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Discussion Starter #1
It seems to be a mixed bag and more preference on if left foot braking is better.

I'm 6', but my legs are long and with the seat all the way back I can't left foot brake. I tried it and I have to hold my left leg at a weird angle and my leg rubs a bit on the bottom of the steering wheel. Also a few times my knuckles hit my leg and threw me off.

I guess if I was rotating the car more (yaw) I would use MUCH less steering input, but I'm get there... slowly.

Should I worry about left foot braking or just stick with what is comfortable?

Thanks,
Chris
 

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My experience driving with left foot breaking is more in the Miata, and it was a HUGE help on the track. I tried the same things in the lotus at VIR and almost went gardening!

That said, it is all practice. Both left-foot-breaking and heal-toe-ing are freaking great when they are done properly, but are horrable when they are not done properly.

I have had both types of students. The ones that did these correctly were fantastic drivers, so smooth, so fast. The ones that didn't have it quite right... well... lets put it this way, I told them if they kept trying that stuff at speed that they would never get back on the track again, I would make sure of it. They were downright dangerous!

So I say keep practicing, you will either get very good at it, or you will decide it is not for you and do it with your right foot. Sounds like you are in that awkward in-between phase right now. I say stick with it.

DC
 

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You don't need to left foot brake to be fast. It helps with certain types of cars -- front wheel drive cars that need help to get the rear end loose, turbo cars that need to keep the turbo spooled going through slow corners -- but in most cases it comes to driver preference.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
heal-toe

Well I've been heal-toe downshifting for about 7 years now and used to double clutch downshift in my old Mitsu that had shot syncronizers. So I'm very comfortable with heal-toe and it works well for me.

I'm only asking, because I see a lot of the top autocrossers left foot braking and I want to use it. I left foot brake in my Formula Ford, but I have plenty of room and you don't ever need to use the clutch. My wife left foot brakes in the Lotus, but she's a lot shorter then me and it works well for her.

So what I'm hearing is if heal-toe is working fine just stick with it?

Stu Hayer, a friend of mine, still left right brakes and he has no issues with it. He said his experience is that too many left-foot brakers too often combine gas and brake when they don't mean to.

If someone were to say "left foot braking in the Lotus is a must if you want to be good" I would be willing to find some compromise with leg room, but I don't think someone would make that statement.
 

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My wife left foot brakes in the Lotus, but she's a lot shorter then me and it works well for her.
:drool: That's hot! :drool:

I always thought girl driving a stick shift is hot. Now left foot brake, is like having flame coming out of the back of the car hot. Lucky you!:D


Now... I still cannot even convince my wife to learn how to drive a stick shift.. TADTS Got to give it a try again this weekend. ;)
 

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So what I'm hearing is if heal-toe is working fine just stick with it?
I don't really understand that wording. You still have to heel-toe if you use left foot braking. You have to switch and use your right foot to brake when your left foot operates the clutch...unless you can heel-toe the clutch with your left foot, or are planning to make downshifts without using the clutch.
 

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I don't really understand that wording. You still have to heel-toe if you use left foot braking. You have to switch and use your right foot to brake when your left foot operates the clutch...unless you can heel-toe the clutch with your left foot, or are planning to make downshifts without using the clutch.
I agree.

I mentioned heal-toe, because it lies in the catagory of something one needs to practice in order to be good at. Both are skills used for totally different situations.

Heal toe is used to revmatch when downshifting. Helps to make the gear transition smoother and quicker.

I use left-foot-breaking for those times when I want to keep my momentum up, and the transition of my right foot from gas to break to gas is slower than having my right foot on the gas and graising the break with my left foot. You also don't necessarrilly need to get fully off the gass when you left-foot-break, I use it when I need to transition my weight/slow down a bit for a turn, but not too much, stuff like that.

DC
 

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I heel-toe brake, in this car it would be damn near impossible for me to get my big ass leg and foot back and forth between the clutch and brake anyway.
 

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To the people in the FFords that are saying that you're left foot braking, my only question is how? When I was at Skippy, there was no chance I'd be able to get my foot under the tube going from the steering wheel. (Sorry, but I completely forgot what it's called, and would rather not embarrass myself by messing up the terminology)
 

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You don't need to left foot brake in the Elise to be fast.
 

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You don't need to left foot brake in the Elise to be fast.
Totally agree.

You don't need a turbo, supercharger, sticky tires, super suspension package etc to be fast in an elise either. But if you are fast in a normal elise without using these skills, and if you can do them well, then you will most likely be faster by adding them to your book of tricks.

Do you need these skills? No
Would I recommend them to everyone? No
If you were an experienced driver, and wanted something else to practice/try to make you an even better driver, would I recommend trying this? Yes, without hesitation

:shift:
 

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Of course. But I would not compare left foot braking with the speed added with sticky tires or a supercharger. It is a small thing in the Elise.. IMO. If you speak to National Champ autocrossers, some do it. Some do not. All of them are fast.
 

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It seems to be a mixed bag and more preference on if left foot braking is better.

I'm 6', but my legs are long and with the seat all the way back I can't left foot brake. I tried it and I have to hold my left leg at a weird angle and my leg rubs a bit on the bottom of the steering wheel. Also a few times my knuckles hit my leg and threw me off.

I guess if I was rotating the car more (yaw) I would use MUCH less steering input, but I'm get there... slowly.

Should I worry about left foot braking or just stick with what is comfortable?

Thanks,
Chris
I converted to LFB this season and I really like it. I am 6'2" and I pull the seat UP to get closer. That said I have a proper seat(hurricane) which removes the need to brace with my left leg. It allows you to more smoothly roll in gas after braking and really get the car to dance. :clap:
 

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Of course. But I would not compare left foot braking with the speed added with sticky tires or a supercharger. It is a small thing in the Elise.. IMO. If you speak to National Champ autocrossers, some do it. Some do not. All of them are fast.
Very true, and my experience with LFB is more on a track than an autocross too. I have found that the gains on the track are incredible though.
 

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To the people in the FFords that are saying that you're left foot braking, my only question is how? When I was at Skippy, there was no chance I'd be able to get my foot under the tube going from the steering wheel. (Sorry, but I completely forgot what it's called, and would rather not embarrass myself by messing up the terminology)
the tube is called the steering column.

JK13,
it depends on the design of the car. My DB-1 (1984)is a fantastic design in that the steering column is elevated and angled so that it does not interfere with my feet. I have nothing in the way of moving my left foot anywhere in the car.
My titan Mk-6 was a 1970 era car, and it had the design you are talking about. the way around this is to fabricate a brake pedal that is attached to the existing pedal but located on the left side of the steering column.
this picture(top one) is how they did it on a Crossle and make it possible to left foot brake in the car.
the second picture is my DB-1 design which has the steering column completely out of the way and broken up into angles.

My swift is great, but if i dont have on shoes that are really small and tight, my size 10.5 feet get hung up on the upper frame going from gas to brake.
the swift is a tight fit for me, but is such a great car, and once i am inside its like wearing a glove.
the thing about FF cars is you can see how each era of builders have redesigned things to improve on previous designs in areo and suspension beginning with the Lotus 51.
I love my DB-1 because even though its almost 25 years old, in a capable drivers hands it is still an extremely competive car that is capable of winning today.
 

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