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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to discuss with the rallyers and performance track/road course drivers among you. As some of you know, I(Vince) and others are rally freaks as well as track freaks. Everyone knows our cars have quite a high seating position in general. Just wanted your opinions and experiences with fiddling how far forward/back your seat is and how high you are mounted. I'm 5'9-10" and proportionately, legs are longer than body. I have the seat at max height and quite close to get a good view over the hood and control of the wheel. On the other hand, mounting lower is often better in terms of CG and mounting more rearward is good for balance between front and rear. I tried fiddling with being mounted more central and lower last night, but can't help but think a cramped position as before is more reassuring(unless the airbag goes off). Any thoughts?
 

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I am 5'9" and I keep the seat bottom at it's lowest position, the seat back almost completely upright and the sterring wheel in my lap. This is how I am most comfortable driving.

-Jim
 

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The few tips I got on seating position at a driving school were -seat upright, wrists should be able to rest on top of steering wheel, pedals must be in easy reach, try to get a good as view as possible.

For me (6') that means sitting closer and higher than I normally do for daily driving. My helmet in this position is touching the roof.

I noticed in the WRC any adjustments for cg, balance etc were accomplished by moving the co-driver, not the driver. I believe the reason being the driver must be 100% comfortable in his position or there will be a compromise in his driving- just my .02.
 

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The "best" seating position is the one in which you are most comfortable. Yeah, that's why they move the co-driver, not the driver.

Alain Prost's book recommends a seating position where you have plenty of room for your arms to twirl the wheel. Obviously for Rally, this would be especially important. This usually means having the wheel up as high as possible (according to Le Professeur). I've heard the wrists on top of the wheel thing too, but I'm fairly short - so for me it's mean sitting very close to the wheel with the seat side bolsters virtually eliminating any room for my arms to move. I keep my seat bottom all the way down - I feel like I have a better feel for the car sitting lower.

C
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes most adjustments in rally are done through the co-driver(which is why he is mounted low and central-human weight bias). However, many teams make efforts to move the driver as well. You'll notice that the WRC Subaru has the engine move ~2" rearward and everything else moved rearward(driver included) as well. The goals have been to keep everything more central. In effort to get good view, the dash is minimal and sculpted low.
Obviously, most of us are not crazy enough to start that sort of modification. I like the close(and high mount) steering feel...I've never understood those who have the steering so far their arms are stretched while in 9 and 3. The only benefit of the latter I suppose is that your body won't be crushed when the airbag comes out(something I don't quite care about since I won't have airbags shortly-replaced by harnesses, cage and smaller suede wheel). The closest/cramped position I've ever seen someone drive in(besides myself) was Francois Delecour in his Ford last year. The wheel about 6" front his face and such.
Jim, you must have a really long torso...I really can't see much with the seat all the way down even though we are about the same height.
 

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I'm 6'2" and have a long inseam. The WRX is the first car where my legs are not contorted in such a way as to make heel and toe operation difficult. So I'm probably a bit further back from the wheel than what would be considered an optimum position for the track - just to give myself the legroom. However, it's comfortable, my arms are still bent and no instructors at the recent track day criticized my seating position.

Seat is jacked well down and in this position, there's plenty of clearance for my helmet. I agree with GV27 on the comfort issue.
 

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On a full race rally car, the driver is moved well back and the steering shaft is lengthened to bring the wheel closer to him. He also sits rather upright but I believe that is more of a comfort issue. I know that we will spend hours getting the seating position just right for the driver. Sometimes its a matter of millimeters that makes all the difference. If the driver is comfortable, then his confidence is higher which allows him to go faster. In short, don't worry about CG or centralizing mass. Just get as comfortable as possible and this will make you faster than anything else. On a rally car, centralizing mass towards the middle of the car is not always best way to go. Not enough outboard mass will reduce the pendulum effect of the car when sliding through the turns.

Alin
 
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