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Tips for driving 4WD cars quicker

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Posted (edited)

I recently bought the Lancia Group A car in career after five seasons driving the Opel Kadett. My best finish in the Clubman championship was 6th. I've done the first three rallies of my first championship with the Lancia and I'm in 18th place. I've made mistakes which have contributed to me being down the order, but more often than not when I do a clean stage I'm also in the bottom 15.

How can I be faster and maintain good control of the car? All driving and setup tips are welcome.

Thanks very much.

Edited by WestHam66

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Nice question - the Lancia Delta is actually one of the more unique 4x4 cars, especially in its default setup it's known for how it understeers heavily - I'm afraid I don't have much advice on it as it's not a car I use often, but there is a lot of setup discussion for it around - if you join the Discord server and ask there, some of the quickest guys on the leaderboards will happily discuss setup tips with you (you may struggle to stop them!).

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just practice with it. is the key for most of dirt rally and learn its charachteristics. its very light so try and learn to use those aspects. its a brilliant car once you can master it. maybe try doing some time trial events in it first on stages you going to do.

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5 hours ago, RodgerDavies said:

especially in its default setup it's known for how it understeers heavily

@WestHam66 the best way to deal with pretty much all understeering cars is to left foot brake heavily through corners. If you don't know what trail braking is, go read up a bit on it. This image is a good example at a glance though:
The Landscape of His Dreams

 

LFB through the corners while still maintaining some throttle pressure can do wonders for getting that turn in you need

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17 hours ago, Mike Dee said:

@WestHam66 the best way to deal with pretty much all understeering cars is to left foot brake heavily through corners. If you don't know what trail braking is, go read up a bit on it. This image is a good example at a glance though:
The Landscape of His Dreams

 

LFB through the corners while still maintaining some throttle pressure can do wonders for getting that turn in you need

Thanks for this Mike.

What setup changes can I make to reduce understeer? 

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Messing with the tuning can help, but you should learn to drive the car in its default setup also. Plus the tunes are slightly different depending on the rally you are doing as well, so the car may not always feel the same from area to area. There can be some events where you cant tune, and it helps you learn how to avoid and control certain things; which can really help you out in the long run. It can go a long way to making you more adaptable, and makes it easier for you to chop and change. Driver skill is always more important, and should be the main focus for improvement. It will yeild the biggest gains. Tuning will only take you so far, it does help, but should never be the main focus where possible.

What could be helpful, is if you could show some footage of your driving currently with the Lancia, even if its just replay footage using the exteria follow cam. It will help with giving a better basis of advice, if we are able to see what you are currently doing.

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4 hours ago, WestHam66 said:

Thanks for this Mike.

What setup changes can I make to reduce understeer? 

I'm pretty bad with tuning, so I'll wait for others to comment and hopefully help you here with tuning, but I can say you don't need to tune that car to get it going fast on stages.

If at all possible I'd suggest doing what @Ialyrn said and try to get us a bit of gameplay from either cockpit cam or chase cam (don't use trackside or heli). We can pick out specific things you might be unaware you're doing mid-race way faster with a video than without it.

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Posted (edited)

I struggle with 4WD cars after driving RWD cars for a long time, and I've found that the "secret sauce" for all wheel drive is left foot braking, as @Mike Dee and others have said.

Fight your habit of completely releasing the throttle when you brake for a corner, and completely releasing the brake when you exit a corner.  Instead of totally letting go, back off to about 1/4th or 1/2 throttle/brake, and otherwise steer as you normally would out of a corner.   When you get more used to that, you can start to apply throttle and braking modulation mid-corner to help the car rotate how you want it to.  When you're noticing just a little understeer and you want the car to rotate more without tossing it, experiment by just touching the brakes without lifting off the throttle. It's very counter intuitive to driving styles apart from rallying, but it's amazing what your car can do when you can put that drive on all 4 wheels to work.

The other thing that helps me also is being less liberal about counter steering, and more liberal about steering HARD mid corner.  I've always had a tendency to steer too little with AWD cars, and once I start cranking that wheel more, the car responds pretty well.

Edited by ApexAzimuth

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