No matter what surface you are driving on, weight transfer is crucial to extracting the most speed and performance out of your car. In its essence, a car is simply a box on four springs. The brakes and the throttle aren't just used to slow down and speed up, they are also used for weight transfer. By braking, accelerating and turning, you are shifting the weight from front to back, side to side.
When entering corners at high speed, you need to get as much weight as possible on the front tires. If you can push the nose down and compress the front suspension, it’s going to drive those front tires down into the road. This gives the front end a lot more grip, allowing you to turn in much faster. To transfer weight to the front, you can lift off the throttle, apply some brake pressure, turn the wheel, or all of these at the same time.
Of course when you transfer weight to the front, you take weight off of the rear, causing the car to oversteer. This can be an advantage if you are trying to get the car to rotate around a tight corner. When it comes time to correct that oversteer, you need to put some weight back on the rear end so those rear tires can bite. To transfer weight back onto the rear, you can lift off of the brakes if you are on them, counter steer, accelerate, or all of these at once.
If you watch any professional racing, you'll notice that drivers are using weight transfer to initiate and control oversteer to get around corners. Weight transfer requires a lot of finesse and demands smooth and accurate inputs. Left foot braking is a great technique to use to ensure that your inputs are precise. Weight transfer is also something that works universally across front wheel drive, rear wheel drive and all wheel drive.
In a front wheel drive car, you have the added benefit of pulling the handbrake to lock the rear wheels up, in a rear wheel drive car, you can spin the rear tires to create oversteer. Despite these techniques, weight transfer is just as important in these platforms as it would be in an all wheel drive car. If you want to get some professional instruction and experience using weight transfer, check out our Rally School!