Forza 7 Tuning Guide

Part 4 - Track Specific Tuning

This section explains how to setup cars in a way that they will work best for specific tracks.

Understanding Track Characteristics

If you want to get absolute best performance out of a car for a specific track you need to to tune the car to the characteristics of the track. Which means you need to understand the characteristics of the track you are tuning for and how the track characteristics affect the different tuning areas.

Keep in mind though that track specific tunes only work on tracks with similar track characteristics. If you try to use them on tracks with different characteristics they will actually perform worse than general tunes or speed and grip tunes as described in part 1 and part 2.

The following criteria define the characteristics of a track you are tuning for: track type, track size, balance and the tracks differential, aero and gearing profile.

Track Type

 

In Forza there are two type of tracks: road tracks and race tracks. Tuning for road and race tracks differs in a number of areas mainly tire pressure, anti-roll bars and suspension. Reason for that is that race tracks provide a much more flat track surface with higher grip  intended for high-speed racing. Road tracks on the other hand are bumpier and have less grip because they are not intended for racing in the first place.

Road tracks are all tracks that are not official race tracks but where you are racing on legal streets or on closed test tracks. This includes all fantasy tracks in Forza (Bernese Alps, Dubai, Maple Valley, Prague, Rio) plus the two test tracks Airfield and Top Gear.

Race tracks are all official race tracks (Bathurst, Brands Hatch, Catalunya, COTA, Daytona, Hockenheim, Homestead, Indianapolis, Le Mans, Lime Rock, Long Beach, Laguna Seca, Monza, Mugello, Nurgburgring, Road America, Road Atlanta, Sebring, Silverstone, Sonoma, Spa, Suzuka, VIR).

Track Size

Another important aspect of tracks is the size or length of a track. In Forza there are full size, medium size and and short size tracks. Track size affects tire pressure, anti-roll bars and suspension because tire wear differs between shorter and longer tracks.

It is important to understand that track size is not an absolute category across all tracks but a relative classification of track variants within a location. For many locations that offer three track variants the general logic is here that one track variant is full size, one is medium and one is short size regardless of their absolute length. For example Silverstone Full is full size, Silverstone International is medium size and Silverstone National is short. There are exceptions though like Indianapolis where all track variants are considered full size or Lime Rock where all track variants are either full or short size.

Balance

The balance describes the overall car balance that the tracks requires to work best. Generally speed oriented tracks require an understeer setup while grip oriented tracks require an oversteer setup.

As with track size the track balance is not an absolute category across all tracks but relative to the track variants of a location. When a location offers three track variants often the full size variant is the neutral variant complemented by a shorter more speed oriented variant that requires understeer balance and a shorter more grip oriented track variant that requires oversteer balance.

Differential Profile

The differential profile of a track denotes if the track requires a high, medium or low differential setup. Generally speaking speed oriented tracks require a high or medium differential setup for better turn-in and turn-out performance while grip oriented tracks require a low differential setup that helps stabilizing the car on corner entry and exit.

  • High: mostly straights and some slow corners

  • Medium: more straights then corners

  • Low (Standard): more corners than straights

 

Aero Profile

When it comes to aero tuning knowing the aero profile of a track is essential. The aero profile is a classification of the tracks with regard to the aero and speed requirements a track has.

The aero profile is relatively complex to allow a more diverse aero tuning for the different characteristics of all Forza tracks.

  • High Speed: mostly full throttle

  • Medium High Speed: mostly full throttle with some slow corners 

  • Medium Speed: mostly straights and fast corners

  • Speed: more straights than corners

  • Standard: mix of straights and corners

  • Grip: more corners than straights

  • High Grip (Standard): mostly corners

Gearing Profile

Similar to aero tuning the tuning of the gearbox for a specific track requires an understanding of the gearing profile of the track. The gearing profile is a classification of tracks with regard to the speed and acceleration requirements of a track. Generally speed oriented tracks require a speed oriented gearbox tuning while grip oriented tracks require a more acceleration oriented gearing.

 

The gearing profile is also relatively complex to allow a more diverse gearing tuning for the different characteristics of all Forza tracks.

  • High Speed: mostly full throttle

  • Medium Speed: mostly full throttle with some slow corners

  • Speed: more straights than corners

  • Standard: mix of straights and corners

  • Accel: more corners than straights

  • Medium Accel: mostly corners

  • High Accel: mostly corners with some slow corners

For a complete list of tracks with track type, track size, balance and profiles please refer to Appendix B - Track List.

Understanding How Track Characteristics Affects Tuning

The following table depicts which tuning area is affected by track type, track size and track profile:

|                             Tires          Gearing         Alignment         ARBs            Springs           Dampers          Brakes          Aero           Diff

                                                                                           

Track Type                ✓                                                                     ✓                     ✓                       ✓                                         

Track Size                 ✓                                                                      ✓                     ✓                       ✓                      ✓                     

Balance                    ✓                                           ✓                        ✓                     ✓                       ✓                      ✓                                      ✓

Diff Profile                                                                                                                                                                                                            ✓

Gearing Profile                             ✓                                                                                                      

Aero Profile                                                                                                                                                                                       ✓

Generally race tracks require higher tire pressures and stiffer suspension setup that works best on ultra flat, high grip race tracks. Road tracks require lower tire pressures and softer suspension that works better on bumpier, lower grip road tracks.

Full size race tracks require higher tire pressure and stiffer suspension than shorter race track variants because there is a higher workload on tires and suspension on longer tracks than on shorter tracks. Likewise full size road tracks require lower tire pressure and softer suspension setup that shorter road track variants.

Speed tracks require a more understeer setup that helps stabilizing the car and a more aggressive differential settings for improved turn-in and turn-out performance along with lower aero and longer gearing to achieve higher top speeds.

 

Grip tracks require a more oversteer setup for faster cornering and a more conservative differential settings for improved stabilization during turn-in and turn-out complemented with higher aero and shorter gearing for better grip while cornering and higher acceleration out of corners.

Tires

Setting up tire pressures to specific tracks is a two step process. First tire pressure base levels are set according to track type and size. Then front and rear tire pressures are altered depending on track balance.

First alter the tire pressure as determined in general tuning depending on track type and track size. Full race tracks require highest tire pressures while full road tracks require lowest tire pressures. Tire pressures for shorter track variants sit in-between.

Track Type & Size        Front Tire Pressure     Rear Tire Pressure 

Full Race Track                         +1.0                                 +1.0

Medium Race Track                +0.5                                  +0.5

Short Race Track                     +0.5                                  +0.5

Short Road Track                     -0.5                                   -0.5

Medium Road Track                -0.5                                   -0.5

Full Road Track                        -1.0                                   -1.0

Then depending on the tracks balance tire pressures are altered to achieve more understeer or more oversteer.

Balance                       Front Tire Pressure      Rear Tire Pressure 

Oversteer                                 +0.5                                  -0.5

Understeer                               -0.5                                  +0.5

Example: Car with sport tire compound, general tire pressures 28.5/28.5

 

Tire pressures for Le Mans Old Musanne (Full Race Track, Understeer Balance):

Front Tire Pressure: 28.5 + 1.0 - 0.5 = 29.0

Rear Tire Pressure: 28.5 + 1.0 + 0.5 = 30.0

Tire pressures for Bernese Alps Club (Short Road Track, Oversteer Balance):

Front Tire Pressure: 28.5 - 0.5 + 0.5 = 28.5

Rear Tire Pressure: 28.5 - 0.5 - 0.5 = 27.5

Alignment

Adjusting alignment for specific tracks is only dependent on the tracks profile.

Alter the alignment as determined in general tuning depending on the tracks balance.

Balance               Camber       Front Toe         Rear Toe         Caster

Oversteer                 -0.1                +0.1                  -0.1                 -0.1

Understeer              +0.1                -0.1                  +0.1                +0.1

Example: RWD production car with general alignment settings: -2.0/-1.5/0.0/0.0/5.0

Alignment for Le Mans Old Musanne (Understeer Balance):

Front Camber: -2.0 + 0.1 = -1.9

Rear Camber: -1.5 + 0.1 = -1.4

Front Toe = 0.0 - 0.1 = -0.1

Rear Toe = 0.0 + 0.1 = 0.1

Caster = 5.0 + 0.1 = 5.1

Alignment for Bernese Alps Club (Oversteer Balance):

Front Camber: -2.0 - 0.1 = -2.1

Rear Camber: -1.5 - 0.1 = -1.6

Front Toe = 0.0 + 0.1 = 0.1

Rear Toe = 0.0 - 0.1 = -0.1

Caster = 5.0 - 0.1 = 4.9

Anti-roll Bars

Setting up ARBs to specific tracks is a two step process. First ARB base levels are set according to track type and size. Then front and rear ARBs are altered depending on track balance.

First alter ARBs as determined in general tuning depending on track type and track size. Full race tracks require softest ARBs while full road tracks require stiffest ARBS. ARBs for shorter track variants sit in-between.

Track Type & Size          Front ARB           Rear ARB 

Full Race Track                     -0.2                       -0.2

Short Race Track                  -0.1                       -0.1

Medium Race Track             -0.1                       -0.1

Short Road Track                 +0.1                      +0.1

Medium Road Track            +0.1                      +0.1

Full Road Track                    +0.2                       +0.2

Now depending on tracks balance ARBs are altered to achieve more understeer or more oversteer.

Balance                         Front ARB             Rear ARB

Oversteer                             -0.1                        +0.1

Understeer                          +0.1                        -0.1

Example: RWD production car with general ARB settings: 20.5/19.5

ARBs for Le Mans Old Musanne (Full Race Track, Understeer Balance):

Front ARB: 20.5 - 0.2 + 0.1 = 20.4

Rear ARB: 19.5 - 0.2 - 0.1 = 19.2

ARBs for Bernese Alps Club (Short Road Track, Oversteer Balance):

Front ARB: 20.5 + 0.1 - 0.1 = 20.5

Rear ARB: 19.5 + 0.1 + 0.1 = 19.7

Springs

As with ARBs setting up springs to specific tracks is a two step process. First spring base levels are set according to track type and size. Then front and rear springs are altered depending on track balance.

First alter springs as determined in general tuning depending on track type and track size. Full race tracks require stiffest springs while full road tracks softest springs. Springs for shorter track variants sit in-between.

Track Type & Size          Front Springs        Rear Springs 

Full Race Track                     +1.0                          +1.0

Medium Race Track            +0.5                          +0.5

Short Race Track                 +0.5                          +0.5

Short Road Track                 -0.5                          -0.5

Medium Road Track            -0.5                          -0.5

Full Road Track                    -1.0                           -1.0

Now depending on tracks balance springs are altered to achieve more understeer or more oversteer.

Balance                      Front Springs         Rear Springs

Oversteer                              -0.5                           +0.5

Understeer                           +0.5                           -0.5

Example: FWD production car with general spring settings: 567.15 / 365.14

Springs for Le Mans Old Musanne (Full Race Track, Understeer Balance):

Front springs: 567.15 + 1.0 + 0.5 = 568.65

Rear springs: 365.14 + 1.0 - 0.5 = 365.64

Springs for Bernese Alps Club (Short Road Track, Oversteer Balance):

Front springs: 567.15 - 0.5 - 0.5 = 565.15

Rear springs: 365.14 - 0.5 + 0.5 = 365.14

Ride Height

Corresponding to springs setting up ride height to specific tracks is a two step process. First ride height base levels are set according to track size. Then front and rear ride height are altered depending on track balance.

The general pattern is here longer tracks usually need lower ride height and shorter tracks usually need higher ride height. This is due to longer tracks usually have a lower amount of turns compared to straights and shorter tracks have a higher amount of turns. Higher ride height improves stabilization while turning and braking and acceleration out of turns.

First alter ride height as determined in general tuning depending on track size. Full tracks require lower ride height while shorter tracks require higher ride height.

Track Size             Front Ride Height        Rear Ride Height 

Full Track1                          -0.1                                 -0.1

Short Track2                      +0.1                                +0.1

Only full tracks that are not oversteer balance tracks

Only short tracks that are not understeer balance tracks

Now depending on tracks balance ride height is altered to achieve more understeer or more oversteer.

Balance            Front Ride Height         Rear Ride Height 

Oversteer                          -0.1                               +0.1

Understeer                       +0.1                               -0.1

Example: RWD production car with general ride height settings: 4.0 / 5.0

Ride height for Le Mans Old Musanne (Full Race Track, Understeer Balance):

Front ride height: 4.0 - 0.1 + 0.1 = 4.0

Rear ride height: 5.0 - 0.1 - 0.1 = 4.8

Springs for Bernese Alps Club (Short Road Track, Oversteer Balance):

Front ride height: 4.0 + 0.1 - 0.1 = 4.0

Rear ride height: 5.0 + 0.1 + 0.1 = 5.2

Dampers

Springs and dampers should always be changed in sync when tuning suspension for specific tracks. So corresponding to springs setting up dampers to specific tracks is a two step process. First damper base levels are set according to track type and size. Then front and rear dampers are altered depending on track balance.

First alter dampers as determined in general tuning depending on track type and track size. Full race tracks require stiffest dampers while full road tracks softest dampers. Springs for shorter and medium track variants sit in-between.

Track Type & Size              Rebound          Bump

Full Race Track                         +0.2                 +0.2

Medium Race Track                +0.1                  +0.1

Short Race Track                     +0.1                  +0.1

Short Road Track                     -0.1                   -0.1

Medium Road Track                -0.1                   -0.1

Full Road Track                        -0.2                   -0.2

Now depending on tracks balance dampers are altered to achieve more understeer or more oversteer.

Balance                Front Rebound         Rear Rebound         Front Bump         Rear Bump

Oversteer                        -0.1                           +0.1                               -0.1                      +0.1

Understeer                     +0.1                           -0.1                               +0.1                      -0.1

Example: RWD production car with general ride damper settings: 7.5 / 7.2 / 4.5 / 4.3

Dampers for Le Mans Old Musanne (Full Race Track, Understeer Balance):

Front rebound: 7.5 + 0.2 + 0.1 = 7.8

Rear rebound: 7.2 + 0.2 - 0.1 = 7.3

Front bump: 4.5 + 0.2 + 0.1 = 4.8

Rear bump: 4.3 + 0.2 - 0.1 = 4.4

Dampers for Bernese Alps Club (Short Road Track, Oversteer Balance):

Front rebound: 7.5 - 0.1 - 0.1 = 7.3

Rear rebound: 7.2 - 0.1 + 0.1 = 7.2

Front bump: 4.5 - 0.1 - 0.1 = 4.3

Rear bump: 4.3 - 0.1 + 0.1 = 4.3

Brakes

Setting up brakes to specific tracks is a two step process. First brake distribution and brake pressure are set according to track size. Then distribution and brake pressure are altered depending on track balance.

First alter brake distribution and brake pressure as determined in general tuning depending on track size. Full race tracks usually require more braking force on the front while shorter tracks usually require more braking force on rear. This is however only true for full race tracks that are no grip tracks and for shorter tracks that are not speed tracks.

When moving braking force to front or rear brake pressure needs to be adjusted as well too to compensate for changed amount of front braking force.

Track Size                Brake Distribution       Brake Pressure

Full Track1                              +2%                               -5%

Short Track2                           -2%                               +5%

Only full tracks that are not oversteer balance tracks

Only short tracks that are not understeer balance tracks

Now depending on tracks balance brakes are altered to achieve more understeer or more oversteer.

Balance                  Brake Distribution        Brake Pressure

Oversteer                             -1%                               +1%

Understeer                         +1%                                -1%

Example: RWD production car with general ride brake settings: 48% / 125%

Brakes for Le Mans Old Musanne (Full Race Track, Understeer Balance):

Brake distribution: 48% + 2% + 1% = 51%

Brake pressure: 125% - 5% - 1% = 119%

Brakes for Bernese Alps Club (Short Road Track, Oversteer Balance):

Brake distribution: 48% - 2% - 1% = 45%

Brake pressure: 125% + 5% + 1% = 131%

Differential

Differential tuning for specific tracks depends on the tracks differential profile and balance and is a two step process.

 

The general pattern is here that speed tracks require high or medium accel and low or medium decel for maximum turn-in and turn-out performance while grip tracks require low accel and high decel that helps stabilizing the car during turn-in and turn-out. 

First alter accel and decel as determined in general tuning depending on the tracks differential profile. For high differential tracks increase accel by 24% and set decel  to 0%. For medium differential tracks increase accel by 12% and decrease decel by 20%. For low differential tracks general differential setting don't need to be adjusted.

For AWD cars only alter Front Accel, Rear Decel and Diff Distribution according to the pattern as described in Part 2 General Tuning.

Note: Prototype race cars and open wheel cars generally don't support track specific differential tuning. For these cars simply use general differential settings as described in Part 2 General Tuning.

Differential Profile               Accel                  Decel

High                                           +24%                 set to 0%

Medium                                     +12%                   -20%

Now depending on tracks balance differential settings are altered to achieve more understeer or more oversteer.

Balance                                    Accel                  Decel

Oversteer                                  +2%                     -1%

Understeer                                -2%                     +1%

Example: RWD production car, general diff settings: 68% / 35%

 

Differential tuning for Le Mans Old Musanne (Differential Profile: High, Track Profile: Speed):

Accel: 68% + 24% -2% = 90%

Decel: 35% - 20% + 1% = 16%

Gearing tuning for Catalunya School  (Differential Profile: Low, Track Profile: Grip):

Accel: 68% + 2% = 70%

Decel: 35% - 1% = 34%

Gearing

Setting up gearing specific to a track is essential for optimal usage of the cars available powerband.  Generally speed tracks require longer gearing and grip tracks require shorter gearing. 

Adjusting gearing to track characteristics is either done by adjusting single gear ratios or final drive depending on the installed race gearbox.

 

For cars with a Standard Forza race gearbox adjusting gearing to tracks characteristics is usually done by adjusting single gear ratios only. Medium speed and medium accel tracks like Monza or Maple Valley however require to adjust the final drive as well. When adjusting gear ratios you will always want to increase and decrease all of them by the same amount as the stock spacing of gear ratios is already optimal. When you use a sport gearbox where only final drive is adjustable adjust final drive instead of gear ratios by the same amount.

 

For cars with a custom race gearbox adjusting gearing to tracks characteristics is done solely by changing the final drive as the gear ratios of a custom race gearbox are already optimal.

Note: Open wheel race cars generally don't support track specific tuning of gearing. For these cars simply use general gearing settings as described in Part 2 General Tuning.

For cars with Standard Forza race gearbox use the gearing setting as described general tuning and decrease gear ratios by 0.1 or 0.2 for speed tracks and increase gear ratios by 0.1 or 0.2 for accel tracks. For medium speed tracks or medium accel tracks additionally increase or decrease final drive by 1.0.

Gearing Profile                      Final Drive               Gear Ratios                 

High Speed                                                                         -0.2

Medium Speed                             +1.0                              -0.2

Speed                                                                                   -0.1

Accel                                                                                    +0.1

Medium Accel                                 -1.0                             +0.2

High Accel                                                                           +0.2

For cars with a custom race gearbox or a sport gearbox use the gearing setting as described general tuning and decrease final drive by 0.1 or 0.2 for speed tracks and increase final drive by 0.1 or 0.2 for accel tracks. For high medium tracks or medium accel tracks additionally increase or decrease final drive by 1.0.

Gearing Profile                     Final Drive  

High Speed                                         -0.2

Medium Speed                         +1.0 - 0.2

Speed                                                   -0.1

Accel                                                    +0.1

Medium Accel                           -1.0 + 0.2

High Accel                                          +0.2

Example: Car with Standard Forza race gearbox, general gearing settings: final drive 4.38, gear ratios: 2.89/1.99/1.49/1.16/0.94/0.78

 

Gearing tuning for Le Mans (Medium Speed):

Final Drive: 4.38 + 1.0 = 5.38

Gear ratios:  2.89-0.2/1.99-0.2/1.49-0.2/1.16-0.2/0.94-0.2/0.78-0.2 = 2.69/1.79/1.29/0.96/0.58

Gearing tuning for Suzuka (High Accel):

Final Drive: 4.38 +- 0 = 4.38

Gear ratios:  2.89+0.2/1.99+0.2/1.49+0.2/1.16+0.2/0.94+0.2/0.78+0.2 = 3.09/2.19/1.69/1.36/0.98

Example: Car with custom race gearbox, general gearing settings: final drive 3.26, stock gear ratios

 

Gearing tuning for Le Mans (Medium Speed):

Final Drive: 3.26 + 1.0 - 0.2  = 4.06

Gear ratios:  stock gear ratios

Gearing tuning for Suzuka (High Accel):

Final Drive: 3.26 + 0.2 = 3.46,

Gear ratios:  stock gear ratios

Note: It seems counterintuitive that in this example final drive for Medium Speed is higher than for High Accel, but that's the way it works.

Aero

Adjusting downforce specific to tracks is essential for achieving the right balance between grip and speed that suits the track characteristics best.

Adjusting downforce to track characteristics is done by reducing general downforce settings as described in Part 2 General Tuning. 

For high grip tracks reducing downforce is not required, simply use the general downforce settings for these kind of tracks.

In any case rear downforce is reduced more than front downforce, often in a 1:2 relation.

Aero Profile                            Front Downforce          Rear Downforce

High Speed                                       -30%                                 -60%

Medium High Speed                                                                 -60%

Medium Speed                                -15%                                 -30%

Speed                                                                                          -30%

Grip                                                                                              -15%

Example: RWD car with Standard Forza race aero kit, general aero settings 95/195

Aero tuning for Watkins Glen Short (Medium Speed):

Front Downforce = 95 - (95*0.15) = 80.75 --> 81

Rear Downforce = 195 - (195*0.3) = 136.5 --> 137

Aero tuning for Bernese Alps Festival (Grip):

Front Downforce = 95 +-0 =95

Rear Downforce = 195 - (195*0.15) = 165.75 --> 166

Example: FWD car with custom race aero kit, general aero settings 230/235

Aero tuning for Watkins Glen Short (Medium Speed):

Front Downforce = 230 - (230*0.15) = 195.5 -->196

Rear Downforce = 235 - (235*0.3) = 164.5 --> 165

Aero tuning for Bernese Alps Festival (Grip):

Front Downforce = 230 +-0 =230

Rear Downforce = 235 - (235*0.15) = 199.75 --> 200