Mastering Braking and Corner Entry in Motorsports

How To Master Braking and Corner Entry in Motorsports

The braking and corner entry phase is probably the hardest track driving skill to master. Unfortunately, it is also taught to many novices in a way that is, let’s say, sub-optimal for fast lap times. Your tyres are more than capable of generating cornering and braking forces at the same time. You just can’t have maximum cornering and maximum braking at the same time. The key to improving your corner entry, therefore, lies in understanding the balance between braking force and cornering grip.

The video at the top of this article is an extract from Master Your Tyres, the flagship online course teaching drivers (and engineers!) about how to get more grip from their tyres (or tires!). It offers a detailed analysis of common braking and cornering techniques and a couple of practical methods for you to put this into action to help improve your performance on the track.

** For those more familiar with this concept, take a good look at the friction circle data I share in the video. It shows some non-linearities between acceleration and braking for different slip angles. And yes, I do know you can’t typically accelerate at the same rate as you brake, but that is what you’d like to do.

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The Friction Circle Explained

Central to enhancing cornering and braking is the concept of the friction circle. This visual tool represents the maximum grip available from tyres when combining braking and turning forces. Understanding where you are on this circle helps you balance these forces for better cornering and braking.

Applying the Theory to Practice

The lesson above demonstrates how to apply the friction circle concept in real-world driving. It aims to provides guidance on how you can adjust your driving techniques for improved corner entry and braking, based on the principles of the friction circle.

It also gives you some practical exercises you can try to raise your awareness of where you are on the friction circle so you can improve how to assess your braking and corner entry performance.

What’s Your Experience?

Have comments or questions on improving braking and corner entry? Join “Ahead of the Curve” below and be sure to let me know.

 

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