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Re: abs

Mike writes:
 i had just been exhilerated by the
cars handling on the twisty downhill section when i hit a hard turn which
should not have been a problem....however the sand trucks had been out and
there were inches of loose sand before, after and in the turn....initially
the car understeered terribly, so i turned in harder....as soon as i did
this the rear end was parallel to the direction of the car and wanted to
lead...applying power and turning to compensate for the skid only took me
closer to the edge of the road and disaster.

At the Steamboat winter driving school we have learned that when the car 
is understeering, the front of the car has lost traction and you need to 
regain grip on the front tires. Turning in harder doesn't work, you need 
to unwind the steering wheel, get the front wheels pointed straight and
get the tires operating in the friction circle again. It goes against your
normal reaction of turning harder, but straightening the wheel does work.
In low traction conditions, you need to be driving near or under the limits 
that the conditions allow and these can vary tremendously from moment
to moment. If your happen to get the car so far beyond the limit, there's
not much you can do but ride along.

The quattro club events at winter driving schools are great for learning
these types of things. Conditions vary from lap to lap and you are always
looking for traction to help accelerate and brake. With the very low
conditions on an ice track, it's amazing how adding few mph to a corner
speed will put you over the limit and spinning off.

Downhill turns also want to bring the back end around because of gravity.
And lifting on a icy downhill corner will make it happen even faster.

Dave Lawson