Braking the Limits: Lessons from AMG Driving Academy
In a world packed with full-throttle, go-fast-or-go-home videos, Instructor Tommy Kendall and the AMG Driving Academy take a quick step back to remind us that it isn’t always the heaviest foot that wins the race. In this video, Tommy gives us a brief lesson in how to get in and out of a corner as quick as you can, using a mixture of threshold and trail braking.
The first stage of this lesson comes in a straight line where drivers hurtle themselves up to speed, before braking as late and as hard as possible with the goal of landing in a target braking zone. Brake too early, and you come up short, but brake too late and you can expect to go skidding off into the sunset. The video shows some pretty clean examples, but I’d be curious to see what their blooper reel looks like.
Once students master threshold braking in a straight line, its out onto the track where things start to get interesting. Although the simple “Brake – Turn In – Throttle Out” seems like a good plan, Tommy explains that trail braking is another essential part of clawing back those extra seconds. Keeping the car neutral sounds like a good logic but staying lightly on the brakes as you turn in loads a bit more weight on the nose, giving the front tires a hint more grip to pull in to the apex.
In racing cars are often so equally matched that a driver’s ability brake later and round corners quicker can be the key ingredient in getting ahead, but as Tommy reminds us, its crucial to not get too distracted by who you’re trying too get around. “Even though you’re racing the other guy, you never stop racing the racetrack”.
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