First time SRF3 driving tips

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 2:45 pm
I've been driving in Spec Miata for 5-6 years, but I'm trying out an SRF3 (5mt) this weekend at BHF to see if I want to make the switch. Any advice for a first time driver in an SRF3? Particularly for someone used to an SM? I've been watching videos to get a sense of braking points and lines, but curious about any other driving tips specific to the SRF3.

Also, I should mention that I've driven the car in iRacing and it seems really difficult compared to the miata in iRacing. It seems to spin with any amount of trail braking.

Thanks in advance!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 10:00 pm
The SRF will certainly feel better in reality than it does in iRacing. In my opinion the SRF in iRacing has not been set-up properly, I have to fight like hell with the steering to get a good lap time in the SRF yet with the Radical SR-8 there are no such issues. When I say set-up i'm talking about the game software not the car set-up in the game. As far as the real thing, I have never driven a spec miata so I can't tell you about any differences however, the SRF is a lower powered race car so you don't usually have to use the brakes too hard. You will want to try and avoid over slowing the car because this will definitely kill your lap time. Good luck and remember to have fun.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2022 3:14 pm
Red line 6750 RPM
Brake pressure near 850+ lbs.

I would tell you to view SRF3 videos from the track you are going to test. Look at speed in brake zone, apex, exit.
Have fun,
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2022 1:07 am
The SRF in iRacing is directionally correct; that is to say, it is certainly easier to spin than a Miata and it's certainly behaving more like a SRF than it is anything else. I do agree that the iRacing car isn't quite right in some way I can't exactly put my finger on. (The default setup is particularly bad IMO, but I've yet to find a setup from the community that feels like it's spot on.)

Anyway, the engine's in the rear, so the weight distribution is significantly different than in most cars, and when you're on the brakes you're taking the weight off the rear tires but the rear still has all that momentum going forward, which will result in it continuing to go straight even if the front half of the car starts moving sideways. This is what results in the typical iRacing SRF spin on corner entry, and that certainly is a thing which happens in the real world. But the difference is in the real world, you'll have the feel of the car, whereas in iRacing you can't really tell you're spinning until you're basically past the point of no return. In the real car you can apply power to push the weight back and get the car straightened out, whereas in iRacing because you don't have the "seat of the pants" feel of the car (unless you've got a motion rig) you're often already too far gone and all that accomplishes is lighting the rears on fire and spinning it around harder. The mistake can be the same and put the car in a similar state, but it's harder to correct the mistake in the sim as a result.

One thing that nobody's pointed out yet - the SRF in iRacing has the SADEV and you said you're going to be driving the 5mt. The shift point from 2nd to 3rd is at 60 MPH in the manual transmission rather than 67 MPH due to the gear ratios being different, so don't get too aggressive with your 3->2 downshift because you got used to the higher shift point in the sim.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2022 1:36 pm
I have driven RWD and SRF3 and the biggest difference is the responsiveness.

I'm sure others will chime in here, but here a few things from real on-track experience...

Obviously, braking is later.

Second, turn-in, corner entry. You can control the entry rotation more precisely with various techniques of brake trail, steering, and throttle application. Once you drive one, you'll experience what I mean and it's a lot of fun.

The last one is, all the "real" race cars I've driven -- FF and SRF3 -- will clearly tell your loaded side butt cheek when the loaded rear corner is set and ready for more aggressive throttle application.

I've also found that the SRF3 (not so much GEN2!) can get sick sideways and you can still catch it.

I'm sure that lots more input is on the way from others.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2022 10:43 pm
Ask how the car is set-up. In the real world, the SRF3 can be set-up to be a tail-happy twirl girl or a bit pushy. (In my experience, you can't get a lot of understeer. Unless you've got a load of front brake bias and you lock them up!) It can be front and rear sway bar settings, front and rear toe, front and rear camber, brake bias, and even front and rear bump steer. Also tire cycles: as the tires age, the rears get less grippy faster than the fronts. (It was worse in the Gen2 with Goodyears, but it's still there.) If the car has old tires, it's going to tend towards oversteer.

Does SM have power brakes and power steering? If so, be prepared for a leg workout and some sore arms (especially if the SRF has a lot of caster, which it should). (Oh, I should have mentioned caster in the set-up comments.)

The brakes on an SRF are pretty damn good, but they take some force and feel. That's a tough combination if you're not used to it.

You'll need to take some time to get a feel for the handling before you can push it.

Bring ear plugs! It's loud in there.

The bodywork will bounce around in a disconcerting manner. Ignore it. If the tail flies off, ignore that too. If the nose flies off, you should probably pit.

Have fun, and I hope it converts you!

(I just realized that you might have already driven it the weekend of 10/8. Oh well, I've written, so I'll post. If you have, we'd love to hear what you thought of it.)

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