RACING STRATEGIES: What to do | ApexOnlineRacing.com

RACING STRATEGIES: What to do

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Murphy

AOR XB1 GT3 Elite Champion
Oct 14, 2016
1,215
983
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Murphy

AOR XB1 GT3 Elite Champion
Oct 14, 2016
1,215
983
FREE PRACTICE

It is important to get a few practice sessions in before the race. There are a number of reasons other than just getting to know the track that are listed below.


FUEL:
fuel.jpg

Probably one of the most important things to know is fuel amounts.
You don't want to be running with too much as you are basically sand bagging the car increasing lap times. You could also run the risk of not having enough fuel forcing unneeded pit-stops.

After you have gotten used to the track go out and run 5 fast laps with 40L of fuel. After you have crossed the line on the 5th lap see how much you have used of the 40L. You can then do a simple calculation to see on average how much fuel is needed per lap. Always stick in a little bit more than you have calculated to be safe.

Example: Assetto Corsa / Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 2017 / Monza
After 5 laps with 40L = 12.5L
1 lap = 2.5L
No of laps in the race = 30
2.5L x 30 laps = 75L minimum needed


For this race I would recommend to use 80L to be safe.

Sometimes you will not be filling your car for the whole race if you intend on pitting. You will have to take into account refueling time and also how much time you would lose per lap if you filled the car and decided not to refuel in the pits, but, we will get into that a bit more in the deciding on a strategy section below.



THE PITS:

When getting practice in it is important that you know where the pit entry is and where the pit limiter line is. Best to do a few runs through the pits to try and get it just right.
No need risking missing the pit entry during a race forcing you to continue on old tyres or running out of fuel.
Pit limiters are tricky, but, if you go through the pit lane enough times you should be able to pick a braking point and get down to the correct speed and avoid a costly penalty.

As you are doing all of these runs through the pit lane it is important to know how long a pitstop will take. I would recommend to get time taken for a Pitstop with:
  • Only a tyre change
  • Only a refuel
  • Tyre change and refuel
The reason for getting these times will become clear when we figure out the tyre compound to use and decide our strategy for the race.

TYRE COMPOUNDS / WEAR :
bridgestone2009tyres2.jpg

GT Racing/Most Openwheel
As you should know there are usually different tyre compounds available for the race. Some types of racing only have the one dry tyre available, but for those which have multiple compounds there are a few things you need to know.

The softer the compound that faster you will go, but, with a softer compound there will be increased wear, meaning that if it is a race with a high number of laps you may have to pit.

When practicing it is always a good idea to stick on the softest compound and run half the race distance. This will let you know whether the tyre will last the whole race, or if you will have to pit.

If indeed you think you may have to pit, after running the soft tyre go out on the next hardest tyre and check out how much slower a lap you are, we will use this time difference when deciding our strategy for the race. 9/10 times the medium tyre should last the whole race but if you want to be super safe you should run half the distance on them to gauge how much they will wear.

F1
For Formula 1 it is all pretty well laid out for you in the Practice Setup Menu. It will tell you how much slower a lap the tyre is and how many laps it is recommended to run on them.
Still, it is a good idea to go out on all compounds so you have a feel for the grip that is available to you which will help when it comes to a picking a strategy before the race.
 
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Murphy

AOR XB1 GT3 Elite Champion
Oct 14, 2016
1,215
983
QUALIFYING

Qualifying is quite simple really, and with some of the knowledge we have gained from Practice it will make life easier.

Make the car as fast as possible!! That means get a set of the softest tyres bolted on and get rid of any unwanted fuel.

You will want to have enough fuel to:
  • Get around the track from the pits
  • Complete at least one flying lap
  • Get back to the pits again.
In Practice we have already figured out how many litres of fuel the car uses per lap. So for 1 flying lap stick in 3laps of fuel, for 2 flying laps stick in 4 laps worth and so on and so fourth.

Now get on the track and set the fastest time you possibly can. The better your grid position, the easier the race will be.
 
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Murphy

AOR XB1 GT3 Elite Champion
Oct 14, 2016
1,215
983
DECIDING ON A STRATEGY

All of the work we have now done in Practice will be well worth it.
There are that many different scenarios that this thread could go on forever, so I will try to keep it as simple as possible.
The first 3 sections are more for GT races and the last section is geared towards F1.

SHORT RACES (DEFINITE 0 STOP)30-50mins
This type of race is the easiest to decide upon and you need to hope you have a good qualifying position. Fill your car with enough fuel to do you the race and use the softest tyre available.

You will start to lose some grip towards the end of the race if you are pushing from the start. If you want to know more about conserving tyre life to make it possible to attack at the and gain positions towards the end of the race got to: Tyre Conservation

MEDIUM RACES (0/1 STOP)50-80mins
Here you have the most dreaded and complicated race to decide on. There are lots of calculations to take into account to avoid coming in last place or worse getting a DNF.

In practice if the tank will hold enough fuel and the Soft Tyre will last long enough then it is viable to go 0 stop.
More than likely though there will be little to no grip by the end of the race which will give those who have stopped a fighting chance of overtaking you. Best to take a look at Tyre Conservation so the car doesn't feel like it's on an Ice rink in the final laps.
Fuel can sometimes be very marginal at a high speed tracks when 0 stopping. Check out the Fuel Conservation section to avoid running out.

Now, if it is borderline whether you are going to stop or not this is where are calculations come into play. This could either be due to there not being enough fuel, or because the softer tyre won't last until the end of the race.

NOT ENOUGH FUEL
There will be lots of Fuel Conservation if there is an extra laps worth that needs to be found, but, if much more than that is needed I would advise to refuel during the race.
Tyres will definitely be on their last legs so, you either go for a splash and dash or fit tyres at the same time.
We have the time of a pit-stop for fuel with and without tyres.
So, simply work out which will cost you more time:
  • Worn tyres with less grip
  • Fitting New Tyres
Don't forget, some of the grid could still be one their old tyres. You will have lots more grip and should be able to catch them.

TYRES WON'T LAST THE DISTANCE
If the softs won't last the distance of the full race there are a few options to consider:

A. Stick on a set of the harder compound tyre - (will cost you lap time)
B. Pit for Softs during the race - (pits will cost you time, but quicker lap times)
C. Don't fuel the car for the full distance and pit for fuel + softs - (longer time in the pits, but very quick lap times)

Any of these options will work, but it is important to have all of the times from practice to do the math on which way is technically the quickest on paper.
Every track will be different. A track with a long pit lane would probably be more suited to option A. A track with a short time in the pit lane would be more suited to B or C.
For option C you will have to be pretty confident that your lap times will be consistently fast otherwise, more than likely lose out.

LONG RACES (80mins+)
These are handy to figure out. We know that we have to pit for both fuel and tyres so depending on the length of the race all you need to know is how many times.
Use your estimated tyre wear from Practice and see how many changes will need made during the race. If it's a 2 stop with Softs then check to see would it be quicker to do a 1 stop with a harder compound (Make sure you have enough fuel to do a 1 stop aswell).
The last thing to advise for a longer race is to not over-fuel the car on the final pit-stop. Only put in what you need to finish the race as more fuel equates to slower lap times.

Formula 1
For F1 it is pretty well laid out in the game for you. With no re-fueling and only tyre choice there is not much to talk about, but, I will try to go into some detail of what some options are.

TOP 10 START
F1 Regulations mean you have to start on the qualifying tyre from Q2 (or fastest lap if in a shorter session). Most of the time many will qualify on the softest compound available and have a very short first stint, but, if you have he ability and think you can qualify on a harder compound this will set you up in a unique position for the race. This will give you a long but slower 1st stint, although, when most of the field around you are on the harder compound you will be on a new set of the softer tyre with a lot of fuel burnt off which lets you attack and gain positions in the latter half of the race.
It really is all down to preference and whether you have the ability to pull off a super qualifying
session and keep a cool head when potentially coming under threat in the first half of the race.

11-20 START

Unlike those who have qualified in the top 10 you have the choice of whichever compound you wish to use and again it is all down to personal preference.
If starting closer to the mid field its is probably best to stick to a simple strategy and not over complicate things.
If starting nearer to the back this is when you can change it up a bit more. Maybe stick on the hardest tyre available and run a super long first stint and attack at the end with extremely fresh tyres and low fuel, but again it is all personal preference and what you think you can achieve during the race.
 
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Murphy

AOR XB1 GT3 Elite Champion
Oct 14, 2016
1,215
983
WET WEATHER

Practice
If it's raining you are in for some hard decisions. For the likes of GT racing usually the calendar will say whether or not it will be raining, but for the likes of F1 that uses Dynamic settings it is a complete lottery.

GT/Knowing rain is coming
For racing where it is known that rain is coming then it is a no-brainer to do practice runs in the wet.
Check what the weather is set to do. Are all the sessions going to be wet? Is it going to be light rain or heavy rain?
If there is a transition from Dry to Wet / Wet to dry you need to time your pit-stop correctly.

You can change the settings in practice to allow for a weather change. When doing your practice, always run until the change in weather. Don't pit, just see when you start to run out of grip. This will indicate to you that it should be X number of laps from it either stops raining or starts raining until you pit. (This also applies to F1 but is optional)

Formula 1
For F1 many tracks will have a high possibility of rain and some will not. For example, there will be a high chance of rain at the likes of the British GP and a low chance at Bahrain. I would advise to always do some wet Practice no matter what the track. If it is a track with a high likelihood of rain then increase the amount of wet practice you do.

Tyres
Intermediate Tyre
This tyre will be used mainly when there is light rain and the track isn't that saturated. It can also be used for when it has been raining heavily and is starting to dry out.

Full Wet Tyre
The full wet is for heavy rain with alot of water on the track. These tyres work well in these conditions, but, as soon as there is not as much water on the track they will start to overheat and lose grip.

Run practice with both types of tyre and see which one is faster for the conditions you are set to race in.

Pit Strategy
GT Racing
Make sure to have the correct tyre selected in your strategy before the race. Save it as 'wet strategy' to avoid picking the wrong one which would be a disaster!!!

Formula 1
It is different in F1 than in other types of racing. For wet/dry or dry/wet instead of having a strategy pre-determined you will have to manually select the tyre you want at the next pit-stop. This can be done via the 1st MFD menu whilst racing. Scroll to the bottom and change to the tyre you need. Be aware that if you don't do this before you enter the pit-lane then you will be stuck on whatever tyre was already selected for your next stint!!
 
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Murphy

AOR XB1 GT3 Elite Champion
Oct 14, 2016
1,215
983
FUEL CONSERVATION

Conserving fuel isn't the hardest thing to do in the world. The hard part is being able to save fuel and limit the amount of time lost each lap.

Lift and Coast
As simple as it says really. When your foot(or thumb) isn't on the throttle you are saving fuel.

When coming up to corners, don't leave it until the last minute to get off the throttle and brake. Let off the throttle and let the air and mechanical resistance slow you down before the normal braking point.

On the straights don't keep the power on for the whole length of it. Though this will cost more time than the simple lift and coast into braking zones.

Use your Gears

When coming out of corners or heading up long straights change gear before you normally would. Doing this keeps the engine at lower Revs which uses less fuel.


By using these methods you will will lose time, but you will also save fuel.
Check and see what will cost you more time, pitting and getting more fuel or losing up to 1 sec per lap.
It may take a bit of practicing to fully utilize the potential fuel saving with minimal time loss.
Make sure to practice!!! Even when racing, I do find my mind wandering when I'm not at full power constantly which leads to mistakes. If you need to save fuel check out the best parts of the track for lift/coasting and adapt your braking points.


 
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Murphy

AOR XB1 GT3 Elite Champion
Oct 14, 2016
1,215
983
TYRE CONSERVATION

When trying to get the most life out of tyres there are a few things to do.

Corner Entry
On entry to a corner avoid high and late braking. If you brake say 50m earlier there will not be the same high stress on the tyres. Also by doing this you will avoid lock-ups which dramatically increase wear rates.

Mid-Corner
In corners try to take a wider line than normal. When using a tight to apex line this puts stress on the tyre causing high wear. When you take a wider line there is not as much stress then on the tyre thus resulting in a lower level of wear.

Corner Exit

On the way out of a corner try to avoid wheel spin at all costs. There are 2 ways of approaching this. You can:
  • Gradually apply more throttle
  • Use a higher gear
Both of these methods work as well as each other, but it takes some experience to feather the throttle perfectly.

Tyre Temperature
All of the above are great ways of managing tyre temps. Always check to see if your tyres are within the proper operating ranges.
Run them too hot and they're life span will be reduced.
Run them too cold and the proper grip won't be available which leads to wheel spin, lock-ups and general over and understeer, which, are all great at reducing the lifespan of a tyre.

Setups
Your setup will have a huge affect on wear rates. If you are not going to pit and want the tyres to last it is best to have a separate quali and race setup. Things to change about the setup would be:

  • Lower Camber Angles
  • Lower Tyre Pressures
  • Softer Springs
  • Softer Anti-Roll Bars
  • Less toe in/out on front and rear
  • Use longer gear ratios
Applying some of these changes will have a better effect on tyre life, but, it will change the handling characteristics of the car and also more than likely increase lap times. Do some runs with the lower wear setup to get used to the grip available and see how much time you will lose per lap.


Any and all of these things will help you to get the most time out of a set of tyres. Make sure to practice any changes you make to driving lines/setups/braking points/throttle usage to save as much time as possible.
 
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