Cornering The Right Way

Turning into a corner early is a common mistake and feels great at first because it doesn’t require as much turning force and the car feels stable because you have unwittingly created a gentle radius. That good feeling lures you into your second mistake: accelerating prematurely. If your speed increases, the radius of your arc has to get bigger too. Your life has been reduced to an equation.

Cornering The Right Way

To plan for a corner, you need to assess it and plot the line of least resistance along which to slow down, which means as straight as the road allows before the curve begins.

Apply the brakes smoothly and continuously. The action of slowing transfers weight to the front tyres.

With the majority of braking finished in a straight-ish line, the time to turn the steering approaches. Minimal steering power is required at first, so you relax the pressure on the brake pedal gradually to keep the front tyres loaded and create a gentle rotation. The car takes a stable attitude and floats through the apex of the corner. At this sensual moment when the brakes are fully released, your front tyres have their optimal performance potential when they need it most.

Stomping on the gas pedal at this stage would pitch the weight of the car rearwards, reducing steering grip. Rather than upset the apple cart, gently accelerate away as the corner opens out.

If you crash out of a corner, in most cases it’s because you accelerated and ‘apexed’ too early. People often lament that their car ‘wouldn’t make the bend’ or ‘ran out of road’.

Turning into a corner early is a common mistake and feels great at first because it doesn’t require as much turning force and the car feels stable because you have unwittingly created a gentle radius. That good feeling lures you into your second mistake: accelerating prematurely. If your speed increases, the radius of your arc has to get bigger too. Your life has been reduced to an equation.

Sadly, as the exit approaches you’ll be required to do the exact opposite and perform a second tight radius turn in order to avoid the oncoming hedge, wall, tree or fireball. Unless your speed reduces miraculously, you will be taking in some real estate.