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Alpine Slides

In a message dated 96-01-07 00:16:14 EST, you write:

>There are many "types" of snow with different traction . 
>The type you encountered is one of the most slippery as it is "new fallen"
>and probably of high humidity. Both of these factors cause it to change 
>back to water under the weight of your tires and thus causing this
>of your car and confidence. 

Very true, the "wet" snow is definitely more difficult to drive on than the
dry 15 degree weather type the north sees.....  For wet snow, the proper snow
tire tread design is key to successful car control....

>The first way to avoid this is to slow down (boring) and wait till you nose
>is past the apex and then accelerate in a smooth fashoin or nail it.
>Safe but not satisfying. Smoothness of car inputs is very inportant also,
>the braking,steering and acceleration are should be gradual so not the break
>traction with peaks of input. Once traction is lost it takes a large speed 
>decrease and time to regain it. A lot of times drivers lose traction on 
>one factor ie acceleration and then contiue to lose it by backing off 
>too much and letting the engine braking lock the 4 wheels.    
>Secondly is on older quattos is to lock the 1st seleetor or mid diff for
>wheel to pull you around . This makes the understeer worse but that leads 
>to number three.

A difficult maneuver at best.....  the "open" diff selection should be
mastered first, then try the locks....  Find a snow covered parking lock and
make a baseline corner without the diff locks, then lock the middle to see
what the car does, then lock the rear as well.....  There are subtle but
important differences between the three styles....   

>Using the handbrake to get the rear end around to match the slide ot the 
>front the use the throttle to pull the car through the corner. They use this
>in rally to set up the car for the corner.

Hmmmm.....   Not many rally teams use that trick since the invention of the
trip computers.....  The prollum with that trick is that most of the
inductive pickups are mounted on the rear wheels, and each time the driver
does that trick, the navigator wants to clip him on the helmet for ruining
his last "correction" factor.....  In Pro Rally, as the navigator counts down
the hundredths of a mile to a "blind" turn, the driver is already setting up
for that turn, so the more the driver uses that handbrake trick, the more
"blind" that turn really becomes.....  When you are talking about committing
two humans and a car to a turn in the 50-70 mph range, the less you want that
correction to be....  The technique involves car float, setting the chassis
with the nose pointing opposite the turn then turn in, hardly practical for
the street, and really good for pissing off the cops, tho he didn't know what
to give me a ticket for.....  But, yes the handbrake for street driving will
induce the oversteer condition, but I can assure you that with proper chassis
and driving technique, is rarely necessary....  And I haven't driven a stock
q that can't be thrown into oversteer with other more controlled

> On the smaller quattros is very effective but is frowned on by the locals.
>They don't show same enthusiam for a neatly sliding 4000q with tires
>grappling for traction on local streets. 
>Or - tires ...

Tires for wet snow (that would be a P210 or Vr/ water type tread) would be
your best bet....  Wet snow is a lot tougher to car control on than dry....
 Be careful, but you master the wet stuff, the dry is a walk in the park as a

Oh, and HAVE FUN