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Trail Braking

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Trail Braking

Post  Wallhugger60 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:22 pm

Okay...I need to ask about this. Was talkin to Roo the other night about how braking plays a big part in going fast, and how the fast guys he's watched use braking to "point" the car, and the guys that can are the ones who are consistantly up front. His example was the top 10 finishers of GT Academy. I've seen it with a lot of you guys who are always a second or two ahead of me.

My first instructor this past Monday at Lime Rock wanted me to do some trail braking. He was basically saying the same thing about getting the car pointed in the right direction. It's kind of an advanced technique that I really wasn't ready to try though, given it was my second time out, and I was doing all I could to hit the right shift points and basically not crash lol.

Also, in the class room time I had an instructor who has been with the Skip Barber School for around 15 years and he was talking about it too. Then I looked at the videos on Iracing and low and behold there it was again. (I might actually try the string thing lol).

So if I'm correct in my thinking, trail braking is simply using the brakes during turning, to help keep the car balanced and to help get it to rotate thru a corner. It seems like it's controlled oversteer.

Now...how do you do it? My instructor had me stay on the brakes a few times longer than I would have normally and said that was it, but I honestly have no clue what I was doing. But that and sitting in my seat with GT5 are obviously not the same. I realize it's a finesse type thing and I'll have to practice it, but are there any tips you guys have as to how long to hold the brakes, or how to tell if you're gonna be in trouble before it happens. It seems that you only do it in the first part of the turn, and trail off (hence the name) but I didn't know if there were times that you stay with it longer and so on.

Sorry for the book, and thanks in advance,

Wall

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Re: Trail Braking

Post  group44 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:59 pm

Great question Wall. What you said about keeping the car balanced is the key point I believe. I'm gonna assume your were instructed on the friction circle and weight transfer at the track. To me trail braking is a technique that combines the two to make full use of the available grip from the tires as you enter a turn. At the end of the straight brake zone and as you begin to turn in, you'll want to release brake pressure as you move towards the apex. This in theory keeps the front tires working at their full potential as you shift through the friction circle from threshold braking to full cornering effort. By a controlled release of the brakes you are in effect transferring weight back to the rear axle allowing for more turning effort without over whelming the front tires.
As you mentioned braking can also help point the car into a corner. By transferring some weight to the front tires (which can induce some oversteer) you can balance the chassis to corner at it's maximum capability. When it comes to this kind of stuff, sometimes only a book will do Wink
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Re: Trail Braking

Post  robiker on Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:07 pm

The GT Academy 8-5 event was kinda unique. If I used some ABS, and maximum brakes, I could sometimes get the rear end to come around when I started turning in, which helped to rotate the car around the turn. It was kinda hit-and-miss, and I've never seen it done like that in real life, except for rally drivers using the e-brake.
When I'm racing, I often use a little brake and a little throttle at the same time in turns. It just helps adjust your speed. I'm constantly having to correct small mistakes. It's rare that I enter a corner at the perfect speed, so I always have to make adjustments. Just practice using both gas and brake through corners and after a while it will be like second nature.
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Re: Trail Braking

Post  clacksman on Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:08 pm

You know how when you have a bunch of rear brake in the car the back end tries to step out when you go to turn in if you're still on the brakes? Using that to your own benefit is trail braking. You don't always need a bunch of rear brake to do it, you just need enough that the car turns a bit better than if you're just coasting.

In a straight line you can brake hard, you have to come off the brake at least a bit to turn. How much you're still on the brake and for how long when you start to turn is the art. You can't do it for the whole turn (actually you could but you'd be horribly slow up the next straight) so you're just looking to use trial braking to help you establish the arc you want.

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Re: Trail Braking

Post  group44 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:11 pm

Maybe the best thing to do is find a fairly long heavy braking corner you are familiar with and practice trying to move smoothly from one extreme (braking) to another (cornering) of that friction circle. Not real easy to explain as it really is a matter of feel to find the balance between not using all the available grip and smoking the tires. The clock will ultimately tell you how you're doing.

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Re: Trail Braking

Post  Wallhugger60 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:12 pm

group44 wrote:Great question Wall. What you said about keeping the car balanced is the key point I believe. I'm gonna assume your were instructed on the friction circle and weight transfer at the track. To me trail braking is a technique that combines the two to make full use of the available grip from the tires as you enter a turn. At the end of the straight brake zone and as you begin to turn in, you'll want to release brake pressure as you move towards the apex. This in theory keeps the front tires working at their full potential as you shift through the friction circle from threshold braking to full cornering effort. By a controlled release of the brakes you are in effect transferring weight back to the rear axle allowing for more turning effort without over whelming the front tires.
As you mentioned braking can also help point the car into a corner. By transferring some weight to the front tires (which can induce some oversteer) you can balance the chassis to corner at it's maximum capability. When it comes to this kind of stuff, sometimes only a book will do Wink

I may just try that string thing Very Happy . And yer assumption was correct.

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Re: Trail Braking

Post  Wallhugger60 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:49 pm

Sorry, I put up that little blip before I saw all the responses.

Robiker, I did find out that the instructor was a BMW guy, and ABS on those cars is obviously common and trail braking is something they all do. But then talking to guys that run the SM's is where I was told it's a more advanced technique and also it's trickier without the ABS, but they all do it too.

So then clacks, I'm assuming you utilize this a lot. I've watched plenty of replays and you and Rack seem to get a more pronounced affect than most. By that I mean I watch your cars rear, and it almost jumps. All things being equal, the car, the tune, etc. I'm hoping that's the only real advantage you have left over me Smile .

And G, I got the theory you were talkin about during class, and then some more on iracing that said exactly what you were saying. I always did have an issue with theory and jumping in and finding out later "Oh, that's why that does that". Nothing comes to mind with a corner like you talked about, but I'm sure there plenty. I did play a little earlier with this, and the downhill right before the last turn at Luguna seemed to benefit from TB. (I'll refer to trail braking as TB from now on cuz it's easier and clacks like acronyms). Actually just thought of a few at Indy Road as well. Definitely gotta practice lol.

Thanks guys, Wall

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Re: Trail Braking

Post  clacksman on Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:01 pm

Rooster gets the pronounced tail-out-entry too, especially in G-prod.

I try to avoid brake+throttle a sa rule, for me it tends to lead to lots of unnecessary one or the other. ABS is easier than non-ABS, with ABS on trial braking kinda needs 2/8 brakes (you've seen my tunes) to work.

Backspace key no werk on PS3 keyboard so don't mind the spelling moistakes.

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Re: Trail Braking

Post  robiker on Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:14 am

Wallhugger60 wrote: But then talking to guys that run the SM's is where I was told it's a more advanced technique and also it's trickier without the ABS, but they all do it too.


You mean supermotard? That's really just for show. It doesn't make them go faster.

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Re: Trail Braking

Post  Wallhugger60 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:37 am

robiker wrote:
Wallhugger60 wrote: But then talking to guys that run the SM's is where I was told it's a more advanced technique and also it's trickier without the ABS, but they all do it too.


You mean supermotard? That's really just for show. It doesn't make them go faster.




Damn Shocked is dat you?

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Re: Trail Braking

Post  Wallhugger60 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:45 am

clacksman wrote:Rooster gets the pronounced tail-out-entry too, especially in G-prod.

I try to avoid brake+throttle a sa rule, for me it tends to lead to lots of unnecessary one or the other. ABS is easier than non-ABS, with ABS on trial braking kinda needs 2/8 brakes (you've seen my tunes) to work.

Backspace key no werk on PS3 keyboard so don't mind the spelling moistakes.

I haven't seen it as much with Roo. His style to me is "hang on boys, we're gonna see what this b***h will do" lol. But his comment to me about really lookin at this means he's only gonna get faster once he nails it Mad .

What spelling mistakes....donningtondonningtondonnington

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Re: Trail Braking

Post  Rooster722 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:06 pm

To me the sign that you're doing it effectively is in the exit of the turn. Example, if you're exiting a right hand apex with the wheel still turned significantly to the right, this is bad ("time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin" ... away). If you've got the wheel straight ahead or counter steering through the apex, you're already back on the gas and motoring off the turn ... this is good. Also, here lies the key to better/more balanced tire wear (not destroying the fronts).
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Re: Trail Braking

Post  robiker on Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:32 pm

Wallhugger60 wrote:

Damn Shocked is dat you?

Not me, although I've had a couple of bikes like that and learned how to get them sideways like that. No pics to prove it though.
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Re: Trail Braking

Post  group44 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:02 pm

Rooster722 wrote:If you've got the wheel straight ahead or counter steering through the apex, you're already back on the gas and motoring off the turn ... this is good.


I like this. Simple and effective. Note to self: Practice Rooster Trailing Laughing
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Re: Trail Braking

Post  group44 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:45 pm

Interesting reading .
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Re: Trail Braking

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