Skip Shift – Explained

How To Drive Faster:speed-secret

Skip Shift – What Is It?

As you approach a corner, if you have to downshift from, let’s say, 4th to 2nd gear, there are two ways you can do so:

  1. You can downshift from 4th to 3rd, and then from 3rd to 2nd.
  2. You can downshift directly from 4th to 2nd gear, without going through 3rd

This second method is called skip shifting, because you skip going through the intermediary gear(s).

The benefit of skip shifting is that you’re doing less. Anytime you do less, that’s less opportunity for an error, and it can help you be smoother. The downside of skip shifting is that it’s harder to get the timing just right so you don’t either over-rev the engine, or over-slow your car.

Check back here for more tips and advice for performance drivers, race drivers, high performance driving instructors, and anyone else interested in learning to get around race tracks quickly.

Please share this now with others who you think would either learn something from it, or enjoy it, by clicking on any of the links below. Thank you!


  1. Ross, on a skip shift downshift, it seems that a heel-toe throttle rev match is even more critical to protecting the engine and preventing tire lock-up. Not everyone is capable of that, so is there a tip on how to teach that technique?

    Also, with the current generation of paddle shift transmissions available on certain cars, skip shifting isn’t really an option. However, this probably falls under the “you have less to do” category because a clutch is not involved.

    • You’re right, Aaron, that the heel & toe blip is critical. In my opinion, that’s a must, and anyone that wants to be a great performance driver should be able to do that. And that applies whether you’re skip shifting, or going down through all the gears. How to teach that? Hmmm… I think that’s a topic for a separate tip, so I’ll get to writing that soon.

      And yes, with paddle shift cars, skip shifting is not an option, so it might be a technique left to dinosaurs soon! However, even with a paddle shift car, I believe it’s important for a driver to at least understand the technique.

      Thanks for the comments, Aaron!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.