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IS F in autocross - traction and stability control, on or off?

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Old 04-01-14, 06:54 PM   #1
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Default IS F in autocross - traction and stability control, on or off?

OK, newbie to Solo2 here. Did my first race last month, and I'm hooked. I even did the first event in auto, just to keep things simple. I did quite well, actually - I'm used to the car moving around, and I'm certain my background roadracing motorcycles helped me a lot in line selection.

Understeer in slow corners cost me - I was almost certainly being too aggressive on the entry to these corners... That said, I couldn't seem to steer on the throttle the way I'd hoped. Likely lack of experience, and the decision to stay in auto instead of shifting myself.

So - those who have experience autocrossing, do you find it generally better with traction control on or off? Should I go whole hog and turn off stability control, as well? I know I'm a novice at this, but I understand weight transfer, countersteer, trail braking, throttle lift oversteer (staying in second gear should help tons) and such. What advice can you give?
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Old 04-01-14, 10:27 PM   #2
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For autocross, the decision is easy: traction control off... always... without exception.

At the track, the primary factor is whether or not the car is paid off. :-)

For both cases, always keep it in manual mode.
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Old 04-02-14, 06:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nismo View Post
For autocross, the decision is easy: traction control off... always... without exception.

At the track, the primary factor is whether or not the car is paid off. :-)

For both cases, always keep it in manual mode.
Yeah, I know manual is better.. But why traction control off? Is it faster, or just more exciting? Will it help counteract understeer in slow corners by throttle steering, or do I need VSC off as well - or is manual in Sport mode the fastest way around a typical Solo2 course?
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Old 04-08-14, 09:49 PM   #4
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Yeah, I know manual is better.. But why traction control off? Is it faster, or just more exciting? Will it help counteract understeer in slow corners by throttle steering, or do I need VSC off as well - or is manual in Sport mode the fastest way around a typical Solo2 course?
By "traction control off" I meant Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) off (Lexus' traction control reverts to "on" once you get up to speed anyway). From own autocross times, they were 0 to 1/2 second faster with VSC off than with it on.

As for Manual vs. Automatic, I didn't notice a major difference in times in autocross, although I felt more comfortable in Manual mode. That said, on a full race track (i.e. open-track days), Automatic mode proved woefully inadequate, as it consistently upshifted midcorner during long sweeping corners when it should have held the lower gear. So based on my own experiences, it appears Lexus programmed the shift control to consider speed and throttle & brake position, but they completely discounted lateral G's.
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Old 04-09-14, 03:14 PM   #5
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Thanks, Nismo - I appreciate your thoughts!
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Old 04-13-14, 07:10 PM   #6
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I too struggled with adapting from road racing bikes to driving cars. You can't throttle steer a car like a bike, especially the F. The first time I turned in and got on the gas as I would on a bike, I ended up in the grass because the car went very straight. I've learned a lot since then. I highly recommend doing an HPDE with an instructor who will help you better understand the dynamics of four wheels, especially one so heavily prone to understeer as the F is.

And to answer your question - turn off the stability controls. You need to understand what the car does without any assistance. As you develop a feel for what the car will do, you can then turn it on and use it as a safety net allowing you to actually get closer to the edge. When you're new at it, you'll do foolish things like flat pedal through a turn where half throttle is the most you could ever use without VDIM. VDIM will take up all the slack and prevent you from understanding what you are doing is foolish. AMHIK.
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