Racecar Driver Braking Fundamentals Explained In Under 60 Seconds
1) Initial Brake Pressure
In pretty much any brake zone we want our "peak" brake pressure in that braking zone to come right away. Why is this? Well there are two main reasons:
- Most of the time our initial brake application comes when are hands are straight. This means we can ask for the tires to dedicate 100% of their grip to slowing down. So, we can hit the brakes harder and slow down more efficiently earlier in the brake zone because our hands are straight.
- In any car we drive on the race track aerodynamics have an affect. Even if you have no wing or splitter on the racecar wind is still pushing the car down (we hope!). The faster you are going the more that wind is pushing the car down. Our peak speed will be just before we hit the brakes and because we are going faster earlier in the brake zone that little bit of additional grip (or a lot if you are in an aero car) actually means we can stop the car more efficiently early on.
2) Increase Entry Speed With Brake Release Initially
As racecar drivers we are almost always looking for ways to increase our corner entry speeds. We often see drivers work on doing this by braking deeper as step one, this is actually the very last thing we should work. When we brake deeper our anxiety typically rises and as our anxiety rises our eyes get lower, so we actually see drivers overslowing by focusing too much on braking deeper.
Instead we want to see drivers increase their entry speed first by working on their brake release. After hitting the brakes hard work on getting off that heavy brake pressure earlier in the braking zone to roll in that speed.
3) Delay Initial Throttle Application
I know... why are we talking about the throttle in our "braking fundamentals" lesson. Well, building a very strong foundation of where to pick up the throttle and extending our braking zone to meet that point. Remember in almost any corner, no throttle until you are ready to unwind the steering wheel!
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