By Dev Clough
What is weight transfer?
A car, at rest, distributes its weight over the four tires.
When you accelerate, the front gets lighter an extreme
example is a drag car doing a wheelie. The result is
weight transfer off the front tires, and onto the back
When you step on the brakes, weight transfers from the back to
When you turn, weight transfers from the tires on the inside of
the turn, to the tires on the outside of the turn.
Thats all simple enough, but gets a little more complicated
in fast driving because you are often performing a combination of
these things simultaneously. Sometimes (actually quite often) you
are still doing some braking while turning at the entry of a turn,
and a key to going faster is beginning your acceleration before
completing the turn.
The amount of traction you have at each tire is dependent on how
hard the tire is being pressed against the pavement. Since any kind
of weight transfer causes a change to this pressure, than the traction
you have at each tire is constantly changing with weight transfer.
If weight transfer did not occur, traction would always be consistent,
and the car would be easy to drive quickly. Since weight transfer
is unavoidable, the next best thing is to cause the weight to transfer
as predictably as possible. This is done by driving smoothly. When
you apply the brakes, dont slam them on, progressively squeeze
them on. Squeeze into and out of the throttle. Turn the steering
wheel gently, and try to make only one turn of the wheel to achieve
the arc you want through the corner. As you accelerate out of the
corner, unwind the wheel as you squeeze on the throttle.
The above does not mean that you do not use the brakes, the gas,
or the cornering ability of the car to their limits. It means you
transition between them gently, with touch, and in a way that minimizes
how they upset the car. In order to go really fast It is essential
to first become smooth and consistent in your handling of the car.