Step By Step Guide to car Setups part One

Discussion in 'SRO Technician Workshop' started by John lock, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. John lock

    John lock Administrator Staff Member Donator

    SETUPS, a step-by-step approach

    Most people develop a setup step-by-step. Don’t ever change too much settings at once, because one setting may affect the others. Always do your setups with Traction Control, Stability Control & Anti-lock braking turned off, as servers may use different driver aids allowed or none.

    First of all, the easiest thing;
    - Tires (Slicks or Wets)
    - Remove some fuel. While making a setup have fuel for about 6-10 laps in.
    - Change your gear ratio; To suit the track

    After this, practice a lot. Try to do 3-5 laps within 0.5 second of each other. If you cannot do this, you may not familiar with the track already and need to practice more. It is impossible to make a good setup while you cannot compare it with your best time and you do not know what to change.

    After this it’s time for the more advanced settings;

    - Tire pressure
    - Ride Height
    - Steering Lock
    - Anti Roll Bar
    - Springs
    - Bump / Rebound
    - Differential
    - Brake Bias
    - Wing
    - Caster
    - Toe In
    - Camber
    - Ride Height / Tire Pressure (again finally)
    Again, try to alter only one setting in small steps at a time, because one setting affects others. Also when you are happy with one step, save your setup.


    In Race you have almost no options for Tire Compound.
    Slick Compound for normal dry races and Full Wet for 100% wet races.
    It of course depends on your driving style when to use Slick vs Wet tires. Somewhere at 10-100% rain is a point where you need to change tires.
    This is personal for every driver.


    The Brake Pressure is used to adjust the amount of pressure which is translated from your input (brake pedal) to the actually brakes. On some tracks you have less precise braking movement. Pressing the pedal slightly will lock up the wheels. On these tracks it is good to lower the brake pressure to about 90-95%. You have to press the pedal more for the same amount of pressure, resulting in more precise braking.

    Don't make a rule of always lowering the brake pressure and try your lap times with 100% & reduce it if you have locking up problems.
    In wet races, you maybe want to lower the brake pressure to avoid constant lockups.


    The amount of fuel greatly affects car weight, right weight, stability and speed of the car.
    Your setup will behave differently with low fuel or with a full fuel tank.

    In qualifying; it is good to change the amount of fuel to 5 or 6 laps. Tires are warmed up in about 2-3 laps. With 4 laps of fuel you can do 2, mostly 3 hot laps.

    It is a good rule for race setups to set the total number of laps +4 (depending on whether the fuel / lap ratio is accurate). If the fuel tank is almost empty, the car will stutter and if you spin or go off the track you use extra, not calculated fuel. With fuel for 4 extra laps, you always have enough fuel for driving errors.


    Gears are the most basic setup option to change.

    Most people set the 1st gear for the slowest corner of a track, and the highest gear (5th or 6th) to reach the rev limits in the longest straight. The 2nd to 4th/5th gear can be evenly spaced outbetween the 1st and highest gear.

    On some tracks it can be better to shorten the lower gears for tight corners, and lengthen the higher gears for the straights. When driving, you have different styles of gear shifting. In some corners it is best to short-shift to avoid under steer/over steer. Short-shift means, you shift gear earlier before the normal shift-point. Normal shift should be when the engine has the highest BHP. It makes no sense to hold gearing when the rpm is above the maximal BHP. For example, the BMW 320si has 275bhp@8300rpm. The best thing is to shift around 8300rpm. Most engines will lose power right above the maximUM rpm.
    Some guys are only shifting when the rev limits is reached. This is pointless, shift earlier to maintain your acceleration.
    Keep practicing


    Tire pressure has A great effect on grip. good tire pressure/temperature means a lot better lap time. about 1-2 seconds in lap times.

    Tire pressure has influence on car control and also tire wear. A tire has an amount of pressure at which it has the most grip.
    Decreasing or increasing pressure from this point means less grip.

    It is best when the center tire temperature is roughy half way between the inner & outer temperatures under ideal operating temperatures (for GT cars 85-95 Celsius / for WTCC it will be pretty much the same). To check the temperature start driving with garage 2 open, press escape after a few laps. The temperature can be read out, three temps for each tire.
    It takes usual 2-3 laps before you reach the optimal temperature.
    When setting the tire pressure, it can be good when you turn symmetrical setup off. You can now adjust the tire pressure for each tire. Most tracks demand different tire pressure for each tire!
    Tire pressure also has influence on car control. The higher the pressure, the stiffer the car will be. A stiffer car means better/faster response from your drivers input.
    Play with tire pressure and watch your lap times. Most people forget this, so take advantage of it.

    Ride Height means how high the bottom of the car is off the ground. The lower the ride height, the tighter the suspension and the lower the car's center of gravity will be.

    Too low ride height affects stability of the car on bumpy tracks/high curves because the car can bottom out. With WTCC cars, it is not easy to bottom out. The lowest setting will often be the best.

    For most cars, the rear must set higher for better down force/stability of the car. Think about 1-2 cm difference between front and rear.

    As always, its drivers experience to change it to your driving style.


    To control the amount of movement in your wheel thus adjusting how precise your steering input will be, change the steering lock.

    A good rule is:

    - If you only steering at 50% in the sharpest turn -> decrease your steering lock.
    - If steering reaches the end stop of your wheel in the sharpest turn -> increase steering lock.
    - About 90% steering in the sharpest turn will be good for most drivers. Of course steering lock is again personally. Use it well, especially if you own a very precise wheel.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2015

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