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DE Question

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    Larry FunnellLarry Funnell

    My first DE on the weekend was a blast, I learned a lot and improved immensely. I thought I was a smooth driver before the weekend, but found I was mistaken! And the work detail was a lot of fun, giving me an opportunity to meet other drivers, and view all the cars.

    I do have a question though, that came out of some of my corners that I approached a bit faster than usual, which often ended up in a later or more abrupt turn-in. For the experienced drivers, do you adjust where you start to brake, how hard you brake, or a combination? Does the turn in point stay the same, except maybe the reaction time to start needs to move ahead?

    Thanks in advance.


    AvatarDave Osborne

    Hi Larry,

    Your turn in point generally remains the same. It’s important to have all of your “work” done prior to turn in so the car maintains the most grip. The faster you go is the harder or earlier that you brake and shift.

    Glad you’re getting so much out of DE. That’s why we do it!

    AvatarWild Weasel

    Honestly… you’re best off bringing this up with your instructor at the start of the next event and then telling him/her what you’re doing as you’re doing it.

    It’s just about impossible from your description, especially since it was your first time, to really understand what you’re asking.

    A lot of it is going to come down to how comfortable you are with the things that can go wrong. If you can counter-steer and chase the car to the outside of the track, then if you’re only a bit faster than you’d like to be I’d just go for it and see if it sticks. On the regular line you’ve got room to chase it out a bit and just not accelerate after the apex.

    If you’re not comfortable with that and are more than likely going to spin if it doesn’t stick, then I’d just keep braking harder in a straight line and then just go around the outside of the turn. Since you’ve already screwed it up, it doesn’t matter any more at that point so just get through it safely and set up for the next one.

    Without knowing you and your comfort level though, no amount of Internet advice is going to benefit you. Since you’re new, you’ve got a whole lot to learn from your instructors before you can start asking the Internet for advice on the smaller nuances.

    If you’re asking about what to do when approaching the braking zone going faster because you’ve done the previous turn much better, then it’s a bit of both when it comes to braking sooner or harder. Again, as a beginner, you’re almost certainly not braking as hard as you could be so you’ve got both options available. Just finish your braking before you turn in. Leave trail braking for when you get into the Yellow group and are trying out more advanced stuff. It’s your instructor that’s going to have the best advice though, as they see exactly what you’re doing in the car.

    As you mentioned, you very quickly discover that you’re not as good a driver as you always thought you were. The instructors will change that. 🙂


    Could be many different things and depend on the corner. First question to ask yourself would be “Is this always on the same corner I have trouble?” and then “Do I get it right some times?” Try to get some visual cue on where you brake when it work well and same goes for your turn in. Your turn in should be the same all the time.

    As you get better your speed also increase coming out of the previous corner and will change the work you need to do in that next braking zone. Usually the increment in speed is quite large from session to session when you begin so pay attention to your corner exit speed. Adjust braking based on that. Stay smooth on and off the break (press hard but don’t upset the car balance).

    Larry FunnellLarry Funnell

    Thanks for the feedback guys. My turn ins were getting pretty consistent, it was the amount of speed that I carried into the corners that seemed to vary. With the exception of 2, where I slowed down the entry in the last two sessions, I am probably braking too soon or too hard in general, but can get fooled a bit with the speed. I did end up working my braking point for 1 further down the road, and 2 earlier, but did not establish a good reference for 2. Four seemed to be my achiles heel for braking, especially with passing (either way) going on which could distract me while I was ensuring the cars had cleared. For turn 8 I am guilty of Tim’s morning complaint and am braking too hard (but still out of the ABS) for it, loosing too much speed. Out of 8 before 9 it took some time to get the braking point nailed down, which I finally did, but now am too heavy on the brakes.

    Braking and addressing increasing speed was one of the feedback items from my instructor. Being a bit anal, I have made some notes about my braking, turn in and acceleration points, along with strengths and weaknesses so I can review it before my next session – hopefully October if I get off the wait-list. The review had prompted the above questions.

    Years ago I did a motorcycle day with FAST, and towards the end of the day missed a braking point. I got on the brakes the hardest I had up till then, and was figuring I could either slow it down and run straight off the track or get it slow enough to turn – I made the turn.

    Thanks to Bob (and my instructor) for recommending a follow up session sooner rather than later (next year).

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