“Porsche motoring is and always will be driving in its purest form.” Ferry Porsche
Special Thanks to……………………………………..Jerry McDermot
Special Thanks to…………………………………………….Jeff Amos
Table of Contents:
|A.||Proper Seating for Maximum Awareness and Car Control|
|B.||Heel and Toe Downshifting|
|C.||Under-steer and Over-steer (cause and correction)|
|D.||Trailing Brake Technique|
|E.||Explanation of General Terms in Racing and High Performance Driving|
|F.||Advanced Street and Highway Driving|
|I.||Notes & Tack Diagram|
SMOOTHNESS! CONSISTANCY! CONCENTRATION!
We will stress these words here again and again!! Every technique you will learn here should be executed smoothly and consistently. To achieve this, you will have to concentrate 100%.
Four tire patches are the only contact areas you have with the road while driving your car. (Tire patches are the part of the tires that touch the road.) You will learn to be sensitive to and read the signals that are picked up by tires and transferred to the wheels, suspension, car seat, and then, in turn, to the steering wheel and pedals such as throttle, clutch and brake.
You will learn to work with your car as one unit and will also learn to consider it less “your living room on wheels,” but a machine that needs to be driven with alertness, awareness, and constant preparation for emergency situations.
The following will introduce you to some simple and some very complex techniques and ideas, which will help you, become a better street driver or race driver.
A. PROPER SEATING FOR MAXIMUM AWARENESS AND CAR CONTROL
1. Car Control:
This is the ability to drive a vehicle with maximum control at all times under any situation. It requires awareness of your surroundings including other vehicles on the road, road conditions, potential problems or accidents. Under all conditions, you have to understand some basic areas of car control and weight transfer. When you drive a car, you are moving weight under your control. The weight of the car rests on four tire patches. This is the only area of contact between the road and your vehicle. Under braking, as you transfer weight to the front tires, the front tire patches Increase in size.
Under acceleration, as the weight transfers to the rear of the car, the rear tire patches increase in size. When entering a corner, you want the maximum size of tire patches on your front wheels to provide maximum adhesion and better steering control. To get this, you slowly ease the brake pedal pressure off as you turn the wheel into the first one- third of the corner.
You then apply your throttle gently to transfer the weight to your rear tires to prevent the rear of your car from spinning while you are exiting the corner. You should avoid any abrupt input of brakes or throttle because you are then upsetting your car’s stability. Any abrupt weight transfer can cause a spin or slide and can cause you to lose control of the car.
2. Proper Seating:
The buttocks should be tucked firmly against the lower back of your seat. With your back erect and against the seat. This seating position will keep you alert and the total contact of your body with your seat will feed back valuable information to you about the road conditions, your car’s suspension and tires. The distance between your steering wheel and seat should allow your arms to be comfortably bent when you hold the steering wheel. This will allow you to react quickly with full use of your arms in case of emergency evasive maneuvers, and will also be less tiring on your arms.
3. Proper Position for Hands on Steering Wheel: Your arms should be slightly bent at the elbow (refer to proper body placement for your car seat) with your hands located in the 3 and 9 ‘o clock position on the wheel with thumbs resting on top of the spokes. Holding your steering wheel in this fashion will allow you to sense first-hand information fed to you through your steering column into the wheel. You will find that you have more strength available while maneuvering your car. Your arms will get less tired, and in case of emergency evasive maneuvers, you will have all that extra strength to help you. Let both hands do the work! While one pulls, the other can push the wheel smoothly!
4. Feet and Legs: Picking up vibrations from the brake, clutch and throttle pedals are also very important. Use the ball of your foot on the brake pedal, with your heel off the floor so you can feel the pressure you apply. This allows you to feel when the brakes are beginning to lock up the wheels. Legs should be slightly bent when fully extended to the pedals so you don’t have to stretch the legs and feet. Smoothness is very important. Any sudden input of brake, throttle, clutch or steering will cause sudden weight transfer in your vehicle and lessen your car control. It may also start a skid or accident!
5.Seat Belt: Your lap and shoulder belts should be fairly tight with just enough room to allow you to reach the dashboard controls. Seatbelts are important for several reasons. They will hold you in place and keep your body tucked into your seat for maximum feel and feedback. In case of emergency evasive maneuvers, they keep you in place behind your steering wheel, instead of having you slide around the front seat. They will keep you from hitting the steering wheel or windshield in case you have an accident.
1. Shifting: Cup your hand on top of the knob and gently guide it into first gear with the heel of your hand. Now, use your fingers to move it into second gear and then into third gear. Now, gently ease it into fourth gear. Treat the gearshift lever knob gently as if it were fragile, like an eggshell. Don’t grab or yank it into gear. You may get into the wrong gear or destroy your transmission. Most transmissions shift smoothly if you just guide the shift lever into the proper gear in a smooth manner.
2. Heel and Toe Downshifting: This is the technique of operating the brake and gas pedal simultaneously with the right foot while clutching with the left foot. If your car has an automatic transmission, this does not apply to your kind of driving. Heel and toe downshifting allows you to brake and match the engine rpms with rear wheel rpms which allows for smooth downshifting. Here is how it is done! First you start to squeeze on the brake pressure to slow down the car. Then pivot the heel or side of your right foot onto throttle, maintaining even brake pressure. Depress the clutch with your left foot, moving the shift lever into neutral on your way to the next gear. On releasing the clutch halfway, squeeze the throttle on to bring up the engine’s rpms. Depress clutch again, quickly, and shift into the next lower gear. Release the clutch smoothly, then pivot your right heel off the throttle back to below brake pedal and continue trailing brake. This technique is called heel and toe downshifting with double clutching.
|1. Understeer- a front wheel skid:|
|Cause:||1. Too much speed in a corner in an inherently understeering car
|Correction:||1a. Correct by easing off throttle half a throttle setting to
transfer weight to the front wheels; add steering to get proper
line back. If need be, back off the throttle all the way and again
add the steering correction.
|Cause:||2. Too much braking, which causes front wheels to lock.|
|Correction:||2a. Ease off brakes smoothly or reduce brake to get front
wheels unlocked (or rolling), add steering to get proper line
|Cause:||3. Violently spinning front wheels (front wheel drive car).|
|Correction:||3a. Ease off throttle to stop front wheels from spinning and to
transfer weight to front tires; add steering to get proper line
back. Then apply throttle progressively, adjusting as necessary.
|2. Oversteer – a rear wheel skid or slide:|
|Cause:||1. Too much speed in a corner in an inherently oversteering car
(rear engine). Rear end slides out.
|Correction:||1a. First add steering quickly into direction the rear end is sliding.
On dry pavement, add some throttle to transfer weight to the
rear wheels. When rear end starts coming back, correct steering
quickly into opposite direction to counteract second skid. As car
comes out of second skid, bring wheel smoothly back to straight
and continue on proper line.
|Cause:||2. Braking too hard causing the weight to transfer abruptly
forward which causes the rear wheels to lock.
|Correction:||2a. Come off brakes quickly and add steering as rapidly as
possible into the direction the rear end is sliding. When rear end
starts coming back, correct steering quickly again to gain back
proper line. Then add smooth throttle to help move the car in a
|Cause:||3. Violently spinning rear wheels (rear wheel drive car).|
|Correction:||3a. Ease off throttle to stop rear wheels from spinning and
quickly add steering in the direction the rear end is sliding.
When rear end starts coming back, quickly add steering again
to gain back proper line. Then smoothly squeeze on throttle
to keep the car moving in a forward direction.
D. TRAILING BRAKE TECHNIQUE
This is a technique using the brakes as a handling device as well as a braking device. As you approach a turn, initiate your braking smoothly to transfer the weight forward, setting the chassis by compressing the shocks and springs, thus increasing the front tire patches. Efficient Braking is always done in a straight line just short of locking the wheels. However, instead of releasing the brakes as soon as you begin the corner, continue to use the brakes as you turn in for the turn. As your cornering force increases, your braking force should decrease. This technique keeps the outside front tire patch loaded allowing for better adhesion and therefore, allowing the car to better “point” into the turn, decreasing the tendency toundersteer. This technique used in conjunction with the proper “line” technique will make the car much more controllable and safer in a cornering situation.
E. EXPLANATION OF SOME GENERAL TERMS IN RACING AND HIGH PERFORMANCE DRIVING
That point in a corner when the inside wheels are at the inside edge of the turn. This may be a long or a short distance.
a. If apex is too early, the road will be used up too soon as you exit the corner and/or the throttle cannot be applied as soon as it might for better exit speed out of corner.
b. If the apex is too late, all of the road will not be used and/or maximum power will not compensate for an excessively slow entry.
c. The proper late apex is illustrated and discussed later.
Line of Road Course:
Imaginary path of a car as It maneuvers around a track finding the proper apexes while using the entire width of the road to your best advantage and maximum speed.
Drifting: Car has lost traction and is gaining speed while running out of road. Sliding: Car has lost traction and is losing ground or running out of road.
Drafting: Following another car very closely in the “bubble of air” which that car creates. This makes it possible for you to achieve a higher rate of speed by lowering your wind resistance, and also allows you to save on fuel. This maneuver can be referred to as “Slipstreaming.”
Power Slide: Controlled slide with throttle, maintaining proper line through corner (used mainly on hairpins or slow turns).
Camber of Road: Positive Camber (a banked corner): Outside tires maintain excellent traction. In the event of loss of traction due to locked wheels or a spin, the car will go downhill. Negative Camber: The road is going away from you, thus causing loss of traction. This in turn, may cause a front or rear wheel slide.
F. ADVANCED STREET AND HIGHWAY DRIVING ROAD EMERGENCIES
Modern tires are not as subject to complete loss of air as tires were some years ago. Still, under certain circumstances, tires can and do blow out. This is the kind of driving emergency for which it is impossible to be completely prepared, since it comes with shocking suddenness, and with no advance clue that it is about to happen. As in all other emergencies, what you do will depend on the circumstances. Some general principles apply, however: