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      05-25-2011, 05:58 PM   #1
drburton
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Heel/Toe Question

I have limited track experience of 7 days (over 3 events), so relatively novice. For all the events I have attended I have not been using any rev matching techniques.

My downshift methodology has been to make the shift very late in the brake zone, so the car is at it's slowest point. So if the brake zone is 100ft, I'm letting the clutch out around 90ft right before turn in. This has worked reasonably well so far (ie the car has maintained balance with no lock-up).

I have practiced heel/toe in street driving and I'm pretty comfortable with it and would like to use it at my next event (in June). Based on my late shift methodology I am a bit concerned about doing a newbie heel/toe shift, transitioning from brake to accelerator, and turn-in all at the same time. Seems like there is a lot of room for error.

Theoretically, if I rev match I should be able to do the downshift earlier in the brake zone (50-75ft), then the transition to the accelerator and turn-in would be a separate event.

I want to get confirmation that this is the correct approach. Keep in mind, I usually don't do sequential downshifts, I just jump to the gear I want to be in (example: 5-3).

Thoughts?

For reference, the track I go to has two points that I am most concerned about, both are 5-3 downshifts from 110+mph to about 50mph.
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      05-25-2011, 06:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drburton View Post
I have practiced heel/toe in street driving and I'm pretty comfortable with it and would like to use it at my next event (in June). Based on my late shift methodology I am a bit concerned about doing a newbie heel/toe shift, transitioning from brake to accelerator, and turn-in all at the same time. Seems like there is a lot of room for error.

Theoretically, if I rev match I should be able to do the downshift earlier in the brake zone (50-75ft), then the transition to the accelerator and turn-in would be a separate event.

I want to get confirmation that this is the correct approach. Keep in mind, I usually don't do sequential downshifts, I just jump to the gear I want to be in (example: 5-3).

Thoughts?

For reference, the track I go to has two points that I am most concerned about, both are 5-3 downshifts from 110+mph to about 50mph.
Don't do it at the same time. Be done with your braking and shifting before the turn. Also, don't leave the shifting to the end of the braking, do it before like in the middle of the braking. Just like you yourself described.

You can do trail braking after gaining some more experience.
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      05-25-2011, 07:02 PM   #3
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Brake - Downshift - Turn

Brakes are designed to slow the car, clutches not so much.
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      05-25-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
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just keep practicing on the track. I think no matter how much u practice on the street you just have to keep trying on the track before you get used to it. The pace at which you shift on the track is totaly different and your mind should be distracted with all sorts of things like hitting the apex, your lines, brake zones, braking pressure, but youll get the hang of it over a day
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      05-25-2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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Actually, I think it is much easier to heel-toe on the track. On the street, you never really press the brake pedal which makes it hard to blip the throttle enough.

On the track, you press the brake pedal a lot harder so the pedal is about even with the gas. I usually blip the throttle too much when I downshift.

I think you would downshift in towards the middle of the braking zone. You have to scrub off some speed and lower the revs so you don't drop a gear and then mechanically overrev your engine.
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      05-25-2011, 08:24 PM   #6
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Heel/toe on the track is like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. Needless to say, I ain't got it mastered yet ...
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      05-26-2011, 12:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Brake - Downshift - Turn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Actually, I think it is much easier to heel-toe on the track. On the street, you never really press the brake pedal which makes it hard to blip the throttle enough.

On the track, you press the brake pedal a lot harder so the pedal is about even with the gas. I usually blip the throttle too much when I downshift.

I think you would downshift in towards the middle of the braking zone. You have to scrub off some speed and lower the revs so you don't drop a gear and then mechanically overrev your engine.
As most of our driving is done on the streets, street is great place to practice heel-and-toe/blipping-the-throttle. You can do this at almost every downshifts while driving around. Just vary & match the amount of blip with how hard you're braking... Do this daily for weeks or months, and OP should feel fairly comfortable doing it on the track.
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      05-26-2011, 01:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Actually, I think it is much easier to heel-toe on the track. On the street, you never really press the brake pedal which makes it hard to blip the throttle enough.

On the track, you press the brake pedal a lot harder so the pedal is about even with the gas. I usually blip the throttle too much when I downshift.

I think you would downshift in towards the middle of the braking zone. You have to scrub off some speed and lower the revs so you don't drop a gear and then mechanically overrev your engine.
I also agree that it is much easier to heel-toe at the track. The M3 has a very sensitive brake pedal which makes it hard for me to heel-toe smoothly on the street. I stopped trying and the only thing I do on the street is rev-match from time to time.
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      05-26-2011, 01:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMPowerJ View Post
Heel/toe on the track is like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. Needless to say, I ain't got it mastered yet ...
Just practice the movement on the street...does wonders. Its just easier to correctly match the revs on the track.

If you can do it on the street, you can do it on the track.
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      05-26-2011, 05:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Actually, I think it is much easier to heel-toe on the track. On the street, you never really press the brake pedal which makes it hard to blip the throttle enough.

On the track, you press the brake pedal a lot harder so the pedal is about even with the gas. I usually blip the throttle too much when I downshift.

I think you would downshift in towards the middle of the braking zone. You have to scrub off some speed and lower the revs so you don't drop a gear and then mechanically overrev your engine.
My current car has DCT, but with prior manual transmission cars this frustrated me until I came to the above realization. On the street you're not pressing the brake pedal hard enough to get it even with the gas pedal, so it's very awkward--you feel like you have to roll your foot over and down too much to blip the throttle. On the track, things are happening faster and there is a lot more to think about in terms of timing things, turn-in, apex, etc., but at least the motion of rolling your foot and blipping is much easier and more natural.
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      05-26-2011, 09:57 AM   #11
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Get a ride next time at the next event with an instructor and see when he/she blips the throttle in relation to the braking zone.

This is a post I made LONG long time ago to help people visualize the actual heel-toe maneuver and just about how quickly it happens:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK
Here's a couple of diagrams I made, originally intended for class-room sessions at some of the schools we teach...

This is the "traditional" definition of a heel-toe. Heel of the foot on the gas, toe of the foot on the brake. The position of the car in diagram indicate how quickly and how short of a distance you typically have to get this accomplished.



This is the alternative way I was taught, it's especially effective on cars where the pedals are close, or for guys with repeated ankle sprains/injuries where rotating the foot in via a traditional sense of heel-toe becomes increasingly difficult with age. Keep left side of the ball of your foot on the brake, rotate your whole foot to the right to catch the gas pedal with the right side of your foot. Takes some practice, but it comes easier for me on a BMW.



On cars like a Nissan 350Z, where the gas and brake pedals are far apart and meant for a traditional heel-toe, since I don't have a lot of flexibility in my ankle anymore, I rotate my foot the OTHER WAY and catch the brake pedal with the ball of my foot on the right, and rotate my foot forward and catch the gas pedal with the tip of my toe. Works just as well.
Which way you "heel-toe" also "hinges" on how the gas pedal is attached, I've found.
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      05-26-2011, 11:40 AM   #12
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Which way you "heel-toe" also "hinges" on how the gas pedal is attached, I've found.
I was used to the hinge at the top of the pedal on my old RX-7. Now with the hinge on the floor I'm all screwed up trying to heel toe.
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      05-30-2011, 11:06 AM   #13
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I was used to the hinge at the top of the pedal on my old RX-7. Now with the hinge on the floor I'm all screwed up trying to heel toe.
Bingo. I learned heel-toe on the BMW where the hinge is on the bottom. So it's easier to do the alternative heel-toe where the heel never moves. On my WRX the gas pedal hinges on top. I've found that the Subaru is 100X easier to heel-toe the traditional way with the heel applying the blip despite my rather stiff ankle.
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