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Car control clinic cancelled

Discussion in 'Car Control Clinics' started by cwerley, May 11, 2009.

    cwerley guest

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    It was supposed to be this upcoming Sunday (5/17) and I was really looking forward to it as I have a new car with MT (drove an auto before that for some 15 years...) - lack of volunteers:(. I wanted to work the kinks out before heading to the track for driving school the last weekend in May. Anyone have any advice on things I can practice?
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    az3579

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    Have you ever done any sort of rev-matching in your up/downshifts? It greatly enhances the smoothness of your driving, and smoothness is important in high-speed events such as track days. If not, you should consider learning this new skill as not only is it less wear on the drivetrain/transmission/clutch, but it will also impress your friends when you can perfectly rev-match downshift. ;)

    cwerley guest

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    Oo - good suggestion. I've been playing with it without knowing that's what I've been doing. I'm still feeling out where the clutch releases. I've been doing lots of down-shifting in lieu of braking - sometimes smooth, sometimes not-so-much. Best way to practice is..?
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    az3579

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    Best way to practice is... well, practice!

    Keep in mind, depending on what car you have, it may take longer to get used to driving a manual again. If you have a newer car, you will most likely have a Clutch Delay Valve, which is greatly interfere with how you drive a manual. I think it may also interfere with rev-matching, but I cannot be sure to this as I do not own a car with a CDV.

    With regards to downshifting instead of braking -- well, it is much cheaper to buy a set of new brake pads than to service driveline components, so unless you can rev-match while downshifting, I wouldn't advise doing that. I know someone who doesn't rev-match when downshifting and I cringe every time I'm in the car with him and he just lets the clutch out! Sometimes he shifts into first while the car is still moving, which makes me think about fingernails on a chalkboard.... *shudder*
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    MGarrison

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    I think there's probably some other topics here on the forum addressing stuff to consider for a first driver's school and/or auto-x. Check out those threads, if you haven't already.

    If you're _relatively_ new to driving a manual and are off to the track soon, I'd say just practice on making your shifts happen smoothly. You will be trying to learn, integrate, and incorporate a lot of new stuff & techniques in a fairly brief timeframe, don't worry as much about perfect shifting as just making them happen smoothly.
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    Bimmerdan

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    +1 to what MGarrison said. Just practice on being smooth and don't rush your shifts. My only other suggestion would be to review your seating position and hand positions. That's one of the first things I work with on new drivers (Street Survival Schools are a great place to witness some really bad seating/hand positions!). You'll want to be sure you're sitting fairly upright, close enough to the wheel and pedals to reach them comfortably without stretching, hands around the 10 - 2 or 9 - 3 mark.

    I know it sounds trivial and pretty basic but it amazes me how many people say they do that but then you get in the car with them and you realize they have a whole different concept of what 'upright' and 'close to the wheel' means.

    Just listen to your instructor, be open minded and receptive to suggestions and have an absolute blast!!
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    az3579

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    +1 to seating position. I went to the Street Survival exercise near me two years ago and have been sitting in the "proper" seating position since! Now I wonder how on earth people are able to sit so far away from the wheel...

    And, my car doesn't have an airbag, so there is no issue with my seating position. :D
    I wouldn't recommend sitting so close to the wheel at all times if your car has an airbag though. I see people sitting literally inches from the wheel and think to myself "they are so gonna get hurt if that airbag goes off..."

    cwerley guest

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    Just a quick wrap up and thanks to everyone who posted suggestions. School was this weekend and couldn't have been more fun or informative. Checked seating position, practiced shfting and was glad I did both before I got there. Wish I could have had a chance to experiment with some hard braking into corners... but had plenty of chances to that at the track. And of course now I'm hooked and can't wait to go back for more!

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