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      08-31-2012, 09:27 AM   #1
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My Heel Toe Dilemna (Street vs. Track)

Here's the thing, I can H/T pretty easily on street WITHOUT rotating my foot. I'm able to but the 2/3rds of my foot on brake, roll my ankle ever so slightly and catch the left side of the gas pedal for a quick blip - all while my foot remains pointed straight up.

However, on the track this technique isn't as effective because on hard braking zones I need to apply MUCH more pressure to the brake pedal. This requires me to place my whole foot (centered) on the brake pedal. And in doing so, I then need to H/T the traditional way of rotating my foot and using my heel to blip the gas. Unfortunately this is not so easy for me to do... call it flexibility or just lack of muscle memory training. How do you guys get around this?

Funny thing is I've been in cars where the gas and brake pedal are further apart so I know in theory this shouldn't be an issue. Would having the gas pedal raised further up help?
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      08-31-2012, 10:14 AM   #2
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I use your first method even on the track, I am able to roll my ankle to the inside and put a great deal of pressure on the brake pedal, and then roll over to catch the gas with the outside of my foot and hit the gas pedal. I have done it so much I never think about it. It's strange how you learn something then it becomes second nature and you don't even think about how you actually do it anymore. Even as an instructor its hard for me to explain how to do it to my students.
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      08-31-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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I have been tracking for 6 years now... And most of my past instructors told me my heel & toe was perfect or near perfect. The thing is... I don't heel and toe... i have never heeled and toed. I guess my rev timing is very good. We always had a laugh when I told them the truth about my lack of heel & toe prowess.
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      08-31-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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Try to initiate your blips earlier in the braking zone. If I had to downshift I'm blipping almost as soon as I start braking, so that you won't be too deep into the pedal yet.
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      08-31-2012, 12:24 PM   #5
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To add to "Hacks" statement, which is what I do as well, I put the Rennline pedals on which have extensions on the gas pedal to make it much easier to reach during hard braking.
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      08-31-2012, 12:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
Try to initiate your blips earlier in the braking zone. If I had to downshift I'm blipping almost as soon as I start braking, so that you won't be too deep into the pedal yet.
Maybe I'm over thinking this but I thought H/T's main purpose was to put you in the right gear as you enter the turn. My last CCA instructor told us coming off a long straight, instead of going from 5 -> 4 -> 3, better to skip 4, hold 5th till the end of braking zone and then H/T into 3rd... whereas I typically went sequentially through the gears since I wouldn't then have to revmatch as much (and making it easier on me).

I feel like if I downshift/blip earlier or the beginning of the braking zone, it's no different than normal rev matching in everyday driving but it still won't set me up for the turn, unless I downshift again for the turn (which goes against the above). Do you guys complete your downshifts during the middle of the braking zone and then carry that speed into the turn? Or do you guys complete your downshift RIGHT before you're about to make the turn?
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      08-31-2012, 12:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RandysV10 View Post
To add to "Hacks" statement, which is what I do as well, I put the Rennline pedals on which have extensions on the gas pedal to make it much easier to reach during hard braking.
Interestingly enough I have those pedals as well but right now I find the top extension to get in the way when I rotate my foot to the left. The bottom extension is helpful b/c that's where my heel would go but I find the top one almost catches the right side of my foot once the brake pedal is depressed (and my foot is rotated).
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      08-31-2012, 01:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSC_OFF View Post
Maybe I'm over thinking this but I thought H/T's main purpose was to put you in the right gear as you enter the turn. My last CCA instructor told us coming off a long straight, instead of going from 5 -> 4 -> 3, better to skip 4, hold 5th till the end of braking zone and then H/T into 3rd... whereas I typically went sequentially through the gears since I wouldn't then have to revmatch as much (and making it easier on me).

I feel like if I downshift/blip earlier or the beginning of the braking zone, I'm still carrying too much speed and wouldn't be able to go into 3rd. I'd have to still go through 4th first, and then downshift again into 3rd as I enter the turn. Do you guys complete your downshifts during the middle of the braking zone and then carry that speed into the turn? Or do you guys complete your downshift RIGHT before you're about to make the turn?


Everyone will have different preferences. Whatever works best for you and make it the easiest to accomplish what you need to do should be what you do. At this point in your driving career you should be able to tell what works better and what doesn't, and be able to give your instructor(s) feedback regarding those.

All I know is, when coming into the infield from the Auto Club Speedway roval, when you're going from ~125mph down to ~40mph, it sounds a lot cooler to go 5 -> 4 -> 3 -> 2 and it impresses the hell out of my passengers. But at the tracks I frequent, it is very rare (except for Auto Club Speedway) to execute a 2 gear shift more than a couple of times per lap.

And as you get faster as a driver, you'll come to find that all the rules you so hold dear that's been ingrained in your system by forced repetition from all the previous instructors, don't always hold true. So the best advice I can give you? Experiment and see which technique work best for you. But start at say, 6/10th of your max speed and try various techniques, until you find one that works best, then ramp up speed a little at a time each lap using the technique that works best for you.
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      08-31-2012, 01:07 PM   #9
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Also, if you need to blip "later" into the braking zone, I recommend that you pre- "rotate" your foot as you brake. Like start your braking with your foot angled in a way where the right side of your foot is much higher than the left. That way you can supply adequate pressure on the brake pedal while maintaining the ability to then rotate your foot to still catch the gas pedal.

If you have a chance, catch a few rides with instructors who are very proficient at heel-toe, and you'll likely see that even as they brake into a high pressure braking zone, they'll angle their right knee to the left to allow them maximum pressure on the brake pedal while preparing to blip the throttle LATER.
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      08-31-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
Also, if you need to blip "later" into the braking zone, I recommend that you pre- "rotate" your foot as you brake. Like start your braking with your foot angled in a way where the right side of your foot is much higher than the left. That way you can supply adequate pressure on the brake pedal while maintaining the ability to then rotate your foot to still catch the gas pedal.

If you have a chance, catch a few rides with instructors who are very proficient at heel-toe, and you'll likely see that even as they brake into a high pressure braking zone, they'll angle their right knee to the left to allow them maximum pressure on the brake pedal while preparing to blip the throttle LATER.
THIS is what I wanted to know. I think I'll downshift sequentially (which is what I'm comfortable with) but start angling my foot in anticipation. This makes most sense to me.
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      08-31-2012, 01:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandysV10 View Post
To add to "Hacks" statement, which is what I do as well, I put the Rennline pedals on which have extensions on the gas pedal to make it much easier to reach during hard braking.
Do you have the upper extension, lower one or the whole extension?

Have you ever caught the gas pedal by accident when you were braking?

My biggest problem at Mid-Ohio (only 1 track day in my belt here), when I was going from the keyhole into china beach (~130mph) I was braking, blip the throttle 4 -> 3, but as I did that I'd actually lift on the braking....which kinda gave me a 2 stage braking. Very frustrating and I really need to work on it
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      08-31-2012, 03:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
Also, if you need to blip "later" into the braking zone, I recommend that you pre- "rotate" your foot as you brake. Like start your braking with your foot angled in a way where the right side of your foot is much higher than the left. That way you can supply adequate pressure on the brake pedal while maintaining the ability to then rotate your foot to still catch the gas pedal.

If you have a chance, catch a few rides with instructors who are very proficient at heel-toe, and you'll likely see that even as they brake into a high pressure braking zone, they'll angle their right knee to the left to allow them maximum pressure on the brake pedal while preparing to blip the throttle LATER.
This is what I do at the end of long straights. Hadn't given it much thought, but for heavy/long braking zones my heel/toe was lousy, and I sorted of tried various things and fell into this. (I'm always out on to the track with a plan and list of things to improve/work on. Guess I'm a bit OCD.) On shorter braking zones, lower speed differentials, the "street" method seems to work fine since I'm not so deep into the brakes.

+1 on going out with advanced drivers and instructors. My last time out with SeanK just watching his hands and feet gave me a few "ah hah!" moments, and opened my eyes to a few things.
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      08-31-2012, 04:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
This is what I do at the end of long straights. Hadn't given it much thought, but for heavy/long braking zones my heel/toe was lousy, and I sorted of tried various things and fell into this. (I'm always out on to the track with a plan and list of things to improve/work on. Guess I'm a bit OCD.) On shorter braking zones, lower speed differentials, the "street" method seems to work fine since I'm not so deep into the brakes.

+1 on going out with advanced drivers and instructors. My last time out with SeanK just watching his hands and feet gave me a few "ah hah!" moments, and opened my eyes to a few things.
Back when I was a student, I always make it a point to go ride with a different instructor each day, at least once. It's stuck with me ever since, even now, I ask one of my cohorts to go out for a ride at least once every event so I can observe and see what they do differently, and how it could potentially work in my own car.
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      09-01-2012, 01:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSC_OFF View Post
Here's the thing, I can H/T pretty easily on street WITHOUT rotating my foot. I'm able to but the 2/3rds of my foot on brake, roll my ankle ever so slightly and catch the left side of the gas pedal for a quick blip - all while my foot remains pointed straight up.

However, on the track this technique isn't as effective because on hard braking zones I need to apply MUCH more pressure to the brake pedal. This requires me to place my whole foot (centered) on the brake pedal. And in doing so, I then need to H/T the traditional way of rotating my foot and using my heel to blip the gas. Unfortunately this is not so easy for me to do... call it flexibility or just lack of muscle memory training. How do you guys get around this?

Funny thing is I've been in cars where the gas and brake pedal are further apart so I know in theory this shouldn't be an issue. Would having the gas pedal raised further up help?
I think set-up is key. My track car is set-up very comfortably for me and I have also done it to the z4mc. I only have a size 10 foot, so I install an automatic brake pedal. It brings the pedals closer together and makes it much easier, smoother, and quicker to left foot brake as well. I copied it from a very fast and smooth driver I know, and I haven't looked back. They are expensive but I use the ultimate pedals, but tell them you want the automatic brake pedal (its 4 inches wide or 1 inch wider on each side). It probably won't work if you have Finnegan size feet
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      09-02-2012, 05:49 PM   #15
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I have stock pedals but do have the StopTech BBK all around. The BBK has reduced the pedal pressure needed to slow the car down and that makes H/T a tad easier.

That being said, my technique is to use the left part of my fore-foot depress the brake pedal and rotate down the right side of the fore-foot to blip the throttle; the heel does not move. This seems to work for me 8 out of 10 times but the remaining 2 times I use too much of the fore-foot on the brake pedal and miss the throttle with the remaining right side of the fore-foot. I like HACK's idea of angling the foot ready for the blip - will try it next weekend by backing off a couple of 10ths.
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      09-02-2012, 07:13 PM   #16
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They are expensive but I use the ultimate pedals, but tell them you want the automatic brake pedal (its 4 inches wide or 1 inch wider on each side). It probably won't work if you have Finnegan size feet
Ultimate Pedals have three options for accelerator pedals--extended on the top, bottom, or the whole length of the pedal. I started with the bottom extension, but in the end liked the full extension much better with my size 9 feet. More importantly, you can shim with washers between the pedal cover and the pedal itself to alter the relative height of either the accelerator or the brake. (You may need longer bolts for this.) I have the brake pedal shimmed up about half and inch, and it really helps heel-toe when hard on the brakes. I'm going to have to think about that automatic brake pedal now...
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      09-02-2012, 07:35 PM   #17
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^ good idea on the shims.
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      09-04-2012, 10:25 AM   #18
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Been trying different things this past weekend and I noticed angling my foot just doesn't come easy to me. I'm sure it's just something I need to practice but I think I'm going to stick with what I've been doing... that is to keep the foot straight and just roll it slightly to the right to blip throttle. I just have to make a conscious effort to apply brake with the ball of my foot, which will give me enough "foot" to roll onto throttle, as opposed to braking with my foot dead center.

Another thing I found helpful is that it's not necessary to shift/blip simulatenously. On the street I can do the motions fast enough but on the track, on deeper braking zones I still find that [1] brake -> [2] (keep foot on brake) + downshift -> [3] still keeping clutch and brake in -> [4] THEN blip and let clutch out to be smoother. Ideally, those last 3 steps should be fast/seemless but I find delaying the last 2 steps allows for an easier/smoother heel-toe. Yes I know, I'm still a noob on track lol.
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      09-04-2012, 03:18 PM   #19
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I use the same method as you, when it comes to foot placement. Do you have a hard time keeping constant brake pressure when you go to blip the throttle?

When I roll my foot over, i slightly come up on the brake. It's annoying and I can't find a way to get around it, besides practice.
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      09-04-2012, 03:22 PM   #20
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I use the same method as you, when it comes to foot placement. Do you have a hard time keeping constant brake pressure when you go to blip the throttle?

When I roll my foot over, i slightly come up on the brake. It's annoying and I can't find a way to get around it, besides practice.
Yep, what you described at the end is the problem. Once I roll my foot, I let off more pressure from brake than I'd like. However I think I can get around this by holding the brakes longer and delaying the blip. Another thing I realized is on track, you need to do much more than a simple 'blip' or the revs won't go nearly high enough. It's really a good mash on the gas, whereas on the street a light blip is sufficient.
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      09-04-2012, 08:48 PM   #21
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Another thing I realized is on track, you need to do much more than a simple 'blip' or the revs won't go nearly high enough. It's really a good mash on the gas, whereas on the street a light blip is sufficient.
See, that's the complete opposite for me.

Driving on the street, I obviously keep the revs lower, when I go to blip (say 4th gear at 40 mph) the engine is in the bog RPM and you really need to get a hard blip to get the needle up.

On the track, the RPM is always 3k+, so just a slight tap and the RPM shoots up. That's why I try to brake, clutch in and blip early (while RPM is relatively high) and finishing braking.
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      10-08-2012, 10:08 PM   #22
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Just read this thread now. Dan seems like you have come a long way from when you started this. I have a lot to work on, thanks for the pointers earlier (and to everyone else's info here too - Great stuff!)
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