Today’s Tip – Braking

David HornseyBraking is often the most overlooked aspect of driving fast.  Braking is the direct opposite of fast after all!  Proper braking is where so much lap time is gained.  It’s not all about leaving it to the last moment then maximum braking to shed the speed, the brakes are a precision tool and their primary function should be viewed as a way to influence the handling, and hence speed and control, of the car into a corner.

There will only be one or two spots on any circuit where you use the brakes to their absolute limit to slow the car down, the rest of the time it is about balancing the weight of the car to get it where you want it.  In a slow corner approached on a fast straight, for example, you will brake very hard.  You want to get all the weight over the nose of the car so when you reach the corner you can roll out of the brake as you wind on the steering lock, keeping the front wheels pinned to the ground to give you good turn in grip.  conversely in a faster corner you want to brake much softer.  Here you don’t want the weight to all be over the front of the car as this will make the car unstable and too ‘pointy’ on turn in.  Use a softer, longer, brake application to keep the front to rear weight distribution more even in the car to give the front and rear tyres a more even grip level.