Types of Corner
Over the years I have noticed that corners, with the exception of the ones on PlayStation, don’t have dotted lines on them showing you ‘the line’. You don’t need them when you dial into the notion of accurately working an apex and pushing your gaze further towards the exit of the turn.
An increasing radius corner is the easiest to handle because it naturally opens up on the exit. Its evil twin brother, the decreasing radius corner, tightens up when you least expect it on the way out of the corner and wants to invite you to a party in the woods all alone. Train your eye to notice when the corner is closing you down.
The double apex corner at first glance might look like a long radius arc. The easy mistake is to presume the corner is opening and accelerate after the first clipping point and then wish you hadn’t. On closer inspection the corner has two clipping points and the last one always has priority.
On track, it’s slow corners like hairpins that often cost people the most time because this is when the car is most reactive to braking and acceleration in lower gears. Both can quickly overload the tyres and a little sympathy goes a long way. The common mistake is to rush into the corner too quickly or start accelerating too soon. By obeying the racing line, you take a fraction longer to slow the car and have a straighter, easier ride out.
When one corner is immediately followed by another one is where it starts getting interesting. Rural roads are nearly always connected, meaning the exit of one flows right into the next. Rather like the double apex corner, if you’re too greedy or not paying attention during the first part then you suffer in the second section.
By keeping some margin in hand through the middle of the corner, you automatically set yourself up for anything that follows, be it the next turn, clump of traffic or that moose we keep reading about. Anybody taking the first part of the corner anywhere near 100% of the tyres’ capability could be in for a nasty surprise further down the road.