The Heel and Toe Downshift Guideline (Preview)

At Racers360 we have realized one topic holding back many amateur drivers is how to properly heel and toe on downshifts.

We often see drivers slowly letting out the clutch. It's impossible to progress as a driver in a manual car if you do not learn the heel and toe technique. Without it your initial brake application comes very early, you can't roll speed into the corner, which means you can't trail brake in without way over slowing. It will also over time kill your clutch!

As a kid coming out of karting, right foot braking alone was foreign to me when I first started racing and driving cars. To be honest I was horrible at the heel and toe technique initially. This forced me to truly understand how to teach myself the easiest and most reliable way to heel and toe on my downshifts. What I have found is by focusing in on my knee and timing of the blip on downshifts has made the whole technique a lot easier.

In this article, we write in-depth on the important aspects for the perfect heel and toe downshift on the race track. We hope through some professional race driver coaching we can help you with your motorsport journey!

**First Important Step Knee Pivot**

When I am approaching a brake zone I will pivot my right knee in towards the steering column before I start to hit the brake pedal. Let’s do a little exercise right now so you can see why this helps:

Let's sit in a similar position to how you drive. When you have your legs out in front of you like they are resting on pedals shift your knee in. We want to go about to the point where it would lightly touch the steering column. Now, look at your right foot. See how it shifts your toes in and your heel out? Shifting your knee in naturally puts your foot in the perfect position to be able to blip the throttle well!

I always want my foot to be in this angled position when approaching the brake zone. This allows almost all of my foot to be on the brake pedal and just knick the throttle with my heel when I blip. Once you get your timing right on the blip you will only need a tiny knick of throttle to match the revs.

Want to read the rest of the article where we break down things like when to time the downshift and when to time your blip?? Here is the link:

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