Understeer is one of the most frustrating conditions you can encounter on a race track. It’s what happens when you ask your car to turn and it says, “nope,” and instead you go wide and blow your apex. On this episode of “The Racing Line,” race car driver and host Randy Pobst goes over what causes understeer and how to fix it.
Randy compares understeer to an overprotective mother. Understeer occurs when the front tires have less traction than the rears at the limits of grip. As a result, the car won’t steer enough – no matter how much you crank the wheel. It’s a handling characteristic that automakers work into a car to keep drivers from getting into too much trouble. For the majority of drivers, understeer will be easier to correct than oversteer, which can lead to a slide or a spin.
How do you correct understeer? As Randy explains, you have to put more weight on the front tires. By gently easing off the gas and onto the brake, you shift weight to the front and give the tires more grip. Loading the front tires should allow the car to turn in better.
To learn more about understeer and how to correct it – and to see Randy in drag – check out the full episode below.
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