Steer With Your Feet, Brake With Your Hands?

Performance & Race Driving Tip

Speed Secret: Steer with your feet, and brake as little as possible with your hands. 

When you’re driving right at the limit, you steer the car as much with your feet – by working the brake pedal and throttle, race-driver-footworkchanging the balance of the car – as you do with the steering wheel. At the same time, the steering wheel becomes a brake – the more you turn the wheel, the more speed it scrubs off; the sooner you unwind/straighten the steering, the more free the car runs.

If you’ve driven a car at the limit, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve only experienced the limit a couple of times for the most briefest of moments, then you have a vague idea of what I’m talking about. If you haven’t experienced this yet, you will if you continue to push closer and closer to driving at the limit. No matter what, you’ll want more of it. It’s like an addiction (I’m assuming…).

When the car is at the limit and you’re changing its direction by changing its balance – lift off the throttle in mid-turn and the car turns or rotates more; trail brake into the corner less and it turns less – it’s magic! It’s an amazing feeling! It’s what we live for as performance/race drivers. Making the car dance on that very edge of adhesion, not forcing it to go where we want, but guiding it.

Steer with your feet, and brake as little as possible with your hands.

Check back here often 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.

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