I provide this post to inform but also to promote discussion, so ask away! There are 3 main reasons to set up a car: 1. Speed 2. Comfort 3. Wear So given this, in order to begin to understand car set ups we must be able to: 1. Drive fast 2. Know what we like 3. Understand what problems are caused by driving style and what are caused by setup. A very clear example of this is a long fast corner. Say the left front hits 120 degrees celsius, is this because the balance is bad, or is it because I used the wrong line, went in to fast etc. We have to crawl before we can walk and to do that you need to: 1. Know how to drive fast 2. Understand our strengths and weakness 3. Start to understand how individual components affect the car and more importantly, how they interact with each other. I'll normally drive for half an hour or so with the default setup on a new combo, adjusting my driving to the setup. Once I have a good feel for what is going on, I'll go ahead and make minor changes to affect balance. In the past, I was not really sure what I was doing, so each circuit, each car was the same thing: Drop the dampers all round to 3/4, remove roll bars, brakes to the rear etc. What I eventually found by doing this, was I was driving 'against the grain' Yep, I was quick, but I was being out-braked and towards the end of the race, the car balance goes out and it becomes more and more difficult to push. So, I traded wear for comfort essentially. More comfort but equally more wear. I also noticed that I was apex hugging, not using the full width of the road. This could be attributed to a bad setup. The front end was good,the rear was good, but they did not play well together. This reduced my ability to drive correctly which in turn reduced my confidence to attack. It's a big mountain to climb, so where can you start? At the beginning of course 1. Find a suitable car and circuit, one you are comfortable with but also one that allows you to have freedom with the setup. 2. Adjust wings and gears, these two things alone are easy to understand, modify and feel the end result of. 3. Ask questions if there is something confusing you. 4. Once you understand, move to another component. Test each component individually so as to get the feeling of what it is doing. In the early days, I'd do 5 laps, change 1 thing from 0 to 100 then another 5 laps to feel it. So the components themselves, what do they do? Skipping the basics which I'm sure everyone understands already? Increasing Rollbars stiffen the car, reducing body roll and allowing the car to slide more. - Adjust the front to induce understeer or the rear for oversteer. Increasing Springs can give additional support to each corner of the car. - Adjust front springs to reduce wallow in the steering, adjust rear springs to assist with getting the power down. Dampers can be difficult to understand, simply because they are so influential for a variety of reasons. - Dampers can be used to promote corner entry and exit characteristics. Typically this is not as extreme as under or oversteer - Dampers are also directly responsible for how the corner reacts on and off load (accel and braking) and the feeling over curbs and bumps. - The simplest way to understand these is the spring moves up and down, the dampers control how fast and how far it is allowed to move and how it returns to it's resting position. Camber is used to provided a balance between wear and grip, you'll want to adjust for even wearing across the tire. This is critical for maintaining balance of the car through the race. - Aim for a spread in temperatures like 80 - 85 - 90 after a reasonable stint. Caster is quite easy to explain. It's just like the front wheels on a supermarket trolley, the more caster, the more the front wheels will want to push straight. - You might want this for stability, but be aware that this has a direct influence on the Force Feedback you experience. Differential settings, another of the difficult to understand concepts. -Power is how progressively the diff allows the power to be sent to the wheels, coast is how the diff tightens up off power. Pump is the transition between the two. -So if I wanted to jump on the throttle coming out of turns, I'd decrease power. If more turn-in on corner entry is required, then it's time to reduce the coast. -If I get oversteer coming off throttle, I might increase the coast or increase the pump. This however is where it becomes more challenging. Do I promote oversteer with springs, dampers, roll bars, wings? Each component while having a tangible effect individually, exists because they provide attributes the other cannot and are designed to work in conjunction with each other. This is why it is so difficult and why it is hard to make a simple catch all guide for the inexperienced to follow. There really aren't any shortcuts.