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Is it realistic to left-foot brake on a manual transmission road car?

guidofoc

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Last night I was on a server driving around LA Canyons in the Ferrari 288 GTO. As I am learning to left-foot brake in ACC, I said to myself "hmm why not try it on a road car with manual transmission here in AC?"

It was a lot of fun. When the road got twisty I was just keeping third gear on and using the left foot to brake, this made cornering much more enjoyable and fast. The first reason of course is that the reactions were quicker as I was using two feet instead of one. The second reason is that I could effectively manage the weight transfer and consequently the front/rear grip making the car rotate at will. Of course there was some "dancing" of both feet when I changed gears or when downshifting (heel&toe). Overall though it became second nature after a while. In general, I felt I was going faster.

Now the question: are there people doing this in real life? Is it possible to drive a 288 GTO or, say, an F40 this way?
 
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Quite realistic. Check out this video. I heel and toe and left foot brake on every track in AC although it took me several months to get comfortable combining the two techniques.



 

Yusuf Macit

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Yeah, it is possible. Although, I would not recommend trying to left foot brake on a real road car. :D

Perhaps it's possible to train the ability in real-life. But here is something I have had experienced about a few months later I have got my drivers license, just out of curiosity, I tried to left foot brake one day, because I do that all the time in Assetto Corsa... and thought what is the worst could happen, right? I was going with something around 60 or 70 km/h - I think that's around 30 mp/h? As soon as I "touched" the brake pedal (I am serious I did not even push it down or anything or at least that is how I felt it) the car felt like I have hit something in front of me so hard, it has almost come to a sudden stop down to 20 km/h or so, and I was lucky to get away with it a van behind me who had JUST managed to stop before crashing into me. Maybe you can imagine the type of "honking" reaction I have received that day. I deserved all of that.

And honestly, I never tried that again until 4 years later now. It's completely something unnecessary on the road in traffic.

I think the main problem is that the brake pedal in a real road car is nowhere near stiff enough as in a racing car. (I have also touched the brake pedal of a GT3 Lexus RC F, and It was even difficult just to press the pedal down, but maybe that's because the engine was not running, though)

Anyways, that was my useless opinion for you. :D
 

Alex Townsend

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I drive my road car daily left foot braking. It's no different to karting or sim racing really. It's more about how much pressure your road car requires to stop adequately in any given situation. This is learned just like learning to brake with your right foot when you initially learn to drive a road car.
 

guidofoc

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Thanks for the answers guys, I kind of felt I was cheating by driving that way on a GTO.
Not sure if the pedal position on the real car makes it doable. Super fun though, I heard the 288 GTO was born as a base for a Group B circuit racecar and it really starts to feel like one.
 
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It is possible of course. You need some skills and practice but once you "get the point" it is really easy. I use it mainly in winter as you wrote for weight transfer and to stabilize car in corners. But I own old 4wd turbo car from 1998 and in modern cars with strong brake booster it is quite hard as these brakes are too sensitive..
 
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And you can also changing gears during left-foot braking without clutch. But you have to blip throttle and be super exact to match the gear/rpms..so I definitely do NOT recommend this technique :)
but it's nice that AC counts with that, so if you use pedals with clutch and clutch help is OFF, you can blip throttle and change gear.
 

Brandon Wright

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Yeah, it is possible. Although, I would not recommend trying to left foot brake on a real road car. :D

Perhaps it's possible to train the ability in real-life. But here is something I have had experienced about a few months later I have got my drivers license, just out of curiosity, I tried to left foot brake one day, because I do that all the time in Assetto Corsa... and thought what is the worst could happen, right? I was going with something around 60 or 70 km/h - I think that's around 30 mp/h? As soon as I "touched" the brake pedal (I am serious I did not even push it down or anything or at least that is how I felt it) the car felt like I have hit something in front of me so hard, it has almost come to a sudden stop down to 20 km/h or so, and I was lucky to get away with it a van behind me who had JUST managed to stop before crashing into me. Maybe you can imagine the type of "honking" reaction I have received that day. I deserved all of that.

And honestly, I never tried that again until 4 years later now. It's completely something unnecessary on the road in traffic.

I think the main problem is that the brake pedal in a real road car is nowhere near stiff enough as in a racing car. (I have also touched the brake pedal of a GT3 Lexus RC F, and It was even difficult just to press the pedal down, but maybe that's because the engine was not running, though)

Anyways, that was my useless opinion for you. :D

Yout just need to give your foot a little time to calibrate, but once it does that sudden stop goes away. Whenever I'm unfortunate enough to have to drive an automatic I always left-foot brake just to make it slightly more entertaining, sometimes the first brake press is a little jerky but after that it's as smooth as braking with my right foot.
 
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.LFB is not for everyone. It can be a bit 'tricky' at first so I'd suggest finding a large open parking lot.
Starting in karts made it an easy transition.
The hardest thing is getting a feel for how much braking force to apply.
 

Alex Townsend

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This is what it's all about. Karting actually sets you up for LFB as you can't do anything else with your feet.
Driving manual cars in the UK counteracts this. But driving here in Malaysia with every car pretty much being automatic by default means that you have the opportunity to practice this.
Add to that I set my sim rig up so it has two pedals for brake accelerator. I've become quite accustomed to LFB in fact making it feel strange to RFB...
 
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