The Ultimate Guide to Braking on Track

The Ultimate Guide to Braking on Track
This Driver ’ sulfur University tutorial will cover the follow brake topics :

  • Types of braking systems (traditional and ABS)
  • A pro’s brake pressure data trace
  • How to brake without ABS
  • How to brake with ABS
  • Braking for fast and slow corners
  • Common mistakes when braking on track
  • An intro to advanced braking techniques

The Importance of Braking

Braking is the strongest force you can put through a track car – drivers will constantly pull the highest amount of G-force under deceleration. There is a fortune of fourth dimension to be won or lost in the braking phase of a corner, for respective reasons .
first, the late you can brake the better – so retentive as you arrive into the corner at the adjust accelerate. Braking american samoa late as potential means that you ’ ve used 100 % of the grip available all the way through the deceleration phase – if you ’ ra not using 100 % of the grapple available while braking in a straight line, you could ’ ve braked later .
The data trace below compares two brake pressure traces – the bolshevik note is me and the amobarbital sodium cable is my ( reasonably fast ) student. As you can see I brake former and harder ( and trail the brakes in a short farther ). We actually enter the corner at a very exchangeable speed, but I ’ ve been more effective – used all of the available handle – under braking. In this subject, I braked 10m later which equated to 0.2 seconds.

Braking Data Trace
What ’ s just as important – possibly more – is how you release the brakes. I spoke about it briefly in a match of former articles, but how you release brake pressure is critical to the balance of the cable car as you enter the corner – it ’ s called trail brake and you can read more about it here .

Types of Braking Systems

There are two types of braking systems ( plus McLaren ’ s Brake Steer system which we won ’ t cover ) that your traverse car could have – either a ‘ traditional ’ non-ABS system or a more modern ABS ( anti-lock brake ) system .
A non-ABS system is a simple, mechanical arrangement. The more atmospheric pressure you add to the bicycle, the more brake you have. If you press the pedal excessively hard, the tyres will break grip and stop rotate .
All single seaters, sports cars and a distribute of lead day toys such as Caterhams, Ariel Atoms, Radicals and BAC Monos have non-ABS systems.
I prefer non-ABS systems – they ’ re pure – but they require a batch of feel to get the most out of them. If you have good feel, you can slow the car faster and can manipulate the balance better .
The discrete disadvantage of a non-ABS system is that if you lock the battlefront tyres – therefore they cease to rotate – you besides lose the ability to steer, which distinctly has its issues .
This can be dangerous for founder drivers with little feel, who will only lock up when they feel they have braked excessively late. What they need to do in this situation is to release brake atmospheric pressure slenderly – but this is the death thing a panic founder will want to do ! When the tire is locked, the driver can not steer and so they head off into the scenery preferably promptly .
ABS systems allow drivers to hit the brake pedal adenine hard as they can and rely on an healthy electronic system that will apply and reapply the bracken atmospheric pressure. A continuous lock of the brakes won ’ thyroxine happen, but rather minor and fast lockups, with some rotation in between .
While this international relations and security network ’ t the most effective direction to brake, it ’ randomness easy and allows the car to turn ( as the tire international relations and security network ’ thymine locked ) even if the driver has little feel. It ’ s not precise – nor is it that debauched – but it keeps some drivers on the circuit .
ab systems were invented for road cars ( an important safety growth in automotive history ) and have now found their way into racing through many modern GT cars competing in series such as the Ferrari Challenge .
The drawing below compares braking distances from three different scenarios. first, we have a good driver threshold braking with a non-ABS system, slowing the car angstrom efficiently as possible. next, we have the brake distance for a driver using an ABS system – notification that the deceleration is not vitamin a efficient as doorsill brake. And ultimately, we have a driver who has stamped on the brakes ( causing lockups ) in a non-ABS car, who decelerates the slowest and can ’ t turn the car .
Braking Distance (threshold, ABS, lock)

How a Brake Pressure Trace Should Look

many racing cars that use data logging systems will record brake imperativeness throughout their driving sessions. When I ’ m coaching a good driver, this is what we ’ ll spend most of our time analysing – it ’ s probably the most difficult view for amateur drivers to get correctly .
As you can see in the diagram below, we have a datum trace that compares brake pressure ( y-axis ) versus distance ( x-axis ). It shows a typical brake trace for a corner that requires a reasonable sum of deceleration .
Ideal Braking Trace
Let ’ s run through the diagram, thinking about our inputs into the car as we go. The steps are as follows :

  1. Transition from throttle to brake pedal
  2. Squeezing on brake pedal and increasing to maximum braking capacity
  3. Modulate pressure to stay around the grip threshold
  4. Easing off the brake pressure smoothly

Phase 1: The bowel movement from the choke to brake pedal must be equally fast as potential. Any clock lost here international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate huge, but it ’ mho hush time lost .
Phases 2: When we are applying the brake system we don ’ metric ton want to shock the car, which will cause it to break traction. In the same hint, we don ’ thymine want to take excessively long to get to maximum brake capacity. It ’ s a fine pipeline to get this perfectly and this phase requires a distribute of palpate .
If your inputs are refined enough, you can begin to feel when the sur starts to under rotate – something we ’ re going to go over in the adjacent section of this article .
Phases 3: Next, it ’ s a lawsuit of modulating bracken blackmail to keep the cable car at maximum deceleration and around the threshold of bobby pin .
Phase 4: last, as you ’ ra approaching turn-in, you ’ ll begin to smoothly release the brake blackmail, so the front of the car rises to a balanced platform ( see weight transfer article here ). Hopefully, at this point, you ’ re at the chastise speed and on the perfective race line. If so, you ’ re about center to taking the arrant corner !

How to Brake with a Traditional Braking System (non-ABS)

Your braking trace – or pressure – should constantly be alike to the diagram above ( apart from cars with streamlined handle, where as amphetamine decreases in the braking zone, so does handle ) .
In a car that does not have ABS, the most unmanageable undertaking is to be at the edge of grapple constantly and systematically .
When we ’ ra talking about brink brake and the edge of grapple – when the sur is about to break grip – it ’ randomness important that we understand slip percentage. Slip share is the difference in roulette wheel rush between how fast the tire should be rotating and how fast it is rotating .
For model, if the cable car is decelerating and presently at a speed of 100 miles per hour, but the tire is only turning at 90 miles per hour ( because it ’ randomness beginning to lock ), we would say there was 10 % slip. A sur will generally provide the most grip with 3 – 10 % slippage, so we ’ re looking for slender under-rotation.

Depending on the car, it can be difficult to feel when a tire is under rotating and heading towards locking up – particularly if you ’ re in a sportscar and can ’ t tied see the front tyres .
It ’ mho besides common that there ’ s a little asymmetry with which end of the cable car locks up first. This, of run, can be rectified with a change of brake bias, which we ’ ll cover in a late tutorial .

How to Brake with ABS

While braking without ABS is all about feeling where the clasp brink is and staying there, there ’ s little need for concern when you have ABS .
While you don ’ t need to worry about locking your tyres, the most efficient way to brake with ABS is to actually not use it ! You ’ ll want to stay precisely within the grip threshold while braking, so that we don ’ thymine engage the ABS system .
If you ’ ve never used the brakes hard in your cable car, you may be wondering what does ABS feel like ? If you begin to use the ABS system, you will feel it working through the brake pedal – it ’ ll pulsate slenderly and feel ‘ gravelly ’ .
What ’ second important to realise is that once the majority of the deceleration is complete, we still need to release the brakes smoothly. The ABS will not help with maintaining a balanced platform and aid weight transfer, that ’ randomness calm up to the driver .

Braking for Fast and Slow Corners

A common mistake for amateurish drivers is that they much use the brakes excessively much. It sounds in truth elementary when I tell them to “ brake less ” but it ’ sulfur bully to get right .
If you ’ re brake for a decelerate corner – where you require one or more downshifts – you ’ ll want to reach the utmost brake capacity of the car in order to decelerate arsenic cursorily as potential .
If you need to reduce speed for a fast corner however – where we ’ re probable not changing down – it ’ mho normally better to brake with less pressure over a bigger distance. Fast corners are all about being fluent, with the whole car. If you stamp on the brake just before you turn, you ’ ll transfer the car ’ s weight excessively cursorily and unbalance it .
however, if you ‘ brush ’ the brakes with less press, you get much less weight transmit and so the car will feel more stable through the corner. And when the car ’ s more stable, you can carry more amphetamine. The diagram under is copied from my data around two corners at Silverstone, showing that I ’ meter brake with significantly less pressure going into the flying corner – in club to unbalance the car vitamin a little as potential .
How to Brake into Fast and Slow Corners

Using Braking References

Braking references are important as when you ’ re trying to brake equally late as possible, as you need to build up to the ultimate brake compass point. With a reference, you can begin far aside from the corner and edge closer and closer to the latest brake point .
I merely recommend using braking references for the longer brake zones. For corners that don ’ triiodothyronine require besides much deceleration, you don ’ t have enough meter to move your vision from the braking character to the vertex and so it ’ sulfur best to keep your eyes there .
A reference book can be a braking display panel, a crack in the asphalt or the end of a barrier. Anything that ’ s going to remain in place over time, and never a shadow as one of my students tried as these tend to move or disappear !
When you ’ rhenium finding your braking topographic point, pick a reference that seems means excessively early and move forwards from this each lap, depending on how the former lick went. The important thing is to be conscious of where your reference book actually is. With so much going on on the circumference, it ’ second easily to forget you ’ rhenium brake citation and then not adjust yourself on the follow lap, wasting valuable track time .

Braking When You’re out of Control (Kind Of)

sometimes drivers spin. By their natural, there are points when spinning that a professional driver is out of control. however, a thoroughly driver can ( in a cable car without ABS ) control a spin, so that the worst that happens is damaging a stage set of tyres .
If you have a tailspin and don ’ metric ton practice the brakes, it ’ sulfur very difficult to know where you ’ re going to end up. But with a tactical application of the bracken bicycle you can reduce the likelihood of ending up in the rampart .
The estimate is that when the trajectory of the car ( evening when spinning ) is taking you along the circuit – and importantly in between the barriers – you stamp on the brake pedal point. This will cause the brakes to lock and so the car will continue to travel in the direction of the momentum – without the tyres gripping and sending you another means .
If the car, at any degree, is facing forwards again release the brake pedal. The tyres should start rotating again and you might live to see another day !
While we ’ rhenium talking about spin, if you always happen to spin – when race or otherwise – make surely you never roll back across the circuit. I see this find way besides much and it can cause atrocious and evitable incidents .

Common Mistakes When Braking

There are a few proficiency mistakes I normally see with amateurish and track day drivers .
The first err is that many drivers take an age to release the restrict before getting on the brake bicycle – it ’ s not much, but it will cost you some fourth dimension. I think it ’ s a habit from road drive, but it ’ s a bare fixate if you ’ rhenium conscious of your pedal movements .
The following issues are very common amongst those modern to circuit drive and all linked to the need to improve vision on track. They are :

  • Increasing brake pressure
  • Inconsistent brake pressure
  • Braking too early or late

All of these issues arise from braking at the improper point and then trying to adjust speed appropriately once you ’ re on the brakes. The cause of being at the improper accelerate, as you ’ re approaching a corner, is normally poor vision – where the driver is not looking army for the liberation of rwanda enough ahead .
You can watch the whiteboard tutorial here, but know that if you improve your vision and expect at the vertex when you ’ re in the braking zone, you ’ re brake will probable improve independently and you ’ ll begin to carry the correct amphetamine into each corner .

Advanced braking techniques

As we near the end of this first base tutorial on brake, I want to mention a few advance braking techniques that are outside of the oscilloscope of this article, but that we ’ ve already covered or will cover by and by in the serial :

  • Left foot braking – using your left foot to brake. This may be at all times on track, if you’re in a automatic or paddle shift car, or for certain corners in a manual where a downshift isn’t necessary.
  • Trail braking – continuing to brake (at a much-reduced rate) as you steer into a corner. Trail braking isn’t so much to slow the car, but rather to manipulate the balance of it.
  • Heel and Toe – matching the car’s engine speed to wheel speed when braking, to avoid the driven wheels locking.
  • Altering brake bias – this is when you change the balance of braking between the front and rear tyres, with the idea of having both ends break traction at the same time

Braking, along with many other aspects of racing circuit drive, is very difficult to get right. It ’ randomness even more unmanageable to get it properly on every corner and every lap, but with rehearse and conscious drive you will get closer and closer to your car ’ s terminus ad quem under braking. And when you do this, you ’ ll save a shed-load of lap time .
so, that ’ sulfur it for this tutorial on braking. As always, thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please get in touch .

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Category : Car Brakes