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Braking Technique

Extreme Imports

Trail Braking

The trail braking technique is an advanced braking technique that racing drivers use to go faster through corners. Instead of completing the braking sequence before the corner, you brake later and combine the last bit of braking with the turning-in part.

You sort of rotate the rear-end into the corner...

Formula 1 Car Trail BrakingWhen turning into the corner while braking, the weight is still resting on the front tires. This increases front grip and decreases rear grip, so that you can induce a little more rear slip angle than front slip angle. (oversteer)

This braking technique has several advantages:

  • You can brake later.

  • Normally you’d already be going steady on the throttle, but since you are still on the brakes front to rear weight balance is easier to adjust.

  • Due to braking, the weight shifts forward so front grip increases, allowing you to turn harder into the corner.

  • Rather than relying on the steering you can brake your way into the corner. You rotate the back-end of the car (oversteer) so that you will have to steer less when going in, and coming out of the corner.

Trail braking is the same technique that is used for the braking drift technique; it is the same concept of oversteering the car into the corner. The only difference in racing is that you try to minimize the slip angle to only a few degrees, so not to lose too much time sliding. Sort of a super drift control!

Trail braking requires very precise brake balance control and is definitely not a braking technique for the novice. Due to the high speed it’s really dangerous to practice. Mistakes will immediately be punished, usually with serious consequences.

Only try to learn this on the race track under instructions. Trying this out on the public roads if you’re still inexperienced is somewhat suicidal. If it goes wrong, it REALLY goes wrong! Trying things like trail braking shouldn't be done on public roads anyhow...

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