Author Topic: Guide to Reducing Understeer  (Read 22470 times)

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Offline ClubCalibra

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Guide to Reducing Understeer
« on: May 09, 2006, 21:41:16 PM »
Reducing Understeer

Dramatically reduce understeer with the early turbos by increasing weight over the front axle. Simply remove the spare wheel lightening the rear of the car, and hey presto! more grip - It is a pain however should you have a puncture (!).
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Manfred

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Re: Reducing Understeer
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2006, 19:36:13 PM »
Hi,

Caveat: there is no way to recover from oversteer on a Calibra.

If the back breaks away, that's it. All you can do is steer into the skid and hope that tree is further away that it appears.

Manfred

Offline Kujoy

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Re: Reducing Understeer
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2006, 12:17:54 PM »
Is that the voice of experience talking there Manfred?

;)


IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.

Offline nikp

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Re: Reducing Understeer
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2006, 16:05:42 PM »
Actually, also, removing the spare tyre will not increase grip at the front, but will reduce grip at the rear, moving the balance toward a more neutral handling car.
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dj_smurph

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Re: Reducing Understeer
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2006, 18:14:52 PM »
also adjusting the damping rate of the shocks and softer/harder anti roll bars will allow you to tune the car, i have had the back end out on the car but on a koni kit not great but it meant that the achilles heel of vx was taken care of.

thats why the vx220 was left to lotus

Manfred

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Re: Reducing Understeer
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2006, 19:17:24 PM »
Hi,

> Is that the voice of experience talking there Manfred?

It most certainly is.

I have passed many motorcycles on the outside bend with screaming tyres driving my V6 (used to be my party piece), but that would be lethal without the extra weight in the trunk because without that extra weight, as soon as you lift the throttle to keep the front in check the rear would break away and you'd be in real trouble.

I would not hurl a calibra in corners kamikaze style, trying to pass bikers hanging off their 600cc supersports without at least 60Kg worth of ICE in the trunk. Preferably more.

I would *never* do it with anything other than the stock suspention. I've seen to many 'tuned' lowered cars skid and spin out trying to keep up with me (and on two occasions hit the guardrail tail-first) to know that it's a bad idea to tinker with the suspension if you don't have the equipment to measure what you're doing.

Manfred

Offline Kujoy

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2006, 00:26:41 AM »
Yeah i have to say the stock suspension is pretty good.  I've had a few "incidents" with sharp corners and been surprised the car managed to hold onto the road as well as it did.

I must stop racing Golf GTi's

:)



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T.F.S.

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2006, 13:01:14 PM »
Hi,

Caveat: there is no way to recover from oversteer on a Calibra.

If the back breaks away, that's it. All you can do is steer into the skid and hope that tree is further away that it appears.

Manfred

not strictly true....

you apply throttle and the car will pull itself straight

Offline Add_Gee

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2006, 13:09:37 PM »
you can recover from liftoff oversteer in a calibra, theres a nice big island by me which is fun in the wet :) (in 2wd by the way)

T.F.S.

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2006, 13:12:27 PM »
you can recover from liftoff oversteer in a calibra, theres a nice big island by me which is fun in the wet :) (in 2wd by the way)

exactly!!

the only time you ever get oversteer in a calibra is due to diesel spills or a bad driver who does not know where to apply power on corners (or when to release power)

hitting WOT on FWD oversteer is a age old technique to recover from lift off oversteer

if you kbnow what you are doing you would never loose the back end of the cally......you would just understeer into a kerb if you was just over the limit

Offline Add_Gee

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2006, 13:30:33 PM »
you really have to prevoke it to get the backend out too, like really chucking it in way over the top style, normal fast driving you only get understeer.

sallows

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2006, 23:26:00 PM »
I took my V6 to a track day once, our friend has a kit car and I often go along as we used to race against eachother in karts. I couldn't resist, chucked my helmet on and lit up the front tyres, half way round the second or third lap a sapphire cosworth come past me, so I nailed it and round the corners he couldn't get away, the straights were adifferent matter but then I was back on his exhaust into the next corner. this has been the same case with many different cars on roads and country lanes.

I've driven many cars fast and slow on race tracks and roads!!! This car is still the one that shocks me the most on standard suspension. Pottering about it leans alot, going round a corner fast it understeers, push it in a bit harsher and it gives you very controlable oversteer, when you feel the back go and mess your pants!!!....some how...it still stays under control!!!!!! Stunning car :o

dragon25

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2006, 20:49:47 PM »
i totally agree with brain here, hell i drive fast all the time even in our peugot 405 diesel and the one thing fast drivers know is that to stop losing control at any point whilst going around a carner, short or short is whilst aceelerating towards the corner, you took the foot off the pedal then when your about 1/2 way into the corner you apply the power again this allows the car to push itself around the corner and accelerate out of the corner thus maintaining the fast speed you wish to keep and mainitn the control.

but what i need to know is that since i will be heaviy modifiying my future 4x4 turbo, is , is it better to leave the suspenion alone since im always doing the above, or is there a certain limit i can go to without destroying the reliabliity of the control.

gaffertetley

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I'm a Newbie: Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2006, 23:34:00 PM »
Hi ALL

have to agree with the comments on the V6, bizarrely, I can push mine fairly hard in the dry, but the body roll compared to my 8v is proper scary, it is so vague in feedback, I think someone somewhere got the calculations wrong badly!!
How can 2 cars, so similar, perform so differently, my 8v performs just like my bro's on the road, I've replaced nearly all the suspension parts, convinced something was w*nkered somewhere, but i just can't improve the way it handles, dispite having the car tracked, and checked on a jig, it still want's to break away more readily in left handers than rights.......

Very Wierd

Gaffer

madb1981

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2006, 15:00:38 PM »
koni adjustables all the way! the stance is a little odd(ie a*** up). poly bushes everywhere, they aren't as harsh as people make out.
never managed to get the back to step out, unless it was on purpose..... :) complete contrast to my old koni equiped redtop cav(not independant rear suspension), that was scary for oversteer! the calibra out corners my friends DC5 integra without breaking a sweat, ok so i get left standing like a st bernard with a slight limp when the straight bits of road appear but hey!

Offline MrCrusher

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2008, 00:49:27 AM »
Hi all.

I know this is an old topic yet it will probably be still relevant to most Vx owners today.

When I had a Pug 405 MI16-(160bhp, XU9J4 engine running at 183bhp- no mods or TC), I used to run wider tyres on the front than what I had on the back. If I remember right, it had 195,50,15's on as standard.

I know the MI16 was known for its cornering prowess and grip, it was very difficult to get the car to understeer and almost impossible to get it to oversteer. If it went though, you knew you'd really overcooked it. Either that, or it was some s**te on the road- usually diesel.

Torque steer was the main problem- if you give it the beans, it would whip the steering wheel out of your hands if you weren't ready for it.

Anyway, on standard wheels, I used 205 or sometime 215,50,15's on the front just for the added grip. Did the wider tyre thing years before on my old Cavvy SRI although with the Cavvy, it didn't handle all that well until I dropped it 40mm at the front and 30mm at the back.

Seemed to help me. Less torque steer and you could cane it through the corners, gripped like a Pit Bull.

Just had to look out for increased tyre shoulder wear.
You've gotta grab life by the haunches and hump it into submission!!

Love MrCrusher

Offline MrCrusher

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2008, 01:02:15 AM »
Hi all again. It would not let me edit my last post so this is in addition too.

I've not had to do the wider front than back tyre thing with my CRX Del Sol SiR. Although I run it on 215,40,17's, it cornered like a Go-Kart on standards anyway. Didn't even have to fit a camber kit to stop shoulder wear.

Honda can "do" proper suspension.

Turning circle now 3 miles though.
You've gotta grab life by the haunches and hump it into submission!!

Love MrCrusher

Kyleport

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2008, 19:37:21 PM »
I used to run my Calibra on 225/40/17s and it handled brilliantly on the corners.  The problem I had was tramlining in a straight line. 

My car was lowered 60mm aswell so I used to experience finacial problems buying tyres every 2 months as the inside of tyre used to wear at a fast rate due to me not bothering to install a camber kit !!

Manfred

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2008, 16:10:49 PM »
> you apply throttle and the car will pull itself straight

Yes, but you don't ever lift off the throttle in a bend unless there's a damn good reason.

When you're at the limit and the rear breaks away, you can steer into the skid and floor it to catch it... but you're still going in the general direction of the tree and not losing enough speed.

For the V6 at least, 60kg in the trunk did wonders.

Manfred

Offline [email protected]

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2008, 16:56:15 PM »
When I had a Pug 405 MI16-(160bhp, XU9J4 engine running at 183bhp- no mods or TC), I used to run wider tyres on the front than what I had on the back. If I remember right, it had 195,50,15's on as standard.

Anyway, on standard wheels, I used 205 or sometime 215,50,15's on the front just for the added grip. Did the wider tyre thing years before on my old Cavvy SRI although with the Cavvy, it didn't handle all that well until I dropped it 40mm at the front and 30mm at the back.

Seemed to help me. Less torque steer and you could cane it through the corners, gripped like a Pit Bull.

The tendency of fwd cars to understeer is obviously caused by the front wheels being asked to provide grip for steering and traction for drive, especially if you accelerate round a corner.  The result is less grip for cornering, so the front drifts wide.  Obviously by using wider tyres (and lower profile tyres) you increase the grip (at least in the dry), so you reduce the tendency to drift, at the expense of heavier steering and higher tyre wear.

I suppose that by using a narrower tyre on the rear, at the limit, the rear wheel has less grip than the front, so it tends to drift (oversteer), which might help to compensate slightly for understeer at the front.  In practice it is quite difficult to get the back end to let go before the front in a fwd car - unless you are braking, or lifting off the throttle and transferring weight forward (which you shouldn't be doing in a bend anyway).

Offline 9564thoro

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2010, 00:08:19 AM »

I've driven many cars fast and slow on race tracks and roads!!! This car is still the one that shocks me the most on standard suspension. Pottering about it leans alot, going round a corner fast it understeers, push it in a bit harsher and it gives you very controlable oversteer, when you feel the back go and mess your pants!!!....some how...it still stays under control!!!!!! Stunning car :o
[/quote]

I don't know whether you're talking about track driving or what, but, being fairly new to the car, I can agree with the first two statements, but my question is, once you've established you get understeer, to push harder than that to then find out about oversteer seems like lunacy?? personally, the point where you get massive understeer, is about the limit of how fast you can corner!

Offline DanSE4

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2010, 00:25:25 AM »
Thread started in 2006, last posted on in 2008.

Move on guys! :)
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Offline se5let

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2011, 12:37:28 PM »
Thread started in 2006, last posted on in 2008.

Move on guys! :)

Err no...as long as the car understeers the age of the topic doesn't matter...

FYI the load on the front is greater....so it needs less weight.  The split is something like 59% weight on the front, doesn't take much to work out that is the problem.  The Calibra is like a Porsche in reverse....The engine hangs over the front far too much.  You cant pull it back so the weight needs shifting.  I would (and am going to) put the battery in the back.  I Have already shaved 5KG off from the lightened flywheel.  Next is to poly bush it and stiffen it up.  If the limit at which the car understeers is improved then I'll let you guys know.

Simply taking out the rear tire is not the solution.  Besides it weighs virtually nothing....A battery however, is around 20KG.  Apart from that the only other adjustments I can see being of benefit is upgrading the steering rack...Other than that the LSD is the only other answer to the issue....

So this is still a valid topic as long as there are different and new things to try out on this car to improve the handling. 

S

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Offline nikp

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2011, 12:40:34 PM »
...A battery however, is around 20KG. 

Bloody hell, what sort of battery do you have! That is one HEAVY battery!
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Bovva

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2011, 15:50:25 PM »
Removing weight from the front where the power (engine) is seems daft? Surely you'd see a loss of traction, poorer cornering and generally less grip at the front resulting in excess wheel spin?

Porsches have power at the back, steering at the front so the wheels for steering only have one job, that's not a reverse of a calibra, not unless they have a fork lift setup.

Offline nikp

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2011, 15:52:41 PM »
In any car you want to remove as much weight as possible. Weight is not the key to handling. It's the one thing you do not want in any fast car.
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Bovva

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2011, 15:53:41 PM »
In any car you want to remove as much weight as possible. Weight is not the key to handling. It's the one thing you do not want in any fast car.

I agree with weight reduction but shifting weight from the front to the back isn't going to have the same effect.

Offline Gav

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2011, 15:53:53 PM »
My Cally with the stiffer suspension and heavier front end puts the power down a lot easier than my Astra.

The Cally (apart from the Turbo) is FWD and isn't the best chassis. It will always understeer.

Fit good tyres, good suspension, polybushes, strut braces etc and it will help quite a lot.

It will still understeer though.

Offline nikp

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2011, 15:56:29 PM »
I agree with weight reduction but shifting weight from the front to the back isn't going to have the same effect.

It'll depend upon the weight distribution - don't get me wrong, i'm hardly the worlds expert on handling but the 'perfect' and most desirable weight distribtion is 50/50. Therefore moving weight from the front to the back may help get close to that.
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Offline Butcher

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2011, 16:00:23 PM »
Removing weight from the front where the power (engine) is seems daft? Surely you'd see a loss of traction, poorer cornering and generally less grip at the front resulting in excess wheel spin?

Porsches have power at the back, steering at the front so the wheels for steering only have one job, that's not a reverse of a calibra, not unless they have a fork lift setup.

I agree, removing weight from the front end of a front wheel drive Calibra is going to make the problem worse! Less weight means less grip means you put your foot down mid corner the car will go straight on. Simple science.

Bovva

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2011, 16:40:51 PM »
I have driven cars with tool boxes in the boot, it didn't feel like a better handling car because of it?

I also don't know much about the handling aspect but for me if the car is lowered, has wide wheels and good tyres, this is generally enough of a handling improvement to avoid shifting engine componants into the boot.

It's obvious that mid engined cars are better for handling but you won't be able to achieve a 50/50 weight ratio on a calibra simply because the engine is at one end of the car and to counter balance that you'd have to weigh the back end down which will likely cause body roll problems and slower acceleration.

4x4 is the only real solution or to a degree an LSD with FWD setup.

Offline CalibraTurbo666

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2011, 16:55:16 PM »
Putting a lot of weight (200kg or so) in the boot of a calibra turbo in front wheel drive makes them corner better , doing the same to my 1.8 vectra or my merc 180 has the opposite effect ( 200kg in the boot of vectra is virtualy undrivable )

Offline nikp

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2011, 17:56:41 PM »
I agree, removing weight from the front end of a front wheel drive Calibra is going to make the problem worse! Less weight means less grip means you put your foot down mid corner the car will go straight on. Simple science.

We better tell the F1 teams that they're doing it all wrong then. They need to load their cars with lead in every conceiveable space thenn, so they handle better in corners.
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Offline Butcher

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2011, 18:29:08 PM »
We better tell the F1 teams that they're doing it all wrong then. They need to load their cars with lead in every conceiveable space thenn, so they handle better in corners.

What are you talking about? A formula 1 car is rear engined rear wheel drive meaning the engine weight is over the driving wheels! And yes formula 1 cars are very light meaning they are virtually un drivable at slow speed due no down force pushing the car into the road. Even though a formula 1 car is light it's force against the Tarmac gets bigger the faster it go's due to down force pushing it harder into the road, it almost gets heavier the faster it go's (in a way)

Your taking weight from the front of a front wheel drive car and putting it in the boot? How is this going to help front end grip? Please explain because you've lost me.

And your comment about formula 1 cars is completely irrelevant as we are talking about a front engined, front wheel drive car. 

Offline nikp

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2011, 19:33:54 PM »
One of the reasons the calibra understeers is DUE to the heavy engine up front. It's also engineered in, but much of it is to do with the heavy engine. It 'pushes' the car in a straight line when trying to turn it if forced to go too quickly. The relative front end grip afforded by the engine weight is little compensation compared to the effect it has at pushing the car in a straight line. I would much rather move the weight from the front to the back, but even better reduce the weight of the car in total than worry about the weight at the front helping to push the front end down because it offers so little benefits compared to reducing the weight.

And an F1 car is very difficult to drive at low speed due to many other factors, but not lack of grip. The aerodynamic forces that give the car grip are where most of the grip comes from in an F1 car, but they also have great mechanical grip due to suspension and car design. Ask an engineer if he would rather have a heavy engine to give him grip or improved suspension geometry for better cornering and grip I think i know what he would answer.

Front end weight is no way to improve understeer.
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Offline Bad Kid

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2011, 22:24:07 PM »
Threads like this are bad.
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Offline Butcher

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2011, 22:26:11 PM »
[quote author=Bad Kid

Offline Gordo

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Re: Guide to Reducing Understeer
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2011, 12:17:05 PM »
I agree, removing weight from the front end of a front wheel drive Calibra is going to make the problem worse! Less weight means less grip means you put your foot down mid corner the car will go straight on. Simple science.

Simple, at least!

For best cornering 'grip' you want ALL the tyres to be evenly loaded. Obviously, this is not possible, so you want to reduce load (weight) transfer as having one heavily loaded tyre and one lightl loaded tyre at the same end has less total grip than the evenly loaded tyres.
This is why anti roll bars are used to help the cornering balance - by using a stronger ARB on the rear, the outer tyre is even more heavily loaded and the total grip is further reduced - the ultimate is with the inside wheel just lifting off the surface - any more is detrimental as the body roll increases positive camber on all wheels and reduces total grip.
With front wheel drive cars, there is the complication of power applications reducing grip on that end (traction/grip circle concept) and the desire to have as high a proportion of mass (weight) as possible for maximum power transfer to the ground.

So, a rough suggestion would be a combination of..
LSD if inside wheelspin is a problem, together with throttle control.
Use springs (with dampers) and ARBs to reduce ride height (lowered CoG and reduced body roll), provide suitable bump travel and allow the rear to lift no more than just off the ground (may not need to be that stiff, depending on vehicle).
Play around with tyre pressures, these make a big difference.
If looking at weight saving for a track/play car, I'd look at initially removing any excess parts, like seats, and replacing the glass with plastic as that will remove high weight which will improve CoG height, body roll, performance everywhere and as most of it is towards the back, it should help the balance of the car.
Some may want to play with cambers, caster, toe settings, tyre sizes, etc, which is a whole new ball game.

Forgot, tyres DO make a big difference, check out what the other guys are using, I'd recommend a spare set of rims for the track tyres, so you don't chew them out in general driving.