The third episode of Mercedes USA’s AMG Driving Academy Performance Series takes us on a brief introduction into the world of slalom driving and how the tire contact patch affects the weight transfer of a car as it enters and leaves a corner.

Four-time Grand Am champion and Speed Channel host, Tommy Kendall, continues to play the role of AMG Driving Academy instructor and he introduces us to a concept that neophyte drivers may not be too familiar with: tire contact patch.

This concept, he explains, deals with how to perfectly manage the weight transfer of the car to allow it to navigate in and around a race track. It doesn’t sound all that sexy, but considering the twisty and topsy-turvy nature of race circuits, it’s something that is worth watching and listening.

Being able to manage the throttle of the car while knowing how to shift the weight from the front and back goes a long way in allowing your car to run smooth turns as opposed to big, stabbing turns that inevitable lead to understeering and oversteering.


Source: Mercedes USA

What do you think?
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  (384) posted on 07.26.2011

Well, I guess this is just for the professional race driver. However, as ordinary driver its a good thing to learn something about the tire contact patch and weight distribution.

  (579) posted on 07.26.2011

The engine performance of the AMG here is quite powerful. It is just easy to look at Tommy Kendall while he tried to balance the weight of the car. I have tried this and I had a hard time mastering this technique. 

  (302) posted on 07.26.2011

What do we expect from a four-time world champion? He is absolutely a cool driver. I like the way Tommy Kendall drove that car, it is very smooth and sexy in the performance series segment.

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