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Anybody else practice heal/toe & trail-braking around town?


HyperStangs

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I admit it, Im getting anxious for summer already so I strapped on my boots and headed out around town for some "spirited" driving.... not so much fast, but I've been getting used to the new 2013 peddles and practicing my heal/toe. Anybody else drive town in your boots?

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I admit it, Im getting anxious for summer already so I strapped on my boots and headed out around town for some "spirited" driving.... not so much fast, but I've been getting used to the new 2013 peddles and practicing my heal/toe. Anybody else drive town in your boots?

 

 

Boots, no. Heal toe, yes, just about every downshift. I love the burbling noises these cars make......

 

Mark

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What is the point of heal and toe? Can't one shift fast and accurately the traditional way?

 

 

In race conditions one has to match the RPM of the motor when downshifting or risk unsettling the car. The point is to keep your toe on the brake whilst blipping the throttle with your heal to bring the downshift in seamlessly.

 

EDIT: And yes, it takes a lot of practice. Racing shoes help, but they're not necessary. I hate looking goofy at the mall in them anyway....

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Thank you HyperStang. I was curious. I know it is not the same but I drove a semi for about 6 yrs and kind of the simular thing with the RPM and the motor, except double clutching. If you listen to the Bullet chase seen you can here double clutching.

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I have done it, and its fun, however it feels much better to do that when driving fast and there aren't any areas around me that I can do that safely.

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I live in the country or atleast out of the big city so most places I drive mine are not in very much trafic. For me its a personal goal I want to learn how to do it and also if I hit the track then I can be ready.

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In race conditions one has to match the RPM of the motor when downshifting or risk unsettling the car. The point is to keep your toe on the brake whilst blipping the throttle with your heal to bring the downshift in seamlessly.

 

EDIT: And yes, it takes a lot of practice. Racing shoes help, but they're not necessary. I hate looking goofy at the mall in them anyway....

 

 

It's not just race conditions. Any time you have a high compression engine with lots of HP and torque, you run the risk of what is called compression braking. This happens when the engine at high RPM is taken to a gearing condition where the natural RPM would be different. This is predominantly in two conditions.

 

The first is the downshift condition, where the engine is running at a given speed, and the downshift, to maintain current operating conditions, would require a higher RPM. The result of this without the RPM adjust is called compression braking and the result of a sudden decrease in speed can cause the wheels to suddenly slow down, and boom, the the rear end breaks loose and you are going sideways. I've seen several instances of someone trying to stomp it down - like downshifting from 4th to 3rd - to pass with disastrous outcomes.

 

The second is, in some circumstances, merely letting off the throttle. This is "trailing throttle oversteer". One of the things taught early in racing classes is NEVER COAST!!! You are either braking or accelerating, but letting off the throttle to slow down is an invitation to a spinout.

 

By the way, many of us were taught to use the downshift to slow down instead of using the brakes. Not a good idea with, for example, a Cobra!!! It was a hard habit to break.

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I have done it, and its fun, however it feels much better to do that when driving fast and there aren't any areas around me that I can do that safely.

 

 

+1 For sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I keep trying but have yet to figure it out or get it smooth. Usally end with a snap of the neck from hitting the brake to hard :shrug:

 

MJN, It can be a little difficult to figure out around town due to the lower average speed. The traditional heal-toe method of having the toes apply the brake pressure and heal blip the throttle tends to favor the track/high speed braking due to the foot position favoring a little more braking power than what is really needed on the street. Some guys get it, but they will occasionally find that they tend to apply more brake than needed for the lower speeds using the traditional method on the street.

 

Another technique is to split the right foot, more of a vertical position per se. Start out with a 50/50 split then find your comfort/preference zone and make adjustments as necessary. Place the left side of your right foot on the brake when braking, almost rocking the foot to the left as you apply pressure then roll/grab the throttle pedal with the right side of your right foot to make the rpm blip prior to lower gear clutch release. You may find this technique a little more user friendly on the streets and it works on the track just as well once you master it. It also seems a little easier to modulate the amount of desired brake pressure when trying to grab the throttle.

 

I’ve spoken with quite a few other racers that use the latter technique, to my surprise. Definitely try the other technique on the track, but you will probably find yourself reverting to the second method and it works just as well. Law of primacy, ha!

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MJN, It can be a little difficult to figure out around town due to the lower average speed. The traditional heal-toe method of having the toes apply the brake pressure and heal blip the throttle tends to favor the track/high speed braking due to the foot position favoring a little more braking power than what is really needed on the street. Some guys get it, but they will occasionally find that they tend to apply more brake than needed for the lower speeds using the traditional method on the street.

 

Another technique is to split the right foot, more of a vertical position per se. Start out with a 50/50 split then find your comfort/preference zone and make adjustments as necessary. Place the left side of your right foot on the brake when braking, almost rocking the foot to the left as you apply pressure then roll/grab the throttle pedal with the right side of your right foot to make the rpm blip prior to lower gear clutch release. You may find this technique a little more user friendly on the streets and it works on the track just as well once you master it. It also seems a little easier to modulate the amount of desired brake pressure when trying to grab the throttle.

 

I’ve spoken with quite a few other racers that use the latter technique, to my surprise. Definitely try the other technique on the track, but you will probably find yourself reverting to the second method and it works just as well. Law of primacy, ha!

 

 

Thanks will defently give it a try and continue my quest till I can get this B) Talking snow storm on the way though so prob not be till spring.

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my feet are so damn big, for me its toe, pinky toe...

 

my toe on the throttle puts my size 14s heel on the clutch, or vice versa...there just doesnt seem to be room for my feet sideways in there any way I try it...I guess being 5'8" really is a requirement for professional driving. Either way, I end up mashing the brake too much. Maybe late onset diabetes is my answer...a club foot would at least cut down on my space issues. :hysterical2:

 

unless you are racing NASA events, I just dont see the need...I am always up somebodys tailpipe just driving normal anyway...whats the gain in that?

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I use it when I need to in all driving situations, not as practice, but because I discovered that it just helps me handle the car better. Can't claim I learned it as heel/toe, though, or learned it as a performance driving technique. My 95 has a cold-temp idle issue, and I live on the side of a mountain, so I has to learn how to use the throttle and brake simultaneously, first at stop signs and on hills. I do the "left-side brake, right-side throttle" technique, rather than true heel/toe (once I read about it and tried it, I figured out very quickly that it was VERY DIFFICULT, and my self-taught method seemed to give me the same outcome). So I guess in that light, I'm practicing daily for when I finally get a chance to go to the track!

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So I guess in that light, I'm practicing daily for when I finally get a chance to go to the track!

 

First time you come off a 120+mph straight diving for the corner and this is your "natural" reaction, you'll truly be amazed and your transmission will love you, ha!

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I use it when I need to in all driving situations, not as practice, but because I discovered that it just helps me handle the car better. Can't claim I learned it as heel/toe, though, or learned it as a performance driving technique. My 95 has a cold-temp idle issue, and I live on the side of a mountain, so I has to learn how to use the throttle and brake simultaneously, first at stop signs and on hills. I do the "left-side brake, right-side throttle" technique, rather than true heel/toe (once I read about it and tried it, I figured out very quickly that it was VERY DIFFICULT, and my self-taught method seemed to give me the same outcome). So I guess in that light, I'm practicing daily for when I finally get a chance to go to the track!

 

Ditto - I practice more on left foot braking. FWIW - check out SRP racing for pedals to help with heel / toe .
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Downshifting without rpm matching with the hp and tq in cars like this is invitation to disaster. Almost a guarantee to exchange front to rear.

 

 

How are you guys heel toeing this car? I saw a video where a guy does a heel toe with the toe on the brake and heel on the gas which I can't even twist my foot enough to do.

. I can do it with the heel on the brake and toe on the gas but still I can barely rev match properly. Or when I do it, I end up doing it slowly. Every chance I get I try to practice just tapping on the gas pedal to get it up there but either I over shoot it or I under shoot it and I get a jerk.
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It will depend on what kind of offset in the plane of the brake and accel pedals. If the accel is lower than the brake you will probably need to use foot on the brake and roll the side of your foot to the accel. If they are coplanar (the Ford GT is very nearly so), then either heel on brake or heel on accel works. I am more confortable with heel on brake.

 

On some cars, it's impossible. The Cobra brake-accel offset was so deep I couldn't ever make it work. I was going to extend the accel pedal but sold it before I got into it.

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If the accel is lower than the brake you will probably need to use foot on the brake and roll the side of your foot to the accel.

 

This. That is what I was trying to describe above when I said left-side brake, right-side accelerator.
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They devote a few hours to this at the Boss Track Attack but it was hit-or-miss for me. Sometimes I got it but most of the time I messed up and before I got it down had to move on the the skid pad. I wanted to say though that they gave you a 1/4 mile or so straight run to work with. If you picture an oval you started at the mid point of the curve and started your run as you got it straight. It was fun...but I don't think I'd look to practice it on a public street.

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I need to practice. I was "out" of practice at Laguna last time. We learned using the inside of the foot for the brake and the outside for the gas at Track Attack as well. Was extra fun fading the brakes to pretty much nothing on that drill! It was 99* with a sustained heavy wind when I was there.

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