Monday, February 11, 2008

Heel & Toe Downshifting

When tackling a corner, you should try to do a heel and toe downshifting because it's a much easier to transition going from 4th gear to 1st when downshifting. Racing drivers and also professional drifters uses this technique all the time. Doing this heel and toe downshifting is good for your clutch because when you use this technique, it gives your clutch a break from the heavy downshifts and rapid deceleration.

Let me explain how this heel and toe downshifting helps your clutch in a long run. Imagine you're driving at speed of 50 mile per hour and you quickly approaching a tight right turn corner. Your instinct will tell you to slow down as much as possible downshifting at the same time. Okay you've braked hard then at the same time shifted from 4th gear to 2nd gear; your car jerk while you downshifted and then you've slowed down enough to go around the corner.

You thought that you were Michael Schumacher after you made the it through the corner. Now when you shifted the gears from 4th, 3rd, and all the way to second gear the car jerked a lot. When you released the clutch, the mechanical locking effect between the engine and the front wheels forces the engine revs to match the rotational speed of the rear wheels. In this case, 25 mph in second gear would mean the engine has to be at roughly 2,600 rpm. When you let out clutch after moving the shifter to second gear, your car's engine must instantly go from idle to 2,600 rpm. This sudden change causes the car to jerk, as well as causing undue wear-and-tear on the clutch, transmission and engine mounts.

Now what the heel and toe does when you downshift is that it makes the transition from the higher gears to the lower gears much smoother, and therefore, faster entry when cornering and also faster exit speed coming out of the corner because the you are in the right gear at the right time. Also lessening the stress for the clutch by matching the speed of engine and wheels, so you'll not experience that jerking motion when you do this technique.

Here's Is How You Do It
When practicing this, you should try it in a straight line because it's much easier accomplish this technique in a straight line.

* So start out to accelerate from 0 to 50 miles per hour. Then brake with using your right foot's toe.
* Use your left foot to depress the clutch.
* This is the hard part because you have to simultaneously do shifting, gassing, and braking. So while still applying the brakes move your heel up so it looks horizontal. So your toe is pointing at the clutch. Then you're using right foot's heel to blip the throttle at the same time you're applying the brakes. When you blip the throttle the rpm will rise and that's when you dowshift.

These are two videos of heel & toe downshifting to illustrate the whole process of it:
1 of 2
Another One
2 of 2

1 comment:

blueberry said...

Never tried this one yet. Will try this weekend. Thanks!
Carl@DMV Locations