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One piece of advice....please!

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This is aimed more at the top level drivers, if here was one single piece of advice you could give to a driver what would it be?

I ask because I'm doing this weeks Autosport RaceNet street challenge on PS3 and I'm stumped by some of the times other drivers have been getting.  My best time is in the 2:25s...the top 2 times are 2:19s and I have no doubt they will improve further.  Obviously there are some random variables like all the other drivers, but, even when I have done (by my standards) a clean run I'm still some way off the pace set by the top guys.

So for those of us looking to improve, if there was one piece of advice...what would it be?

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kinda boring advice but, practise, practise and practise.

Also see if any of the top drivers are posting any videos to give u a clue where you are loosing time.
Could be as easy as some assists off/on or not quite reaching apex..


.....or ur just slow ;)

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Remember, Slower is faster.

Meaning if you go slower you will get faster, your fastness is making you slow if you see what  mean.....

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Make sure you're looking plenty ahead. Remove as much HUD as you can stand it just distracts your eyes. How good are you with tuning setups? Like he said you can never discount practise but there are plenty of things you can do to be faster out of the box. Make sure you're using the whole track on corner exits that's something that's hard to do in games with the unnatural perspective but it can be done. If youre comfortable with your lap time lap after lap you can go faster. If you don't spin you're not trying.

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Learn to drive without assists if you're nor already. You'd be surprised at how much they actually hinder the performance of the car.

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I'm definitely finding that slower is faster to be true although I suspect I could take wider angles in corners and use every part of the track...will work on that.

As for setups I think the only thing I'm not terribly confident on is differentials.  I can see what it does in the corners but less clear on the benefit on straights...the tooltip says it increases traction but I do find it hard to gauge how much I gain/lose on straights in a practical sense.  I generally have it more to the open side than locked unless the track is very straight.

Break bias may be another area I need to improve my knowledge on but I tend not to use it unless the car is misbehaving.

Good news though is I'm up 1 second from my original post so the practice is paying off (and getting a little lucky with the AI helps too!).

Great advice guys! :)

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TUSMBOX said:
Learn to drive without assists if you're nor already. You'd be surprised at how much they actually hinder the performance of the car.
I am guilty of using ABS and TC...I'll start with turning off the TC and see how it goes.

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Get smooooth.
Real smooooooooth.

And when you think your smooth enough, get smoother.

smoothness = no tyre squeal, no car all sideways, no locking up, no hitting walls, no over-revving......

well, thats the goal anyhoo, and it dosent always apply, but its a good place to start from.

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TUSMBOX said:
Learn to drive without assists if you're nor already. You'd be surprised at how much they actually hinder the performance of the car.
I've not beaten my best time yet but I will never use TC again...I'm so much quicker at the starts without it and am visibly quicker in certain sections of the race.  A few more laps and the ABS is getting culled too.

Good call! :)

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Diff only matters for turns and accelerating out of the turn. Ideally you want the most lock you can stand without spinning tires. It varies by car. It's not really wider through the turn you want to be tight on the apex. It's going from the outside rumble strips during braking to the apex out again to the outside rumble strips smoothely. You'll carry the maximum speed and be faster down the straight. Now some complex strings of corners don't follow that rule but any time you're going from straight to turn to straight you should be using all the track.

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Raylion said:
How do you turn off the assists?
At the main menu go into options & extras.  You want the Difficulty option.
I figured it out right after posting, but thank you.  Not sure I can drive without the assists, but still even with assists on made it in top 6% on the latest touring track in the challenges and am certain I can take off another second soon as my thumb stops hurting.

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Be gentle with the throttle. Use it like a pedal in a car. Don't just be either on or off the throttle. Always drive the car around the turn, try not to coast. Lift off the throttle if you only want to lose a small amount of speed, rather than braking too much. Eat the apex of the corner. Being a meter away from the apex is lost time. Don't slide or spin wheels if possible. Tight corners you have to be slow in, fast out. Don't put the power on, until you know you don't need to take it off. The right setup for your car. Get ur car maxing out on the longest straight of the track your doing.

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Be gentle with the throttle. Use it like a pedal in a car. Don't just be either on or off the throttle. Always drive the car around the turn, try not to coast. Lift off the throttle if you only want to lose a small amount of speed, rather than braking too much. Eat the apex of the corner. Being a meter away from the apex is lost time. Don't slide or spin wheels if possible. Tight corners you have to be slow in, fast out. Don't put the power on, until you know you don't need to take it off. The right setup for your car. Get ur car maxing out on the longest straight of the track your doing.
There are turns particularly in this last RaceNet challenge where its preferable to go wide because it allows you to throttle into the end of the curve and have more speed coming out of it.  I know for certain this technique allowed me to take off significant time on the 3 lapper.

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I understand what your saying, however I believe if stray from the racing line, then that's wasted time. You may be able to keep the speed up, but your driving more distance. :)

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Long sweepers can have a racing line off of curb but I would be willing to bet if you started wide made your line to the inner curb and then back out wide over the course of the turn you'd be faster all around.

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The key to all of them is getting ahead of the A.I as quickly as possible and yes that means using them as brakes in the first few corners so they stop getting in your way. You'll end up restarting a lot because it's just a matter of luck as most of the time you will spin out or be too slow and sometimes the A.I block you or swerve into you and slow you down, personally I hate events like this where there is such a random variable in what is essentially a time attack with moving unpredictable obstacles.

Anyway with a stock VW R on the party event (which I assume your times are from) I got a 2.18.8 and my first lap was under 47s and then with the bottom two upgrades I got down to a 2.16.9 with my first lap below 46s, with the former I overtook the first car on the start/finish straight and the latter just before the last corner.

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Smooth is generally fast except in the case of driving around the A.I. then it is pretty much where you catch the other cars ie. slow corners, fast corners & straights. Preferably you want to get as many as possible on the straights. And if you have room to pass on the slow corner, fast to slow down, & quick to get back to the throttle. 

I don't know if I am considered one of the better drivers or not. But the most important part is to practice & if your car has adjustments do not be afraid to try them in different combos. What I do is start with everything in the middle then adjust one thing at a time. Do not change anything more than one item at a time. Becausr if you change more than one you don't know what helped or hurt. 

If you go to Custom Offline Cup. You can pick the car you are working with & then you can pick the upgrades & adjustments you have on your online car. Then go make laps at the track or circuit you are trying to get quicker at.

I hope this info helped you and all of the above info is great. But you have to keep in mind I grew up racing Karts on (GASP!) dirt ovals. So what do I know.

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Diff only matters for turns and accelerating out of the turn. Ideally you want the most lock you can stand without spinning tires. It varies by car. It's not really wider through the turn you want to be tight on the apex. It's going from the outside rumble strips during braking to the apex out again to the outside rumble strips smoothely. You'll carry the maximum speed and be faster down the straight. Now some complex strings of corners don't follow that rule but any time you're going from straight to turn to straight you should be using all the track.
I guess everything's covered but I just wanna emphasize this because it's something you easily forget dodging the AI. You need to get close to the wall on the apex, if it were an open track you'd be going over it.

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The best tips have been mentioned already and it's a bit late for the challenge you mentioned but they work in general as well.

Slow in Fast out, this gives you better drive on the section leading up to the next corner

Corner entry, Stay wide and use the kerbs as a braking guide, Most (not all) cars will slow to their perfect cornering speed if you start braking hard at the beginning of the outer kerb and release them as you start to turn in. By doing this you can apply power (CAREFULLY) earlier, at or just before the apex, better drive, earlier power, you get the picture.....

Try and avoid braking hard whilst turning you risk suffering understeer, causing the car to go to deep into the corner and miss the apex altogether, understeer also requires you to slow more than you actually need to in order to regain front end grip.

High speed corners, If your car is getting sideways on the exit of any high speed corners try "lift off and power coast" to maintain lateral grip as once that goes the wheels will spin up easily losing you both speed and acceleration after the corner. Even lifting 10% can be enough to eliminate this problem.

Probably the biggest tip is if you have analogue controls use them, most importantly for the brake and accelerator, Why? the buttons on a controller are either on or off, analogue allows much more control of the amount of brake pressure you use and can completely remove understeer. 

With the accelerator, Analogue allows progressive application of power, thereby eliminating wheelspin and as a result stopping the rear of the car stepping out, both of which (yes you guessed it) again cost you speed and acceleration until grip returns.

Another tip I haven't seen (sorry if it was and I missed it) is braking while still under power (yes I said avoid braking while turning) there are some occasions where it DOES work as it causes the cars weight to move over the front wheels aiding turn in grip and lessening understeer.

Most importantly. As Goonertez said.

Goonertez said:
Get smooooth.
Real smooooooooth.

And when you think your smooth enough, get smoother.

smoothness = no tyre squeal, no car all sideways, no locking up, no hitting walls, no over-revving......

well, thats the goal anyhoo, and it dosent always apply, but its a good place to start from.
Using all of the above techniques will help massively improve your laptimes, they are also critical when it comes to endurance and I use them to great effect in this endurance vid at Dubai.

http://youtu.be/nN_7nz1cwg8

Also in this time attack at Indianapolis.

http://youtu.be/BZ4XM_KvBL0

As for locking the diff? what it does is locks both wheels to spin at the same speed so in a corner only one drive wheel can actually apply the full power in a corner, Typically this will cause one of 2 things, the inner wheel will drag or, the outer wheel will begin to spin up, BOTH lose you a small amount of power that can be applied in the corners but gives better drive on the straight bits of track.

Opening the diff does the opposite, the drive wheels can spin at slightly different speeds, this eliminates the dragging or spin up I mentioned above, it allows higher cornering speeds, better acceleration in corners and more importantly stops the car from fighting against you when you are cornering.

As for the assists I have all off except ABS (I'm still a bit too "heavy footed" on the brakes tbh).

ABS on = less understeer but, when braking and the ABS is working, it means the brakes are lifting off when the system detects wheels locking up. effectively it means you need to brake a little bit earlier. ABS off = better stopping power and shorter stopping distance at the risk of serious understeer if you get it wrong.

TC on = less wheelspin off the line and out of corners but hampers outright acceleration. TC off = can mean more wheelspin but, it'll ALWAYS give far better acceleration when the gas is applied progressively.

Stability control on = less chance of a spin but I find it fights you and can throw you wide on the exit of a corner (just a personal observation).

The racing line can be of help learning the tracks and the best lines to take but it's massively conservative with it's suggested braking points.

Turning and braking assist (what are those?.....) Never used them yet....

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I turned all of the assists on once, just to see what it was like. I usually only use ABS 99.9% of the time. And this was harder to play IMO than having all of the aids off. It just felt like it fights against what you are trying to do rather than assist you. 

When it gets to the point where it is hurting your times it is time to turn them off.

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Wow...so many good responses.  Thanks to everyone and especially those who spent a lot of time in their replies.  I think looking at the videos posted above has helped tremendously and clearly show's me that I currently lack the precision needed to make those truly fast times.

Time to put on the driving hat, start working on my technique and watch those lap times fall! :)

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Assists really slow you down in this game. ABS is not too bad but TC and SC are like having a gorilla sat on the roof. Turn on the racing line aid until you know the track, but be warned it's not perfect, so don't assume it always knows better than you.

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