Our last feature talked about installing and integrating Vbox Video HD2 with CAN Bus connection into a Ferrari 488 Challenge race car. Let’s see how we can use the logged video and data to improve our driving. The feature today we are using is the 2018 Ferrari Challenge APAC Shanghai round. Eric Zang, the Chinese race driver who finished the weekend with a race Win in Coppa Shell. The practice sessions were ran under the rain, with a wet race track and consistent sprinkle of of precipitation it became the ideal scenario for us to look deeper into the wet race track driving.
One of the main factor that affect the speed at which the race car can carry in the wet racing condition is “greasy track”, with the lowered traction from the rain, we are always looking for maximum grip on the race track. The normal racing line is normally where all the sticky rubber would be located, but when it rains, this is the part were it might become greasy (lower traction available). We would want to try to avoid these parts of the race track to allow the maximum traction hence speed for driving to a safer and faster pace.
First example Shanghai F1 Circuit T6 – High Speed Hairpin (Diagram above) the blue lines and data are “normal racing line”, the red is “wet racing line”, both were in very similar track condition as it was in the same session whilst the driver was trying different lines. The apex speed and corner exit speeds are compromised from the lack of traction available at the normal racing apex, with the steering angle showing understeer as the driver cannot turn in more for the corner, therefore he had to keep steering twice as long, and applying the throttle must later, the wet line gained him 0.2s just for this corner.
Second example Shanghai F1 Circuit T7-8 – High Speed S bend (Diagram above). As you enter T7, you are decelerating into the core part of the left corner, then carrying the speed keeping left until the right timing for transition into the right corner T8. The critical gain here is when the entry into T7, where the blue line runs very close to the kerb, but close to the kerb was actually the greasy part of the track, so the car loses traction and speed, before entering T8 at lower speed while being off the ideal position for the entry into T8. By racing the car in a one car width off the ideal line, it was able to gain 6km/h faster speed on average through the corner T7 and T8 gaining a total of 0.6s.
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