Aggressive Curb Cutting Line Through Esses
Published: November 8, 2013
This is an aggressive line that can be taken through an S turn (right followed by a left or vice versa). It permits carrying more speed through the esses themselves, which has two benefits:
- It directly reduces the time spent in the esses.
- Higher exit speed reduces the time spent driving the following straight.
This technique applies at several tracks, in particular:
- VIR turn 6 (exit of the snake);
- Watkins Glen exit of the bus stop;
- NJMP Thunderbolt exit of the turn 3 chicane.
The explanation will use VIR turn 6.
Here is a map of said turn:
This section starts with a turn in point right at the end of the curbing at the exit of turn 5. Turn in and start accelerating. Just touch the apex at turn 5a. Continue accelerating and you will drift to the left of the track as you approach the apex of turn 6, and you are still in a right turn. Just as the car is about to hit the apex curb in turn 6, flick the steering wheel left to change direction and move the weight from left to right. Arrange the flick such that your left tires travel over the inside (grass) edge of the curb in turn 6. If done correctly, the center of the car should be quite close to the pavement edge of the curb.
Continue to accelerate and either touch or drive over the curbs in turn 6a depending on your power level.
Here is the line you should be taking:
Now, why is this even a tip? I think the reason is people choose whether they are going to use curbs or not before they consider their line and speed. It's as if the decision to use or not use curbs is made before they get to the track. The problem with this logic is it can lead to curbs being taken unnecessarily which then unsettle the car and compromise speed, as well as curbs being not taken when they would make a positive difference. Read more about when curbs should or should not be used.
For the tactical curbs being described here, you should usually take them when on a hot lap, and otherwise not. Being comfortable with taking these turns also provides excellent and very safe runoff when you take prior corners too aggressively - you simply use the curbs to keep the car on pavement (rather than going faster) without drama.