Why Is Trail Braking Fast?

Hey, everyone. Welcome to this Racers360 video where we're gonna break down what is trail braking and why is it fast. You always hear professional drivers talking about trail braking. It's really the thing that separates the best drivers in the world from everyone else, but it's also the most difficult thing to master, so we're gonna break it down using data and video together to give you the easiest explanation, the most detailed explanation available on the internet today, so the next time you go to the track, you can focus on it, know exactly what to do, and master it.

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So without further ado, let's get into trail braking and try to figure out why everyone's talking about it and why is it fast.

So before we get into the data, let's go onboard. We're gonna watch turn one at Sebring in a GT3 car, and this will be the corner that we're gonna break apart using data and video.

So let's go ahead and take a look at some data. At the top here we have wheel speed. Then we have throttle position. At the bottom we have the brakes, so where the line goes higher up, it means more pressure. When it comes down it's less pressure. Now, really important, we're gonna have time and distance, so let's look at time and distance related to the brake zone to break apart how long it takes to do each thing.

So here, the blue line is where we are. We're at zero pressure, and we're at 4.3 seconds. Now, at peak pressure, you're gonna see we're gonna have 69 bar, which is 1,000 pounds of brake pressure. Here we are, and it happens in five ... Sorry, and now we're at five seconds. So in 0.7 seconds, so in seven tenths of a second, I've gone from zero to 1,000 pounds of pressure.

Now, at half pressure, 29 bar, we're at 5.9 seconds. So, at now nine tenths of a second, we've gone from 1,000 pounds to about 500 pounds, so the same amount of time it goes from zero to full brake, we're at half brake. Now, here, at the very end where trail braking is five bars, 20 pounds of pressure, we're at seven seconds, so now 1.1 seconds, so pretty much the same amount of time it takes me to go from zero to 100 percent pressure. I've reduced that in the same amount of time to 50 percent, and the longest part of the brake zone is this last little bit to go from 50 percent of the pressure to zero.

So now at 30 percent speed, we're here. This is the initial brake zone. Now we're at full peak pressure. Now look here. We're at half pressure at initial turn, and down here we have steering angle now, so you can see early turn in, and that's where we got the last little bit of the brake, so the longest part is this part of the corner. Now we're at the 520 pounds of pressure right here. Last little bit, and now we get back to throttle. That's how the trail brake looks on data. Overlaid over video, we can see how long it really is.

So now we've talked about how to trail brake, how long it takes, and overlaid it with data and video. We're gonna talk about why does it make me fast? Why is it so important? Well it relates to weight transfer. In earlier videos we've talked about where the weight goes is where the grip goes, and if you haven't seen those videos, I'm gonna make sure they're in the description below for you to take a look at, but ultimately when we trail brake, we keep the weight on the front end longer.

When we talked about that 20 pounds of pressure, we don't really have that to slow the car down. It's really just a tiny, tiny bit like your big toe just resting on the pedal, but what that does is it keeps the weight on the front tires longer so we can carve down the apex. If we were just to release the brakes, we would get a lot of understeer, and we would actually have less grip because the weight isn't anywhere. When we're just coasting, the weight is kind of lost in the car, but when we've got it either braking or either accelerating, we found the platform, and the car hooks up and goes.

So trail braking just allows the front to grip and go, so most of the cars ... What we're driving on track days, more of your street cars, they're designed to have understeer, so you need the trail braking down to perfection to carve down to the apex.

So thanks for tuning into Racers360 video on what is trail braking and why is it fast. We'd love to have you guys apart of the community. If you have questions, like I said earlier, leave a comment below. I'll go ahead and answer it for you, and if you want to see more videos and stay up to date with our weekly coaching tips, please consider subscribing to our channel. We'd love to have you, and we'll see you guys at the track soon.