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Race Driving Fundamentals: Practical Demo

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Practical Demo


00:00 - We've just been through the brake application module, Andrew we're here at the racetrack now and you're going to put into practice what we've talked about in that module.
00:08 So just to go through a bit of a check list mentally of what you're going to be doing, we're going to treat this like you're heading to a racetrack for the first time.
00:17 So it's not just a case of building up that braking technique but you're also going to be looking to optimise your braking point.
00:24 So can you just talk through again just to reiterate those key points of what we're actually trying to do with the braking.
00:30 - So yeah the most important things to do with the braking is just working on that initial application, getting that right is it's so easy to just get pushed into being soft onto the brake pedal, not pushing yourself far enough into the corner, so just really working on smashing that brake pedal nice and hard to allow that weight to drop forward as we've been talking about weight transfer in previous modules.
00:49 So it's just really important to focus on that is the biggest thing.
00:53 - OK so the other thing that is just worth talking about with the viewer here is we are using our RaceCraft Toyota 86 and it does have ABS so the technique there essentially you're not going to end up forcing it into a lockup so you can be really aggressive and we also know that the ABS On this car is actually pretty effective even though it is a modified road car.
01:13 Now in terms of after that initial hit of the brake pedal, what are we looking for there? - So for the 86, all saloon cars you're looking for just holding a peak pressure for a little while to just get that first initial braking to happen and that's the best way.
01:28 If you've got a car with a lot of aero then the initial hit's that little bit harder again 'cause you've got all that weight pushing the car down through the aerodynamics and then it's a quick bleed off from there.
01:38 - As that aerodynamic downforce drops away, you're going to need to reduce the brake pressure? - Yes you are and it's quite a hard one to get yourself into the rhythm of again trusting that pedal and it's not something you're going to go out on lap one and go right where's my initial top pressure, you've got to wait for tyres to warm up, got to get more confident with the car, make sure bias is right, there's so many things and there's more of the one reason to make sure you are doing that correctly.
02:01 Because if you do push yourself straight into the too hard brake initially your car without ABS, you're going to lock up and then you're just going to push yourself back a couple of steps and you're not going to, you're going to lose confidence to then get quicker and quicker.
02:14 - Now for our demonstration today we're going to be focusing on the braking into just one single corner, going to be representative of corners at a number of different tracks and you're also going to go through it with us, the technique of building up your braking confidence and pushing that braking later.
02:31 Normally you're going to start too early, we'll look at what you're going to know as a driver and we'll look at some data as well to let you know that you've got on the brake too early and you're going to be pushing that braking point out until we've potentially overshot that.
02:44 So in terms of a reference or marker, what are you looking for there? - There's so many different things that you can look for.
02:52 A seal change, that's one thing at this corner we're looking at today is a seal change is a really good reference.
02:59 There could be a wall somewhere with a change of signage on it that you know is going to be there for the whole weekend, there's so many different things to look for and the obvious ones normally are braking boards, 100 metre braking board.
03:11 Don't always just stick with that one point, it could be a different day and where you're normally used to braking in the 100 metre board, you might find that today for some reason you're only braking at the 110 metre or you're now up to the 90 metre, there's so many different things that can change within track conditions so yeah.
03:28 - So initially braking into, the corner that we're going to be using here is called the carousel and as you mentioned there is a seal change, that's a horizontal seal change on the right hand side of the track, it's really obvious.
03:40 So we can use that as the braking marker.
03:42 Now it may be that we need to brake before that, it may be that the correct braking point's going to be after that but we can always manipulate that around that single point, that's always going to be the same lap after lap? - Yeah it is to a point and there's other things to consider as well, is the brakes that you have on the car, that could change the braking marker by 5 metres if you've got older brakes in the car or you're running a full tank of gas, there are so many different things that you've really got to weigh up, it's not a guarantee every time and we were talking about the seal changes is a really good reference but I'm not going to be starting lap one in there, I'll probably start a little bit before then and then I'll probably end up braking past there too just to find the reference.
04:20 I'm not talking about going 10, 15 metres past it, then it's not going to be a good outcome, just a couple of metres past it to a point where I'm actually running wide and going right OK that's too hard, I need to bring it back a metre or two.
04:32 - Yeah so it's important just to reiterate there, you're looking at small adjustments to your braking distance, maybe a car length, maybe two car lengths at a time and just building up that confidence rather than trying to overshoot it by 10 or 15 metres and ending up in the kitty litter.
04:45 - Yeah exactly and making sure that your brakes are also up to temp.
04:48 I know I've already more or less mentioned that but just making sure your brakes are up to temp as that's going to change the reference every lap and you just can confuse yourself so don't focus too much on it on your out lap or lap two, lap three yeah start building into it, just keeping an eye on it and then if you're doing 20, 30 laps then your tyre's starting to go off so that then changes the marker as well.
05:08 Again by these small increments that we're talking about.
05:11 - Alright well let's send you out on track and we'll see how all of that pans out.
05:15 - So as we're coming up to the carousel there, we're looking for our brake marker.
05:21 So I went a bit early on the brakes, what's happened here, because I'm early, it's forcing me to have to get onto the gas a little bit earlier and so much so that lap with a bit of extra gas and lock ended up with a bit of oversteer.
05:36 So next lap we're going to work on braking a little bit later, force ourselves to carry a bit more speed into the corner.
05:46 So as I'm coming towards the carousel this time we're looking for a bit of a later braking point which forces us to have to carry the speed into the corner.
05:55 So we're on the brakes, rolling the speed in, all the way around to the apex, gassing on the exit.
06:08 So this time we're going to have a look at what happens when you out brake yourself into a corner.
06:13 And what missing the apex does.
06:16 So I've gone too late into the corner to push me up too high, haven't quite made the apex which narrows up the exit which means we didn't quite get the run all the way down through here.
06:32 - Alright we're back off the track and Andrew you've got three brake applications basically giving us an indication of what it looks like when you're too early, when you nailed it and got it absolutely right and when you over cooked it and braked way too late so can you talk us through first of all what you noticed from the driver's seat with those three different laps? Yeah so the biggest thing is when you're on the brake too early or too late, it just basically means the corner is, forget about it, you've got it incorrect and then it's just so hard to figure out what to do next from there so when you get that braking right it just cleans the whole corner up and just sets you up perfectly to get the rest of it right.
07:09 - Now just diving into some of the data so we can get a better indication of what's actually happening there.
07:14 So for your first application we can see we've got that typical, what we've talked about is that the novice brake application, relatively slow to build up the pressure, not much pressure and then you've got a gradual taper, really long taper as you come up towards the apex so obviously if you've got the ability to look at data, this is something that would be indicative of a problem.
07:36 The other thing as well on that note is quite often what we will see is a second brake application where the driver's gone into the corner, braked, realised that they've got it too early then eased off the brake and then as they've got back to the, closer to the apex, another brake application, you see this as well? - Yeah I do see that a bit but I think from my point is it's been so engrained in me now to make sure you're off the brake at the right point so it makes it a little bit harder to do it but I do see that a bit, people coming in, they've braked and then they go oh I'm too early and that again, I know we keep talking about it but that again comes back to the version, they've braked and they've gone oh hang on there's a lot more corner, I'm off and then I'm back on and you think about the balance of the car then, it's all over the show and then you're just going to have so many inconsistencies if that is the case.
08:21 - Alright so I mean for our viewers here who don't have data though, these are the things you need to be keeping in your mind as you're going through that braking stage to try and highlight where the particular problem may lie.
08:32 So your next lap, this is where you've got that braking point pretty well nailed so we see this in the data as well where you've got that really aggressive quick build up, you're holding more peak brake pressure and you've basically got that flat brake pressure, got a little dip that we can see in there with the feel and toe but we've talked through that during the course as well, pretty typical even with a professional driver, and then the brake bleed away so this is what it looks like when we get it right.
08:58 Going into your third lap, talk us through that.
09:00 - Yeah so the third lap which I out braked myself there quite a bit is you're forever just staying hard on the brake and overloaded the tyres too much, then you get all this understeer, you just completely end up missing the apex and by the time you get the car actually stopped and turned you then have to over slow it to get that to happen and if that's in a race or something you're just going to end up with cars up the inside of you.
09:23 You're now on the dirty line, the tyres are dirty which then makes it harder for the next corner as well so it's just such a concertina effect of things that go wrong when you get that first application wrong.
09:32 - And again diving into the data from that application you can see that the brake application is much longer and if we actually go a little bit deeper you can see if we look at the steering trace that you are trying to turn the car into the corner, not trail braking but really still hard on the brakes so again this is going to create understeer? - Definitely and there's no way out of it, it's the lesser of the evils, what's the biggest evil here, you want to get the car slowed and turned but you may as well add some lock to try get it rotated but the other side of that, depending on the car, you've got to be careful of that too because if you've got all that hard brake and you add the steering lock then maybe it can flick into an oversteer and that's where you'll get to know your own car so yeah you just really notice the problems.
10:12 - Alright well hopefully that module's given you a bit of a better idea of the concepts that we talked about during the body of the course and also it's given you a few tips that you can apply next time you're at the racetrack trying to optimise your own braking points.

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