The Mustang Forum for Track & Racing Enthusiasts

Taking your Mustang to an open track/HPDE event for the first time? Do you race competitively? This forum is for you! Log in to remove most ads.

  • Welcome to the Ford Mustang forum built for owners of the Mustang GT350, BOSS 302, GT500, and all other S550, S197, SN95, Fox Body and older Mustangs set up for open track days, road racing, and/or autocross. Join our forum, interact with others, share your build, and help us strengthen this community!

Need Heel-Toe Help & Advice

361
423
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
SoCal
I have been struggling with heel-toe downshifts for far too long and need some help.

Little back story first:
I tried heel-toe in the beginning with everything stock on the car (2018 GT PP1) and was struggling. I thought my problem (other than lack of substantial practice) was that the gas pedal was too far away horizontally from the brake pedal so I then purchased the Steeda Heel Toe Gas Pedal to get the gas pedal closer to the brake pedal.
1653070413464.png1653070482148.png
This helped at first and I was able to perform heel-toe shifts on the street and on the track.

Later on as I got more track experience and got more comfortable braking later, I seemed to develop an embarrassing habit. While braking, my foot would also graze the gas pedal so I'm essentially on the gas while braking. If I really focused on getting my foot in the right position, I could avoid the scenario but then my focus was not on the track itself and my line would suffer, making for a sloppier lap.
Most recently, I was at AutoClub Speedway (huge braking zones) and I fat-footed the brakes once again and this time it boiled my fluid causing me to go way off track, into the grass. I bleed the brakes and the fluid in the rear calipers was filled with bubbles confirming that I was on the gas while braking. After that session, I took the Steeda pedal extension off. No more issues of fat-footing the gas pedal but then I wasn't used to the newly created position of the gas pedal so I couldn't heel-toe.


Not sure what my best solution here is and hence why I'm looking for advice. I think the best option is get an Auto Blip or Xineering device but I'm also cheap and would rather put that $500 towards an oil cooler.
Ideas:
1. Open the wallet and get Auto Blip / Xineering
2. Try the Steeda pedal in a different position (maybe lower rather than closer would help? See picture below)
1653071350204.png
3. Don't do anything and simply get more practice.
4. Maybe my shoes are too wide? Maybe get a pair of driving shoes?
5. Certain combo of above?

I appreciate any and all insight! I'm sure at the core of it all, my foot position is off and I just need to practice it correctly.
 

carver

breaker of wrenches
431
567
ontario
It's a personal choice really. I find the stock Boss layout is perfect for my wide size 12 runners ! That wide gas pedal you have wouldn't work for me. I use the side of my foot to blip the throttle on down shifts while braking .
I does takes practice to really get it down at the track when your really sending it !! 🙂

This a fun video with some foot work by the master Walter Rohrl.

 
Last edited:
361
423
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
SoCal
Auto-blip.

A person under stress has limited excess bandwidth....or "$10.00 of attention" as Keith Code teaches.

How much and where do you wanna spend it? Pay for easy ;) .
Exactly my thoughts. It's just one less thing to think about while on track
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,721
3,920
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
Auto-blip.

A person under stress has limited excess bandwidth....or "$10.00 of attention" as Keith Code teaches.

How much and where do you wanna spend it? Pay for easy ;) .
What he said.

I was in the camp which said "I'll drive it like it was intended, with three feet". Did it for years, sometimes well, sometimes poorly. Then I bought an Autoblip. Now its concentrate on the braking while the black box makes me look/sound good.
 
5,155
5,692
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
Steeda make a medium width pedal (at least for s197's) I had the same issues with the fat pedal so took it off and spaced my gas pedal up 3/8" and instead of blipping with my heel (I have bad knees so I can't really rotate my foot) I just roll my ankle and blip with the side of my foot....works perfectly. I had an auto blip but never really liked it.
 
55
92
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Manhattan, KS
I got the Xineering version for my '18. I didn't want a knob on the dash, and it actually worked quite well out of the box. I put an on/off switch in the sunglass holder, so it's hidden and out of the way. I'm still very much an amateur and prefer to work on the car control part of my driving skills for now. If I get comfortable at speed then I'll probably try to run without it eventually. I "practice" heel and toe all the time, but doing it around town is way different than on the track at speed. My feet are wide enough that the stock pedal location seems to be fine.
 
153
112
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Bulgaria
6. no blipping :)
Тhis ! There is no real reason to do this because earlier S550's not equipped with rev-match have a rev hang future build in which is good enough to not break the car on track. In fact a lot of GT350 owners report that doing heal-toe is premature wearing there clutch because of the rev hang future in the ECU. Also focusing on a marginal technic then on improving your lines is causing you to be slower and as you discover is borderline dangerous and causing more harm then good for a novice driver.
 

carver

breaker of wrenches
431
567
ontario
Тhis ! There is no real reason to do this because earlier S550's not equipped with rev-match have a rev hang future build in which is good enough to not break the car on track. In fact a lot of GT350 owners report that doing heal-toe is premature wearing there clutch because of the rev hang future in the ECU. Also focusing on a marginal technic then on improving your lines is causing you to be slower and as you discover is borderline dangerous and causing more harm then good for a novice driver.
I can't stand "rev hang". I think it wears the clutch faster.
In theory , If heel / toe and rev matching is perfected there is no need for a clutch once the car or truck is moving. IMHO :)
 
188
197
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Virginia
My few years experience have taught me to brake longer and heal toe at lower rpms, it's more forgiving and seams easier on everything. I still prefer to use auto blimp though I occasionally turn it off and practice. The problem I've also found in the my 350R is under very hard braking (turn 1 and back straight at VIR) the brake pedal is a lower than the gas pedal. If my right knee isn't pointed toward the steering column under braking it forces me to blip with the side of my shoe instead of my heal compromising pedal pressure.

All well and good for HPDE but, my lap times are more consistent using auto blip.

@DocWalt shows A+ technique in my opinion, listen his downshifts...all in the lower rpm range with car slowed more. This is the timing and rhythm I try to emulate.

 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,465
1,446
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
halfway between Mosport and Shannonville
I don't heel/toe with the Mustang, I roll the side of my right foot to blip the gas while braking. Have done it this way on most cars since I learned to drive many many decades ago. Pedal spacing drives whether I'm rolling the foot or using the heel. Driving big trucks with non-syncro 9, 10, 13 and 15 speed gearboxes usually required the heel.
Blipping this way has been second nature since forever, I was blipping when I got my licence at 16. When I took the test to get my licence I blipped a downshift and the grumpy government examiner gave me hell for doing it! I couldn't understand why I didn't get bonus points for that blip!
 
139
116
OP, at the risk of explaining something you already know, I suspect you aren't using the correct heel toe method. I'm no super expert and I can prove it but I was fortunate to be taught by someone who really knew how to heel toe. You can find this info buried on the internet but here it is anyhow....

The most important thing to know is that "heel toe" is a total misnomer. Lots of people mistakenly think your toe goes on one pedal while your heel goes on the other. That is wrong and it also is nearly impossible to do. It's also dangerous because now you have your entire foot up in the air and unsupported and you can't make accurate or quick inputs. Your heel really needs to be firmly on the floor between the brake and gas. I personally put it a little closer to the gas but that might be personal preference. The left side of the ball of your foot will go on the brake pedal. The right side of the ball of your foot will go on the gas. Don't try to "roll your ankle." That's not a quick, accurate, or easy movement. Instead, think about "locking" your ankle like it's in a ski boot. Apply the brakes, and when you are ready to blip, think of moving your right knee towards the center console. With your ankle locked and your foot straddling the brake and gas, the right side of the ball of your foot will roll onto the gas and you are now doing a proper heel-toe. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the easiest place to do really good heel-toe is at speed on a track, because you are braking much harder so the brake and gas pedals tend to be on the same plane. On the street or under light braking, the brake pedal sits higher than the gas. So that takes a little practice but it's not hard once you are practicing the proper movements. If you can heel toe smoothly during your commute, you can do it anywhere.

If you are doing it right, under initial braking your right knee will be over towards your left side, probably touching your left knee. The left side of the ball of your right foot will be pushing on the brake pedal, and the right side of the ball of your right foot will be over the gas pedal but not pushing on it, ready for that right knee movement towards the center console to do the blip.

Sorry for the long post but I get frustrated with people saying how hard heel toe is, when 90 percent of the time it's because they are practicing a totally wrong and totally impossible movement with their feet. Instructors need to get better at teaching this point. Good luck!
 
Last edited:
361
423
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
SoCal
@JeffV8 I'm glad I'm not the only one, haha.

Thanks everyone for the responses. The comments are both reassuring and insightful.

@stevbd this is great! I knew about not actually using your heel but the ski boot - move knee approach seems like a winner! I'll still practice but I'm gonna get the Xineering so it's one less thing to think about on track.
 
I'm no pro, but these pedals from SRP have helped me tremendously in both my 2009 GT500 and my 2018 GT350.

I run the widest pedal from SRP on my 2018 along with the home depot spacer mod to allow myself to brake with the ball of my foot/toes, and rotate to catch the gas with edge of my heel.

 
49
67
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Nova Scotia
No body has mentioned what I’ll say is the most important part of heel-toe/ankle roll/blip shifting - wear better footwear. If what you are wearing is designed to be comfortable all day walking around on pavement, it may not be ideal for track driving. Flexibility, ability to sense foot pressure, conforming to your foot shape etc are all things done better by even an inexpensive race boot/shoe than a pair of sneakers.
 

TMO Supporting Vendors

Top