Motor Sports

Ayrton Senna's heel-and-toe shifting

Heel-and-toe shifting is a driving technique where the driver lays their right foot over the accelerator and brake pedals and uses their left foot for normal clutch operation. It’s an advanced way of driving and mostly used by performance drivers such as Aryton Senna in the video above.

As we watch Ayrton enter the curves of Suzuka it becomes entrancing as his loafer-clad feet artfully dip and dab at the pedals. He seems to have the pedidexterity of a god. Blitzing towards each bend he engages the clutch to free up the engine, shifts to the lower gear he wants to exit the turn in, and then blips the throttle with a lightning-quick and deliberate stab that provides the smoothest transition possible between forward gears. This cacophony of actions all take place in the blink of an eye and at the next moment, Senna is furiously flying towards his next braking zone. This technique of managing all three pedals at once is a skill practiced by many and mastered by few. What’s amazing is that overall it seems that much like heel/toe shifting, this video features the same incredibly high level of skill and quality execution.

(via HotCars)

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