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Racing 101: Controlling Oversteer

How does one control oversteer?

  1. What is oversteer?
  2. How does oversteer happen?
  3. How to properly use oversteer


There are many techniques that are highly beneficial for racing circumstances. One of the fanciest and flashiest driving technique of them all is called oversteer. Though too much oversteer may slow you down, a little oversteer and proper control can help you put down some quick lap times. You won’t even put too much stress on your car’s metal parts. In the Philippines, most car manufacturers make cars that are safe to drive and don’t usually tend to oversteer. But at times, you may be caught off guard. Here’s everything you need to know about oversteer:


What is Oversteer?

What is Oversteer?

Oversteer is a common characteristic of rear wheel drive cars. Oversteer means that the rear tires have lost grip before the front tires. It can also mean that the front tires maintain traction while the rear tires have surpassed the limit of traction.

In the world of racing and motorsports, a little oversteer is known as rotation. A car that is under the effects of rotation means that it is right on the edge. It’s at the limit which is still manageable and controllable. Rotation aids in turning the car, making the vehicle feel livelier. Under the hands of a skilled driver, rotation will be beneficial for some blazing lap times. But if you’re inexperienced with rotation and oversteer, it could be difficult to control. Most oversteer results in a crash. If you want to enter the world of racing, you better know how to control oversteer.


How does Oversteer Happen?

The basic concept is to give the front tires more traction and the rear less traction. This could happen if a high-horsepower car applies too much gas in the middle of a corner, when the throttle is suddenly released in the middle of the corner, or when one trail-brakes. Many are caught by surprise when oversteer happens and are too late to catch the slide. That’s why it’s best to always be alert and feel the car’s weight shift every time. You’ll need to have fast hands and properly coordinated feet.


How to Properly use Oversteer

How to Properly use Oversteer

Lift-off Oversteer

Lift-off oversteer is a rotation or oversteer technique that is commonly used by those with four-wheel drive or front-wheel drive cars. This helps aid a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive car’s inherent characteristic to understeer. Forcing a front-wheel or four-wheel drive car to oversteer may be tricky since they always tend to understeer.
What you need to do to execute lift-off oversteer is pretty simple. It involves shifting most of the weight of the car to the front. This forces the rear tires to reduce traction and the front to gain loads of grip. This is done by suddenly letting off the throttle while simultaneously turning the wheel.


Trail Braking

Trail braking involves braking a little later than usual and gradually releasing the brake pedal as you enter the turn-in point of a corner. What this does is it shifts the weight of the car to the front, making the rear light. This technique is widely used in racing in order to achieve just the right amount of rotation and involves braking late and getting the car to point toward the right direction.


Key Takeaway

Oversteering can be dangerous and difficult to control, but mastering oversteer can be used to your benefit. There are numerous ways to make use of oversteer to make you faster around the track. As long as you practice and master your technique, you won’t see any metal parts in the Philippines smashed against the wall and in the garage of your car manufacturer.

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