This discussion is starting to sound startlingly like holding a position you've committed to just because you've committed to it.
Won't keep me from chipping in, though!
I agree engine braking is no harder on your engine than acceleration. I'm just saying it's not necessary to engine brake, so why add the stress when you don't need to.
Because it's shades of gray. If you downshift AND use the brakes, you haven't avoided engine braking. You've just combined engine braking with your brakes. You're just using the friction and pumping losses of your engine to slow the car down.
So it's not really something you can - or should - religiously avoid.
And by engine braking, I mean downshifting WAY before a turn and coming close to redline. IMO (and I'm not fast by any means) it should be gas-brake-repeat. Very little time for the engine to be doing anything but accelerating!
. I've seen plenty of videos of people substituting the engine for brakes.
Pfffft, you can't go changing the definition of what you mean afterward to tilt the discussion your way!
But in reality, what you've likely seen videos of is people downshifting in the braking zone. You want to downshift while braking into a turn and avoid shifting once you're actually turning because you want your car control to be as smooth through the turn as possible, and that will be upset by a shift. The engine assists with the braking, sure, and it may sound like they're just engine braking. In reality, they're setting up for the turn. You personally do the same thing when on track, I'll wager. It just seems faster due to the fact that the real thing always feels faster and watching videos of other people driving always seems boring and slow, somehow.
Sorry, coasting while letting the engine slow the car down is not faster around a track then gas-brake-gas.
Again, shades of gray. You're not coasting around the track. But if you're entering a bend where you need to scrub a little speed and all you need to do is lift... Engine braking for the win! Keeps your foot on the same pedal for an instant re-application of throttle.
There are MANY advantages to engine braking - if you're driving fast you don't cook your brakes, you scrub off a good amount of speed prior to using them, secondly, it doesn't disrupt the car's inertia as much as touching the brakes, nor will it activate the ABS - in other words you can scrub some speed off without disrupting your line or direction as much. Also, it is very beneficial in inclement weather - like when you're in snow/slush/ice it is safer to gradually stop w/ engine braking before applying brakes rather than applying brakes at a higher rate of speed while coming to a stop.
Agreed, there are definitely advantages. Engine braking has its place.
In short, again, it's not an "engine braking is bad!" or "engine braking is good!" thing. It's "engine braking is useful here" and "over here, not so much". Shades of gray. (No, not the erotic novel.)