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Old 07-15-2012, 07:14 AM   #1
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Left Foot Braking

Anyone have any suggestions on how to do this? (other than the obvious!)

I'll admit that I am still a traditionalist and use my left foot exclusively for the clutch but I am sure that I'm giving up time on the track to the drivers who have mastered this technique. I've tried it once or twice on the street and it feels VERY awkward, but then so did heel-and-toe the first time that I tried that. Any input would be helpful.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:50 AM   #2
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I use left foot braking mostly ...

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Originally Posted by thstone View Post
Anyone have any suggestions on how to do this? (other than the obvious!)

I'll admit that I am still a traditionalist and use my left foot exclusively for the clutch but I am sure that I'm giving up time on the track to the drivers who have mastered this technique. I've tried it once or twice on the street and it feels VERY awkward, but then so did heel-and-toe the first time that I tried that. Any input would be helpful.
... at the Autocross.
Since you're not shifting gears, it makes it easier to use your left foot to brake while leaving your right on the accelerator.
At the track I find very few turns where it is meaningful in saving time.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:28 AM   #3
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I used to left foot brake at AX, but I found moving back to right foot braking I was actually faster because I have better feel & control with my right foot.

Give it a shot for a day and see how you progress through the afternoon.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:37 AM   #4
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The only real benefit I can think of to LFBing in a boxtser is reducing off throttle oversteer in veryfast corners. Think of it as a way to control brake bias for and aft. Very advanced technique for most drivers...
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:38 AM   #5
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General rule of thumb is to practice during daily driving, you need to practice for up to 3 months before the using your left foot becomes second nature and you learn pressure modulation. The first time I tried practicing using my left foot I practically sent myself through the windshield.

For the tracks that I drive, left foot braking is very beneficial, but I guess it all depends on the track. No matter what it is a good skill to have in your bag of tricks.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:18 AM   #6
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I've used LFB in my MR2, when autocrossing, since I'd usually do the whole course in 2nd gear. I agree with Pedro that for track days it's less useful. Any time a corner required downshifting, you'd have to save the downshift until *after* you came off the brakes. I put a fairly wide brake pedal in my MR2, and for a while was using a technique where I'd initiate the braking with my left foot, and then move my right over and pick up the brake pressure when I needed to heel/toe. That worked OK, but eventually I went back to normal RFB for track days.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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I use it in Karting exclusively, never in a 5spd.

LFB is pretty useful in rally to rotate the car quickly, also in AX with the auto trans Vette crowd. I don't see much use for it in a typical road course where most corners are 3rd or higher and throttle steer easily controls rotation. There is no significant "reaction time" issue because we know where our braking points are. Some turbo cars use it to slow for corners while staying in the gas to keep the turbos spooled up.

Smooth is fast and on a road course, LFB is notoriously un-smooth. What advantages are we missing?
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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You didn't mention why you want o LFB.

I do use the left foot but only when I am putting in those little nose-settling gentle brushes (typically approaching fas sweeping turns). I may be kidding myself, but I tell myself that my application of throttle is much more controlled when my right foot is already placed on the pedal and ready to go. Not sure that in the SpecBox it makes any difference since most applications of throttle tend to be fairly aggressive.

I practiced on the road before ever taking it to the track.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:39 AM   #9
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Downshifting while LF braking is generally reserved for racing-style non-synchro transmissions. I don't know about the Boxster specifically, but shifting without the clutch in a racing environment tends to be very hard on a transmission not built for it.

This is one of those hotly contested subjects, but some alleged benefits in a road race context are: quicker transition from gas to brake, the ability to work the brake against the throttle to stabilize the car mid-corner, and ( the biggest one to me ) not having to do the H&T "foot dance" while braking. your Left foot can focus on braking alone, and your right on "the blip", and picking up the throttle after turn-in.
One down side is that you are more likely to stall the car in a spin.

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Old 07-16-2012, 12:39 PM   #10
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There are some tracks where I have LFB for certain sections but generally find it rare I need to. For autox, I obviously do in a kart (no choice) and in car I rarely do. A technique not mentioned so far is for turbo cars, you can keep load on the engine so boost is built more quickly reducing lag off the corner. There are many, many very fast drivers that do not LFB, so it's not a requirement for speed, just another technique that can come in handy.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:04 PM   #11
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I use LFB all the time in rally. I campaign an older Subaru Legacy with a limited slip rear diff. Really the only time I use LFB is to steady the car or adjust the angle in high speed corners while keeping the throttle pinned. The car barely makes enough power as it is (138hp!) so I use LFB to make minute adjustments to the cars attack angle in those long sweeping turns while trying not to lose momentum.

It is really one of those tools that takes a lot of practice. One thing that helped me out quite a bit was playing video games with a pedal and steering wheel. Anything that teaches your left foot the fine motor control needed for LFB is a tremendous help. I use it occasionally when daily driving just to keep me refreshed and in practice.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:37 PM   #12
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The reason why I am interested in LFB is that it seems to be a skill that all of the fastest drivers use to some extent; it is supposed to allow you to get back onto the throttle instantly; and done correctly it is supposed to help rotate the car through the center of a corner. In the POC time trial series where I compete, I am now chasing all of the time improvements that I can find to try and move into the top ranks.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:40 PM   #13
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Get a good set of wheel and pedals for your PC, join iRacing and practice your brains out. It will teach you to be sensitive to threshold brake with your left foot and transition smoothly from brake to gas and the reverse.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQautoxer View Post
There are some tracks where I have LFB for certain sections but generally find it rare I need to. For autox, I obviously do in a kart (no choice) and in car I rarely do. A technique not mentioned so far is for turbo cars, you can keep load on the engine so boost is built more quickly reducing lag off the corner. There are many, many very fast drivers that do not LFB, so it's not a requirement for speed, just another technique that can come in handy.

Was just about to talk about how LFB was always used for turbo'd cars. I understand the curiousity in doing so as most race car drivers use this technique. But they also are professional and getting paid for what they do :P I must also bring up that they have also mastered knowing when to LFB, meaning they by no means do it every corner, or every race for that matter. The obvious exceptions here are karts and "big karts", aka Indy Cars :P.

IMHO, I feel LFB, is very unnecissary unless you are tracking your car, and I mean actually tracking, not autocrossing, VERY regularly. Reading a lot of articles by race car drivers, they often talk about how most techniques like LFB and Heel-Toeing, need to be practiced almost daily to have any sort of time gains on the track.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:46 PM   #15
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Was just about to talk about how LFB was always used for turbo'd cars. I understand the curiousity in doing so as most race car drivers use this technique. But they also are professional and getting paid for what they do :P I must also bring up that they have also mastered knowing when to LFB, meaning they by no means do it every corner, or every race for that matter. The obvious exceptions here are karts and "big karts", aka Indy Cars :P.

IMHO, I feel LFB, is very unnecissary unless you are tracking your car, and I mean actually tracking, not autocrossing, VERY regularly. Reading a lot of articles by race car drivers, they often talk about how most techniques like LFB and Heel-Toeing, need to be practiced almost daily to have any sort of time gains on the track.
Heel and Toeing is far more necessary for smoothness and avoiding driveline abuse at the track or for spirited jaunts down your favorite country road. It is an essential part of maintaining balance and stability when down shifting at any time other than when the vehicle is in a straight line. It is there more important IMHO by a large margin than LFB and is a technique that I use as second nature on a daily basis.
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #16
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In my experience, one of the keys to left foot braking is to have your seat belts or preferably a harness locked into position. Otherwise when you left foot brake, it will throw your body weight onto the brake pedal, and it will be very difficult to modulate.

I have used this technique to good effect in autocross, and in a rolling start in road racing. At the start in a road race, if you get on the gas and hold the car back with the brake, it can give an advantage when the green flag flies. Otherwise, I have never used it on a road race course.

Good luck...
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:02 PM   #17
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I have used it in the snow to give weight transfer to the front wheels to scrape down to the road surface and bite and reduce understeer before corner entry.....your foot comes of the brake at the apex like a clutch and throttle is applied to give you oversteer......rotating the car around the turn

In a front driver you can momentarily lock up the front wheels and nudge the gear lever into second for the down shift. I couldn't do this.

I have also used it to balance the car in long shallow sweeping turns to balance the car

The above is all loose surface stuff....maybe there are rally drivers on here who explain it better

I would think once you start driving a PDK left foot braking will be huge in bringing you deep and fast into a corner.....there is no clutch to push ....If we see brakes that work better after being "warmed" down a straight it will make even more sense.

On a track surface I don't think I would consider left braking unless I was using a semi auto box or was trying to balance the car where no down shifting was needed
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