In the blazingly fast world of motorsports, all of the heavy branding and truckloads of horsepower under the hood mean nothing if the driver doesn’t know to drive well. The basics of braking and when to brake make the difference between you on with a podium finish or you on the sidelines with your head low.
First things first, the middle pedal isn’t there to only be slammed around. It’s not like switching a tube light ON and OFF. It is like a pressure plate that needs only so much of force on it to do the right things; do not slam on it the minute your instincts scream. Remember, this is a race you are driving not a braking contest that you are trying to win, so you must brake in a way that slows you down the least and still gives you control to move about the tarmac in the fastest manner possible.
Professional racecar drivers have a good know all of the pedal modulation and various footwork to help them switch gears and tame the car. An idea on how your car’s weight distribution shifts and sways when you are entering a bend, and how your car reacts when on different surfaces and weather conditions, all go to decide your mettle.
The Basics To Braking
Even if you are a beginner, there are three important basic things relating to braking that you must be well-versed with if you are into pursuing professional car racing or casual sports car racing:
- Firstly, braking happens fast and not instantly. Even when you are hard braking, the force must be fast but not sudden to force the wheels to lock and go completely out of control. When your car’s front suspension dips in when you begin braking, keep close attention to the vibrations that you are feeling through the foot pedal and the feedback that your steering wheel is delivering to you; this will communicate to you what your tire ‘feels’.
- It is based on this ‘feeling’ during the initial braking that you decide on your second stage of braking. It will tell you if you must modulate the pressure you are putting on the brakes. It is known that applying constant braking pressure will cause your car to continue moving and ends up damaging your braking pads and discs.
- The last part is when the car begins to slow down to your suitable ‘comfort zone’. A talented driver will ease off of the brake from maximum to zero braking with as little of hiccups as possible.