How Do I Understand What Bandolero Terms Racers Are Talking About?

How Do I Understand What Bandolero Terms Racers Are Talking About?

Bandolero Terms – What the heck are these people talking about? When you are brand new – the racing lingo is like walking into a foreign land. In the terms below, you’ll find many terms as defined by INEX in the chassis manual when you buy a new car. You’ll also find other terms that we find useful in motorsports.

Basic Bandolero Terms

Apex – The tangent point of where the racing line of a corner intersects the inner edge of the track.

Accelerometer – An instrument for measuring acceleration. Not legal to race with in Bandolero Competition, but can be helpful in testing.

Brake Caliper – A mechanical clamping device that holds the brake pads and uses hydraulic pressure (in bandolero terms) to squeeze the brake pads, against the brake rotor and slow the car.

brake caliper

brake caliper

Brake Modulation- The varying of brake pedal pressure to maintain threshold braking while preventing wheel lockup. It is not pumping the brake pedal.

Camber – When viewed from the front of the car, the angle of inclination of the front tires. Negative camber is moving the top of the tire in towards the center of the car. Positive Camber is moving the top of the tire towards the outside of the car.

caster angle   Caster –  When viewing from the side of the car, the angle of the spindle assembly towards the rear of the car (positive caster), or toward the front of the car (negative caster).

Contact (Tire) Patch The tire tread that is in contact with the road.

Cornering Limit – Maximum Speed that a vehicle can negotiate a given radius corner.

Cross Weight – The combined weight of the left rear corner and the right front corner as a percentage of the total vehicle weight.  More cross weight generally results in a tighter race car.  Less cross weight can result in a loose race car.  As an equation, it would look like this:  You have a 767 lb car after you weigh it on scales. The weights are as follows LF: 199, LR:192, RF:169, RR:207.  Add the LR plus RF or 192 + 169 = 361.  361lbs divided by 767lbs = .47 – then convert that to a percentage.  Our cross weight on this particular car in bandolero terms is 47%.

Exit point – The end point of the proper cornering line where it meets the outside of the race track or retaining wall.

Groove – The fastest theoretical line or path that you can drive your car and get the fastest lap times or fastest speed around a given track. (If you use Google Earth and look at a sky view of a particular track, you can analyze the best place to run. The groove on asphalt tracks, will have rubber build up over the years, and will appear black, or discolored from the rest of the asphalt if it is aged in appearance.)

G – A measurement of Lateral Acceleration, the side cornering force generated by a vehicle. Accelerometers measure cars in g’s. for example, they might say “this car is capable of a 1.3G corner.”

Line – Another term for “Groove”

Lockup – The point at which a tire stops rolling and begins to skid.  This results in reduced braking effectiveness and loss of steering control on the front tires.

Loose – A vehicle that demonstrates a tendency to over-steer. When the rear of the car tends to break free before the front.  In Bandolero terms it feels like the tail of the car is going to hit the wall before the front.

Opposite Lock – A steering technique whereby the steering wheel is turned fully into the direction of a skid to regain control. Remember always keep the front of the car ahead of the skid if you can. One thing to always keep in mind is over-correcting when coming off the corner, can send you straight into the wall as the car catches traction again. if car snaps loose at or near turn exit, sometimes it is best just to turn to the left and let it rotate and spin as you get on the brake at the same time.  This is a scenario all race drivers have to learn – and each one is different. You’ll finish far more races, at a smaller cost if you can keep your car off the wall.

Over steer – The engineering term for “loose” A handling tendency when the rear of the car tries to come around on the front. It means that if uncorrected you will hit the wall with the rear of the car. Correct minor over steer with steering wheel correction, pause and recover from the resulting weight transfer. Less traction on the rear tires than is on the front.

Push / Tight – A vehicle that demonstrates a tendency to under steer. There is less traction available for the front tires than for the rear. It is the opposite of Loose or Over steer. It feels like the front of the car will shove into the wall first.


an exaggerated example of tire stagger

Stagger – Difference in the diameter of the right side tires versus the left side tires. On the rear axle of the car, where it is locked, the right side tire should always be the same or larger. This forces the car to rotate left on a circle track. On a road course, right and left rear should be symmetrical.

Threshold Braking – The technique where the tires are kept just at the edge of wheel lockup. This maximizes braking effectiveness and retains steering control.

Toe in – When viewed from the front the tires are aimed in. Toe in, in a race car chassis is undesirable, because it scrubs off speed.

Toe out – When viewed from the front, the tires are aimed out. Excessive toe out results in straight line instability, but allows the car to turn in the corner more effectively. Minor toe out in a racing chassis is desirable.

Turn in –  The transition point between driving straight and steering for the apex of a corner.

Under steer – A handling tendency when the front of the car refuses to properly negotiate the corner and want’s to continue straight ahead. Same as Pushing. Opposite of over steer. The car feels like the front is going to hit the wall. The proper correction technique in a bandolero is reduce throttle and reduce steering angle to regain grip.


We hope that these bandolero terms will be useful when learning what people are talking about in the pits. We know from experience it can be daunting, but stick with it and you’ll be chatting it up with the best of them in no time!