How important is car tuning for the novice driver?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BoothJoe, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. BoothJoe

    BoothJoe Registered

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    I'm relatively new to sim racing (a few months) so if my performances were something my dog found on the ground, he'd think twice about rolling in it. I am reading the Skip Barber book and finding it educational, but I am suspecting that sim racing is not something you "get good at" in a couple of weeks (and it shouldn't be).

    I think a lot about driving and tuning and I've written some thoughtful TLDR posts that I thankfully never actually posted. But I still wonder and so I decided tonight would be a good night to ask a simple question and see what the good people here have to say.

    So, at what point should a novice driver concern himself with the setup of his car?
     
  2. Jamie Shorting

    Jamie Shorting Registered

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    In road racing that last 10% is setup so I personally don't worry about it too much. I know there will be plenty of people who disagree with me though. Oval racing is a whole other ball game.
     
  3. Emery

    Emery Registered

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    When the default setup is actively trying to kill you (brake bias too rearward) or scare you (too much oversteer) or annoy you (too much understeer or you're stuck on the rev limiter).
     
  4. schigara

    schigara Registered

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    I think it depends on the car and its stock setup coupled with your driving style. I have picked up as much as 5 seconds a lap on longer tracks by changing the setup of a car that under steered badly with the default set to more of an over steer setup.
     
  5. Guimengo

    Guimengo Guest

    The rFactor (1) easy setup slider was a really, really cool thing. It never helps to have awful or unbalanced default setups, especially with such large ranges on certain vehicles.
     
  6. DrR1pper

    DrR1pper Registered

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    My 2 pennies worth.....

    not until at least a year from when you started. Seriously.

    There is so much to learn and improve on your driving part of the performance equation that will keep you preoccupied for yonks to come still. No need to muddle that learning curve by introducing setup changes imo. Some cars will have pretty decent default setups and others not so much but i think it's irrelevant either way. You're focus should be on driving the best you can with whatever car and default car setup you have. Changing setups will affect how the car needs to be driven to get it around a track as quickly as possible and certainly there will be an optimal car setup that will yield the fastest possible lap time achievable in a certain car, around a certain track and certain track condition. But that doesn't matter if you don't know how to drive a car (with whatever setup) to it's limit. Car setup changes will not improve your driving skill. Optimising the car setup can only increase your driving performance potential but to even successfully do that you need to know what to change and how much by and doing that correctly/well you must first understand car control to a sufficiently high and intuitive standard and that takes time....nothing but seat time.

    rf2 is my first race sim as well (by that i mean the first race sim i've stuck with past the first week or two). I too purchased the skip barber book and find/found it invaluable, especially during my initial learning curve. When i first started, i messed around with the setup and found it very unhelpful in figuring out how to drive the car well. So i made a decision to leave it at default which lasted for at least a year. I believe this was a very good decision on my part. Not only was the consistent car handling helpful in my learning of how to better drive the car faster around a track but any and all improvements i saw in my lap time i then knew with certainty must have come from improvements in my driving skill alone. Playing with setup can cause improvements in lap time that are not a result of you driving better and this is not what you want right now, especially when there is still so much improvement that can be made in your driving skill/ability.

    Others may disagree with me and possibly for good reasons i have failed to see/realise, these are just my current opinions on the matter.

    Here's the condensed version of the skip barber book in video format too (and i think skip barber also says not to bother with car setup until you're able to consistently nail the perfect lap):

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2016
  7. Minibull

    Minibull Member

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    There are certain options you should get familiar with. I call them the "Personal" options, or mandatory ones.
    Brake bias and pressure is one, useful to adjust it to get it how you like for corner entry.
    Gearing, obviously track specific.
    Fuel...
    Steering lock if it's really tight like monaco
    Aero adjustment would be my final one I think, getting a different balance or drag amount sorted.

    Everything else I see as a final 10% of getting it really dialed in. Most times if you have the right skill and feel, you can work around setup issues in terms of the fine options.

    Many online see a setup as what makes someone fast, but as me and many on here would tell you, it really isn't. Oodles of times where I've run at the top of a server you get requests for "setup plz". Rather amusing to see them call BS if you say default.

    We don't like to admit our shortcomings sometimes, so I get it, but some will always find something to pin it on.
    I know my weakness is actually delving deep into setups. I've done it often enough but usually I can't be arsed and just drive.


    Spend time just driving and learning the car and track, and you'll find much more benefit than trying to suss out what you are doing. You need consistent and quick laptimes to actually tell the changes you make when fine tuning.
     
  8. bwana

    bwana Registered

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    Agree with most of the above. Interestingly. After getting the track sussed then working on the set l find my self reverting to default to see how far off track lve gone. Try it. Sometimes you will gain sometimes you can get an overall jist of how you changed the car for the worse which gives you knowledge for future tunes.
     
  9. Comante

    Comante Registered

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    I agree with others : you can have hours of fun, learning, and improving on defaults. Messing with setups is a long and tiring process, especially for someone that will improve laptimes just putting more laps under the belt. Other than this, many cars can be very sensisitve to setup changes, and tuning them can be quite challenging without a solid knowledge of how the car behave and why.
    The only changes I make to defaults , as others said are relative to brake bias and strenght (that is related to many factors , your hardware included), gear ratios to avoid limiter on longer straights, and fuel to adapt to qualify or race lenght.
     
  10. BoothJoe

    BoothJoe Registered

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    I've noticed that, too, which is why I wrote this. I make gradual changes and see improvements and then one day go back to defaults and still set new personal best lap times. I'm thinking there's really two sims here. One is the driving and one is the setup. There could be an entire separate game where you are the car architect/mechanic/designer and you make the changes and let the AI drive the car.

    So my next question is:

    If you were to use the default settings, should you be able to consistently beat the AI at 100%?
     
  11. Emery

    Emery Registered

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    That's totally, totally, TOTALLY mod-dependent because the mod-maker can give the AI so much more capability than is realistic (or so little that AI is pathetic). It is also dependent on the AIW of the track... for example, if you can beat AI at 100% on most tracks with the default setups, then you try Sao Paulo, you'll likely need to run the AI at 110%.

    Easy-peasy example is that historic F3 AI just doesn't achieve human cornering speeds despite having 5.3% more grip than a human does. Increase that AI grip by another 3.5% and the AI are in the ballpark of a human. I've seen other mods give the AI 25-35% more grip than a human has because the mod-maker shortcut designing the other AI parameters.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2016

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