4 Ways to Get Round a Bend Fast
Disclaimer: The author accepts no responsibility for actions or events directly or indirectly resulting from this article. All advanced driving manoeuvres should be practiced in an open space, preferably with professional instruction.
Rally driving is the art of getting from A to B in the shortest time possible in often hazardous conditions. Many people are inspired to go out and learn some of these exciting driving techniques; there are few things in life more fun than getting round hairpin bends at full tilt.
Pressuring yourself to maintain high speeds on dangerous roads introduces new dangers that it is best to be prepared for. From the basics to seriously difficult techniques, here are some of the manoeuvres that every aspiring Rally driver needs to learn.
The Handbrake Turn
The handbrake turn is a rally driver’s staple move, utterly indispensable when you need to get around a hair-pin bend without losing speed. Timing is essential, and every corner is unique. Ok, even the average 10 year old knows ‘how’ to do a handbrake turn if they’ve ever been near a games console; but the reality is that this technique takes precision, great timing and plenty of practice.
Handbrake turn method: Give a quick pull to the handbrake as you approach the bend; turn into the corner, straighten the wheel and accelerate out of the bend.
Power sliding is a very useful skill employed by rally drivers on longer turns.
Power sliding method: At high speed, steer gently in the direction of the turn and relax the throttle until the rear wheels lose traction and the car begins to slide. Regain traction by easing off the throttle until you feel grip, gently accelerate forwards when you are aligned with your desired direction of travel.
Where possible, drifting is often the quickest way round almost any corner.
Drifting method: Be careful not to lose traction, and keep an even pressure on the throttle. The front wheels point in the opposite direction to the corner as the car skids around it, straightening up and continuing to accelerate out of the bend.
Left Foot Braking
Specifically for front wheel drive cars, left foot braking can be an excellent way to keep your speed around a bend.
Left foot braking method: Keeping your right foot on the throttle, brake with your left foot to over-steer the car into the bend. More braking will gain traction of you are losing grip on the road. Accelerate out of the corner.
Geraldo Burns is a writer based in Brighton UK. Geraldo is currently practicing his rally techniques in a used Peugeot (http://www.autoweb.co.uk/used/peugeot/cars), but looking forward to upgrading to a used Ford (http://www.autoweb.co.uk/used/ford/cars) asap.
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