Rotate with brakes or with steering wheel?

Hi everyone,

Watching some onboard of professional driver in the Iame series (my category Is Iame X30) my impression is that they induce the rotation at the beginning of the turn with a heavy first brake that push the nose in the direction of the corner, in a little but controlled counter-steering.

It’s my impression or is that true? I don’t understand if they push the nose in the right direction with the brakes or with the steering wheel, but it seems to me that they use the steering wheel only to control the rotation, that they have just made with brakes, and not to rotate the kart.

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There are two techniques to enter a corner. Lock up entry and stable entry, which is faster depends very much on you as a driver which you can work better given your driving style and set up.

Lock up braking is a technique where as you seemingly observed you brake super late induced a tail slide to about 30 deg then come off and power through the corner. Very difficult to get just right, but yes it can be faster. @Terence_Dove explains it very well.

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This type of quick deliberate change in orientation of the kart relative to the line being driven has to come from some amount of rotational momentum (from the forces being applied to the kart on a particular piece of track and/or from the driver’s steering inputs) that is being ‘amplified’ by a driver-induced reduction in rear traction (momentarily locking the rear brake). If you drive down a straight and lock the brakes, your kart will likely continue straight because there is no rotational momentum to amplify. Maybe watch the videos again, but in slow motion to see if you can identify the source of the rotational momentum.

That said, in the same way that you should think of throttle and steering as being connected for driving from the apex out, you should think of steering (rotation induction) and braking (rotation amplification) as being connected for orienting the kart on the line to get it down to the apex. This technique moves the ‘rotation’ point earlier in the corner. Once the major portion of the rotation occurs (and is controlled/managed by the driver so the kart is oriented at the properly trajectory on the line) then there are far fewer rotational forces to be dealt with throughout the rest of the turn. This essentially makes the rest of the turn a much straighter shot, so acceleration can begin earlier, and can ramp up to full throttle more quickly.

However, this is just one of many cornering techniques; it won’t necessarily be an advantage on every turn, because it is the profile of the turn itself, along with conditions, how your kart is setup, and your skill set, that will tell the stopwatch what technique is best for any particular turn.

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My 2c from sim: yes. This is the way. I hit the brake to send the weight to the nose. As the rear gets light I then initiate the turniin which gets the back starting to move (rear rotates faster than the front).

The braking is brief and hard to release the tire. The release, in a fast corner is typically very fast. Bang, off. The turn in starts the moment the back starts moving.

In the moment you are braking hard, the rear kicks. When you release brake, kart straightens. So, you are using that moment of braking to start a rotation which you are then allowing to happen for a moment. You bring power back into the kart as the kart find the “set” or angle that feels just right.

It’s all from being habituated to doing it and comes from practice. It’s a bit like sending a car sideways but it’s brief and controlled.

It’s both steering with wheel and feet. You use the wheel to intitate the turn once the braking has loosened and started the karts rotation. From there it’s in the feet and the hands are following slightly behind, sorta.

Sometimes though I need to be glued down and that requires less rotation. So, sometimes I may trail into a corner to keep rear quiet.

I’m not a top driver irl but in my little karting sim world, if you can’t rotate at will, you gonna struggle.

Last thing, the rear kick isn’t dramatic. It kind of get absorbed by the pedals coming out and back in. Throttle comes back in almost immediately upon brake release and not all at once. You almost catch the rear if the kart with the accelerator and the kick becomes the turn as opposed to a lateral slide moment.

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You can download a free chapter on braking here:

Free chapter on braking

It describes that kind of braking/rotation, how to build up to it - or if you don’t fancy it the other just as quick options.


This is my favorite thing to link to for braking. Super helpful. It’s really great that this chapter is out there as it’s immediately helpful to most folks who read it.

I anxiously await the sequel book. :sunglasses:

Thanks a lot. It’s night but I’ve just read all the chapter, it’s really amazing!

I have 2 question about that, if you kindly want to give me some tips:

  • The lock up braking is recommended only in slow corners, like hairpin or slow 90°? I feel very comfortable on using it in slow corners, it’s very natural for me, but it seems to me that in fast corners like chicanes or fast 90° it’s both difficult and maybe useless to do it, because the kart at high speed become too much unstable, it’s correct?

  • You say that stable braking and advanced trail braking could be preferred, but my question is in X30 category, without gears, maybe is better to not kill the engine and choose also a longest trajectory, going later (after the half of the turn) to the apex in order to have the engine up and a more straight exit? This is what I see also in your drawings: in the lock up braking the trajectory is not a perfect U but an asimmetric U where the kart goes more long and more external and than take the apex late with lot of gas. Tell me if I’m wrong

Thanks again

This is discussed elsewhere in the book, I would suggest you order a copy. Basically what you refer to is geometric fastest (shortest) line vs racing fastest line. Basically you want to figure out the fastest line for a given track, then figure out where different braking techniques can make the best time from that line. Learning a new track is also a chapter.


Where can we order a copy of the book? this chapter is awesome.

This is really great, and exactly what I need. I am trying to teach my son (aged 10) braking. He is too tentative, soft and long on the brakes. This weekend I got him going around the track without braking, and he was immediately 5 seconds a lap quicker. Now I need to introduce him back to braking.

Answered my own question, found it at the bottom of the article!

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You brake and you turn and it works :eyes:

Pretty much depends on the chassis and its tune

Here is link: Learn How to Master the Art of Kart Driving Book – EvenFlow Kart Driver Coaching

Also there’s a wet driving bit on his blog which is also really great:

Nope. Not necessarily. Turns can be done with big braking or little braking. Sometimes you roll momentum through a chicane, grabbing throttle after brushing brakes, sometimes you need to stand the kart on its nose and yank it around.

Big breaking (lockup braking) is useful in a whole lot of situations and takes time to get used to. But, done correctly, it’s stable.

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