Ask Ross

Q&A with Ross Bentley


Q: When should I trail brake & when shouldn’t I?

Q: “Through the years I was taught trail braking and using the rotation of the car to aid in getting through the turn. Everything has worked well for me until I had a professional driver and coach sit right seat. This pro driver suggested all the braking be done prior to entering the corner and be sure the vehicle is settled well in advance of the corner. We were able to implement this technique and see positive results. I would classify it as a medium speed corner but that may be because it’s at the end of the front straight and I’m hard on the brakes. Now I’m confused.  I have two different approaches to driving and want to continue building my skill set, however, I want to solidify and build on a technique that is safe. What are your thoughts?”

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Q: Any recommendations for data acquisition books?

Q: I am about to venture into using data analysis. Is there a good book you can recommend to a neophyte on this quest? Subjects such as what to expect, how to make sense of data, relationship between data and what me and or the car are doing, and what to do different to improve my racecraft would be welcomed. Among others subjects that you believe are important.

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Q: When should I “blip” the throttle when heel & toeing?

Q: I have a question that’s kinda bugging me about heel-n-toe downshifting. Is there a noteworthy difference of when to “blip” the throttle (while selecting the new gear OR after selecting the new gear)? I know that the ultimate goal is a smooth shift with the clutch engaging at appropriate engine and transmission RPM’s so that the car is not unsettled.

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Q: Any guidelines for how to set and monitor brake bias?

In the afternoon race on Saturday at Thunderhill, I had two snap spins going into T10. The first time it happened, I was trying to go a little deeper before braking, and I did mash the brake pedal pretty hard. The second time, I went maybe a little deeper, and got on the brakes what I thought was with moderate pressure.

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