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Tracking / Autocross / HPDE / Drifting What these cars were built for!


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Old 04-01-2021, 02:54 AM   #1
drgnt
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First track day and heel toe questions

Hello everyone! Had my first track day at Streets of Willow Springs this past Sunday and had a very good time. My best time that I got back after the event was pretty disappointing though at a 1.43.39. Or at least I think its disappointing because its at the bottom of the results page.

I think I do know what the issue was and that was being in the right gear coming out of turns. I never really did any heel toeing before the track day so not very good at it. I tried heel toeing in the first 2 sessions but found it very awkward to do the whole foot maneuver, and found myself losing focus on the track trying to do it. So the rest of the day I just stuck in third and went in 2nd in the middle of a turn in the last couple of turns.

I have a couple of questions.
1. Am I overreacting and just need some time to get used to it?
2. Will a verus throttle pedal spacer help with this?
3. Is the autoblip feature that comes with the ecutek racerom a suitable substitute while track driving?
4. Did any of you guys find it hard to heel toe in this car when you first got in and how long did it take you to become accustomed to it.

Heres a video of some of my last session. It doesnt look good because I forgot to fix a setting in the gopro.
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Old 04-01-2021, 03:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by drgnt View Post
Hello everyone! Had my first track day at Streets of Willow Springs this past Sunday and had a very good time. My best time that I got back after the event was pretty disappointing though at a 1.43.39. Or at least I think its disappointing because its at the bottom of the results page.



I think I do know what the issue was and that was being in the right gear coming out of turns. I never really did any heel toeing before the track day so not very good at it. I tried heel toeing in the first 2 sessions but found it very awkward to do the whole foot maneuver, and found myself losing focus on the track trying to do it. So the rest of the day I just stuck in third and went in 2nd in the middle of a turn in the last couple of turns.



I have a couple of questions.

1. Am I overreacting and just need some time to get used to it?

2. Will a verus throttle pedal spacer help with this?

3. Is the autoblip feature that comes with the ecutek racerom a suitable substitute while track driving?

4. Did any of you guys find it hard to heel toe in this car when you first got in and how long did it take you to become accustomed to it.



Heres a video of some of my last session. It doesnt look good because I forgot to fix a setting in the gopro.
You just need practice.

1. Make sure you are in a proper seating position to have control over both pedals. Not so close, not too far. Experiment and practice in your daily driving. The key is good brake pedal control. Start with that, then add the accelerator.

From personal experience, you will find out that even when you think you have it down, there will be more that you need to tweak next time you're on the track since daily driving isn't exactly like HPDE driving (RPM levels, deceleration rates, etc.). Just be open to that.

2. Really up to you and what you feel like you need out of the setup. The Verus spacer moves the accelerator closer both toward you and the brake pedal. I think it will cause the accelerator pedal to be too high under heavy braking. I use a Cusco pedal overlay, which only extends the accelerator pedal so that it's closer to the brake pedal

3. The autoblip on my tune feels pretty natural on the street and would probably work fine on the track. Personally, I've never used it on track

4. I've been doing heel-toe since I started tracking 3 years ago, and I'm still working to improve it
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Old 04-01-2021, 03:37 AM   #3
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There's no need to feel disappointed. It's nice to have but I don't even know why there is timing/results for a track day. Your goal first and foremost is to stay safe and be able to drive home at the end of the day.

You made the right call to stop attempting to heel-toe if it was distracting you but shifting mid-corner is a no-no as you can unsettle the car if you're carrying speed. I always minimize shifting whenever I'm learning a new track.

You can try practicing heel-toe through foot placement and getting used to the motion with the car parked/off. Not that I've driven that many cars but I've yet to find one that was impossible to heel-toe even if it's my first time driving that vehicle.

Good job for your first time out! If you can, find a good instructor (not necessarily the guy that can put down the fastest lap) and your learning will progress much quicker.
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Last edited by SCFD; 04-01-2021 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 04-01-2021, 07:25 AM   #4
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My advice is to practice all the techniques you would use on the track while daily driving. If they arenít second nature then they will always distract in the track. Also as others pointed out is to find the correct seating position but donít just do this at the track, leave it this way all the time. You need to get used to it.

Personally the pedals are fine on this car. Even barefoot. I think a lot of people donít actually do it correctly. They attempt to press the brake with the left side of their foot and the gas with the right side of their foot so to pull that off the pedals need to be really close. The proper way is for your toe to be on the brake and your heel to be in the gas. Iíve seen people gas with their toe and brake with their heel which is also incorrect.

If you practice while daily driving for just a few weeks it will become a lot easier on the track. It will become something you just do without thinking. Same goes for shuffle steering and any other techniques you use at the track.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:15 AM   #5
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Practice on the street. The technique will vary between side to side keeping your heel on the floor and picking your heel up and hitting the gas with it. They both work and in some cases it comes down to ankle flexibility. One big mistake is downshifting too early in the brake zone. The longer you can wait before turning in the better as the revs are lower.

There is a lot to uNpack on your first few track days so things like heel toe are not a priority. Too many other more important things to focus on

Last edited by TommyW; 04-01-2021 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:50 AM   #6
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I recall my first time out on track somewhat overwhelming. New car(8000km) bone stock.
A different environment to wrap your head around, figure out lines, braking zones and monitor traffic/point bys etc.
If you can get an instructor that would help you advance greatly in a shorter period of time.


Having confidence in the brakes was big for me when I was trying to heel toe on track.
On my first ever session once I felt brake fade I abandoned trying to do it and made a plan to upgrade pads and fluid before returning again.
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Old 04-01-2021, 12:14 PM   #7
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Just practice it on the street, you came home in one piece and hopefully had fun, that's what matters, lap time will come with time.

None of that extra stuff will beat just doing it and finding your own rhythm, clear your head and enjoy your car.
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Old 04-01-2021, 03:49 PM   #8
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Master the heel toe on the street. Your lap times will fall quite a bit at first as you get better. But once you get quite good it will be harder to shave off time and then you look for consistent lap times
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:05 PM   #9
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I found the 86 extremely comfortable and easy to heel toe in, but I was coming from an SVT Focus which is known for having somewhat awkward pedal placement for it. I've always believed pretty strongly in first doing everything I can to adapt myself to my equipment rather than jumping straight to altering it. Like everyone else has said, start making yourself heel toe constantly in normal street driving and you'll find it becoming natural pretty quickly.

In my experience heel toe is much easier on the track since you're putting so much more pressure on the brakes. If you can develop a feel for heel toe during gentle street driving while keeping the car smooth you'll be more than equipped to apply it on the track.

I would never use auto rev matching personally, but I don't know have any first hand experience with it so I can't really point to a specific reason why it would be worse.
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:46 PM   #10
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I cant heel-toe worth a damn on the street. I can perfectly do it on the track. Its impossible for me without having any semblance of pressure on the brake pedal. The height is just not right on the brake pedal and it just feels awkward. I wouldnt try to learn on the street, but rather go to the track more often and focus on learning things rather than looking at fantasies time sheets that mean absolutely nothing.
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:54 PM   #11
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I am still learning, but the best advice I got from instructors was to stop paying attention to lap times and pay attention to proper braking, proper line through corners etc.

I am the same, heel-toe on the street is difficult for me since so little brake pressure, at the track is has become very natural but it takes time to get to that point.
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:59 PM   #12
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There are a thousand thing to practice and improve on the track. Heel toe is only one of them . As said it is a task you can practice on the street. Every down shift to a stop sign or light. When it comes naturally, it will happen naturally on the track.
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:11 PM   #13
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Street is fine for practice. Not every heel toe downshift is under threshold braking at the track. Also, The action is a lot more than just the gas and brake. The clutch action is just as important whether it's at threshold or not. The rhythm of all 3 pedals is important. Many guys get the clutch release wrong and the whole thing just goes out the window
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:17 PM   #14
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You have just discovered the difference between driving fast and driving as fast as possible.

Don't let it get you down. No one turns up and owns the track first time out. Someone has to come last and it stands to reason it's the least experienced guy out there.

Now for the good news: you will get better.

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