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Driving '60s/'70s Formula cars without heel-and-toeing


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#1 Kart15

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 07:25

I would like to know if was possible and if some fast driver (F1 or lower formulas like Vee/F-Ford, etc) did it: drive old formula cars with H pattern gearboxes and clutch, without apply the heel toe technique, to break with your right foot, press the clutch with the left and put the gear down without blip the throttle, like in a normal roadcar.



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#2 Cirrus

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 07:42

I organise the Historic FF2000 Championship in the UK and many of our (usually younger) drivers don't heel and toe. In fact, some of them don't use the clutch at all once they have got underway. They claim their dog rings don't suffer any undue distress as a result of the experience...



#3 Michael Ferner

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 08:35

Of course, it's possible. Reason for retirement, gearbox trouble.

#4 DogEarred

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 09:01

I'm totally against the ill treatment of dog rings. Then I would be, wouldn't I?

 

I can perhaps understand the slight time savings in upshifts but for downshifting I always found that heeling & toeing (or heel 'blipping' of throttle, rather)

gave better control, utilizing engine braking, in turn giving more controlled corner entry & earlier application of throttle.

If done correctly, the clutch movement would be very light anyway.

 

The double de-clutching I was taught at a well known race school years ago was a waste of time for formula cars. Never quite sure why they did it.



#5 Allan Lupton

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 09:46

Double de-clutching is a great speeder-up of down-changes in non-synchromesh 'boxes and does no harm in other cases. Heel-and-toe is only necessary for down-changes during braking of course, and even a non-d.d-c downchange is better if the engine revs are right so a throttle blip helps. As said if you get it right it can be clutchless!

Up changes cannot need h-a-t or d d-c but older cars did have a clutch-stop which slowed the gearbox primary shaft to enable smooth upward changes. 



#6 Charlieman

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:43

Saab Formula Junior -- did that have a freewheel mechanism in the transmission? When I drove a Saab 96, I loved the clutchless down changes (and occasional up change).

 

Porsche synchromesh transmissions -- in factory cars and specials?



#7 arttidesco

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 12:26

Clutch pedals were dispensed with completely on the following F3 spec cars 1 x 1965 Alexis, 1 x 1966 Brabham, 2x 1967 Geminis and 2 x 1968 Tecno's all of which had DAF's rubber belt driven Continuously Variable Transmission fitted   ;)  



#8 Kart15

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 18:08

Well, last week I drove a F-Vee car with a new Volkwsagen 1.6 water cooled engine and the old Volkswagen bus 4 gears gearbox and I didn´t noticed any gains in heel toeing, because the clutch pedal had a very very long course. In this special case I think was better to not heel toe, because of the very long clutch. Here an example of two brazilian formula vee drivers, the first doesn´t heel toe, look how faster he is compared with the second guy:

https://www.facebook...94269300986117/





#9 Allan Lupton

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 18:16

 I didn´t noticed any gains in heel toeing, because the clutch pedal had a very very long course.

I can't understand what total clutch pedal travel has to do with heel-and-toeing. The part of that travel that actually does something would be quite small and you don't need to use any of the rest when double-declutching, in the same way that you don't push the clutch pedal further once the clutch is disengaged.



#10 fyrth

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 19:07

Without concentric clutch operation the VW/Hewland clutch is truly nasty, with little movement between open & closed. From day one I opted for the Hewland advice to avoid the clutch after departing the line, up the gears merely lifting slightly to take the load off the dog, down the gears a last minute change when the rev differential was small. Albeit hills & sprints but 200 events and no dead dogs.



#11 Kart15

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 20:32

Without concentric clutch operation the VW/Hewland clutch is truly nasty, with little movement between open & closed. From day one I opted for the Hewland advice to avoid the clutch after departing the line, up the gears merely lifting slightly to take the load off the dog, down the gears a last minute change when the rev differential was small. Albeit hills & sprints but 200 events and no dead dogs.

So you dont heel toe while driving with a VW clutch, you prefer to downshift in the last moment when the rpm is lower, right?



#12 E1pix

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 21:17

I can't think of a single driver who used a clutch with a Hewland once rolling.

Our old friend Eddie Miller was really unique in solely stomping the brakes from full-speed to fully-slowed, and only then at the last moment dropping it into his ultimate corner gear with revs already so low they were easy to match. He won two Formula Ford national championships and a Pro Super Vee title over four years (Pro F5000 season between) so the technique worked.

The only other driver I've ever seen do this was a fellow named A. Prost.

#13 chr1s

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 21:37

Beat me to it! I read a quote somwhere from Prost where he says double de-clutching was unnecessary with a Hewland. I'll try and find it.



#14 E1pix

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 18:38

One can witness A's technique at South Africa in the wonderful film "Lap of the Gods."

#15 john aston

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 05:59

Whilst many people racing historics don't - and some very sucessfully - it does offend my sensibilities . For a woeful example of awful technique check out Alex Rossi driving a Lotus 49 at Circuit of the Americas on youtube . It is a prime example of gearbox abuse and whilst I don';t doubt he's a competent driver in a modern he is bloody dreadful in the poor 49 . :mad:



#16 Wirra

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 06:19

Apologies to Kart15, author of the OP, for this somewhat off-topic link but I thought the older TNF members might find this amusing.

 

https://www.motorspo...chnique-889394/