THE INSIDER’S GUIDE
In The Insider’s Guide Episode 19 Yorkie065 guides you around the opposition
There are two key elements to pulling off a successful overtaking move: timing and positioning. Successfully combining these two elements will see you get your pass done and, more importantly, reduce the chance of making a mistake that will see you, and perhaps even your opponent, suffer the inevitable consequences of a mistake.
- Timing is all about Risk vs Reward: your priority here is to ask whether this is the right time to attempt an overtake … or not?
- Actual timing of the stages in the overtake is critical.
- Unsuccessful overtakes can lead to contact with damage, spinning and losing positions, and even losing time by going side-by-side through multiple corners while battling being the consequences.
- If you’re in a tight battle, it is sometimes better to wait a few turns for better opportunity than risk a move too early. This is particularly true if you’re also being challenged from behind: even a minor botched move can see you not only not gain a position but lose one or more, too.
- Timing is also influenced, of course, by the type of race you’re in. In a sprint race, for instance, there will be less opportunities for passing, so being more aggressive and faster with your decision-making and more incisive with your moves becomes important. In endurance races, the opposite applies: here, patience can reward you.
Positioning – Inside Overtake
- This is the more traditional path around your opponent. Setting up the move is crucial.
- Stay close to your opponent, don’t make the corner tighter for yourself unless forced to by your opponent. Making it tighter for yourself means you need to bleed off more speed, which means being slower through the apex. This will afford your opponent a far higher chance of defending by going around the outside. This also results in a far greater chance of contact at or just after the apex because of the lines both cars will be taking through the corner.
- Nail your braking point. Your primary job is to ensure that you make the apex at the right speed: this means your route around the inside the turn will see you get past, and your line will allow you to get onto the throttle early. It will also ensure you keep your car tight to avoid making contact.
- If you don’t have an overlap (your front tyres level with opponent rear tyres), it’s for you to back-out of the overtake. Remember, your opponent is also defending, and if he doesn’t squeeze you, it’s your obligation at that point to either make a successful and clean pass or surrender the move.
- Give room on the exit unless you’re clearly ahead in order to avoid making contact. If you’ve not managed to pass your opponent by the apex, and you are side-by-side coming out, don’t move out wide and push the opponent off track. Stay tight and give racing room.
Positioning – Outside Overtake
- This is a sometimes the more ambitious pass and therefore carries with it more risk.
- You are looking to exploit the racing line into the braking zone, but you can also afford to brake 5-10 metres later here because you will be aiming to take the position away on the outside of the turn.
- “Turn-in at your usual point, but here you’re aiming to turn shallower as you are trying to keep speed and momentum up, both of which you need to maintain around the outside. You’re also going to need to leave up to a car’s width on the inside for your opponents to use; this is because your opponent will be taking the apex. The more room you give them, the lower the chance of contact but lower the chance of success so the balance is key, and generally better to air on the side of caution if they look aggressive.”
- This move is best performed in corners where there is a second bend following shortly after, and preferably one where you will have the inside line.
- This move can also be successfully performed through normal corners, but this requires you to be ahead before the turn-in point in order to hold your position successfully around the outside, which will consequently force your opponent to stay tight and compromise their exit.
- The risk here is two-fold: you taking too much speed and falling off the outside, and your opponent braking too late and missing the apex. Give room on the inside, and back out if your opponent looks to be taking too much speed into the apex.
Best place for overtakes
There are sections on every track that are more conducive to successful passes
- Slower corners at the end of long straights with heavy braking zones
Worst places for overtakes
There are also sections in every track where a pass is highly risky or just a flat out no-go
- High speed corners
- Corners with only one line
- Long hairpins or corners (unless you’re on the inside)
- Corners with short braking zones
- Tight, single-line sections
If you’re faced with an opponent who is both canny and pretty much on your pace, it can be beneficial to follow them around for a lap or two, in order to read where they’re strong and weak, and plan your overtake from that.
A successful move against a fast opponent is rarely a quick decision: often it begins a few corners back. Plan ahead. And be prepared to back out. Having a second bite is a lot better than ending your race and, worse still, ending your race and that of your opponents.