A Porsche at the mercy of Don Palmer


These videos were made to illustrate what is actually possible at the limit.

They also illustrate the basic modes of vehicle dynamics.

  • A still from Don Palmer's video about tyres and feedback

    on tarmac

    Demonstration laps and talk about tyres...

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    Interpreting feedback from tyres

    Don Palmer explains how to make sense of the feedback that comes from the tyres when driving near the limit. His model describes how steering feel relates to grip at the front wheels when entering a corner and explains the changes in steering feel brought about by the onset of oversteer later in the corner.

    Don Palmer plays Porsche until his cup floweth over

    This was a video made before I got the hang of it - Na it shows the sort of party tricks that illustrate what's possible in a proper car. It's about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.

    The purpose is not to drive fast but to illustrate how to drive near to the limit by driving over it - right on the edge - where the learning really happens.

    Elise - making sense of feedback

    Understeer, oversteer, clearly the car can do whatever the driver wants to do with it. On the face of it the car looks like it has a mind of its own, looking closer the driver plays an important role in getting what he wants and maintaining control.

    No big deal as he gently comments on the whole process.

  • A Volvo on the ice in Sweden

    on ice

    Experiments on ice to demonstrate oversteer and understeer in slow motion.

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    Swedish ice - understeer city

    Here we have terminal understeer. Steering more makes no difference to the outcome - the car just can't make the bend. Front tyres do not have sufficient grip to turn in properly. Either too much speed, too much steering, too much throttle, too much braking, steering too fast etc.etc. These can all result in terminal understeer which means you can see what you hit as you leave the road.

    Oversteery front-wheel drive on Swedish ice

    This is a car that has lots more grip from it's winter front tyres compared to the summer rears. It shows just how much driver activity is required to keep oversteer under control. It's mandatory to steer accurately all the time. Even when a correction is made precision steering adjustments are crucial as the car comes into line.

    Ice slalom set to music

    This shows how little control activity is needed right on the edge. When applied exactly at the right time it can make a car dance as the driver maintains sublime control over his chosen path.

    Ice spin - stirred not shaken Mr Bond

    Taking the front wheel drive Volvo for a spin... every angle is covered. Outside, inside, along side. We can see the onset of the spin, the middle point as the car travels backwards, the control activity from the driver and the slow-mo. spin towards the camera showing the precision needed to master this party trick.

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