion on the darkside which I jumped into was about what is needed in the way of driver inputs of entry speed, line, etc., to take a corner with the least ticks on the stop watch and have the highest exit speed. I think that's what all of us are looking for weather were racing LTO or 'real race cars'. For anyone who does not know the difference between 'LTO' and 'real race cars, LTO are "left turn only" racers and "real race cars" turn both left and right. Though they may look similar, they are almost totally different in there designed in function. This thread though transitions both because for each to be there fastest, they must use their tires in the exact same way. The difference is not in how they must use there tires to be fast, the difference is in there ability to use there tires in the way needed to be fast. The only real difference is LTO racers because they turn only left, are able to get closer to running with equal and minimal slip angles at all four tires in a turn.

I still intend to head to discussing a particular portion of every turn which I now think is mainly driver defined. I still think it's likely this driver defined portion of the turn may be the main time reducing portion of any turn. But I've run out of coffee and run out of words for now and hope to continue later.

Below the line is what I wrote over on the darkside(which was as expected because of my nature, totally confusing to them). I've read through it and edited it to hopefully make it more fitting to be brought into the light of additional featured LTO racing. It's tough to transition back and forth between LTO racers and 'real race cars'. ... :)


Some have learned to understand how entry can effect the next phase of any turn. And what I have read in the discussion is a debate about when and how to accelerate. I think when reading through the responses(responses on the darkside) you have seen there is still something mysterious being talked about. You have seen and others have responded about how there is something you can do to be faster through the apex. You have experienced it and it’s being debated and argued the magic originates, either because of entry or how you intend to exit. The magic appears to be showing itself as increased speed during the apex.

If you too are now seeing the end result of the magic, maybe after reading what I wrote, as an increased apex speed, I can tell you exactly why it is able to occur. But before I can explain why it can happen, I must slightly have to re-define the apex or where the magic can occur. I think anywhere you read will define the apex as a point in a turn. I think the point will relate to most often as a transition, from one portion of a turn to another. I also see the apex that way.

Before I can go on, if we are not on the same page so far the rest will only confuse. So to go on I must ask if you or anyone is at least pretty much understanding the apex the same?

I also must throw something else in here now so we all can include it in thoughts later. Usually if not always when you see a drawing of the apex, the apex will occur at the inside limit of where you can drive. Lets expand the track a little. Before I can explain why the magic can occur, we must throw out an “inside of track” limit to where the apex will occur. For the magic to occur we will still define a turn from a point ‘A’ to a point ‘B’, but the driving line will not necessarily make the apex occur at the inside limit of where you can drive. I know a purest will only want to see the apex as normally defined, but you did not ask about a purest mathematical concept. You, if I’m reading you correctly, are asking why does entry effect what you can do not only through the rest of the turn, but why specifically can one entry ‘speed’ cause quicker times through a turn. And what’s the magic condition your trying to hit to be fast. If you will notice I did NOT mention the line taken during entry, your question relates to speed through the turn and what is it that makes you able to have more ‘speed’ or less time through the turn.
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That is the beauty of dirt. You can run several different lines based on the style. I think its hard to define what is best. I am sure mathematically, there is a 'best line' to take. We always want to take the shortest line around the track correct? But if the track is dusty lets say, maybe a wide entry with a late apex to get a straight shot off the corner? Help apply that HP to the track as soon as possible? Maybe we get that dirtphalt going and its black, and hard, and fast, and you can take that traditional line of a smooth arc through the corner trying to clip the apex right at the 90 deg mark of that assumed 180 degree turn?

I think that is where driver skill comes in. As the track is changing, knowing what line to take. Or based on your set up, knowing how to get your particular piece through the turn the quickest.

Maybe we can say it the best magician can get that kart through the turn the quickest, find that magic? Good post Paul.
Because of deceleration and loads moving to the RF your entry speed is limited by the gripping ability of the RF tire. Once in a corner and prior to full acceleration, there is an opportunity to roll or maintain entry momentum plus additional speed, above entry speed. The driver skill required is to realize once corner entry is completed, transferred weight to the outside will be distributed more evenly between both outside tires, reducing the load on the outside front tire. It provides the opportunity for the driver to slightly increase their rolling corner speed above entry speed and maintain it over a distance. It’s an obvious thing to do, but a tough skill for a driver to learn. Most any corner will provide the opportunity for some additional rolling of the corner at a speed beyond entry. The point is the distance traveled at the enhanced speed of entry momentum plus some acceleration, which is only possible because of grip re-distribution after entry, can be taken in less time, then attempting to accelerate or maintain entry speed over the same distance. How much the advantage will be depends on the turn configuration and the drivers choice in driving line.

It takes specific input and skill by a driver to enter, know when grip redistributes, slightly increase speed, roll with the increases speed and then lead into turn exit and full acceleration. The portion of the turn which can be rolled at increased speed will be taken quicker then if only maintaining entry speed or if trying to accelerate too early, through the same part of the turn.

Yes this is an obvious thing we see happen every day at the races and it’s just one of those obvious not much thought about things. But I think if you think about it a little and compare in your memory good and not so good drivers. I think your memory will be seeing more skilled drivers doing more of it and it’s just one of those un named picture things of higher quality in your mind. We see it every day when watching a skilled driver on the track and I’m now describing a point of why one driver appears to just be better.


ps… I have to add, how much you are able to relate to what I described, also depends on the available hp of what your use to watching out on the track. In general you will see it show more with higher hp. It is because with higher available hp, you will more likely be running closer to the limit of grip.
I am new to karting, been at it only couple months, but I enjoy reading it. It gives me a direction on how to think about corners.