You might have been taught to brake before a corner and then turn, but did you know trailbraking may be the faster way around a corner? Find out how in this guide.
As always, you can find the video's full script below in case you would like to read about certain details.
Trailbraking - Track Titan guide on getting the most out of the braking phase (full script)
If you ever watched a beginner's tutorial on braking in racing or sim racing, someone probably taught you to break in a straight line, then fully come off the brakes, and only then starting to turn in.
Why is that? Well, it keeps the car stable, and because of that it's really safe.
However it's not actually the fastest way to drive into a corner on track, so that's where trailbraking comes in, and that's what this video is about.
We're going to talk about: what trailbraking is, why it actually makes you faster around the track, and last but not least, we're going to talk about what to watch out for to really get it right.
So let's dive straight into what trailbraking is about. So as the name suggests it's about trailing off the brakes, so instead of just going on and off you're actually gradually coming off the brake pedal as this graph shows.
What's the best way to actually see what we're talking about? Some live action. So let's get straight into this onboard a 911 RSR, Nurburgring GP, and Assetto Corsa. Standard setup, and no ABS turned on importantly.
So exiting the Mercedes Arena, and watch out for the braking zone, shifting up the gears we get on the pressure and then we trail off gently all the way to the apex - let's look in detail at how to gradually come off the brakes in the right way.
So initially as you can see we get on the brakes quite punchy as the wheels are completely straight and you have all the grip available for a straight line braking. It's all about longitudinal grip here, so quite a lot of pressure, then you keep it at that plateau for a bit, but the moment you start turning in you gently come off the brakes.
Think about it like a rope connecting your steering wheel and your brake pedal, the more you turn, the less pressure on the brakes - that's exactly what trailbraking is about. It's about really maximizing the forces of the tyre, the more you turn in, the less grip you have available for braking but obviously you want to keep a bit of brake pressure just for that weight distribution on the front wheels.
Why should you trailbrake into a corner? Well the reason is twofold, first of all it enables you to brake much later because you have part of your braking distance in the corner, rather than before it. This means you can shift your braking point to later on track. Secondly, and that's actually the more important one, you keep the weight of the car on the front wheel - so by braking you make the nose of the car dive which gives you more grip as we're going to show in this following illustration.
If you watched our friction circle video then you'll know what we're talking about when we say increasing the friction circle size, and as a result of that the car's grip on the front.
By staying on the brakes quite deep into the corner we put more weight on the front of the car, thereby increasing the available grip, which just means we can carry more speed into the corner - and that's what trailbraking is all about instead of just keeping the car stable (which is good it keeps it stable) but equally we're just sacrificing that extra bit of grip that we could have if we actually trailbrake into the corner.
Now that you know the trailbreaking is actually the best way to drive into the corner by keeping the weight on the front of the car, you know how to maximize your time on track next time around.
We did say at the start of the video there are some things to watch out for and that is mainly to not cause the car to over or understeer, those two aspects we're going to cover in a different video so keep watching!