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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering about the best hand placement on one's steering wheel while AutoX and/or Racing in general...what is the best technique? Is this something to be even be concerned about?...I just started racing and don't want to get into bad habits that may affect my performance. Any info is truly appreciated. Thanks! :shift:
 

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I'm usually TEXTING while I'm on the track, so I just use my wrists.:shrug:
 

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9 & 3, no shuffle. When you shuffle you can loose the center position of the wheel and have no idea how far to correct to catch the car if it gets loose. There are very few turns on tracks that require you to remove your hands from the wheel and re-position.

Disclaimer - Ive never AutoX'ed so it may be different there.
 

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You'll find a lot of different opinions, I think. I'm a fan of the shuffle. Steering force should always be applied by pushing your hand up, not pulling it down (ie, one arm will be applying 90% of the force in any given corner). Along those lines, I often shuffle one hand before entering the turn, so that after I have used that hand to push the wheel into the corner, it ends up at either the 3 or the 9 position, in the optimal position to then apply any necessary steering angle adjustments without leading to an uncomfortable hand position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
9 & 3, no shuffle. When you shuffle you can loose the center position of the wheel and have no idea how far to correct to catch the car if it gets loose. There are very few turns on tracks that require you to remove your hands from the wheel and re-position.

Disclaimer - Ive never AutoX'ed so it may be different there.
I usually start at 9 and 3, but it seems like I am shuffling all over the place on the Auto X course...maybe I shouldn't be?? (How do you do it, Jacob?)...although I have been watching my coach (the amazing driver he is) letting go of the wheel while doing a little drift action...pretty cool, I think, but I probably shouldn't start attempting that skill at this point :rolleyes: And he even told me not to pick up that "bad habit" (I don't think it's bad - I think it is extraordinary).
Oh yah, the other problem is that I am ending up with calluses on my hands after a day of racing...what's up with that?:shrug:
 

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Kind of depends on the car, rack speed, wheel size, etc. In an Elise/Exige with a small (not stock) wheel, 3&9, no shuffle. In autox you may need to cross hands from time to time, but I'd rather deal with that than losing the wheel center on what are generally extremely tight courses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kind of depends on the car, rack speed, wheel size, etc. In an Elise/Exige with a small (not stock) wheel, 3&9, no shuffle. In autox you may need to cross hands from time to time, but I'd rather deal with that than losing the wheel center on what are generally extremely tight courses.
Driving a 2006 Noble M400...I honestly don't know the details on the wheel size :shrug: ??
 

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You'll find a lot of different opinions, I think. I'm a fan of the shuffle. Steering force should always be applied by pushing your hand up, not pulling it down (ie, one arm will be applying 90% of the force in any given corner). Along those lines, I often shuffle one hand before entering the turn, so that after I have used that hand to push the wheel into the corner, it ends up at either the 3 or the 9 position, in the optimal position to then apply any necessary steering angle adjustments without leading to an uncomfortable hand position.
I agree with the 9 & 3 but do not agree with the "pushing your hand up, not pulling it down" comment. That is taught to novice drivers most often because it helps keep a white knuckle death grip from occurring on the wheel. It helps to relax them a bit.

I'm 9 & 3 with shuffling only if unavoidable. I like to know where center is at all times.
 

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I agree with the 9 & 3 but do not agree with the "pushing your hand up, not pulling it down" comment. That is taught to novice drivers most often because it helps keep a white knuckle death grip from occurring on the wheel. It helps to relax them a bit.
I was taught that you can more easily pick up on the steering wheel feedback when using this technique, as you're using arm muscles that are more developed and thus more sensitive. I experimented with both pushing and pulling the wheel, and do feel that pushing it provided a finer sense of feedback. Of course, YMMV.
 

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I think you will see very few good/pro drivers shuffle, but the majority of them do not.. If you loose wheel center how are you supposed to catch the car. I have been told by some pro's that its OK to pre-position your hands before the turn but not suggested.

Personally I feel that removing a hand from the wheel mid turn is generally not a good idea. I've driven 7-8 different tracks and not one of them had a turn I could not make without keeping my hands at 3 & 9.
 

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I personally keep my hands at 4 and 8 (on the lower bumps of the Momo wheel). I find it helps me not to hook my fingers on the spokes or hit the horn on accident. I did, however, hit it twice on my most recent track day, mainly because I was not following my own rule.

4 and 8 is "safer" for air bag equipped cars, or so I was told. The premise being that the arms are blown downward, instead of into your passenger and out the window.
 

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You will most of the time keep your hands at 9 & 3 with a firm but relaxed grip on the wheel. There are also some slow hairpin corners that you will have to reposition your hands before the corner to keep from getting crossed up.

I always start the day on a unfamiliar track with a 9 & 3 grip going into all corners no matter if I am driving the Lotus or the Formula 1000.
 

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I wouldn't shuffle unless absolutely necessary due to a very tight autox turn.

That being said... I don't get the comments related to having difficulty finding center again. I know where center is no matter what my hands are doing. The steering wheel is in my peripheral vision. Even if it weren't, I can immediately find center based on steering forces/feedback due to caster.

Most of the time steering inputs are not based on the steering wheel's absolute position anyway. Your steering inputs are based on relative needs; ie. do you need more or less input than you've already got dialed in.

xtn
 

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I was taught many years ago: 9 & 3, don't lock your fingers around the spokes, don't shuffle unless necessary and steer rather with your elbows (effort comes from elbows, actually shoulders) than your hands. Elbow part is especially true for open cockpit/limited cockpit space/quick steering race cars.
I don't think autoX could be done without shuffling
 

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...you can do the 1/2 shuffle, if you need just a little more range with the hand going under, but leave the top hand in place, in otherwords, adjust to a 10-2 hand spacing by sliding that one hand in a bit. i am assume your finding you have to release your palm from the wheel as the hand turns under. everyone is a little different, i guess the correct answer is to get a tighter ratio steering rack!
 

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I agree with the 9 & 3 but do not agree with the "pushing your hand up, not pulling it down" comment. That is taught to novice drivers most often because it helps keep a white knuckle death grip from occurring on the wheel. It helps to relax them a bit.

I'm 9 & 3 with shuffling only if unavoidable. I like to know where center is at all times.
+1 - I took a Jim Russell performance driving course last year and was told that the "latest" recommended technique is to pull down as it requires a lot less effort and therefore reduces fatigue over time. One also maintains greater control using this method because yor upper arm has less strength when extended at the top of the wheel especially in a sharp corner where the upper arm could be at top centre or past it. Try this little experiment - your hands at 9 and 3 and then pretend to turn the wheel to the right with your left hand at ending up at top centre (try to simulate the force required to turn) and then hold for 30 seconds. Now do the same thing but use your right arm to turn right by pulling down. You should notice that your left tricep and shoulders are much less stressed and the stress on the right arm is not great.

Also havng your right hand in your lap provides some additonal support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
+1 - I took a Jim Russell performance driving course last year and was told that the "latest" recommended technique is to pull down as it requires a lot less effort and therefore reduces fatigue over time. One also maintains greater control using this method because yor upper arm has less strength when extended at the top of the wheel especially in a sharp corner where the upper arm could be at top centre or past it. Try this little experiment - your hands at 9 and 3 and then pretend to turn the wheel to the right with your left hand at ending up at top centre (try to simulate the force required to turn) and then hold for 30 seconds. Now do the same thing but use your right arm to turn right by pulling down. You should notice that your left tricep and shoulders are much less stressed and the stress on the right arm is not great.

Also havng your right hand in your lap provides some additonal support.
I did feel a difference...interesting point...thank you!
 
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