Best time to shift gears when racing?

Ulises Bahringer asked a question: Best time to shift gears when racing?
Asked By: Ulises Bahringer
Date created: Thu, Apr 22, 2021 10:45 PM


Top best answers to the question «Best time to shift gears when racing»

The best way to go fast is to make sure wheel torque is as high as possible. That means your next shift should occur when engine torque has dropped far enough that the current gear is no longer providing that torque advantage.


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Question from categories: racing bike

9 other answers

The end goal is to have as much torque hitting the pavement as possible, so having your car in the right gear during an acceleration run is key to extracting the most performance.

The best gear is the one that is going to give you the fastest possible acceleration – at your current speed. If you’re in the wrong gear, you will be going slower than you could be. Equal to pressing the throttle down only part-way. By not knowing the best RPM to shift gears, the majority of racing drivers are giving away seconds of lap time.

Torque Peak is at 4000 rpms and Peak HP (nothing to do with shifting) is around 4200 rpms. I gaurantee you the optimal shift point for THAT car is what I posted above: 1st --> 2nd = 6595 rpms. 2nd --> 3rd = 5643 rpms. 3rd --> 4th = 5595 rpms. 4th --> 5th = 4915 rpms. That is no where close to 4000 - 4200 rpms.

When the car brakes hard for a corner we get a weight shift to the front. The weight might change to 550kg on the front axle, 450kg on the rear. This is due to the front accelerating downwards, i.e. adding to the acceleration due to gravity, with the opposite happening at the rear.

Some reduction of the lower gearing is possible, but only as low as a 38t inner chainring, so if it’s low gears you’re after, a standard double is not the best way to go.

When to change gear from 4th 4th gear is ideal for driving in cities and towns at 30mph as it is the most economical gear for these speeds. In most cars, reaching a speed of 40mph should allow you to change into 5th gear. 5th gear

Typically, as drivers hit the peak range of a gear and cannot accelerate within that gear more, they shift to a different gear and gain more acceleration range. The typical “rule of thumb” with shifting is that when you reach around 3,000 RPM it’s safe, and desirable, to shift.

For most cars the power will start to tail off again about 1000-2000 rpm before the red line, so this is the logical place to change gear. For some more tips on engine tuning click here. Gear changes again take precious time, some drivers keep their foot on the accelerator during gear changes to keep the revs up.

What's also important is preselecting gears and quick downshifting when needed to maximize power. This is very important with high powered light cars and no traction control. It's a must in offroad races, when you hit something the AT gearbox will often struggle and "choke" before it finds the correct gear.

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