Can You Go Faster By Spending Less Time On Throttle?
Sometimes spending less time on throttle can actually lead to a faster lap. Yes, you heard that right! At Racers360 we often work with our drivers to actually spend less time on throttle. But, there is a very important part of this puzzle to make it all work…
We want our drivers spending less time on maintenance throttle, to allow them to spend more time at full throttle.
It is obviously impossible to completely eliminate maintenance throttle, and we don’t want our drivers to do that. There are some places where maintenance throttle can be helpful, but most amateur racers will greatly benefit by consciously thinking about trying to limit it.
So, let’s talk about a few areas where we can look to limit maintenance throttle. Here we will show one of our drivers racing through Bishops Bend at Sebring International Raceway:
You can see just after initial turn in they drop their throttle to around 25% and keep that small amount of throttle all the way through the corner. What is the issue with this? Well, as the driver progresses and wants to work on rolling in more speed this technique will eventually limit the amount of speed they will be able to bring into this corner.
As drivers, we need to be able to manipulate the car weight effectively to be fast on the race track. The issue in the video above is the weight is consistently in one place. In these non-flat out long duration corners, this technique will create a dull understeer and will substantially lower the amount of grip the car has. The driver above is not manipulating the weight at all.
So, what would we rather see the driver doing?
Driving it in deeper on full throttle and then potentially have a bigger and longer lift. We do have to be careful about not causing snap oversteer at the lift point, so we want to slowly work up to it doing this and finding the right moments to lift.
Currently, as the driver gets to the second apex, they want to keep it towards the left to set up for turn 15. But, because they are on a constant maintenance throttle, they don’t manipulate weight transfer effectively, and this causes understeer. All of this understeer makes it feel like they are closer to the cars limit than they really are.
As a thought exercise let's talk about if the driver drove it in deeper on full throttle, lifted off the throttle entirely and coasted to the second apex. If they time this right, by the time they arrive at the second apex they would do so with the same apex speed as the constant maintenance throttle approach. But, because the weight will be in a better spot they will feel like they are now over slowing the car even though they are at the same speed. This will help a driver naturally start rolling in more speed.
We often see drivers become instantly faster after they consciously spend less time on maintenance throttle. The reason behind this is the driver immediately gets the weight to transfer more effectively. Which makes it feel like they have more grip, which naturally makes a driver roll more entry speed.
This is just one example of an area drivers can work on spending less time on maintenance throttle. Can you think of any other areas we can make small changes to spend less time on it?
We also have a great free article where we break down why we would like to see our drivers delay their initial throttle application spot here