THE INSIDER’S GUIDE
Project CARS 2 comes with a whole host of classic and vintage cars for you to race. Authenticity, though, means we have modelled many of these cars “spec”—that is, they handle the way they did in the era in which they raced. That means suspension, tyres, and brakes are a long way off the performance we now take for granted with today’s cars.
Thirty years is a long time in the automotive world—and it’s a lifetime in motorsport. Take the fastest supercars from the 1970s and you’ll often find performance figures that are matched by many of today’s off-the-shelf hot-hatches and family sedans.
But of course, that’s not really the point: the simple joy of driving these cars comes from that wonderful interaction between driver and machine that, with today’s increasing focus on safety, is becoming increasingly rare. Without nannies, with tyres and suspension that lacked grip and brakes that lacked bite, these cars put the drivers in control: and once you experience the joy of manhandling a classic and vintage car the way they were meant to be driven, today’s high-grip beasts will seem, in many ways, like a different kind of driving.
But getting the best from your adventures in classic and vintage cars demands that you change your style of driving and your approach. In this week’s Insider’s Guide, Yorkie065 will take you through some of the fundamentals that will make your racing adventures with these sublime handling cars of yesteryear that much more satisfying, but also help with understanding of vehicle handling and driving technique for other and more modern cars.
- Brake in a straight line and ensure that all your braking is done before you get to the turn-in point. No trail braking here in these kinds of cars unless you enjoy moments of extreme oversteer!
- Make sure that you are in the correct gear for the corner, as shifting whilst turning could easily unsettle the car: these are all manuals, and that means you don’t want to be shifting gears mid-turn.
- Turning and braking at the same time will likely lead to severe oversteer, or possibly even understeer. The low grip from the tyres also mean the chance of locking a wheel under braking is high: Don’t expect to get away with the kind of impunity with which you are accustomed to with your modern car.
With you attempting to slow the car, all the weight is going to be at the front of the car and none over the rear, meaning it is very easy to oversteer into the corner as the rear tyres will have little weight. Getting your braking sorted before turning-in will allow you to focus on the turning-in phase of the corner and ensuring the car is nicely balanced.
- Ease off the brake and start to gently turn into the apex of the corner: Ideally you are now off the brake and off the throttle.
- Let the car roll through the corner to the point that you start to meet the apex.
- As you come to the apex, ease onto the throttle gently to make the rear of the car start to ‘squat’ which will then hold it there in its more balanced state.
- Be prepared to counter-steer at any point through the corner, and as you come through the exit and start to balance the car, unwind the steering angle and be ready to catch any slides.
The most important aspect to the turning phase of the corner is having the car balanced and in a neutral state. Too much weight forwards will lead to oversteer, too much weight rewards will lead to understeer. You want a balanced car without either tendency, and that requires a very fine and minimal amount of throttle—this should see you having a marginal amount of rotation with the car. Ease on-and-off the throttle to counter what the car is starting to do as you progress through the corner, whether it is understeer or oversteer. The throttle will be your main point of shifting the weight, and the steering will simply be used to guide the car through the corner and catch any slides.
- Ease onto the throttle more as you come out through the exit.
- Only get full throttle once you know the car is stable enough and the rear tyres have grip.
Getting on the throttle too hard will see you fighting a lot of oversteer, costing you traction and valuable lap time. It may look great, leaving behind a lovely set of tyre marks and smoke, but if you are wanting to be competitive, make sure throttle application is smooth as not to overpower the rear tyres with the power of the engine.
One final thing to note is the gearing: you want to have the car in the gear you want to be taking the corner before you get there, even if it means shifting up early, or braking earlier to get down into that lower gear. Shifting whilst turning can upset the car, even at speed, as the motion means you are getting off the throttle to engage another gear and then getting back onto the throttle. What this means in effect is that you are provoking the weight to go from the rear to the front, then back again as you continue accelerating. This movement could be enough to unsettle the car and throw into a slide, so it is better to just play it safe and make your shifts in a straight line.
Now sit back and enjoy some vintage sideways action with Yorkie065 in this week’s Insider’s Guide to Project CARS 2.