I bought your book and really enjoyed it. I however, have a question. In the section devoted to braking, you describe the technique of hard and fast pressure: briefly locking up and releasing brake pressure to regain composure. The idea being, I suppose, that no one is perfect and can repeatedly “almost” lock up, so, why not take it just past and back off?
I played around with this for a while and ultimately decided, for now, that I am better off braking at 98%, leaving some on the table, but being able to do that same pressure every time.
My question is: Do you stand by that technique today or is it reflective of a different era in karting such as direct drive karts?
I am not Terence, but I find it an interesting thread.
With “why not take it just past and back off” you mean lock up at the beginning of every braking zone?
I think it’s better to never completely lock up (unless in practice to find the limits) because a wheel that locks up provides very little grip (to break or to steer). And you chew away your tyres too. The difficulty is that braking at 99% gives almost maximum deceleration, but braking at 101% greatly reduces the grip for deceleration. Every driver must embrace physics!
Yes. In Terence’s book he lays down 2 approaches to braking. The first of which basically espouses the idea that we are imperfect and unlikely to be able to brake at the limit consistently. In his book he advocates the idea of a “mini” lock up. Really firm initial hit, likely to lock wheels. But, he elaborated as soon as you feel the lockup immediately slightly reduce brake pressure allowing the rears to regain grip and the kart to get back in line. Basically, overshoot the braking pressure and immediately reduce it to max grip.
He’s not saying to slide all over the place, just a very brief moment of lock.
I won’t speak for Terence but he and I have talked about this and I’ve preached the gospels of his book to all my drivers.
Basically, I would say he isn’t telling you to completely lock up. Don’t completely stop the rear tires from spinning, just a slight small chirp of the rear wheels, where they don’t completely stop spinning, but slow down enough to make a noise. As you said Dom, we aren’t going to hit the 100% braking pressure point every corner, every time. Going to 100.5% and then dialing it back to 99.5% right when you feel the tires start to chirp is what we’re looking for.
I have never read his book but I have always tried do use this technique. Usually the first few laps I would hit the brakes hard enough to feel the tires lock and let off a touch. Last year I let my rookie friend drive my kart and he locked up and spun several laps. Now in the off season he is trying to tune his brakes to drive the same way.
I just switched to a new ignite and the stock pads I could not get to that point for the life of me in my practice sessions. I felt like I was literally standing on the brake with all my weight and it would never get to that point. I just bought MCP’s more aggressive compound to hopefully fix this issue.
I think everyone answered your question pretty well. i’d just like to add that the lock up style of braking is my personal favourite, but I do describe an alternative that works just as well, and can be quicker, which is more in line with your 98% rule.
So, if you aren’t keen on locking up have a look over where I write about ‘stable braking’. If you have the sensitivity to brake super close to the limit without going over it then that is great.
One of the core messages I like drivers to take from the book is that there is no single answer to how you should drive, you can develop your own style - I just suggest some options to choose from the best I can.