Skip Barber Tips and Techniques 1
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for previous models of iRacing cars that may have changes significantly. This
was all designed for a TNT Racing app in 2015, but is now free to the public as
a general guide. Some links may be broken and can no longer be updated.
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Skip Barber Tips & Techniques
The Skip Barber formula 2000 (SB) is a fun animal. It is quite simple to drive, though driving fast requires more precision than you might think. The following series of pages on the TNT-Racing.com site includes techniques from the fastest drivers on the iRacing service on how to get the most out of the car with driving techniques, setup advice, track etiquette, and a detailed telemetry discussion. TNT-Racing.com is happy to provide a complimentary “Ask TNT,” designed to answer all of your questions should you have any remaining following this guide. In addition, TNT-Racing.com offers instructional on-track sessions at the rate of $25/hr to anyone desiring to get hands-on experience while being provided top-level instruction. Rates are charged pro-rata to accommodate time constraints (Ex: $12.50 for 30 mins). TNT-Racing.com also offers a promotional rate for Allen Berg Racing Schools which can be found at TNT-Racing.com/ABRS.aspx. The promotional rate gives 5% off the Racing School which is run by former Formula 1 driver Allen Berg.
The Skip Barber Formula 2000
The Skip Barber Formula 2000 The SB is the perfect car for learning, competing, and having fun on the iRacing service and on the local track. Though current pricing may prevent some from attending track days, the SB offers a very realistic model for growing drivers to expand their abilities. The perfect lap in the SB is one that is on the very edge of traction, has perfect braking zone transitions, ensures apexes are hit perfectly, and is very-much smooth with the throttle.
Finding the Edge
Getting to the edge is easy. Maintaining the edge throughout a corner is quite difficult. The key to finding the edge is to understand weight transfer and car balance. When you turn right, the weight will go to the left side of the car and this lateral force will be maintained on the left side for as long as you have lateral forces acting in that direction. There is a maximum lateral force limit available based on aerodynamic and mechanical grip factors. When you accelerate or brake, those forces go backward and forward respectively. Maximum braking simply means that you are at the maximum available positive/forward G-force, though this G-force decreases as the car slows down to cornering speed based on the level of grip available in the car. When you accelerate, the car’s G-force rearward is a function of how much power you can get from the engine transferred to the tires to propel you forward. Spinning the tires or accelerating using other than full-throttle reduces rearward G. If you are at speed, about to enter a right-turn, the weight of the car should be at the rear and centered as you continue to accelerate. As you start braking, the weight will move forward to the front. When you begin your right-turn, the weight will transition from center-front to left-front and the objective is to use as smooth and as quick a transition for the weight from center-front to left-front as possible as you conduct corner entry without overcooking the driving line or entry speed parameters. The quickness of the transition should be commensurate to the rate the car is able to accept the transition without upsetting the optimal balance of the car. The weight transfer from slight weight bias on the rear down the straight to heavy left-front weight entering the corner must be smooth and deliberate.
Telemetry may be of little use at this point, but the idea is to understand the relationship between what the driver is doing and what the car is able to do. Click here for telemetry setup and a telemetry guide to help you in the process. The underlying objective is to smoothly manage car weights to maximize traction and cornering velocity. In the telemetry diagram, note that the maximum achieved forward G is -1.14 G’s (negative means it is pushing you forward in the seat). The G’s reduce as the car slows down due to the lack of aerodynamic downforce provided as speed slows down. There is a quick peak, but then the slow reduction in forward G follows. Once the turn-in begins, forward G is further reduced and lateral G begins to show. There is a certain level of available forward and lateral G available which cannot be simply added together, but must work in tandem to be on the edge of available grip. The magic number available (i.e. the number to shoot for) changes from corner to corner based on corner radius, speed, and available grip in the tires (which changes as the tire heats or cools). The relationship into the corner, as far as transfer of weight and G-forces, must be understood fully and is transferrable to middle and corner exit as the weight flows from left-front, to the left edge in the corner, and finally to the left-rear off the corner. This is but a snapshot of the multiple focus areas when racing the SB.