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      09-14-2011, 11:47 AM   #1
1MOREMOD
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heel toe advice

im not new to a 6mt been driving a manual all my life but missed the boat i guess in learning how to properly rev match my downshifts. i was at the track yesterday and my instructor said i had a lot of potential and was pretty fast for a relative newbie but what was holding me back was how much i unsettle the car on braking as i tend to release the clutch too quickly and create drama on entry where there doesnt need to be. i was successful at modulating the brake and releasing the clutch much slower at engagement but he says to move forward i need to master heel toe technique. i practiced some off the track with the instructor and manage to grind shifts, overrev, and generally screw it up almost every time. i even managed to do a 5th to 2nd rev match which wasnt too cool. i luckily had overused the brakes so didnt overrev. any advice on how to learn this would be appreciated.
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      09-14-2011, 12:01 PM   #2
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It's all about practice.

Rev-match on the street for practice. As well as try simple HT. The main difference between the street and the track is how far you are pushing the pedals and rpm ranges.

It'll come with time.
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      09-14-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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yeah thats what i figured just feel so weird and i feel like a spaz.
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      09-14-2011, 01:17 PM   #4
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First focus on rev-matching. Don't try to learn heel and toe all of a sudden. Get really good at rev-matching, make it second nature, then slowly move to heel and toe.

Practicing on the street helps. But you also need track time, because you brake a lot harder at the track, which means the brake pedal goes further down, which means blipping the throttle is a little different. But still, it is 80% same.

What gears are you at for turn 2 and turn 3a? I know some people go down to 3rd for T2, and 2nd for T3a. It is usually not necessary. You will be at 5th gear through T1, and just down shift to 4th. And for T3a and T3b, downshift to 3rd.
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      09-14-2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erhanh View Post
Practicing on the street helps. But you also need track time, because you brake a lot harder at the track, which means the brake pedal goes further down, which means blipping the throttle is a little different. But still, it is 80% same.
+1 agreed. IMO, under heavy track braking the blip requires less anatomical distortion of your foot because the brake pedal is closer to the accelerator... so its more natural.

FWIW, I have never heel/toe'd well on the street... but one day at the track it just all clicked. Also there's a ton of youtube videos of pro driver's feet working the pedals. Here's a great one of Senna driving the NSX.
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      09-14-2011, 07:03 PM   #6
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I was in the same boat as the OP after my first track day. Couldn't rev-match because I never heel-toed before, so I left the thing in 3rd for the most part.

My instructor suggested taking the car to an empty place like an industrial parkway on Sundays or something. What I did was bring the car up to speed, then began braking with the clutch in while blipping the throttle a few times. I'd say get comfortable doing that first before trying to engage the clutch. It sounds simple, but it's still a lot of think about while you're trying to learn.

Not sure about anyone else, but I appreciate how BMW put the brake pedal close to the gas allowing my to over my foot over both without having to really twist my leg. Heal-to-toe is sort of a misnomer in this case.
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      09-14-2011, 07:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erhanh View Post
First focus on rev-matching. Don't try to learn heel and toe all of a sudden. Get really good at rev-matching, make it second nature, then slowly move to heel and toe.

Practicing on the street helps. But you also need track time, because you brake a lot harder at the track, which means the brake pedal goes further down, which means blipping the throttle is a little different. But still, it is 80% same.

What gears are you at for turn 2 and turn 3a? I know some people go down to 3rd for T2, and 2nd for T3a. It is usually not necessary. You will be at 5th gear through T1, and just down shift to 4th. And for T3a and T3b, downshift to 3rd.
At turn 2 I get into 3rd gives me a lot better drive on exit and into 4th then downshift back to 3rd for 3a thru 3b. Tried second a few times in 3a and 3b but really not necessary
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      09-14-2011, 11:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriszeh View Post
At turn 2 I get into 3rd gives me a lot better drive on exit and into 4th then downshift back to 3rd for 3a thru 3b. Tried second a few times in 3a and 3b but really not necessary
I'm no expert, just sharing what I learned from instructors other drivers. Many people suggest staying at 4th for T2. Remember, shifting = loosing time. When I check my videos, I've noticed that if I stay at 4th, I have 1-2mph higher speed before T3a.
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      09-15-2011, 12:20 AM   #9
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One thing that really helped me heal toe was to not physically heal toe. If you have sufficiently wide feet you can successfully cover the throttle by rolling your foot over. I found this to be much easier- the only issue is getting enough throttle with the roll to rise the revs high enough on the track. That just takes practice. I practiced everyday on the street until the whole process was second nature. Then transfering that to the track was easier, just requiring more revs and in turn more roll of the foot on the accellerator.

I learned with my E36 M3 and since have had an SMG M3 and now DCT, but whenever I get back in a manual it comes right back, like riding a bike. So just practice every time you drive. Then when you start hitting it right on your daily drive even just coming to a stop light casually heal and toeing can be a blast! (hmmm, I miss that.....)

Edit: Just watched the Senna video- that is his technique as well- more of a roll. Good luck!
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      09-15-2011, 05:39 AM   #10
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It's not so easy in an E9X by the way - the throttle is set along down from the brake. A significant stretch of the ankle and knee compared to some cars. Practicing on the street is the way to go, just keep slowing the whole process down until you get it right and then add the speed. Ken
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      09-15-2011, 06:32 AM   #11
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What he said. Every time you drive. I also had a former pro driver take me around the parking lot at a HPDE and show me for 10 minutes, so maybe ask an instructor at your next event for a 1-1 lesson like this. The toughest part for me was being too careful and too slow engaging the clutch and letting the revs drop too much before engaging the lower gear.

Here is my foot double for HPDE films:
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      09-15-2011, 08:09 AM   #12
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To add to what others are saying I find it is easier to wear a wide shoe, like a running shoe, to heel/toe. And as others have said that is really a misnomer; it is really more left edge brake, right edge gas by rolling your foot. Also I find it easier on the track to do this because you are much deeper into the brakes so your foot doesn't have to reach very far to tap the gas. With all that being said, my next car with have DCT so I don't have to worry about it.
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      09-15-2011, 08:21 AM   #13
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I think you have received most of the basic advice, just a matter of practice. Before long, you will be h/t shifting every time, on and off track, without thinking about it. Another technique worth learning is left foot braking. Obviously, this is mutually exclusive of heel/toe shifting, since it is used in corners when not shifting (unless DCT, in which case it can be used every time). I mention it because it is part of achieving the same goal, smooth transition from brake to throttle. It is a real advantage in some turns to begin squeezing on the throttle while still trail braking a bit. And in any turn, it avoids the jerkiness caused by coming back on throttle from being fully off throttle, since you begin to open the throttle while the suspension is still stable from braking. Anyway, something else you might want to discuss with your next instructor.
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      09-15-2011, 10:20 AM   #14
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I will ask ted about staying in 4th thru 2 but when I watched him do several hot laps in my car he dropped to 3rd as well. He said exit speed trumps entry speed every time. Shifting gives me higher exit speed out of 2 as well as entry into 3a. I actually achieve far too much speed between 2 and 3 to be useful to me yet. When we practiced on the skidpad he had me covering the gas with my right edge of my foot not actually using my heel as suggested. For me it seems to boil down to consistent placement of my right foot on the exact same portion of the brake pedal first to enable the same roll to engage the same amout of blip. I'm going back in 2 weeks and don't intend to try this yet at all. Possibly over the winter I will get it dialed in. As a side note about my evolve stage 2 tune I want to mention I was much faster between turns with it this time. I actually was generating too much speed for me to handle in some cases so had to modulate and maintain a lower speed. Down the front as an example i had my speed limiter set to 140 as an audible indication that I had hit that speed and to maintain thru 1 and down to my braking zone. In the past this was about the most speed I could hit while having the throttle matted. Now I can lazily accelerate down the front and still hit 140. I feel as if I got exit on 8 and 9 perfect and was matted all the way down the front I could easily reach 160 plus indicated. which is very cool but above my comfort level just yet and possibly too much for my brakes entering 2 as well.
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Last edited by 1MOREMOD; 09-15-2011 at 10:25 AM.
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