Advanced knowledge - Racing in the Rain 2

Good morning folks,

today's the second part of my "Racing in the Rain" blog.

In the first part I have answered several questions, today I want to go a little more into the basics of driving in the rain. As I explained last week, the line in the rain changes dramatically compared to the dry racing line we know.

There are several reasons for this:

1. The racing line is very much "dirty" with rubber abrasion, as all cars are racing there in the dry. This is very useful when it is dry, because our tyre can bond better with the rubber than with the asphalt and we have more grip. In wet conditions this rubber abrasion makes it even more slippery. Wet rubber is simply very slippery.

2. The asphalt on the racing line is already a bit rounded due to the constant driving on it. This may sound a bit strange at first but pay attention to the nature of the asphalt when you do a trackwalk. Away from the racing line the asphalt will always be a little bit rougher and so the rain tyre can claw into the asphalt better when we take the rain line.

3. Racing cars, which just come out of the pits from a pit stop often lose some fuel in the first lap, which is in the overflow container. Also racing cars lose, from time to time, some oil and other resources. The rain often washes these resources out of the asphalt, so that it becomes even more slippery.

Equipped with this knowledge, you are now sitting in the car and want to start the next wet session. Now the big question is: How do I implement all this?

Basically you have to imagine the rain line as the negative of the race line:

  • Where you brake on the outside in the dry, you brake on the inside in wet conditions.
  • If you are on the inside of the corner in dry conditions, you have to be on the outside in wet conditions.
  • When accelerating coming out of a corner, you have to be off the race line again.

As you can see, you have to do pretty much the opposite of what you would do in the dry. Be aware, that it gets exciting at the transitions between rain line and racing line. At these points you will suddenly lose grip, you have to be prepared for that.

With new asphalt, such as the one you regularly find on the Nordschleife, you can often drive the normal line, as the asphalt hasn't been "run in" yet.

These are the points where I look for my rain line on the different tracks. From time to time it makes sense to take the shorter racing line also in the wet, because the rain line often has a longer way, especially in slow corners this can be interesting. In the end, you have to work out such specific things track by track and step by step.

What does it look like while driving? Here's an onboard from the Top30 qualifying for the 2019 24h qualifying race, have fun: