Bertil Roos Racing School has been teaching the art of motor racing since 1975 and one of those techniques is heel-and-toe downshifting.
The technique for driving a car with a manual gearbox involves operating the brake and throttle pedals with the right foot, while activating the clutch with the left foot. The driver is able to blip the throttle as you raise the engine speed and smoothly engage the lower gear.
You’re in the corner on the brakes and you want to downshift so you can accelerate out of the corner with a better gear in one of our Formula cars. The goal while underbraking is preparing the transmission to be in the optimal rpm range to accelerate out of that turn.
Our Formula 2000 (North) cars feature a 4-speed H-pattern manual transmission. With these cars, the four-step process for the heel and toe technique is:
1) Start braking
2) While braking and having the car slowed enough, select neutral
3) When in neutral and still braking, blip throttle
4) Once blipped, depress clutch and select the lower gear.
Our Formula R/T 2000 (South) cars feature a 5-speed sequential transmission. The four-step process for heel and toe is:
1) Start braking
2) While braking and having the car slowed enough, depress the clutch
3) When clutch is depressed and still braking, blip the throttle
4) As soon as the blip happens, shift to the lower gear while the rpm is still up
The heel and toe technique makes a nice and smooth transition with the gear change.
That smooth transition is important as to not upset the balance of the car and cause a loss of traction. Without heel and toe, there’s a greater braking force transferred to the wheels, which increases the slip angle.
Proper application of the heel and toe method doesn’t necessarily cure understeer or oversteer as that is mostly being in the right gear with the proper throttle application. However, proper heel-toe will prevent the sudden lockup of the rear tires while downshifting which will stop the driver from a snap oversteer or spin situation.
At Bertil Roos Racing School, our Formula cars feature pedals that are close together for the easy application of the heel and toe method.
While Bertil Roos Racing School’s Formula 2000 and R/T 2000 cars offer many great features, they are purposely without some of the driver’s aids of other cars. This way, you get a better feel of the race cars and are better prepared once you graduate our programs.
Our cars are designed with a reclined seating position, open cockpit and Indy-style body work to give you a true indication of what the professionals feel when they’re battling it out on the track.
Our cars pull up to 2 g’s in the corners and are able to stop on a dime. With our performance radial tires, you are able to feel maximum traction and learn the subtleties of slip angle management that is paramount to mastering high performance driving.
That’s where the heel and toe technique comes in with our world class instruction not matched by any other racing school.
Click here or call 1-800 RACE NOW for upcoming Bertil Roos Racing School dates where you learn more about mastering the heel and toe technique.