Timing Your Downshifts In The Braking Zone

Brake zones are the busiest time from the driver seat of the racecar.  You have a lot to get done in what feels like a very little amount of time, this leads to drivers rushing their downshifts.  Often we see drivers hit the brakes initially and while they are still at that initial threshold brake immediately start downshifting.  As with the timing of the blip, patience before starting your downshifts is critical.

If you are feeling the need to rush your downshifts in the brake zones then you must take note of where your eyes are.  Often the feel to rush are due to not looking far enough forward, if you pick those eyes up and work on the techniques we are going over you will always have ample time to get your shifts in.  So now let's talk about when to start your downshifts:

- You hit the initial brake zone (Below is the data of brake pressure from 2 different laps.  The Red Lap shows a perfect brake zone)

initial braking zone

Almost immediately you start to lower your brake pressure

initial trail brake

In the zone between the initial let off from threshold brake pressure and turn in is our "sweet zone" for downshifts.

correct spot in the brake zone for downshifts

If you follow the steps for timing the blip in our previous email combined with the timing of the overall shifts the Toe and Heel braking technique will become simple!