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http://www.turnfast.com/technical.lasso

I was reading the techniques posed on this site and adjusted my seat position and noticed an amazing difference. Before my seat was low and back, classic easy rider position. I cranked the seat up, made the backrest near vertical, and noticed a definite improvement in comfort and drivability. In cornering, taking off, and braking, i was locked in the seat and less of the G-force effects were felt. Amazingly, with both windows down, i get blasted by the wind 1/2 as much sitting higher and closer to the wheel than before. And I thought it was just poor design of subaru's part that the driver got blasted when the windows were down. Many of you may be comfortable in a lower, laying down position, but give it a try and see if you have a bit more control and feel over how the car handles.

-c
 

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I took this as common knowledge. Whenever I played with the seat I always noticed a better connection to the car in the upright position. Also there is much better visibility when you are higher up. Whenever I drive someone elses car whether it be a performance car or not I always sit pretty upright since I find it easier to drive this way.
 

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Actually there is an existing topic by the same topic name that can be found in the Handling section.....I know this...mainly because I started the topic. And yes, I'm personally someone who has always driven with my seat cranked high and close the steering....to the point that getting into the car(depending on the car) is a learnt technique. On the other hand, there's a certain point where you figure you should give your legs some room(but have good reach to the steering and view over the hood)...particularly if you are going to install a cage into the car and want to be able to get into the car without imitating your childhood games on the jungle gym.
 

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When I was driving my Ford ZX2 I used to be in that reclined position when I drove around. Comfortable I will say.

Then I *cough* watched Initial D (actually, forget I ever said that!). Saw how drivers were basicly totally upright. So when I got my WRX I placed it in that position. After all, it seems to be the driving position of pros. I have to say... In the case of the WRX I feel more comfortable, and seem to have a better feel on controlling the car. Perhaps it's the closer positioning to the wheel, visability of the road and conditions and more stiff positioning to keep the driver's mind on the road instead of sleeping or looking in the glove compartment.
Leave where I live, it seems to be popular to look for that dime on the floor while you drive! ;)

Never quite realized the position was actually associated with performance driving though!
 

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Anyone ever seen a GTR car racing in the ALMS? You will notice on ANY race cars GTR/DTM/F1 etc...their sitting positions is almost up to their chest. Their arms are bent at the elbows, knees bent, upright sitting position. Lounge chair sitting isn't the ideal position to be in for both daily driving and aggressive performance driving.

Why?

Elbows and knees bent tends to absorb more g forces when encountering a non-moveable object. More leverage with bent elbows, and better over visibility in the upright position.

Go to any high perfomance driving school and if you sit in a lounge chair position...be ready to get your hands slapped and cuffed.
 

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Zapix said:
When I was driving my Ford ZX2 I used to be in that reclined position when I drove around. Comfortable I will say.

Then I *cough* watched Initial D (actually, forget I ever said that!). Saw how drivers were basicly totally upright. So when I got my WRX I placed it in that position. After all, it seems to be the driving position of pros. I have to say... In the case of the WRX I feel more comfortable, and seem to have a better feel on controlling the car. Perhaps it's the closer positioning to the wheel, visability of the road and conditions and more stiff positioning to keep the driver's mind on the road instead of sleeping or looking in the glove compartment.
Leave where I live, it seems to be popular to look for that dime on the floor while you drive! ;)

Never quite realized the position was actually associated with performance driving though!
I noticed the same thing about Initial D...hehehehe
 

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Verdugo said:


I noticed the same thing about Initial D...hehehehe
Beat this... Not only did I notice that, ID influenced my views on cars in general, and as a icing on the cake, Takumi is my hero! ;)

Want the cake topper? I play Initial D soundtracks in my car all the time.
*cough*
Obssessed.
*cough*


~ Dan (Zapix)


PS: Sitting in the upright position in my ZX2 just doesn't feel right no matter what. Something about the bed/sleeping position is all too nice for it.
Perhaps the intense power of the WRX makes me enjoy the upright position as if being strapped into a rollercoaster.
When I drive it's like that along with some nice stomach shattering power. Nothing like coming off the exit ramp which is a nice hard curve... Flying at it at about 75mph, hitting the brake hard, down shifting from 5th to 3rd, the RPMs flying up to about 5500, and flying around the ramp at 40mph! Mind blowing power! =)
 

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Zapix said:


Beat this... Not only did I notice that, ID influenced my views on cars in general, and as a icing on the cake, Takumi is my hero! ;)

Want the cake topper? I play Initial D soundtracks in my car all the time.
*cough*
Obssessed.
*cough*


~ Dan (Zapix)
Don't worry bud, you're not alone...Bunta is my hero :D
 

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Yep, it's important to get close to the wheel. I'm tall, and could never get a good position in my Civic Si. Then I sat in the WRX and it was like the interior had been designed around my body. This was my major motivation for selling the Si and buying the WRX, believe it or not.
 

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i have sat in a CART champ car and it is anything but upright.
In Aryton Senna's The Art of Race Driving has alot to say about seating, basicaly the method i use that seems to work well is adjust the seat so that you legs are slightly bent but not strait (reason: forces one to use calf muscles and ankle joint to operate pedals, this has a better feel that using ones quad at the knee) as far as arms pretty much the same slightly bent, enough to be able to turn the wheel 180 without letting go from the 9-3 position.
 

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It is different for different racing - sit in a WRC car and you are very upright(for good visibility - not just straight ahead) and quite close to the steering wheel. THis has a lot to do with the magnitude of steering inputs required and a regular basis in rallying.

Bear in mind Senna is writing about track racing and F1. I'm sure that Colin McRae's "Scottish Arses and how to park them in Rally Cars" would be a little different in its recommendations.

Andrew
 

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Well, in a champ car or other formula car, you're still looking for arms bent, knees bent - it's just that you lay down for low center of gravity and low aero profile - but the cockpit is laid out for this position, unlike a road car that is laid out for an upright position. The pedals are way forward and the wheel way back - so that when you get comfortable the wheel is almost to your belly button. This would only work in a road car if you'd gotten your shins blown off like Cotton Hill! Also in a formula car you don't have several turns lock to lock to deal with. Just 1/2 to 3/4 turn.

Alain Prost's book says the exact opposite of Senna's. In fact he recommends heel-toeing with your heel on the brake pedal and toe on the gas - the opposite of what most people do and impossible with the stock pedals on the WRX. At least with my feet anyway. The reasoning being that the quad muscle is bigger and stronger so (1) you can exert more pressure on the pedal, (2) you get less tired in a long race and (3) you use your calf to actuate the throttle which takes less strength and more dexterity. Prost recommends sitting relatively close to the wheel so you can reach it all the way around easily, with the wheel as high as possible to give your arms the most room to flail around when thowing in a big dose of opposite -lock! Basically what Andrew said about WRC.

Chris
 

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i tried sitting closer to the wheel, and you're right, it did help in terms of vision, but comfort didnt improve that much. mostly cause for me at least, when the chair is up close to the wheel, my foot is at a stressed angle, so over time the effort to depress the clutch in and out gets harder and harder. when i moved the seat back, my legs had more flex room, so it was less strain- plus it was easier to move my foot to the dead pedal when the seats further away. plus with the seat up close my elbows hit the side supports of the seat so that made it harder to be in a more relaxed position.
 

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Penguinking said:
i tried sitting closer to the wheel, and you're right, it did help in terms of vision, but comfort didnt improve that much. mostly cause for me at least, when the chair is up close to the wheel, my foot is at a stressed angle, so over time the effort to depress the clutch in and out gets harder and harder. when i moved the seat back, my legs had more flex room, so it was less strain- plus it was easier to move my foot to the dead pedal when the seats further away. plus with the seat up close my elbows hit the side supports of the seat so that made it harder to be in a more relaxed position.
I'm the same. 6'2", long legs and inseam. WRX is the first car I've owned where my legs were not bent into position which made it very hard to heel and toe. So I sit back from the wheel a ways to give myself the legroom. Arms are still comfortably bent, seat is upright. This feels natural, 1st track day with instructors, nobody said anything about my driving position.
 

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Sorry to be a smartass, but you guys do know you can adjust the seat position and seat back separately, right?
 

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GV27 - yes, i know that... i like the lower seating position like ScoobySteve said because of the angle at which my feet rest on the deadpedal/clutchpedal

ScoobySteve - interestingly i'm not a tall person at all, in fact, i'm pretty darn short by most standards, which is why its so odd that i find the further back seating position more comfortable. and believe me, i definetly AM NOT going for that lowrider look ;)
 

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I know I'm a big geek for saying this, but for the majority of us who are not racing every day, the folks who make/test airbags recommend that you keep the seat upright and as far back as feasible. This is especially important for folks with less than average height. Airbags deploy assuming a worst-case senario, which often serves to bruise up someone who was going slow and didn't need that much force. ..just my $0.02
 

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This also why I hate the idea of airbags to begin with. As I said before, I've always sat close to the steering for feel/control and visibility(and probably for in the closet S&M). Airbags work most effectively when your arms practically outstretched and body is far from the wheel....which in effect gives you less control over your car and possibly a contributer to the cause or extent of the accident. I'd much rather have manufacturers giving us 6pt harnesses than a multitude of bloody expensive airbags. Airbags should be an option(even in Europe today, many sportcars have it as an option instead of standard-just that the typical paranoid North American public would never advocate this).

Someone mentioned Alain Prost's revmatching technique is opposite that of Senna's. This is largely dictated by the orientation of the pedals and personal comfort. While each has its benefits(eg more fine adjustment with the ball....revmatch?...then you have less feel for threshold braking), ultimately it's about comfort. There are three main methods of heel toe: toe on brake/heel on throttle, toe on throttle/heel on brake as well as half ball on brake/half on throttle(note when toe is mentioned, it usually means your ball not your toe tips). The latter technique is usually effective for most pedal setups, except for wide spaced throttle/brake pedals(eg Honda stock). One problem with the half/half is that newcomers to this technique will sometimes pivot in the middle between the two pedals(opposed to using the brake pedal as the pivot for throttle blipping) and effective lighten the brake pressure when trying to blip. Meanwhile, for the other methods often demostrates that most people do not have good heel pressure modulation. Some cars have the throttle mounted vertically higher than the brake(eg Ford SVT Focus), this often calls for toe on throttle/heel on brake. Meanwhile other cars often have the throttle longer and closer to the floor....calling for heel on throttle. There's no correct method; more importantly, it is a matter of whether you can pull it off well.

Just to go along with what others have mentioned and to clear up any confusions for some: Even in formula cars, your arms are significantly bent when hands are on the wheel. In fact, much of the time, the arms are basically bent at 90deg(at elbow) when the hands are in 9 and 3(and with the steering mounted high...).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
schischwein said:

Someone mentioned Alain Prost's revmatching technique is opposite that of Senna's. This is largely dictated by the orientation of the pedals and personal comfort. While each has its benefits(eg more fine adjustment with the ball....revmatch?...then you have less feel for threshold braking), ultimately it's about comfort. There are three main methods of heel toe: toe on brake/heel on throttle, toe on throttle/heel on brake as well as half ball on brake/half on throttle(note when toe is mentioned, it usually means your ball not your toe tips). The latter technique is usually effective for most pedal setups, except for wide spaced throttle/brake pedals(eg Honda stock). One problem with the half/half is that newcomers to this technique will sometimes pivot in the middle between the two pedals(opposed to using the brake pedal as the pivot for throttle blipping) and effective lighten the brake pressure when trying to blip. Meanwhile, for the other methods often demostrates that most people do not have good heel pressure modulation. Some cars have the throttle mounted vertically higher than the brake(eg Ford SVT Focus), this often calls for toe on throttle/heel on brake. Meanwhile other cars often have the throttle longer and closer to the floor....calling for heel on throttle. There's no correct method; more importantly, it is a matter of whether you can pull it off well.

Just to go along with what others have mentioned and to clear up any confusions for some: Even in formula cars, your arms are significantly bent when hands are on the wheel. In fact, much of the time, the arms are basically bent at 90deg(at elbow) when the hands are in 9 and 3(and with the steering mounted high...).
as i am learning heel-toe, i find the pedal configuration of the WRX to be more of a side-side instead of heel toe. I tend to hit the brake with the right toe/left side of right toe and then blip the throttle with the right edge of the foot. I found this to be an easier way of performing heel-toe without contorting my right leg. Any Left foot braking I have practiced on empty road straitaways have always resulted in slow speed wheel lockups, so I think much more practice and reverse thinking are in order before that part of advanced driving can be used. What do you guys find?

schischwein, wouldnt it be sweet if we had the rally steering wheel option, in other words a small steering wheel like the SWRT driver have? COmplimented with paddle shifting of course :D , I figure maybe one day after I get my compomotives, a small steering wheel and skid plates will be in order.

-c
 

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either its my small feet or i'm just not used to it, but when i try to heel-toe, i'm practically doing yoga while i'm trying to drive - i have to turn my foot so much that its extremely difficult to have any control with the throttle (i can brake fine, however) i just need more practice :D
 
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