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View Full Version : Heel and Toe Driving


AMPowerJ
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 01:06:05 AM
Please explain exactly how you are supposed to do this. It seems nearly impossible for me to actually brake with my toe and blip the gas pedal or vice versa. Is there are trick to it?

Jim2004M3
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 07:01:01 AM
Please explain exactly how you are supposed to do this. It seems nearly impossible for me to actually brake with my toe and blip the gas pedal or vice versa. Is there are trick to it?

Well, yes, there is a trick, called BIG WIDE FEET! <g> (Mine are 13 EEE)
On a BMW, the best way is to brake with the left half of your right foot and roll the right half onto the accellerator to blip the throttle to try to match revs on downshifts.
That said, it's very hard in BMWs. I'm an instructor for the club on track days and have driven most models. They have several problems making smooth heel&toe downshifts: 1) They are too darned quiet to hear the engine revving 2) They put a bleed valve in the clutch hydralic line that slows down the movement of the pressure plate so things happen in slow motion and 3) Pedal placement calls for someone with wide feet or a double-jointed knee.
Heel & toe is very hard to practice on the street, as you rarely are moving at sufficient speed to make it necessary and it's harder to be smooth at low speeds. But try it on the street, but only in deserted areas, as it can be embarassing in traffic (and expensive too) if your footwork screws up and you hit the wrong pedal.

///M³_
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 09:09:37 AM
My buddy has a really huge foot and claims he can't heel toe. My feet are tiny (9) and I do it constantly, even stopping for a light...

Windy City
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 03:09:47 PM
Heel-toe is not tough, and is a very streetable habit. In fact, I suggest practicing on the street so you aren't wasting expensive track time figuring out how to roll your ankle over onto the accelerator pedal.
Watch some Initial D anime or some of the Japanese Best Motoring videos. The BM videos have a camera pointed at the driver's feet so you can watch how they heel-toe.
Really, you're just trying to use one half of your foot to hit the brake and the other half of your foot to hit the accelerator.

fmk
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 03:11:51 PM
heel toeing in my e46 is difficult, guess I just dont have the skills. The distance between where the brake pedals grabs and the gas pedal seems forever.. unless im under really hard braking coming into a turn, its useless for me. Until i figure it out, im braking and revmatching separately.. :(

jrloM3
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 03:14:33 PM
Pick up a racing video. Some of the videos have a smaller window in the corner that shows the driver's feet. Most I've seen show the driver using his toes of his right foot on the brake and his heel on the gas. It's crazy to see... they move their feet so fast, yet the car is perfectly controlled and smooth. Crazy stuff!

jrloM3
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 03:16:49 PM
LOL... I should have read Windy City's post first. :peace:

Blue///M3
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 03:42:06 PM
When I had a manual car I did heel/toe all the time. Really cut down on jerkiness on downshifts in my Audi. I have big feet too and just blipped the gas slightly with the edge of my shoe. (And the audi pedals really sucked for H/T shifting too)
You don't need much, just a quick blip to raise the RPMs 500-1000
Most people I drove around didn't even realize I was shifting most of the time because it was so smooth. One person thought I was driving an automatic until they sat in the front seat one time and saw me actually shifting.
And yes, practice in a big parking lot or empty street. No need to learn how to do it in rush hour traffic.

Sirius
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 05:00:10 PM
When I heel and toe, I put the 1/2 of of foot on the brake and leave the other half hanging over the gas pedal, so when the time comes to blip the throttle, I just roll my foot over and press the gas pedal and shift.

As for feet size, I wear 11 1/2 - 12 and have no problmes doing this.

If you're intrested, I uploaded two vids to the server here. Some driving instructor in his M5, forgot his name.

The vids explain the heel-toe theory and show examples.

Theory --> http://www.m3registry.com/siriusm3forum/files/sirius/heel_and_toe_theory.mpg

Example --> http://www.m3registry.com/siriusm3forum/files/sirius/heel_and_toe.mpg

NoSoup4U
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 05:33:34 PM
BMW's are one of the easiest cars to H&T with. It just takes practice. It should not matter with the size of your feet ...

Michael-Dallas
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 06:55:41 PM
BMW's are one of the easiest cars to H&T with. It just takes practice. It should not matter with the size of your feet ...

Ditto. The shape of the accelerator pedal and how it's angled makes it mucho easy to heel/toe. I had to get a fat Sparco pedal w/ an L-shaped lip to be able to heel/toe my 350z.

Michael.

Will ZCPM3
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 07:53:53 PM
i dunno but my feet do not reach at all

M-Fünf
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 08:00:28 PM
Please explain exactly how you are supposed to do this. It seems nearly impossible for me to actually brake with my toe and blip the gas pedal or vice versa. Is there are trick to it?

I don't know how the pedal placement is on your E36, but on my E46, the brake pedal engages very quickly, which leaves the pedal much higher than the accelerator. That means I have to roll my ankle quite a bit to blip the throttle, which reduces my effective "strength" on the brake.

Totally different on my E39k where both pedals are at almost the same level, making it very easy to H/T.

Practice, and patience is all it takes.

If your feet arent wide enough, or your particular car has a wide pedal placement, you can always order or make extension pedals that make it easier to reach.

:beer:

fmk
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 09:50:13 PM
I don't know how the pedal placement is on your E36, but on my E46, the brake pedal engages very quickly, which leaves the pedal much higher than the accelerator. That means I have to roll my ankle quite a bit to blip the throttle, which reduces my effective "strength" on the brake.
always order or make extension pedals that make it easier to reach.

yeah, what he said. so how do you compensate for this M-Funf? I have no problems revmatching on downshifts but cant modulate the brake pedal properly due to this height difference..so no heel do unless Im under hard braking. Sooooo... where can you order-or how can you "make" an extension gas pedal?

M-Fünf
Wed, Feb-09-2005, 10:02:18 PM
yeah, what he said. so how do you compensate for this M-Funf? I have no problems revmatching on downshifts but cant modulate the brake pedal properly due to this height difference..so no heel do unless Im under hard braking. Sooooo... where can you order-or how can you "make" an extension gas pedal?

Here's a link for the BMP Design extension pedal:

race pedals (http://www.bmpdesign.com/product-exec/product_id/912/category_id/67)

However, Like you, since my brake pedal is higher than the gas pedal, and since the brakes are pretty darn sensetive, I have to be braking pretty darn hard to get the pedal down to a point where it's easy to get over to the gas. These pedals might help some, but I think it might be helpful to add a spacer behind the gas pedal part to raise it up some.

:beer:

fmk
Thu, Feb-10-2005, 03:18:52 PM
thanks bro, ill check em out..
petaluma huh, im east bay :thumbsup:

Serious
Sat, Feb-12-2005, 07:12:27 AM
e36 is cake to heel and toe in.

Fatz
Sun, Feb-13-2005, 12:57:38 PM
The linked write-up helped me. Also, it didn't hurt to get aftermarket pedals with a wider accelerator pedal.

http://www.318ti.org/notebook/shifting/

///sleeper
Wed, Feb-16-2005, 01:04:23 AM
I think that shoes also play a large role in h/t-ing...w/ thick soled shoes I can't really feel how much I'm blipping the throttle and end up either not blipping enough or braking too hard. I'll bet some good track shoes would make it a lot less difficult.

M-Fünf
Wed, Feb-16-2005, 03:13:25 PM
Funny that you mention shoes. This is a very good point.

I have a pair of Nike's that are probably 12 years old, and great for "feeling" the pedals. The soles are worn through in a couple of places, there's paint all over them, but the tops are in pretty good shape. I have a couple of other pairs of shoes that are clunky, bulky shoes, and my driving goes in the crapper when I wear those.

I have never owned a pair of track shoes, but may need to invest in some.

My GF thinks it's funny when we get ready to leave for somewhere in the M, and I grab my ugly Nike's for the drive...

:beer:

04E46
Wed, Feb-16-2005, 03:18:39 PM
The only time I have heeled and toed is in Formula Ford racing school. The cars didnt have a syncromesh gearbox. Unless you are staying in the reds and doing alot of hard braking on a track you shouldnt need to do it if your syncros are good.

Basically you press the brake and hit the gas with your heel in order to get the RPMs up so the engine speed matches the wheel speed.

Its helpful in REALLY hard and aggressive racing. Either you have it floored or you are hitting the brake as hard as you can and sometimes the syncros doent wind up as fast as they should.

fmk
Wed, Feb-16-2005, 05:14:10 PM
is it really necessary to double-clutch when heel-toeing with our e46m gearbox? or is it only necessary on agrressive downshifts like 4-2 say? my method for heel-toe cornering is brake, at proper time -> clutch-in, blip throttle and downshift, clutch out (done braking), turn in. do i need to throw in that extra clutch out, then blip the throttle, then clutch in step .. :nixweiss:

SpeedSyck
Wed, Feb-16-2005, 06:29:05 PM
anyone else notice how short most asians in those videos are.??

height AND foot size play a huge role in REAL heal-toe driving.

its not rolling feet. is curving to put one half of your foot on gas, the other on brake. and the ability to modulate them simulatneously.

Eric1855
Wed, Feb-16-2005, 06:39:42 PM
is it really necessary to double-clutch when heel-toeing with our e46m gearbox? or is it only necessary on agrressive downshifts like 4-2 say? my method for heel-toe cornering is brake, at proper time -> clutch-in, blip throttle and downshift, clutch out (done braking), turn in. do i need to throw in that extra clutch out, then blip the throttle, then clutch in step .. :nixweiss:

It is not necessary in a car with a synchronized transmissions, which all cars are unless you upgrade to a dog box. Double Clutch downshifting (no such thing as double clutch upshifting despiste what the fast and the furious might say :rofl2: ) will serve no purpose unless your synchros are all fubar'd.

If you want to get fast, learn to left foot brake.

fmk
Wed, Feb-16-2005, 08:42:03 PM
hopefully this is not a dumb ass question, but when/why would you left foot brake? im assuming only in a sweeping turn where no downshifting is required?

Dan Law
Thu, Feb-24-2005, 09:06:38 AM
I will be instructing at Road Atlanta for BOTH NASA and BMWCCA during consecutive weekends in March. Drop me an EMail and I'll personally work on it with you.

Dan Law
DERMotorSports@gmail.com

AMPowerJ
Thu, Feb-24-2005, 09:44:49 PM
I will be instructing at Road Atlanta for BOTH NASA and BMWCCA during consecutive weekends in March. Drop me an EMail and I'll personally work on it with you.

Dan Law
DERMotorSports@gmail.com

I would love to take you up on that offer but March is out for me. Expecting my second child in the next couple weeks ....

Let me know if you are ever in the Columbia are like at Carolina Motorsports.

M Nectar
Fri, May-18-2012, 11:41:32 PM
anyone else notice how short most asians in those videos are.??

height AND foot size play a huge role in REAL heal-toe driving.

its not rolling feet. is curving to put one half of your foot on gas, the other on brake. and the ability to modulate them simulatneously.

Reviving this thread from the dead...

I'm a tall guy, and use the half-of-right foot on brake while blipping with the other half of my right foot. But on the track, I find it hard to do: the amount of brake pressure (much higher than street) requires me to use the ball of my (whole) right foot, such that I can't really heel-toe.

The "use ball of foot for brake, heel for blip" doesn't seem to work for me either given my long legs (or maybe I just suck).

So, question for any taller guys: would a pedal set with an accelerator extension help here (e.g. Turner), or should I just practice more?

thanks!

trackstar
Sat, May-19-2012, 06:00:02 PM
Reviving this thread from the dead...

I'm a tall guy, and use the half-of-right foot on brake while blipping with the other half of my right foot. But on the track, I find it hard to do: the amount of brake pressure (much higher than street) requires me to use the ball of my (whole) right foot, such that I can't really heel-toe.

The "use ball of foot for brake, heel for blip" doesn't seem to work for me either given my long legs (or maybe I just suck).

So, question for any taller guys: would a pedal set with an accelerator extension help here (e.g. Turner), or should I just practice more?

thanks!

Same issue here, interested in an answer.

DiXiS 18
Sat, May-19-2012, 11:53:54 PM
I am a taller guy as well and use a extended pedal without a problem.

M Nectar
Mon, May-21-2012, 03:29:18 PM
I am a taller guy as well and use a extended pedal without a problem.

Does the extended pedal help with heel-toe (e46 m3)?

Do you use a pedal with an upper or lower extension (or both)?

thanks for the input!

DiXiS 18
Mon, May-21-2012, 04:46:30 PM
Ya it helps me with heel-toe. I have the upper extension.

The only catch is you have to get used to exactly where your brake pedal is now. When I first got it and would mash on the brake the tip of my toe would barely touch the extension of the accelerator pedal. There isn't much of a gap between the pedals so it's something you have to get used to.

Bennymic
Mon, May-21-2012, 09:58:47 PM
6'2" here. I found reclining the seat more than I prefer makes heel-toeing easy. I already have it as low as possible but I still bang my head when catching air. Luckily I have long arms. On the street when not pressing the brake as hard I usually use the left part of my foot for the brake and roll my ankle left and right to hit the throttle as needed.

Reach
Tue, May-22-2012, 01:40:58 PM
I'm 6'5". I thought this was also something to do with being tall and not having the best angle at the pedals. I thought that for a long time, but now I can do it smoothly, on command. It took me my first 2 years of HPDE driving to really figure it out, and it came together all at once in 2010 when I spent a whole ride-along session watching my instructor's feet and not looking out the window. I did lots of experimentation with half-and-half heeltoe, heel-and-toe heeltoe, other 'techniques', but I found that to really nail it on the track, and because I'm putting so much emphasis on the brake pedal, the proper way is to totally supinate your ankle, to the point where your foot is almost horizontal briefly. No pedal extensions needed, I feel they are mostly a gimmick here.

Really, watch a good driver's feet. Watch videos of foot cams online. Check out Seth Thomas's video here: BimmerWorld Racing/Seth Thomas Laguna Seca Foot Cam - YouTube

Watch 0:37 in the Seth Thomas video again and again to see how he blips the throttle. He starts the brake zone with his foot at an angle and into the brake pedal. But once he's ready for throttle, he really bends the ankle over (supination motion) and pops the gas, hard.

This is a very weird motion and not natural, it takes some practice. When I first watched an instructor do it, I started playing with it and I thought I couldn't even replicate that range of motion. With some practice, it started to work. Then, a few driving schools later, it just clicked one day and I was doing it at the end of every straight.

With this technique, and even at my size, I can now heel-toe a miata just fine, which people LOVE to complain about heeltoe in due to the incredibly close pedals.

jph28
Tue, May-22-2012, 04:56:15 PM
Reviving this thread from the dead...

I'm a tall guy, and use the half-of-right foot on brake while blipping with the other half of my right foot. But on the track, I find it hard to do: the amount of brake pressure (much higher than street) requires me to use the ball of my (whole) right foot, such that I can't really heel-toe.

The "use ball of foot for brake, heel for blip" doesn't seem to work for me either given my long legs (or maybe I just suck).

So, question for any taller guys: would a pedal set with an accelerator extension help here (e.g. Turner), or should I just practice more?

thanks!

I may not be tall enough to count (just about 6'3"), but the "normal" left-half of right foot on the brake and right couple-of-toes on the throttle work well for me. I do actually raise the steering column a bit for the track so that my right knee doesn't hit it during heel/toe. I use normal running shoes though, I think a narrow driving shoe might not make it all the way to the throttle for me (I have pretty narrow feet).

Hope that helps!

SC_TR0JAN_M3
Tue, May-22-2012, 06:53:38 PM
I'm 6'5". I thought this was also something to do with being tall and not having the best angle at the pedals. I thought that for a long time, but now I can do it smoothly, on command. It took me my first 2 years of HPDE driving to really figure it out, and it came together all at once in 2010 when I spent a whole ride-along session watching my instructor's feet and not looking out the window. I did lots of experimentation with half-and-half heeltoe, heel-and-toe heeltoe, other 'techniques', but I found that to really nail it on the track, and because I'm putting so much emphasis on the brake pedal, the proper way is to totally supinate your ankle, to the point where your foot is almost horizontal briefly. No pedal extensions needed, I feel they are mostly a gimmick here.

Really, watch a good driver's feet. Watch videos of foot cams online. Check out Seth Thomas's video here: BimmerWorld Racing/Seth Thomas Laguna Seca Foot Cam - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eiwFZ9LG5o)

Watch 0:37 in the Seth Thomas video again and again to see how he blips the throttle. He starts the brake zone with his foot at an angle and into the brake pedal. But once he's ready for throttle, he really bends the ankle over (supination motion) and pops the gas, hard.

This is a very weird motion and not natural, it takes some practice. When I first watched an instructor do it, I started playing with it and I thought I couldn't even replicate that range of motion. With some practice, it started to work. Then, a few driving schools later, it just clicked one day and I was doing it at the end of every straight.

With this technique, and even at my size, I can now heel-toe a miata just fine, which people LOVE to complain about heeltoe in due to the incredibly close pedals.

This is essentially how I "attempt" to do my heel toes. Still trying to smooth it out, but the general idea is the same. Left side of the ball of the right foot on the break, then stab the left side down on the gas to get the blip. Not a natural motion, but it gets it done.

M Nectar
Tue, May-22-2012, 07:24:38 PM
I'm 6'5". I thought this was also something to do with being tall and not having the best angle at the pedals. I thought that for a long time, but now I can do it smoothly, on command. It took me my first 2 years of HPDE driving to really figure it out, and it came together all at once in 2010 when I spent a whole ride-along session watching my instructor's feet and not looking out the window. I did lots of experimentation with half-and-half heeltoe, heel-and-toe heeltoe, other 'techniques', but I found that to really nail it on the track, and because I'm putting so much emphasis on the brake pedal, the proper way is to totally supinate your ankle, to the point where your foot is almost horizontal briefly. No pedal extensions needed, I feel they are mostly a gimmick here.

Really, watch a good driver's feet. Watch videos of foot cams online.
Watch 0:37 in the Seth Thomas video again and again to see how he blips the throttle. He starts the brake zone with his foot at an angle and into the brake pedal. But once he's ready for throttle, he really bends the ankle over (supination motion) and pops the gas, hard.

This is a very weird motion and not natural, it takes some practice. When I first watched an instructor do it, I started playing with it and I thought I couldn't even replicate that range of motion. With some practice, it started to work. Then, a few driving schools later, it just clicked one day and I was doing it at the end of every straight.

With this technique, and even at my size, I can now heel-toe a miata just fine, which people LOVE to complain about heeltoe in due to the incredibly close pedals.

Cool, thanks very much for the advice! I'm also about 6'5", so nice to know I just need more practice, not new pedals (I figured as much, but didn't know if something special was required for the long legs). Will practice the "rotate ankle to make foot horizontal technique" and watch these vids. Thanks again.

VALSBM3
Wed, May-23-2012, 07:20:17 PM
It looks like he is blipping the throttle with the clutch in (clutch pedal pressed down). I thought rev-matching involved gear in neutral, clutch out, blip throttle, clutch in??

cash7c3
Wed, May-23-2012, 07:57:44 PM
It looks like he is blipping the throttle with the clutch in (clutch pedal pressed down). I thought rev-matching involved gear in neutral, clutch out, blip throttle, clutch in??

You're referring to double clutching. Few people still have that skill set as it isn't really necessary with synchromesh gearboxes (although better on the drivetrain). Could be useful for skipping gears under braking however instead of walking down.