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View Full Version : Basic Skills to Practice on Commute



Fox 21 Alpha
10-03-2008, 06:26 AM
I have a long commute to school (Hour and 15mins one way) and was wondering if there was safe simple exercises I could practice to keep myself entertained and make use of the time. I do things like try and concentrate on getting a smooth shift, and practice keeping my line of sight on where I wanna go (Simple things like looking at the path next to the paper cup I want to go instead of focusing on the paper cup) trying to apex the big turns on the highway on and off ramps if traffic isn't bad. Try and break in stages coming up on stop lights and make sure I don't hold the breaks after breaking in one place on the rotor. So that day when I do get expensive ass rotors and pads I don't warp them. Heel-toe down shifting (Or more like left side of foot right side of foot with my big feet and small car. Nothing major. Double clutching really never seems to get along with me, and for some odd reason when I do it some odd part will break on my car, even if its unrelated (Karma?).

Anyways was wondering if there was anything else I could practice. Left foot breaking is just too dangerous, as well as any other else of that nature. So I can't really think of anything, but was wondering if anyone else could.
Its some suburban city driving stuff for a few miles, then mostly a undivided "route" 4 lane interstate thing that has bout 45mph speed limit, lot of traffic, lots of traffic lights, businesses, and moron people driving on it. Also take the turn pike sometimes, but still only a basic 4 lane highway with a divider, and some curves here and there. So like I said don't want anything crazy or unsafe, just maybe some basic things that could save me some time when I do get out to the track to practice. And if anyone has good double clutching advice, or resources, etc, let me know. I'm assuming its not that bad on the car, just wears out the clutch faster, but its a RWD so new clutch is easy enough...Thanks

Slider
10-03-2008, 08:38 AM
The only reason you would need to double clutch is if your synchros are worn badly otherwise I would focus more on smooth heel toe downshifts.

But if you want to get a little more life out of synchros by double clutching. I would first practice throttle control standing still in neutral hold the throttle at a certain RPM whatever you would be experience right before a downshift and practice blipping it up to a certain RPM you would be in the lower gear. When you're on the road it should be easier to do since your foot will be trained to blip the throttle the right amount. Just see how much you need to raise your revs for the lower gear and practice. That way you can just blip it without even thinking about it and be at the right RPM. If you can heel toe well you already have the revmatching part down. Double clutching just adds the extra part of putting it in neutral, releasing the clutch, rev matching, depressing the clutch putting it in gear then releasing it again. Which part is giving you trouble?

Also a lot of road racers seem to recommend Going Faster! by Carl Lopez as a must have book.

gtfour77
10-03-2008, 06:48 PM
So that day when I do get expensive ass rotors and pads I don't warp them. Heel-toe down shifting (Or more like left side of foot right side of foot with my big feet and small car. Nothing major.

Once you get good rotors and pads you should not warp them...heh Blipping your throttle when downshifting is the best way to practice, whether you do it with the right side of your foot or the heal... Though for autocross you want to minimize shifting so you will rarely go to 3rd or 1st but at least you'll be ready when you do have to make those shifts...
What you said about the cup is one of the most important "street" excercises, sounds like you're doing the right things already. Looking ahead, picking the right lines, getting close to imaginary objects and driving smoothly will help you in a big way. Also, remember to drive 8/10's at max on the streets compared to 10 or sometimes 11/10's (scrubbing off speed or spinning out) on an autocross course... Great question and thread! I am sure there are plenty of other "excercises" people do, let's share.

Luis C
10-03-2008, 09:24 PM
Ever tried calculating the trajectory the of the booger you just flicked at the car besides you? Enough to keep anybody entertained, more so depending of the booger, moist ones seem to fly better that the stiffy ones :hehe:

Seriously.... I take up on a little of precision driving ie. see how much I can get to the "cat eyes" on the pavement before I can feel or hear the wheel going over it, you'd be surprised on how much that can help when having to maneuver fast and staying in the same lane

KoreanJoey
10-04-2008, 01:37 AM
Look ahead, try to find the fastest line (in your head, don't swerve through 4 lanes to find the line) and heel-toe.

That's about it. As to left foot braking... yeah, it comes with practice.

Fox 21 Alpha
10-04-2008, 04:43 AM
Yeah. The double clutching just seems to be something I practice. Throwing to throw it all together even at half speed is just kinda cluster fk. But thanks for the help so far, and the rev matching practice is kinda fun and going alright. Does kind of get me some looks though haha.......

And yeah left foot breaking is a bitch. Then once you get good at that you go to shift again and now your clutch movement doesn't feel right.....

KoreanJoey
10-04-2008, 06:36 AM
Double clutching really is unnecessary... There is a reason they invented synchos...

Luni
10-07-2008, 07:31 AM
Yeah, Ive never once had to double clutch any of my cars to get a quicker shift out of them. All thats gonna do is slow you down. Blipping the throttle makes the transition even quicker, cause it speeds the engine up closer to where the tranny is anyway so when you drop it into gear, once youve gotten used to where you should be its seamless and it was like it was meant to be there at that RPM for your speed.

That right there is the most important thing you can practice.

Practice NOT braking in turns. Even if youre just taking a sweeper or something you think you should slow down for, practice braking down and using the heeltoe downshifting to get your gear so you can apex through the correct gear and have the right exit gear down. Im not saying to drive the shit out of your car, but you can have a little fun with it and still obey speed limits and road laws. Practice the whole slow in/fast out thing. Especially on like... freeway onramps, etc. Stuff where you can get a little fun out of it without killing yourself. Know your cars limit of adhesion. Very important.

Pay attention to whats all around you, constantly. Scan your rearview once every few seconds, always know whats on all sides of you so if you have to take any sort of evasive maneuvering to avoid a wreck or something, youre generally aware and you will subconsiously select the correct course of evasion. Stuff like that is what I do. Im constantly scanning, judging distances. Ill count down to myself, roadmarks in my head, how far away I was from them, see how accurate I am so I know how fast Im going based on whats around me. Know your speed. That will help you in selecting the correct gear in the event you have to do something drastic. I have a photographic memory. I remmeber reference shots. I do a car sweep every few seconds constantly. Mirrors, rear view, speedo, etc. My mind is always aware of what gear Im in, how fast Im going and whats around me so if I have to make a decision, my subconsious is already working on making it so reaction times are less.

T-spoon
10-09-2008, 02:15 AM
Practice NOT braking in turns. Even if youre just taking a sweeper or something you think you should slow down for, practice braking down and using the heeltoe downshifting to get your gear so you can apex through the correct gear and have the right exit gear down. Im not saying to drive the shit out of your car, but you can have a little fun with it and still obey speed limits and road laws. Practice the whole slow in/fast out thing. Especially on like... freeway onramps, etc. Stuff where you can get a little fun out of it without killing yourself. Know your cars limit of adhesion. Very important.

Yep, I like to see just how many seconds ahead of people I exit corners that bumper-hump me into them. Most people go way too fast into turns, then have to brake in the middle of it and end up in way too high a gear so they can't accelerate out of the turn. I like trying to time the down shifting so that I can start accelerating again before the apex to avoid weight transfer. This is important on RWD cars for staying on the road, and even for FWD you'll notice much higher exit speed without sliding all the way across the lane towards the outside of the curve.

KoreanJoey
10-09-2008, 03:43 AM
Practice NOT braking in turns.


STFU noob. We don't all drive mid-engine cars I brake late, very, very late... then again, I do drive w/ both feet.

Hell, I do it with MR cars too...

You're just a noob.

:)

Luni
10-10-2008, 01:14 AM
Just cause YOU do it, and its the right way for YOU on an autox course, doesnt mean its the right way on an open circuit race track, or the right way period.

This is Road Racing and AutoX forum. The 2 driving styles are quite different.

KoreanJoey
10-10-2008, 03:08 AM
Remember asshat, I road raced before I autocross. *pimpslap*

:) it's different driving styles. Has nothing to do with autox VS road racing.

T-spoon
10-10-2008, 03:13 AM
Remember asshat, I road raced before I autocross. *pimpslap*

:) it's different driving styles. Has nothing to do with autox VS road racing.

Just curious because I AM a noob but.. whenever I tried late braking into hard corners in my 6gen it felt like ass and my exit speed was poop. If I treated it similar to RWD (just stay in closer to the inside instead of driving the high-lo-high line) it felt much better and had excellent exit speed. Just seems like braking hard late into a turn is going to throw the weight hard forward, which I suppose is good for grip on the front wheels but how does that work for exiting? Do you downshift prior to the brake and launch as you come out of it? Trying to picture it cause it seems like it'd be a harsh transition compared to the slower in and accelerate as you hug the inside of the curve.

KoreanJoey
10-10-2008, 03:21 AM
No, I will brake late in order to get the rear of the car to rotate, getting the car rotated PAST the direction I want to go and then use the throttle to balance the slide (I start getting on the gas before I let all the way off the brakes) and get the nose to push around (instead of into) the apex.

And yes, I transition my feet AFTER the down shift. It's definitely not something I'd recommend without practice...

Basically it'd be:
Brake
Heel-toe downshift
Transition left foot onto brake
Remove right foot from brake
Roll into the throttle with right foot
Letting off brake

Luni
10-10-2008, 03:53 AM
I dont know why vip09 has the rep for being the "ultimate celica driver" on here. Obviously Joey is the ultimate celica driver.

KoreanJoey
10-10-2008, 03:59 AM
LoL, no I saw we had Marteen on here from AT... think he's got a bit on me, and by a bit I mean a lot.

Fox 21 Alpha
10-10-2008, 04:26 PM
No, I will brake late in order to get the rear of the car to rotate, getting the car rotated PAST the direction I want to go and then use the throttle to balance the slide (I start getting on the gas before I let all the way off the brakes) and get the nose to push around (instead of into) the apex.



Isn't that essentially drifting in basic terms? And you'd think by this day and age there'd be a better way to accelerate and brake at the same time without working against your pads....

T-spoon
10-10-2008, 05:54 PM
Isn't that essentially drifting in basic terms? And you'd think by this day and age there'd be a better way to accelerate and brake at the same time without working against your pads....

What Joey is trying to say is that it's unnatural and takes more work to make a FWD setup perform well. :hehe:

Luni
10-10-2008, 08:17 PM
I still get what Joey is saying is hes the ultimate celica driver and we are all n00bs compared to him.

KoreanJoey
10-11-2008, 01:23 AM
LOL, not "we" just you Rob. :)

Most cars (out of the box anyways) well tend to push (understeer) at the limit. It's how vehicle manufacturers keep the death count low. So transitioning the weight from front to rear becomes a big factor in maintaining traction. It's not so much to increase traction on the front tires as to reduce the traction in the rear, get it to turn instead of plow.

Most road race cars on the otherhand (FR or MR) are designed to understeer off of the throttle but oversteer under high throttle, becoming neutral somewhere in the middle... makes it so you can get on the throttle sooner rather than later.

Almost all of my racing is in autocross where quick transitions are key so I set the car with heavy oversteer and use the throttle to understeer the car neutral.

A bit backwards but works well.

Luni
10-11-2008, 03:10 AM
Apparently Ctech thinks so too. Check out your user title bitch.

KoreanJoey
10-11-2008, 06:38 AM
LOL, k, bedtime for me. Gotta actually teach noobs tomorrow.

http://www.motorsportreg.com/index.cfm/event/event.status/uidEvent/58AF96A0-9001-43BC-308D6ABF58A4E6E6

The noobs...

We'll see if I can't make my way into that Lotus. :)

BlueDragon
10-13-2008, 11:35 PM
my favorite excersize is using driving psychology. Watching traffic and drivers and bad drivers knowing when they will suddenly need to slow down quickly and focusing on avoiding break use all together when possible by learning and observing the way traffic and people interact (think accordian effect of traffic everytime someone slows for a turn etc.) changing lanes coasting rather then brake riding, or downshifting and using the compression of the engine slow the car.
I also take great pride in my ability to know when and how close to the edge of grip i am on a sweeping corner, as well as my mental map of the cars dimentions as far as traffic passes etc go accelerating diagonaly between lanes to pass a person who for no apparent reason is in love with the rear quarter pannel of another braindeadie going 10-15 under. Hope this gives you some ideas, consistantly predicting and avoiding bad drivers and bad situations or slow turners is the best thing tho, focus on that.

Ryan
10-26-2008, 12:24 AM
I like trying to get shifts as smooth as possible, in effect making people believe its an automatic...its just fun to see how smooth i can make them..

balang_479
10-30-2008, 07:59 PM
I used to also have a very long commute always used to practice very fast shifting, and try and shift as fast as a racing paddle shift, but be careful to not damage anything so build up the speed slowly... now i can normally shift up by litterally just tapping the clutch for a split second and change gear in the process, but i only do it when i want a good acceleration coming out of toll booths or something.

I have to modify my pedals for heel and toe are they significantly apart that its not possible, (my dad whos a racing instructor cant do it in my car) i dont know whats up there, so i hope to learn heel and toe as soon as ive sorted that out.

Good thread, i love to keep myself entertained in a racing way while travelling.. keep it up.. it can only be good for us..