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MeRlz

Left Foot Braking. Do you find it faster?

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I'm interested to know how many people use a left foot braking technique as i understand it is fairly uncommon. I would assume it is the faster way to race as there would be no time lost from moving your right foot off the accelerator onto the brake. I understand if you drive a manual transmission car which i'm sure 90% do.

 

In terms of mid corner braking to help bring the car in closer to the apex or to slow it down in a quick direction change. perhaps just lightly dabbing the throttle while braking to keep revs up?

 

When it comes to karting we don't have a choice because you have a steering column in the way but the brakes on a kart are either hard or really hard so its not the same. But it doesn't feel unnatural does it?

 

The reason why i say it is uncommon because most of us drive manual and cant come to grips with using the left foot as we are used to pressing hard on a clutch with it. Plus some of the greatest race car drivers in the world don't left foot brake so i cant come to terms with this subject to be quite honest.

 

Now my 180sx is manual of course and i have never really taken it on track to actually try. But my little daily driver is auto and i thought i would teach myself what i would think a beneficial technique (i know, why would i try something on a little shit beater car?). At first i nearly smashed my head into the steering wheel because my left foot was so heavy, but after a while i just got used to it. Now my left foot can brake just as good as my right and when i try and hammer my little daily i definitely feel a big difference in terms of speed (even though its slow).

 

Is there anyone else here who uses it and benefits from it?

 

To bring you into terms of how it could be advantageous here is a video from Colin McRae.

Edited by MeRlz

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i dont, but its because i cant get a grasp of it and we only get 20 laps every sprints day to set a fast lap ( 5 x 4 laps a run) so if you take out the warm up lap then its only three laps a run and because i cant do it properly i end up just wasting laps getting things wrong.. hahahaha

 

in saying that though, the rwd lap record at my track was set by a 2j supra, and that guy left foot brakes like a champ (iv sat in the car with him and watched) so im gonna give it another go at the come and try day next weekend..

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Yeah I think I would take some getting used to tho because a lot of the time you're going to still be braking with right foot so you can down shift gears.

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Not going to happen unless you have a dog box and don't need the clutch on downshifts.

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the first thing is to understand what left foot braking does to harness its quality.

 

left foot braking is a HIGH level braking skill as i see it. professional race car drivers use this, more so in the FF format.

 

This is my interpretation.

 

example

they are on the brakes mid corner, gas it to keep the revs up and keep the brakes on to keep front wheel grip so it wont under-steer, more front grip means better for turning.. very useful in FF format as they tend to understeer. it does depend how much brake and acceleration your doing, but it works.. just depend where you apply it

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Only ever seen it used in relation to wrong wheel drives.

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I've been practising it for a while now when I drive around. Getting better at it, but it isn't easy.

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Have been doing it the last few days in the daily (auto) after rolling my ankle pretty badly. Have always dabbled with left foot braking so didn't find it too bad when having to scrub a little speed for people merging, changing lanes etc but found that hardest part was real low speed stuff like in car parks. The feeling & muscle memory just isn't there for the delicate touch required so will have to keep working on that

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Definitely not easy! Keep working at it but, it has already saved my ass with braking instantly and now in my daily i use it all the time now.

But i think it would be very beneficial in terms of racing.

 

But its interesting as to what people have said in terms of FF cars, as far as i know people left foot brake during mid corner to use the front diff to drag the car out of corners to get more traction on the exit.

 

Some amazing footwork, so why wouldn't you want the fastest possible time by eliminating those fraction of seconds

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^ @1:13 the guy in front loses a wheel. Bad luck.

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rally boys should be all up on this already.

 

Rally boys use it to keep the revs up to help keep the car in a good rev range. Not on all corners, usually fast sweeping corners that don't require a gear change.

 

On turbo cars, it helps to keep the revs up reducing turbo lag between on off throttle application. On NA cars, keeping the revs in the power band.

 

Using left foot braking for weight transfer in FWD cars... I don't follow this theory, but I've not raced a FWD car.

 

In day to day driving, I don't see the point. But that's just me. In racing, it would depend on the corners and vehicle setup along with driver preference.

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In day to day driving there certainly is no point because you are in no rush. But i learned how to do whilst day to day driving and now it seems sort of second nature.

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I try is every now and then, I always get reminded why I dont do it in the first place. My brain/leg isnt used to my left leg braking so its sort of dumbed down and cannot determine how much or how far to push in. I guess with practice itll make it better.

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Not going to happen unless you have a dog box and don't need the clutch on downshifts.

 

I'd tend to agree here

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oh sorry, i was talking about using the brake and acceleration pedals at the same time which requires left foot and right foot to work at the same time, thats what i call left foot braking, again which is why left foot braking refers to being very harsh on your brakes obviously cause your on the brakes and gas at the same time.. but seems like this thread refers to using the left foot just to brake instead of your right foot. i say if your doing that and your right foot is not pressing on the gas pedal then what is the point? just use your right foot lol

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I do in the Rally car which is FWD as it helps elliminate back off steer ( ie when you back of throttle through a corner the back end starts coming around, doing left foot breaking while keeping the right on the Accelerator means i can slow the car without loosing that positive pull of the front wheels )

 

That being said i race with a lot of guys who DO use left foot breaking in Rear Wheel drives, once again in rally. and yes they have dog boxes.

 

I personally believe it is faster AFTER you have done it for a while to get it down pat, first few times i did it i breaked insted of clutching on down shifts. etc.

 

The fastest guys in the club both in RWD and FWD use it, the AWD guys just point and shoot

Edited by Dandrenat

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I do in the Rally car which is FWD as it helps elliminate back off steer ( ie when you back of throttle through a corner the back end starts coming around, doing left foot breaking while keeping the right on the Accelerator means i can slow the car without loosing that positive pull of the front wheels )

 

That being said i race with a lot of guys who DO use left foot breaking in Rear Wheel drives, once again in rally. and yes they have dog boxes.

 

I personally believe it is faster AFTER you have done it for a while to get it down pat, first few times i did it i breaked insted of clutching on down shifts. etc.

 

The fastest guys in the club both in RWD and FWD use it, the AWD guys just point and shoot

 

losers.. :lol:

Edited by harris.

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I don't use it at the track, but was using it for a while when I started driving daily again after breaking my leg as it was too hard to move my right foot back and forth.

 

On the track I don't use it because I'm heel-toe double clutching and when I get that right I'm braking right to the apex anyway - trail braking.

 

At Winton I can't see it being a huge benefit, maybe on the sweeper if you've over cooked it and need to help get the nose around while staying on the throttle, but realistically my driving is so inconsistent and so wlo that I'm not about to add another complex task into the mix. I'm happy enough being able to heel-toe everywhere which definitely helps.

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How could it be any "faster"?

 

Your either braking or accelerating. I'm

Pretty sure the only advantage is for revs through gear changes

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I think he means faster by having a better balanced car and assisting turn in also, allowing more corner speed/better exit speeds.

 

Similar to trail braking.

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Also no time wasted moving foot from accelerator to brake and back.

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How could it be any "faster"?

 

Your either braking or accelerating. I'm

Pretty sure the only advantage is for revs through gear changes

 

when you're against a clock 500 or 1000 rpm can make that difference.

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How could it be any "faster"?

 

Your either braking or accelerating. I'm

Pretty sure the only advantage is for revs through gear changes

 

when you're against a clock 500 or 1000 rpm can make that difference.

 

Explain to me why top drivers . Craig lowndes . Jamie whincup. Mark Skaife use the single foot acc/brake ?

 

 

Rally drivers I understand

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Plenty of v8 supercar drivers use left foot braking. Every F1 Driver does it. If it's possible to do 99% of the time it's faster.

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It certainly can prove to be beneficial if you're chasing every last 1/10th of a second. As mentioned, left foot braking eliminates the time moving your foot from one pedal to another (brake to accelerator) and it allows you to keep your foot on the accelerator in the middle of a corner (keeping turbo spool up) so when you release the brake, the car is literally like a sling shot. No lag.

 

I left foot brake on the street from time to time as practice but haven't used it yet on the track. I'm currently lapping deep in the 1:13's at Mallala and I would be surprised if left foot braking is going to improve much on that.

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If you're cornering at the very limit of grip, it can make the weight transition between brake and accelerator smoother, meaning a more balanced car going into the turn. Smoother and more balanced equates to faster. If you can corner just as fast without using it, then kudos, but for those who can, I think it adds great feel and confidence for trail braking, including adaptability to corners of varying radii, such as in rally.

 

It is particularly useful in the hills imo. Although I don't use it personally, I would like to, having seen others use it very effectively. Unfortunately for me, my knees hit the steering wheel when I try :sad face:

Edited by fiend.

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I read this thread, tried to do it on the way home today .. and almost had a car rear end into me ! My foot was not at all used to the soft delicate touch needed to brake ! I knew I had to press the brakes lightly but the left foot went and did its own thing! Couldn't believe it and tried it a few minutes later.. still the same.. as soon as my foot feels the pedal it just seems to want to push it all the way in !

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I can vouch for a few things as I've seen them first hand.

 

1) When learning you will likely mash the pedal. It takes a lot of practice to have the same control as the right foot.

2) You can use the brake to keep the turbo on the boil.

3) 500-1000rpm at the corner exit can make a considerable difference, especially when that corner is followed by a straight.

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