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Race Driving Fundamentals: Practical Demo

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Practical Demo


00:00 - Alright we've just gone through trail braking and I think Andrew it's probably fair to say that for the novice enthusiast just getting started with race driving, this is probably one of those things that does take a little bit of time to gain confidence in, build up the technique and also the finesse in the way you bleed off that brake pedal and start adding in the steering.
00:22 Now we've already talked about the fact in the module that basically what we're going to be doing is bleeding off the brake and applying steering basically in about the same relationship so that's always something we want to keep in mind here.
00:34 Now the particular corner that we are using here, it's a left hand corner coming off the bridge here at Highlands Motorsport Park.
00:42 Now obviously every corner's going to be a little bit different but can you talk to us a little bit about what you would be keeping in mind here as a race driver with this corner? - Yeah so the first thing is getting that initial brake sorted first and making sure you've got that done in the correct spot because if you're too early or too late, the bleed's going to be completely wrong, the trail brake from there so it's making sure you've got that initial brake point right, you'll know when you've got it right because you've got that front drop down on the car, you've got the weight forward and then it's just really coming back to vision again, making sure you're looking into the right spot because if you're looking down in front of you and you go oh actually I need to be around the corner a bit further, you'll be quicker off the brake but if you're looking that bit further around, it just seems to make it a lot easier to be able to trail the brake off and carry the speed to the apex.
01:26 You should more or less get the feeling as you're bleeding off the brake that you're only just going to make the apex, you're sort of coming off it going and I going to make it, am I going to make it? Yep and then just as you're adding the lock, that's when you're getting there.
01:38 - Now there are also some subtleties around this which we've talked about with adjusting the balance, we're not going to get too deep into that for this particular demonstration, we're just looking at that technique.
01:48 After you've been out on track as well we're going to have a little bit of a look at the data, particularly so we can see that relationship between how you're bleeding off the brake as you're adding steering so I think we've talked enough, let's head out on the track and see how it's done.
02:03 - So now I'm just going to talk you guys through trail braking and the importance of getting it right.
02:09 Making sure first of all we're braking at the right point.
02:12 So we come down the hill, we're braking nice and hard down a gear and I'm still releasing the brake right down to the apex, rolling through the middle and then gassing at the exit so it's really important to be nice and smooth off the brake with the trail to keep the nose of the car down to allow it to balance a bit nicer.
02:32 - Alright Andrew back from the trail braking demonstration out on the track and really I just wanted to show in the data what exactly was going on in there.
02:40 So first of all we can see your initial hard braking so the quick build up and high pressure that you talk about and then as you get to that turn in point, it's interesting if we look at the relationship between the steering wheel and the brake pedal pressure and you can just see that bleed off in the pressure, nice and smooth as you release that and as we've talked about, that's timed nicely with the turn in.
03:05 The turning of the steering wheel, the more you're turning the wheel, the more you're releasing the brake pressure.
03:10 Now during that demonstration was there anything about balance that came in or is it really just a case of aiming to slow the car more with the trail braking? - It's definitely the balancing as well, you feel when you get used to it, you feel like you're actually controlling the balance of the car all the way down to the apex so it's a matter of getting that correct and manipulating the car as such and you're jumping between different cars, it is a harder thing to get used to but when you get on top of it it works a lot.
03:38 - Now we can also see if we look at the GG diagram, again this is just a really nice graphic representation of how well you're exploiting the available grip there.
03:47 While again it's not a perfect run around the rim that's maybe not always going to be achievable but you're manipulating the car and using that grip out there, the combination of the lateral and longitudinal G which is what we're trying to achieve.
04:03 Now obviously this is something that is going to take time for a novice driver to really get familiar with but again just comes down to practice makes perfect? - Yeah it does and it's trying to get that relationship right of not over slowing the car when you are doing that.
04:19 It's very very easy to get sucked into trying to trail brake and over slowing the car or jumping off the brake too quick because you have carried too much speed, you haven't carried enough speed in should I say so it's just finding that balance and it should be near on a point where you can't actually feel the release of the brake, it's just such a minute smooth pull off the brake and yeah you can really feel it.
04:41 - Alright well hopefully that demonstration has given you a little bit more insight into what goes into it and from here it's a case of getting out there and actually practicing it for yourself.

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