The 65 mod is probably the easiest of the GPL mods, yet it is still very challenging and takes a lot of effort to drive its cars on the limit consistently. In this relatively short post I will try to layout the basics of driving the 65 cars, but with a focus on beginner or novices drivers, using more conservative setups and driving techniques.
The track of choice for this tutorial is Kyalami, for it has a combination of fast and slow corners, with a nice flow to it (even though it’s not a favorite of mine). What I did was make a base setup for each of the 7 cars and have done some hotlapping around the track, using my right foot for braking instead of the left one which I normally use. The replays and setups for each car can be downloaded at the bottom of this post.
To start with, the engines of these cars are quite underpowered for the grip they provide. The way that should be dealt with in your driving style is you should never aim to brake late and deep into corners, but rather set the car for an early acceleration, preferably before the apex. It doesn’t matter whether you LFB (left foot brake) with a 48-52% BB (brake bias) or whether you RFB with a 56-60% BB, it can be done just about the same way. Although I am not good with RFB and can’t really drive on the limit, which meant I had to brake earlier, I was still able to do 23s and 24s easily, by simply letting the car rotate around its center of gravity on corner entry, put the power down with pretty much no throttle control necessary and just use the steering to correct any slides.
Here are some tips for negotiating different corners, such as those we have at Kyalami:
- When braking from high speed, it’s always a good idea to lift up the throttle smoothly first before applying the brake, so you can prevent an abrupt weight shift from rear to front. You should also use the engine braking torque to shorten your brake distance by shifting down before your revs drop, although this has to be toned down in a race to avoid blowing up.
- Your steering should be only use to set a change of direction for the car, not negotiate a corner! Once you have slowed down enough, start lifting up the brake and turn towards the corner at such a speed as to have the car’re rearend step out, but don’t try to correct that. As soon as the car begins to drift out, it will keep on decelerating and that deceleration will cancel out the car’s tendency to spin around. It’s important that you turn in earlier towards the corner than it feels normal, because the car won’t respond immediately and would instead go on a wider arc.
- Once you have the car rotated to the degree you want it, start applying throttle slightly. This will stop the drift and the key moment is to judge when you should apply a lot of throttle to push the car towards the apex and begin drifting out of the corner, picking up the revs through the car’s maximum torque range.
- Keep in mind the maximum torque range of your car – if you go beneath it and you floor the throttle, it will obviously accelerate all of a sudden once it enters the maximum torque range again, while if you’re over it already, it will not accelerate as strongly. Both situations can be used to your advantage under certain circumstances. Sometimes it’s also helpful to short shift in relation to using a lower gear to turn in better for a corner, because lower gears/higher RPMs open up the differential more and the car becomes more nimble, yet you may find yourself undergeared for corner exit. The hairpin at Kyalami is a good example.
- Do not be afraid to slide these cars – they are very smooth and stable even at big slides, especially on corner exits. Just let the car drift out and do not lift up, but use your steering wheel to correct the direction of travel if necessary. Observe the way I do it on the replays when coming out of the hairpin, by paying attention to the throttle and steering inputs, and the position and angle of the car. You should really just push their boundaries on purpose, to feel and see how far you can take them without spinning and thus build your own reference points.
- The tires take some time to warm up. Although it is possible to do a good time right from the first flying lap, it’s best to do a run of 3 on a typical minute and a half long track like Kyalami. For tracks like Monaco you may benefit from doing 5-6 flying laps.
Now a few words about the setups. I made them so they are stable all the time, focused on having slight understeer and with differentials that do not require much throttle control, if any. Despite all that, they are well capable of producing fast lap times. Considering I was not very clean with some of the cars, there is still room for improvement. Feel free to adjust the setups to your liking of course.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!