Perfecting the art of sim racing – The need for downforce (Part 3)


You don’t realize how useful downforce is until you hop out of a high-downforce racecar and straight into a road car. Suddenly, that car feels awfully clumsy and difficult to drive, and it’s all thanks to aerodynamics.

For those unaware, downforce is a downwards force created by taking advantage of the same aerodynamic properties that airplanes do, but in reverse. This pushes the wheels down into the ground, giving the car greater grip and thus allowing you to take corners at higher speeds. The faster you go, the more air you’ll have going over any downforce devices, which results in more grip. As such, you can take corners at some pretty silly speeds compared to anything without downforce. This makes it actually rather easy to drive a downforce-heavy car  – there is tons and tons of grip, giving you plenty of room before you go over the limit.


As a bizarre result, I’ve had more luck consistently driving racecars than I have road cars. You would figure that the former would be much more difficult, seeing as they were designed to be driven by experts, but with the exception of a few slower road cars, that hasn’t been the case so far. In fairness, most of the road cars in this game aren’t your neighbour’s Camry – we’re talking the likes of the Pagani Huayra, Ferrari 458, and McLaren 12C. But even the 12C’s racing variant is a lot easier to handle than the road car. Sure, it gets a little tail-happy once the tires warm up, but the road car is all over the place from the get go.

The solution to this, as with most things in the sim racing world, is down to the usual combination of practicing and analyzing each mistake you make. There seem to be a lot of places where I might be going wrong – entering corners too fast, getting on the power too early in the exit, or perhaps pushing too hard on cold tires. My racing line is probably a little rough as well. I’ll need more time to analyze, however. Save for my drifting sessions, I haven’t spent much time in the road cars, so getting the hang of them may take a little while. But it’s going to have to be done if I want to achieve my goal of consistent driving by the end of this month.

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