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
– 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..