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So, how many of you trail brake?

Discussion in 'Other Racing Games' started by Dan Allen, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. Dan Allen

    Dan Allen
    I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.

    Just curious how many of you guys trail brake, and of those who do, do you find it makes a difference to your lap times?

    I went for a track day at Castle Combe quite a while ago, and one of the instructors strongly recommended that I DON'T trail brake (I can't remember his reasons why, but I know he detests it).

    The only reason I ask is some people seem to able to pull it off quite successfully, and are fast when they do it, but because I was warned against it, I've never bothered to practice it in game. Is it worth me learning it?

    I'm getting bloody bored of being slow now, not cool!
  2. Mach

    #47 G.R.Webb Sidecar Racer 1962-1972

    Yes, definitely...I probably couldn't complete a lap without it...I'm sure it's not good for every corner and I haven't perfected it, I probably never will..
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Dan Allen

    Dan Allen
    I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.

    So you definitely think it makes you faster?! That's all I need to hear. I'll have to try and learn it!
  4. Mach

    #47 G.R.Webb Sidecar Racer 1962-1972

    Get it right, and you can brake a little later, carry more speed into the corner, cause you can brake and turn, but it must be right. Also very cool for defense, for the same reason and again if done right...

    Sorry....to answer your question....Faster?....Yes, on the whole, I would say Yes, The most important thing though is to make sure you are consistently hitting your marks, because braking later doesn't give you as much margin for error..
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Fab #28

    Fab #28
    Powerboat racing in-shore driver #28

    Yes, I think to be fast you need it........but its not always easy to do, I agree with Ronin.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. I trail brake, but not consistently. The brake pedal can help steer the car, especially in esses. I wish the AI used it more! They usually use my bumper.

    • Haha Haha x 2
  7. Ryan Ogurek

    Ryan Ogurek
    Premium Member

    The problem with trail braking is that it reduces the amount of grip which can be used for cornering. Grip only works in one direction at a time, so the grip used to decelerate can not be used for turning. Whether trail braking is advantageous or not depends on the corner and your ability. It will also change the balance of the car, which for some cars can be worse than others. Typically, trail braking is used for corners which tighten, so that a smooth deceleration can be made then let off just before the apex. Instructors recommend against it because it would be considered an "advanced" technique and is not necessary to be relatively fast, only to shave off time once you are there.

    Bottom line is: if you can do it and it works for the corner, it can indeed be faster, but you should avoid making a habit of it.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Nelson Ullinskey

    Nelson Ullinskey
    Premium Member

    Yes and no. I find it only works on certain corners, and if the car is properly set up for weight change. For example, I raced Mini Coopers at Le Mas Du Clos in Race 07 earlier today. As you can see in the diagram, it is a very tight and twisty circuit, so I set the car up to be very over-steery.

    The turn marked as 2 (which is really the first turn, this diagram makes no sense :rolleyes:) is one where I would typically trail brake and felt comfortable doing so. However, the last set of turns, marked 11 on the diagram, was really touchy with the back a forth structuring of it. Whenever I tried trail breaking into that turn, it never ended well :redface:

    So yes, that is my advice, take it or leave it :whistling:

    • Like Like x 1
  9. Edited the below as I realized some of what I said was a mistake:
    Brake fade and error makes trail braking dangerous, but you can use it a bit to pre-load the tyres a bit on turn in. On turn in this:
    Minimizes the chance of under-steer, ensures a consistent suspension load, gives maximum rotation available (even oversteer) and better steering feel.
    In road cars it isn't a big advantage, or that safe, unless:
    1. You don't use the brakes hard enough, or long enough, for them to fade.
    2. You can see through the corner and up the next straight, so you can use the racing line through the corner. This increases the time and space available to use the brakes from turn in to apex to increase rotation.
    3. You only use light braking smoothly, with a smooth release from beginning to turn in to maximum steering lock.

    In sims you need to trail brake on most corners to be fast. In Assetto Corsa the physics are quite good, but they don't model brake fade. They also allow you to disable ABS and stability control completely so they don't affect anything.

    I feel your 'pain' as I'm quite slow with a controller, but FFB wheels (at least the ones I've tried that aren't direct drive) don't feel that good to me. Also you've got no real sense of body weight or rotation in a sim, so It takes a lot of time and experience to drive perfectly.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  10. Chris

    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Member Premium Member

    It's not quite as black and white as "yes, use it." Or "No, don't use it".
    Trail braking is corner dependant. In general it'll give you more accuracy and control on corner entry and less mid-turn understeer because it places the load on the front wheels. So corners like T1 at Monza are good examples where trail braking can be used effectively, because you can brake later, and carry more corner entry speed.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  11. Connor Caple

    Connor Caple
    Slowest Racer in Town...

    I use it where it's needed. Some corners work better when you have the braking done before you get there, others I'll trail brake into just to get that extra bit of speed through the corner entry.

    I'm a lot faster in a real car than I am in a sim *shrugs* Sims lack 'arse'. As soon as I have around 40K to spend on a 'Full Motion Rig', my lap times will drop quite a bit :D
  12. For me asking "do you trail brake?" is just like asking "do you change gears?". Long gone are the days in which it was thought that "steady throttle" turning in was the fastest method around a corner. This will only cost you small fractions of a second per corner but it's there.

    The problems with trail braking are that it it's not easy to master, it leaves very little room for mistakes, it overworks your equipment (especially brakes and tyres), and it doesn't give you that much in terms of lap times. So it's not something you want to abuse of in a track day or the sort, unless you are very experienced (and have the budget to ruin your parts quicker the usually). But it will give you a few tenths a lap regardless of track.

    That's probably why any driver instructor will advise against it unless in a very advanced class. There are so many things and techniques to get right before that, be it for your safety, good habits, or lap times, that trail braking should be on the very bottom of the list as one of the very last things to add and try.

    As for the cornering grip being stolen for braking, that's only partially true and only if you carry the braking through the apex. Firstly, you should not yank your steering wheel on turn in. If in a given turn you need to apply 30 degrees of wheel input, for example, you'll do that gradually. So you can also release the brakes gradually without asking too much from the tyres at any given time. Secondly, by braking you are shifting the weight forward thus giving you more grip to play with. If you first release your brakes this relaxes the front suspension and unloads the front, giving you less grip for your turn in.

    The thing is just how much braking you need. Some people think that you ought to turn in with 95% braking force. This can only end badly. Depending on car and corner as little as 5 or 10% braking force will do. It's barely there, but it is there.

    As a last note, trail braking is even more helpful in cars with higher downforce. In these, the more speed you carry the more grip you have because of the aerodynamic forces. So when you leave part of your braking for later you'll actually have more grip at turn in because you're travelling faster. Just have a look at F1 telemetry when it shows and you'll see that they brake very very late, some times all the way to the apex.
  13. Slalom823

    RDTCC S10 Champion Premium Member

    I would say it often depends on the corner and balance of the car. If in a fwd or awd car that tends to push then you can likely increase corner entry speed by keeping weight transfer forward longer. If in a rr car on the same corner chances are eliminating or greatly reducing trailing of the release on the brakes would be not only safer but faster. Ultimately I would suspect the driving instructor wants to make sure people are getting the basics down before moving on to more advanced techniques.
  14. Trail braking works a bit like this in a racing car: Percentage of maximum lateral force+Percentage of maximum braking force=100%. Meaning 100% use of the tyre traction/grip 'circle' at all points in a turn. 0%/100% just before turn in, is smoothly changed to 100%/0% just before the apex.
    I agree that in practice the amount of trail braking you can use, is determined by the balance and weight distribution of the car. For a road car with more pitch and understeer, you can't brake as hard or deep into the corner.

    If you have a car setup for understeer, or are on an uphill bend, then more front grip is being used and trail braking may cause understeer.
    If you have a car setup for oversteer, or are on a downhill bend, then more rear grip is being used and trail braking may cause oversteer.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  15. Brendan Little

    Brendan Little

    Strangely after being told by instructors on track days that its my next step to start getting to grips with I do it on trackdays but not really in sim racing. I think in sim racing its a lot harder to judge and get right then in real life as you don't have the complete feel of the car. I find it feels completely different between the two and sometimes what you predict will happen is not what happens in sim racing, although its pretty close. I track an E36 M3 saloon and would say it makes me faster but as said, its not used on all corners benefits on long sweeping corners that tighten helps as you find the balance of the car is better mid corner then if you used the brakes mid corner. Still got a lot more practice to do with it but its helpful. Maybe with more experience and practice in sim racing I'd be better but until then its a difficult thing to get right. As for the E36, shes still tail happy on the way out of the corner!
    • Like Like x 1
  16. With sims you can over-drive and get away with it as you're on a track with space to make mistakes, and there's no risk of damaging the car or yourself. Plus there's no brake fade and grip is 100% unless you change it.

    In real life it's a lot easier to feel what the car is doing but you drive a lot more slowly, unless you're insane. :D Road grip changes every time you drive, and can change slightly from corner to corner. Plus your brakes fade.
    I'd like to track a RWD car, I bet it's a lot of fun.
  17. Brendan Little

    Brendan Little

    I find it easier to drive in real life on track then I do in a a sim race. However I am faster in sim but feel more natural in the car and the feeling of the car is more intense and more intuitive. I can get round the ring in RL in under 9mins in real life, in sim racing I can do that in a slower car but crash more often! As for being insane, I think you tend to get confident on track and get faster and faster. I'm known by my mates to 'see red' and over take everything and go into a bit of a trance. Especially if there is something as fast that I want to overtake.

    Rear wheel Drive on track, only drive to have on track!
  18. Rob Gray

    Rob Gray
    kikz Premium Member

    I trail brake in highspeed corners, more to balance the car. In other corners, especially high braking areas I prefer to right foot brake. A while ago my friend got some private training from Wyatt Gooden and his thoughts were that trail braking wasn't necessary (for the GT3's we were racing at the time). Ross Bently in his "Speed Secret" books says trail braking is an advanced technique and really shouldn't be used by novice drivers. I guess though, that spending a lot of time in sim racing makes me an advanced sim racer, hopefully :)
    • Like Like x 1