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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I was in this giant parking lot from a vacant horse track in Michigan this past weekend. I figure I would push a little bit to see at what point that it would be unsafe to "lift"... Ironically, I could not get it to oversteer at all. And honestly, I was turning much faster and in a tighter radius than what happened to me in the accident. Ok I know I could have gone alot tighter on the turns but I figure since I was purposely pushing harder then the previous time then it should have spun when I lifted, but it didnt. I think I was doing around 70 in 3rd gear trying to get it to spin. I know the main difference is that the shims were out on the other car. Is it that much of a difference? Do I need to be power sliding around a corner for lifting to be a threat? Anyway, I plan on doing some autox training. But I just figured that was a failed attempt on my own. I couldnt stay too long because technically there was no trespassing in that lot and I think I was starting to attract attention.
 

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It could be dependent on your front slip angle. As you said, tighter radius. So crank the wheel tighter and you increase understeer. The tighter the turn, the more the car will tend to understeer. The more front slip angle, the more understeer. The more speed in a tighter turn, the less front end grip... the more understeer. Enough of all that and it will be hard to create oversteer without using throttle induced to break the rear traction.
 

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Get to that autocross and try lifting at 50mph in a full sweeper. :)

You will learn what makes the car understeer and oversteer and how to control it.
 

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^

I did that Sunday...........3 times.

Could try a little bit of the good ole Scandinavian flick. Simply twitch the wheel the opposite way of the corner before entrance, and turn hard into the corner while hard on the gas, I guarentee the back end will come out.
 

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I think I was doing around 70 in 3rd gear trying to get it to spin.
Try keeping it in 1st gear (or 2nd) and turning in tight...........the back end WILL come out.
 

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^ That was my problem. As soon as I got into the second cam in first gear, gave it a little too much and BAM.
 

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Wasn't there some speculation that you may have hit some gravel in your accident?

Pay for some HPDE. It's worth a few hundred bucks and they'll show you how to do it under controlled circumstances.
 

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Get to that autocross and try lifting at 50mph in a sweeper. :)
Yeah, I had no problem inducing oversteer in that situation :D.

As Randy said, if you're on the verge (or over the verge) of understeer, you're less likely get snap oversteer if you lift... but it will happen if you're patient. If you've got the car right on the edge of oversteer/understeer, and you abruptly lift, you will spin. The condition that causes it is a sudden shift in weight transfer towards the front of the car while turning. It can happen at a very slow speed if conditions are right.
 

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Sounds to me like you just weren't near enough the limit when you lifted.
 

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If you have ever let the engine slow you down instead of your brakes, you know that the little 4 banger does not provide much resistance, so I dont think "lift" is a big issue with the elise/exige. Maybe you hit some sand on the road.


People lift when they reach the limit, and then say awww If I didnt lift, I would have made the turn.... Not. "Lift" isnt the problem... too much gas is the problem!
 

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Car control lesson from many different racing schools:

Turn in a constant circle at the cars slip angle limit. Now increase the speed. You will notice that to keep the car in a constant circle, the size of the circle now becomes larger. If you dont adjust the steering the car will have understeer and push out.

Go back to a slightly smaller circle and just lift off the gas. The car will oversteer and the back end will move out from you.

.........1st Lotus Driving School.........

"Slip-angle theory is then introduced and this basically centres on the point whereby forward momentum overcomes the steering ability of the front wheels. Turning the wheel more has no effect once the threshold has been exceeded and this demonstrates how futile extra steering input is when the ‘optimum slip-angle’ has been exceeded. You get to feel that point through the steering wheel and how to appreciate what it’s telling you. You experience how you can increase and decrease the diameter of the constant circle you’re driving simply by adding more or less power to make bigger and smaller circles without actually turning the steering any more or less from the half lock you’re holding."
 

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I know that some people recommend HPDEs but I found that I felt much safer spinning this car at an autocross. I spun it at least once the first couple autocrosses I attended and I slowly started to realize when it would happen. I know that if I tried doing that at a track, I would be more nervous with a tirewall near me or the fact that I was going much faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
After listening to some of the comments in this thread, I think it was a combination of me being in to high of a gear for the speed and I wasnt close enough to the limits within the turn radius. There was no oversteer or understeer happening. The car was perfectly in control. I must have been underestimating the turn radius of the car by a significant amount. I need to find an area in the Chicagoland area where I can do this again. Im trying to get into that autox thing on June 1st but I never heard back from them.
 

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So far I've found tiny steering corrections are far superior to lifting off the throttle when the butt-end goes out. Guess it's because of my TransAm Firehawk in North Dakota winters that got me the feel for it. Not quite the same because the Elise is snappier when coming-to from a powerslide. RWD Front-engine vs. RWD Mid-engine.
 

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Anyway, I plan on doing some autox training. But I just figured that was a failed attempt on my own.
Better idea ..... come to the next Great Lakes Lotus Club school at Waterford on July 16th. Guarantee that you will get a feeling for what on/off gas does to the balance of your car :D

Details will shortly be up at GLLC on MotorsportReg and meantime, some info on our track days is under the Track Event Details page on GLLC Web Page
 

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DMBROWN, you've described exactly what i found in a fomula junior but didn't know the reasons why, and still really didn't til 45 years later.
it was intoxicating to be able to control what happened with throttle alone.
this thread has enlightened me.
thanks, sam
 

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If you have ever let the engine slow you down instead of your brakes, you know that the little 4 banger does not provide much resistance, so I dont think "lift" is a big issue with the elise/exige. Maybe you hit some sand on the road.

People lift when they reach the limit, and then say awww If I didnt lift, I would have made the turn.... Not. "Lift" isnt the problem... too much gas is the problem!

Uh... have you ever tracked your lotus?

If you've had the trottle down, while very near the limit of lateral traction, and then lifted off the throttle... you should know your above statement is wrong. If you've done this but don't know it's wrong, then I humbly suggest you were no where near the limit of lateral traction at the time.

xtn
 

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Uh... have you ever tracked your lotus?

If you've had the trottle down, while very near the limit of lateral traction, and then lifted off the throttle... you should know your above statement is wrong. If you've done this but don't know it's wrong, then I humbly suggest you were no where near the limit of lateral traction at the time.

xtn
Agreed 100%

Ive had my car spin on me 3 times from lifting or not being on throttle mid turn.. Will spin you every time if your near the limit. Once you get the hang of things you will be able to steer with the throttle at the limit.
 

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You should give autocross a try. I went for my first time this weekend and I spun out twice. It really showed me what the car is capable of.
 
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