How Weight Transfer Works In Under 60 Seconds
As racecar drivers understanding weight transfer is a fundamental skill that we need to know to go fast. Learning to optimize weight transfer allows us to optimize the grip of the racecar.
Where The Weight Goes Is Where The Grip Goes
As you accelerate the weight of the racecar shifts back over the rear tires. As you brake the weight shifts forward over the front tires.
This is the reason why if drivers pick up the throttle too early they induce understeer at corner exit. It is also the reason why trail braking can create oversteer.
Putting It Into Practice
A) How can knowing about weight transfer help me with corner entry oversteer?
Well we know that as we trail brake into a corner we have a little more weight on the front that the rear. What is important to know is that weight transfer is not black and white, it is not only on the front or only on the rear. It transitions, the harder you brake the more the weight is shifted off the rear and onto the front.
So, if you are working on trail braking and you are getting too much oversteer at corner entry you may want to try backing up your initial brake zone so that you can reduce the amount brake pressure you have during trail braking. Reducing the amount of brake pressure will give you slightly more weight on the rear which can help you gain a little bit more rear grip.
B) I have understeer at corner exit, how can weight transfer help me here?
As we talked about in the video above, we only want to pick up the throttle as we are ready to unwind the steering wheel. Turn 2 at Laguna Seca is the perfect example corner of delaying initial throttle.
If the racecar driver picks up the throttle before the second apex they will be picking up the throttle in a place where there is still a lot of steering left. So, their hands and body will be asking the car to turn (aka they will be asking the car for more front grip) but at the same time their feet are taking away front grip.
This understeer will mean they spend a lot of time on partial throttle and it will delay their ability to get back to full throttle.
So, if you feel like you are stuggling with getting back to full throttle - or if you aren’t at full throttle before you get to the exit curb in most corner because of understeer it is likely the cause is down to weight transfer.
If you want to learn about taking your understanding of weight transfer and your driving to the next level we recommend watching the following webinar on Trail Braking from Racers360 pro coach Dion von Moltke & Andrew Carbonell.