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How To Corner Like A Champ

Posted in Features on July 18, 2014
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Photographers: Joe Bonnello

Jump for show, corner for dough. That’s the old adage, right? When it comes to racing, time is always made in the corners. Cornering is one of the easiest tasks to perform while out on the track, but it’s one of the hardest to perfect. Countless variables come into play like truck setup, track conditions, line selection, and gearing. However, this sort of knowledge is completely out of our realm, which is why we enlisted the help of Bryce Menzies. The Red Bull driver is no slouch when it comes to diving deep into the corners, and he shared with us a few tricks that will definitely help you out. Following are Bryce Menzies words on what it takes to attack the corners and find the fast lines.

Truck Setup
There are a lot of things we can do to help our truck turn better in various conditions. One, adjust the camber and caster, which helps the tires grab better. Speaking of the tires, we usually talk to BFGoodrich about what could be done differently. They’ll usually groove the tires to help them bite in the different track conditions. Sometimes, they’ll even take some bite out of the rear to help it turn. So, there are a bunch of things you can do, but it depends if the track is slippery, wet, or even there’s a ton of grip.

Line Selection
When you’re out front, you usually want to stay in the fast lane. That’s typically in the middle to the high part of the turn. At the beginning, though, you usually want to stay lower in the turn to protect your line. There’s usually a lot of grip down there at the beginning of the race, but it tends to all get pushed away as the race goes on.

Like any successful short-course champion, Bryce Menzies knows attacking the corners is key to winning.

Split Lanes
Usually, I’ll take my bike out onto the track early in the morning just to check things out. Once practice starts, I’ll tell my spotter that one lap I’m going to run inside lines, and the next lap I’ll run outsides lines. By doing that, we’ll be able to see which lanes are faster, and that will help us out for qualifying.

Dealing With Traffic
When there are a ton of drives, you usually have to pick your line and see where you want to go. You can do are to dive down low to see if there’s some grip there, or you can even dive down low to show them a wheel and slide into them. In racing, you’re allowed to rub a bit, so sometimes that’s what you have to do to get around these guys.

Gear Selection
For gear selection, what we’ll usually do is have our practice sessions, and we’ll download all of our data from a little GPS unit we have on our truck. That will show us the RPMs and speed we had around the track, and we’ll give that to our motor guy to see if we need to change gears. Usually, you want to be in second gear throughout the corner and shifting into third as you come out, so we’ll change our gearing around to meet those requirements.

Common Mistakes
I think some of the biggest mistakes new guys, and even myself, make is you’ll come into a corner and realize how slippery it is at the beginning of the race. You’ll try to throw it in there and the tires just won’t grab enough, which results in a spinout. I think that’s one of the most common mistakes.

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