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Race Driving Fundamentals: Pedal Spacing & Height

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Pedal Spacing & Height


00:00 - We've already talked briefly about the distance between the driver and the pedals but a more subtle aspect here is the spacing between the pedals as well as their height.
00:08 Before we get into this though, we should recognise that not everyone is going to have the option to adjust the pedals to the extent that we're going to discuss here.
00:17 While there's often no adjustability built into a factory pedal arrangement, from this point on we'll be assuming that you're working with an adjustable aftermarket pedal box from the likes of Tilton or Wilwood.
00:28 Let's start with the spacing.
00:31 Which foot we brake with will determine how we set up our pedal spacing in the car.
00:35 If you're a left foot braker, you want to set your pedals up with a reasonable gap between them.
00:40 We do this so that our feet end up further apart to eliminate any unwanted inputs when they're overlapping, going from the brake to the accelerator and vice versa.
00:50 It's also ergonomically more comfortable to have the pedals further apart because ideally we want them in line with our hips as much as possible which offers more stability and control with every pedal input.
01:02 When it comes to right foot braking, we want to have the brake and the accelerator pedal closer together so that we can reach the accelerator with the side of our foot easily.
01:12 Further to that we also want to set the pedals up so that when we're hard on the brake, it's either flush with the accelerator or slightly lower depending on your preference and what's easiest to allow you to blip the throttle.
01:24 If moving the pedals isn't possible, another option is to extend the accelerator pedal with a securely attached plate so that it brings it closer to the brake pedal.
01:33 Once our pedal location is correct, it's time to have a look at pedal height and heel position.
01:40 First we need to make sure that our heels are correctly placed.
01:43 To do this, we want to ensure our feet are just past vertical so that the toes are slightly closer to the pedals than the heels.
01:51 There's a fine line here as we don't want our heels to be too far away or we'll end up having less control on the pedals because it forces us to drive with our toes.
02:00 Once our heels feel comfortable we can then either add a heel plate to rest them against or add some grip tape to the floor in the correct location.
02:09 Next let's check the pedal height.
02:12 In some cars this is adjusted through the actual pedals but if this isn't an option then we can look at raising our heel height with some type of spacer on the floor which essentially does the same job as lowering the pedals themselves.
02:25 So where exactly should our feet be sitting on the pedals? What we want to do is make sure that the ball of our foot is in line with the centre of the brake pedal.
02:36 This is the best spot because the ball of our foot is where we have the greatest amount of power and control and that doesn't change whether it's your left or your right foot.
02:45 As added insurance, most racers will also add grip tape to the brake pedal just to make sure that their foot doesn't slip off under heavy braking.
02:52 This is really important if you're in a wet race as you'll inevitably end up with your racing boots getting wet and slipping off the brake pedal in a big braking zone is not the way you want to end your weekend.
03:04 While grip is definitely what we want for the brake pedal, the accelerator is the exact opposite.
03:10 This pedal is best set up to freely slide under the foot which allows for the most accurate control when accelerating and decelerating.
03:17 All these little factors are important but when it comes to pedal setup just remember that the single most important aspect will always be comfort.
03:26 If we're not comfortable at the controls, this is going to affect our accuracy and consistency, particularly during the later stages of a race.
03:34 Summing up this module, it's important to understand that how your pedals are set up might not seem like a huge deal but taking the time to optimise your pedal position makes a massive difference to your speed, confidence and longevity behind the wheel.
03:49 There's no need to live with pedals that don't feel quite right.
03:51 Put in the effort, get them set up just right and you'll immediately notice the benefits.

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