How Do You Trail Brakes in Sim Racing?

How Do You Trail Brakes in Sim Racing?
Author Alessio Lorandi
Alessio Lorandi
December 6, 2021

If you’re looking to level up your sim racing performance then trail braking is something you’ll need to start doing from today!

The sim racing community is growing very rapidly and so does the competition.

Both iRacing and ACC drivers need to be on the lookout for any technique that can give them an edge over their competition.

The technique I’ll be showing you today is called trail braking.

But, how exactly do you go about doing it on a simulator?

In this article, I will teach you the basics of trail braking and how to apply it for iRacing and Assetto corsa competizione.

What is Trail Braking in sim racing?

Trail braking is the act of carrying the brakes while you’re turning into a corner, until you reach the apex.

How Do You Trail Brakes in Sim Racing?

This will help to reduce your lap time as you’ll be able to enter the turn at a higher speed.

But most importantly, you will be able to use all the longitudinal as well as latitudinal grip of the tyres.

This technique is quite a bit different from the old school straight line braking and that’s why only the ones who are will to relearn their braking technique are the ones who will thrive in the years to come.

What is the basic trail braking technique?

The most basic trail braking technique would be to brake while you’re still turning into a corner.

This means that you’ll need to start releasing your brakes towards the corner entry and progressively release it as you approach the apex of the turn. Doing so will help to maintain your speed and also help you stay on the optimum racing line.

What are its benefits?

There are a few benefits of trail braking which include:

1) You’ll be able to enter the turn at a higher speed.

2) You’ll be able to use all the tyres grip.

3) It will help you to achieve a faster lap time.

4) You’ll be able to avoid or at least reduce understeering.

What are its negative points?

The only reason why this technique is considered as an advanced cornering technique is because it requires patience,technical skill and precision.

If you don’t have these 3 skills then I suggest that you stay away from trail braking.

How do you practice trail braking iRacing?

How do you practice trail braking iRacing?

I will show you an easy method to practice trail braking on iRacing.

1) Access to yout iRacing or ACC account and drive around Monza.

2) Set up the following in-car controls:

a) Toggle ABS ON

c) Toggle Traction Control OFF

3) As you approach a chicane, start to brake hard and shift down 3 gears while still braking.  Make sure you don’t release the brake until you get towards the apex and then turn into the chicane.

4) Drive around for a few laps and get use to driving like that, you’ll notice that this technique is not too difficult after all.

Why is trail braking called trail braking?

The term “Trail braking” comes from the fact that you’re actually carrying the brakes while you’re turning into a corner.

This is in contrast to the old school technique where you would brake in a straight line, release the brakes and then turn into the corner.

Are there different types of trail braking?

Why is trail braking called trail braking?

There are a few different types of trail braking techniques which include:

1) Power trail braking.

2) Late trail braking.

3) Blended Trail braking.

4) Sharp/hard trail braking.

People call them differently but in reality they’re all pretty much the same, so don’t mind about what you should be choosing for your trail braking technique.

Is trail braking bad for tires?

It will probably make the life of your tires a tiny bit shorter but it will more than compensate with the gain in laptime you will get.

In fact, this technique can help you to use all the tires grip and achieve a much faster lap time if done properly.

How do I know when to use trail braking?

I’d suggest that If you’re struggling with understeering then you can use this technique quite extensively to help stabilize the car mid-corner and improve your line/entry speed.

Also, make sure that you’re comfortable with the technique before using it in a race.

Can I use trail braking in wet conditions?

To be frank, you can still do it a little bit, and you probably should, but don’t overdo it.

I suggest that you don’t use trail braking too much in wet conditions because this technique requires a lot of weight transfer, and weight transfer might not be good for the car when there’s too much water on the track.

Do F1 cars trail brake?

Of course they do! Trail braking is of paramount importance in F1 as well as in F2 and F3.

In fact, every single F1 drivers use trail braking techniques in some way or another.

It’s just a matter of how much and when they apply the technique that makes all the difference between an average driver and a super fast one.

Bottom line:

Finally, always remember that trail braking is a very advanced technique and it should only be used when you’re comfortable with it.

Do not attempt this technique if you’re still having issues with your braking points or racing lines.

With time and the right guidance, you will get there eventually, just be patient!

Just practice and be patient, you’ll see how quick your lap times will get!

A quick tip:

If you’re especially having trouble with turn-ins and you find it hard to get the car to rotate, then give trail braking a try.

It will help you to load up the front tires and get them working earlier in the corner which will allow you to turn in with more speed and confidence.

And as always, happy sim racing!

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About the autor

Alessio Lorandi

Alessio has been involved at the highest levels in racing since the age of 5 (2003). He won a CIK-FIA World Championship in 2013 and then raced in F3, F2, and finally GT3s before now dedicating himself to SOLOX. He’s now on a mission to help thousands of sim racers around the world achieve their fullest potential through his ACC setups.






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