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UniMAP Driving Guide

Click for a larger image

Click for a larger image

With SNF Touge heading to UniMAP Circuit in Perlis for it’s first round, I decided it might be fun to provide some driving tips at tackling this new track.

Less than a year old as I write this, UniMAP circuit was built with input from AAM, but essentially designed more as a Kart circuit, or more interestingly, as a Formula UniMAP circuit. Thus it has a good smooth surface, but the turns are typical of such a design for low-CoG grippy machines: lots of tight, hairpin-type turns. The circuit runs clockwise, has a total of 12 turns, of which only Turn-1 and Turn-12 are the only corners that are less than 90-degrees.

Observe the main image of the circuit with an overlaid ‘Ideal line’. Bear in mind that this ‘Ideal line’ is for cars, not karts or Formula Varsity-type vehicles. Whilst I shall not delve into the intricacies of each corner, here are some guidelines:

Tips for driving a car at UniMAP

1. All these tight corners require
– a LATE turn-in
– PATIENCE!
– planning for the next corner
Take these seriously. Charging into and thru the corners at UniMAP will see your 1-tonne-plus car just understeer wide. The corners are slow (2nd gear), and you’ll quickly reach – and exceed – the limit of your tyres traction. This is not good, you want to be able to maintain traction and set-up for the next turn in order to keep good speed

2. Turn-1 can be taken flat
– take as wide an entry as possible, hop the inside turn, look ahead and aim for the braking point of Turn-2
– deviate from this flight-path, and you will go off!

3. Turns 4 & 5 require a lot of patience. Slow right down on entry, turn-in as late as you can. Look ahead and aim to set-up for Turn 6. I personally tried keeping tight all the way around versus going wide mid-way then braking and turning-in tight again at T5.
Which line you take really depends on how your car handles, but above all massive patience is needed.

4. Car set-up: tail happy.
FF cars can try pump rear tyres to 60psi just for the event, but be sure to let out the air as soon as you finish or you might crash on the way home!
Using the handbrake for certain turns, if you are accomplished at this skill, will be beneficial. The aim is to use the handbrake to get the car rotated for the turn, but not to bleed off too much speed.

5. The most important corner at UniMAP is Turn-11!
Getting a good exit for this corner is imperative as it allows you to get good speed all the way till the finish line, as T12 can be taken flat. Again, brake early but gently, get a late turn-in, then exit as fast as you can and build up all that speed till the end of the lap.

6. Taking Turn-12: LOOK AHEAD!
To take T12 as fast as possible, you must look ahead. During your practice laps, learn to look ahead and find the apex, and generate as smooth a line as possible through the corner.
A quick half-throttle lift as you turn-in to help rotate the car, then flat out and aim at the exit. Should be no problem!

That’s it in a nutshell. Above all, UniMAP rewards clean driving with the least amount of time-wasting, speed-killing understeer. FF or RWD, no difference. A messy lap will lose you lots of time, although in a RWD you’ll have a lot of fun doing so!

Will we be providing any Touge racing tips? Stay-tuned..

About adian

ADIAN YEIN (adian@ignition.my) Adian was one of the start-up members that initiated the Proton Motorsports Division back in 2003, together with Tengku Djan Ley and Khaidi Kamaruddin, running under the brand name R3 – Race Rally Research. Projects that he led include the Proton Satria R3, Lotus Europa, and all the R3 special edition vehicles up to 2007, where he then transferred to Proton Edar for an 1-year stint as Manager for Marketing Development. He has over 20 years of motorsports experience, both as driver and team manager, culminating in two back-to-back wins of the Merdeka Millennium Endurance race as the Team Manager of the Proton-R3 team. Highlights in his motorsports career include being a D1GP Judge opposite Drift King, Keiichi Tsuchiya, kicking off the malaysian autocross and drifting scene with the Proton SSO, and managing Team Proton-R3’s participation in the Japan Super GT in 2005. Adian was also the host of the car test drive and review television program “Get A Car” that aired on NTV7 in 2009. He currently a professional driving instructor and automotive events operator with Driven Communications, and co-host of the Driven Web Series. He has recently found joy door-to-door racing again at MSF!
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