Usually it is suggested that you get consistent before you get good. If you can consistently run the track within half a second laptimes, you can then experiment with the car and see if what you did helped or didn't!
I still haven't quite figured out how to drive fast in LFS, it seems that LFS physics favours sliding a bit in terms of speed compared to real life. Watching some of the WR replays you can see them sliding, and more than I would call "at the limit" in real life, clearly to me these WR times are driving ABOVE the limit. I'm usually slightly understeering in LFS, yet I'm still able to set consistent 1:13's on this combo, so you can do better
That works for certain people, but I found that exceeding the limit is the best way to learn where it is.
Of the WR replays I've seen, that has not been a really recurring theme. When you start to really get into the physics of slip angle, the bottom line is the least amount of steering input you give the harder the tires work. The fastest way around a track is the way with the least steering. This means that most of the time you use what's called "zero steer", and is exactly what it sounds like - zero steering input, ie, the wheel is perfectly straight. You watch the fastest FBM lappers and you see them doing this every single corner. In simple, racer-preferred terms: go as fast as you can, as hard as you can, without countersteering! Countersteer ("catching" a sliding car) means you are sliding and scrubbing speed. Slide without countersteer is simply slip angle, or a "4-wheel drift".
No one can zero steer an entire track. My first racing coach, professional of 20 years and has driven just about everything, can't even 4-wheel drift an entire circuit. Probably all truly fast drivers are over the limit some of the time during each lap. But, as a result, on average, they are on the limit. If you never cross the limit you will never get there.
Kevin, I suggest you watch the fastest replays, and rather than watching where they turn in or where they brake, just watch the way they drive. Watch their hands and watch the pedals. You'll pick up a lot in terms of what to do to really get the most out of the car.
MadCat you might very well be right about the sliding. I will look a bit into that theory I have never seen the term zero steer used, but I have noticed doing a bit of that during my fast laps.
What I'm still not understanding is getting into this sliding or as you said "4-wheel drift", it seems the way I did it on my fast laps were either by trailbraking like halfway to the apex or simply not being smooth and 'throwing' the car into the corner. It sorta does it for me, but it just doesn't feel right or ideal. If I'm completely smooth, I happen to understeer instead.
By the way, you seem like you know a thing or two about racing, why don't you go get S2, it's fun
Getting the car into slip angle is a combination of a lot of things. Your speed, your turn in, your smoothness, your braking, you basically have to culminate everything into the perfect corner. It's very hard to do and it takes a lot of practice. The surest way is to use the brake, and dialing in some rear brake bias will help a lot with that (even maybe go so far as to use 90% rear brake bias just to learn how to trail the brakes properly). Once you get the brake rotation down you'll want to focus on the turn-in, apex and speed parts to really get consistent.
Another thing that might help is to use a locked or a very stiff differential, just for training. That will make it a bit looser and maybe a bit easier to get it into slip angle.
I also recommend trying a FWD car because they rotate very well under brakes.
There's a lot of differing theories as to how much slip angle is fastest (we're talking half-degrees here), but honestly that kind of precision is talking about hundredths or even thousandths of seconds and not really of concern to a driver unless he's going for a world record.
As for how much brake to use, that really depends on the car. Something like a FBM with rear brake bias and a nice twitchy setup will probably only need a hair of 40% brake pressure just after turn-in to get it rotated the 2 or 3 degrees it needs to make the tires work, but something like an XFG would need a lot of brakes and a lot of speed and comparatively a lot of rotation (7, 8, meybe even 10 degrees?).
I know, I want to, but I can't imagine having too much fun with it on a keyboard. As soon as my Fanatec wheel gets here in the next couple months I'll pick it up. I used the Xbox wheel with the demo a year or so ago and it was really cool but also very hard to control since that wheel doesn't have force feedback on the PC.
I don't really know if it's okay turning this thread into a discussion about this, but I don't know where else to put it, so here it goes.
A good example of what I am talking about is this WR replay: http://www.lfsworld.net/get_spr.php?file=41773
If smoothness is supposed to be fast, I have no idea what that lap is! T1 is extreme, and some other corners are taken in the same manner. I can basically look up ANY WR and it will look like this. Replays 1-2 seconds slower on this track look about the same, and once we go down there the turns are taken with a more smooth steering and subsequent understeer as a result.
If anyone could really explain it, I would be grateful :P It's very interesting to me.
Just want to add, I've been driving XRG quite a bit, I find its the easiest car to 4-wheel drift. Most corners involve the initial turn in, then just holding the wheel straight and paying attention to how your sliding.
Not IMO, it's one of the most unbalanced cars.. Are you sure you are not confusing the lack of twitchyness and unresponsiveness of the steering with the ease of '4-wheel drifting'. It's quite hard for things to go completely wrong when steering the XRG, but at the same time it's quite hard keeping under/oversteer at an acceptable level.
It's a funny thing I actually broke my PB with FBM twice today and I happened to have tried XRG earlier that day. I don't really know how, but driving a slower (or just different) car can actually improve your laptimes. At least it worked for me :P
I can't view the first replay, but Bawbag's replay is quite smooth in my eyes. His inputs are right with the car.
Yeah, he oversteered into turn 1, but if I were to choose 1 corner to do so then I'd choose turn 1 since the road catches you. No lap is perfect, and to drive at the limit you must sometimes go over and sometimes go under. As long as the average is the limit then by all intents and purposes you are at the limit.
Notice how most of his corner entries are done with zero steering inputs - the wheel is perfectly straight. No matter the setup, no matter the diff or tires used, if your steering input is zero during a corner, then the car is working as well as is physically possible for that point in time and setup.
I think, if Bawbag keeps trying, he can find another 8 hundredths and get into the 11s. If you look at the damage table he dinged his right suspension in turn 4 so maybe that was worth 8 hundredths right there.
[Offtopic]I think it's clear that you can't get around BL1 with FBM in less than say 1:11, but you can push the limit endlessly and no one knows where is the absolute limit I always found that the most fascinating thing about racing...[/offtopic]