THE INSIDER’S GUIDE
Driving in the wet is somewhat of an artform that requires both patience and precision, and while it would sometimes seem as if some drivers are simply better than others on the wet stuff, being competitive in the wet often comes down to that one defining component―practice.
There are a few things that a driver must do in the wet to be competitive; employing a smooth and calculated driving style allied to a gentle (and earlier) application of the brakes and more progressive steering and throttle inputs is key to getting the most out of a wet surface.
Also key is having a sense of when the car is going to get away from you; in the wet, a rear-wheel drive car can be a handful, and a mid-engined car can be even more treacherous―be prepared for what will inevitably occur when you’re dancing on the limits of adhesion in the wet.
Racing in the rain has a lot to do with feel, and your innate ability to handle a car on the limit, but there are ways in which anyone can be better―and that begins with braking.
― Brake earlier than you would in the dry, and brake with lighter/less input to avoid locking the tyres under heavy braking
― Keep the wheel straight and try to bleed as much speed as possible before turning in
― Try to keep trail-braking to a minimum
― If you lock the brakes, you’ll need to ease-off the brake pedal so the wheels start rotating again before getting back onto the brakes
― You want to be smooth and steady with your steering inputs
― Try and maintain flowing lines through the corners, and avoid quick jabs of the wheel
― Always be prepared to counter-steer at any point through the corner: the rear tends to get loose a lot faster than the rain, particularly when you power-out of a turn
― As with your steering inputs, you want to be smooth and steady in the application of the throttle
― Balance the throttle through the turn to help neutralise and balance the car to help it rotate slightly
― Be patient when powering out of turns; wait until the car is pointing straight ahead before you ease onto the power
― Try to reduce any wheel spin on the exit of the corner
Racing In The Wet
There are, over-and-above what you’re doing in the cockpit, other factors that make driving in the wet such a uniquely complex (but rewarding, when you get it right) experience, and that begins with the one thing all drivers (aside from whoever is leading) hate―spray.
This will impair your vision, especially when you’re in a pack, and driving in a car with a windscreen. To help, try and move out of the spray on the approach to the braking zone of a corner to give yourself better visibility, and also avoid the dirty air of the car in front that could impact your downforce (and therefore braking distance).
One of the most complex aspects to wet weather driving is finding the right line around the track; as in some cases, deviating from the traditional racing line used in the dry may be more beneficial.
― Experiment with driving off the traditional racing line in the wet―sometimes driving off the racing line can be faster in wet conditions through certain corners
― Depending on the amount of rubber build-up, staying off the racing line in certain parts and types of corners can provide you with more grip and better traction as rubber becomes slippery when wet, meaning rubber (from tyre) on rubber (embedded in track surface) contact isn’t as good as rubber (from tyre) on tarmac/track surface contact
― Line up for better and straighter exits, particularly leading onto long straights to potentially create passing opportunities
― The traditional racing line used in the dry is the shortest route around the track, so in some cases it is best to stick to it―but again, make sure to experiment with varying lines to assess the grip
LiveTrack 3.0 in Project CARS 2 brings the real world of motorsports to the game. It looks great, but it can play havoc to your racing hopes if you’re not paying attention to the changing conditions. Key thing to understand here is that the track is constantly changing; and so is the grip.
― Use storm conditions in practice sessions to learn where puddles and pooling water generally tend to form around the circuit. Although the size of these puddles may change each time you load a session, and other factors such as number of cars on track and the amount of rainfall may affect their nature, they will always form in the same places as they would in real life. Knowing where they are, and how to avoid them, will give you an advantage. In some cases you won’t be able to avoid them as they will span the width of the track―in this scenario, try and take the shortest possible route through along with these additional tips.
― When driving through puddles, do so in as straight a line as possible with as little steering input as you can get away with. Some can be taken flat, some will require you to lift slightly, and some will require you to get off the throttle completely or reduce speed before hitting the puddle. It all depends on the length of the puddle and the depth of water.
― Try to stick to the same lines as other cars in front of you when navigating through a puddle. It helps to clear the water quicker in that area/spot
― Understanding where these puddles form and avoiding those areas in wet conditions could be the difference between you surviving and you crashing out
Other Areas To Avoid
― Curbs and painted areas become very slippery in wet conditions. Try to stay off them if possible, especially serrated curbs
― Astro-turf and “grasscrete” can also become very slippery, take care and avoid using them where possible
Now sit back and watch as Yorkie065 takes you through the ins and outs of wet weather driving in Project CARS 2.