The 90/10 Rule for Trail Braking

A quick tip on how to split your total braking amount between different stages of the turn entry.


Canaan Manley

Guest contributor and racer, Canaan Manley, shares some timeless racing lessons below.

So how much should you brake as you approach a turn?

For newer racers, almost all of the braking will happen before turning in.

As your driving skills increase you can do about 90% of your braking before transitioning into the corner, and then use a minimal amount of braking to slow until the apex of the corner (the last 10% reduction).

This continued minimal braking in the corner is known as “trail braking.”

For example, if you know you need to shave 50 MPH before you turn, then you’ll reduce your speed by 45 MPH with heavy braking in a straight line, and then use a light brake application to reduce another 5 before the middle of the turn (apex).

We talk more about the different types of braking in the full Keys to Speed course. Check it out if you are serious about learning race car driving theory!

Canaan Manley

Canaan is a former novice and expert class motorcycle roadracer with WERA Motorcycle Roadracing and novice in SCCA Autocross. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and has been a motorsports enthusiast for 35 years.

These free lessons are adapted from Keys to Speed video lectures. To get the full course, practice drills and more →