The art of Rallycross
Bangladesh is home to an emerging bunch of motorsport enthusiasts. To steam off the heat, only one event is held a year, since 2014. CEMS Bangladesh is hosting the 11th Dhaka Motor Show from 30th March, ending with the 3rd installment of Rallycross on the 2nd of April 2016.
It's a rallycross event. There is no tarmac. Having a 1,000HP beast of a car will in fact give you more disadvantage than having a 100HP Suzuki Swift. In 2014's event, Bappy Rahman of Team Autosmith competed in a 1.5 liter Toyota Allion and sealed 1st place in Group C with a lap time of 87.696, which is technically the third best lap time of the entire event, after champion Avik Anwar's (Mitsu Evo X) 87.455 seconds and Team Globatt's 87.586 in a high powered Subaru Impreza STi. The same thing prevailed in 2015's Rallycross - a corporate entry Toyota Corolla X with stripped out interior came 1st in Group D with a lap time of 90.240 seconds, which wasn't very far off from the event's winning lap times of 82.923 (Avik Anwar - Evo X), 83.844 (Joy Alam - Subaru Impreza STi) and 87.807 (Sarwar Hussain - Mitsu Evo V).You need to know your car's characteristics- mainly, the handling bit. You will require a good suspension allowing sharp turns, tyres to battle all the dirt and sand, and most importantly, brakes. The later you brake, the more advantage you will gain while exiting the turn.
You are really attacking the track, and time is your principal foe. So instead of getting more power under the hood, try focusing on the following to get you some lead in the game. You need to know your car's characteristics - mainly, the handling. You will require beefed up suspension allowing sharp turns, tyres to battle all the dirt and sand, and most importantly, brakes. The later you brake, the more advantage you will gain while exiting the turn.
Given the track is full of corners, ranging from innocent curves to vicious hairpins, it is wise to know the trick behind tackling these. The turn-in point is crucial to master as it will give you a straight line around a corner with maximum speed. The apex is the point at which you are closest to the inside of the corner. Once you have hit the apex you should be able to reduce the steering lock and increase the throttle.
Imagine a 90 degree right turn. Depending on your car's braking ability, you have to judge whether you will take a geometry apex that will enable you to carry your speed and minimize the turn severity, or a late apex that will require late braking, a sharp turn to hit the apex and continue the straight line out of the exit using full throttle. Vehicles with more engine and braking power can be thrown in at a sharp apex, and despite the lower entry speed, can have a devastatingly fast exit speed. To get the best time in a less powered car, the clever option will be to use geometry apexing, which will not put much pressure on your tires, suspension and brakes. It is safer too.
Hairpins are 180 degree corners which are the main culprits in slowing down a driver, but deploy the right tactic and you will laugh these twisted corners out. Here, the apex line is about three quarters of the way around the bend. A useful guide is that half way through the turn you should be roughly in the middle of the track.
Lastly, the position of the next corner is imperative to cut down the lap time. For example, if the next bend is a left hander you'll need to move over to the right hand side of the track, and thus will need to apex later and take a tighter, slower line. However, if the next corner is another right hander a wider, faster arc can be used.
All of the above guidance depends on your driving style and the car you are driving. Never push the car to limits.