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Old 07-09-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
Opposite_Lock
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Default Left-foot Braking?

A friend of mine who autocrosses a Mini laments that fact that Mini has seen fit to program their cars' engine computers to cut fuel if the brake and gas are applied at the same time. This obviously puts a real damper on any attempt to left-foot brake. Anyone know if the 09 WRX has the same deal cooked into its engine management? BTW, I'll be campaigning my car in D Stock, so re-flashing or otherwise screwing with the chip isn't an option.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:21 PM   #2
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congrats on the new car. I have never done it in a race, but I can LFB on my 06 wrx . FWIW
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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congrats on the new car. I have never done it in a race, but I can LFB on my 06 wrx . FWIW
Don't have the new car yet, or I would've tested it out. Just weighing my options. I love the 09 WRX, though!
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:13 PM   #4
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Disconnect the brake switch?

-Mike
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:03 AM   #5
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Disconnect the brake switch?

-Mike
As I read the stock class rules, you're not allowed to disconnect/disable anything in the electrical system or reflash/mess with the engine management.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Opposite_Lock View Post
A friend of mine who autocrosses a Mini laments that fact that Mini has seen fit to program their cars' engine computers to cut fuel if the brake and gas are applied at the same time. .
hmmm. I wonder how a Mini driver would start off from an uphill stop sign and not roll back? Or downshift for a turn. The above would not only keep you from LFB, but you won't be able to heel and toe either. Sounds a little odd.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opposite_Lock View Post
A friend of mine who autocrosses a Mini laments that fact that Mini has seen fit to program their cars' engine computers to cut fuel if the brake and gas are applied at the same time. This obviously puts a real damper on any attempt to left-foot brake. Anyone know if the 09 WRX has the same deal cooked into its engine management? BTW, I'll be campaigning my car in D Stock, so re-flashing or otherwise screwing with the chip isn't an option.
I don't think this is the case on my 05 Mini S. I can at least heel toe (poorly) and i feel like i've left foot braked before too. Only had it 7 days though.

Maybe it's just the newer turbo ones?

- andrew
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:06 PM   #8
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<-- He left foot brakes at autocross (well tries too!) with no problems in my 02
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Opposite_Lock View Post
A friend of mine who autocrosses a Mini laments that fact that Mini has seen fit to program their cars' engine computers to cut fuel if the brake and gas are applied at the same time. This obviously puts a real damper on any attempt to left-foot brake. Anyone know if the 09 WRX has the same deal cooked into its engine management? BTW, I'll be campaigning my car in D Stock, so re-flashing or otherwise screwing with the chip isn't an option.
That should NOT be happening. Something is wrong with his car, possible ground problem... Search for heel toe tutorial on Youtube. The guy there does it in a Mini with no problems.

Left foot breaking in AutoX is great for our cars because we can keep boost up while going into a corner. Me and Paul in the above post both try to do it.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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<-- He left foot brakes at autocross (well tries too!) with no problems in my 02
I left foot brake on the highway
hold down brake pedal, slowly push the gas in to full throttle, muscle cars dont see that **** coming from a 60 mph roll
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:00 PM   #11
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Mini's are no longer on the cool list if you can't LFB in them
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:07 PM   #12
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Mini is not alone with this sort of don't-let-good-drivers-have-fun foolishness.

some friends built an 08 Mazda Speed 3 into a rally car, and had all sorts of issues with the stability control software. if you tried to brake hard and gas hard at same time, it cut power. if you were hard on the gas and had high steering angles, it cut power. if you tried all 3 at once, it just went bleeeech and virtually stoped. So how teh **** are you spozed to rally-drive a FWD car where you can't control it??!!

they almost crashed the car i dunno how many times until they finally defeated the software, now all is well and they can LFB and gas/brake/steer hard till the cows come home.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Opposite_Lock View Post
As I read the stock class rules, you're not allowed to disconnect/disable anything in the electrical system or reflash/mess with the engine management.
What if you accedentally got a piece of tape stuck on the switch, such that the pin couldn't move out when you pressed on the brake pedal? I guess people might notice your brake lights not coming on.... Hrm...

-Mike
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:25 PM   #14
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I've got an n/a 08 which is very similar to a wrx 08/09 and yes, you can left foot brake.

I toe-toe shift all the time. Instead of using my heel, which I can't, I push on the corner of the brake pedal with the ball of my foot and blip the throttle by pivoting to the right. It works well for me.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:33 AM   #15
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hmmm. I wonder how a Mini driver would start off from an uphill stop sign and not roll back? Or downshift for a turn. The above would not only keep you from LFB, but you won't be able to heel and toe either. Sounds a little odd.
It's a manual...don't know if the auto has the same issue. My friend said you can LFB for a short time, but less than a second before it cuts power. That would allow you to take off on a hill and heel-toe.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:36 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by RB5 Clone View Post
Mini is not alone with this sort of don't-let-good-drivers-have-fun foolishness.

some friends built an 08 Mazda Speed 3 into a rally car, and had all sorts of issues with the stability control software. if you tried to brake hard and gas hard at same time, it cut power. if you were hard on the gas and had high steering angles, it cut power. if you tried all 3 at once, it just went bleeeech and virtually stoped. So how teh **** are you spozed to rally-drive a FWD car where you can't control it??!!

they almost crashed the car i dunno how many times until they finally defeated the software, now all is well and they can LFB and gas/brake/steer hard till the cows come home.
Add to that the engine management software doesn't produce full torque in the first three gears! That pretty much killed any consideration of a Mazdaspeed 3 on my list.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:38 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by grippgoat View Post
What if you accedentally got a piece of tape stuck on the switch, such that the pin couldn't move out when you pressed on the brake pedal? I guess people might notice your brake lights not coming on.... Hrm...

-Mike
I'm one of those weirdo honesty freaks. I'd feel too guilty.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Gonz View Post
hmmm. I wonder how a Mini driver would start off from an uphill stop sign and not roll back? Or downshift for a turn. The above would not only keep you from LFB, but you won't be able to heel and toe either. Sounds a little odd.
It takes maybe 2 seconds before the fuel cut, so heel toe should be fine, you just can't drag the brakes through a slalom or something like that.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:09 PM   #19
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i found that for me using one foot on both pedals works okay just roll to the left for brake and right for accel.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:07 AM   #20
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I would have liked to do left-foot braking with my Forester, but the pedal position is just really awkward for me to feel like I could use it without issues. Heel-toe at least works nice with the pedal placement. All I really do is modulate throttle for weight balance if needed or start tapping the brake if throttle let off isn't quite enough. So far I haven't found a tremendous need to left-foot brake during auto-x or rally-x. However, in the past I would like to have started doing it with drifting. It's really the only time I found myself flopping between the gas and brake more then I would like to. About the only thing I left-foot brake these days is go-karts. Maybe I'll try to force myself to start contorting my left leg and foot into a position usable with the brake, but it's just an awkward position really. I feel like I'd start bumping feet together or accidentally blip the clutch or something.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:58 AM   #21
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<-- He left foot brakes at autocross (well tries too!) with no problems in my 02
02 doesn't have drive by wire
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:11 AM   #22
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I would have liked to do left-foot braking with my Forester, but the pedal position is just really awkward for me to feel like I could use it without issues. Heel-toe at least works nice with the pedal placement. All I really do is modulate throttle for weight balance if needed or start tapping the brake if throttle let off isn't quite enough. So far I haven't found a tremendous need to left-foot brake during auto-x or rally-x. However, in the past I would like to have started doing it with drifting. It's really the only time I found myself flopping between the gas and brake more then I would like to. About the only thing I left-foot brake these days is go-karts. Maybe I'll try to force myself to start contorting my left leg and foot into a position usable with the brake, but it's just an awkward position really. I feel like I'd start bumping feet together or accidentally blip the clutch or something.
For auto x, lfb would only be necessary for trail braking. For rally, you can steer the car with the brakes if steering/braking/throttle is all modulated and balanced correctly.

I went to Team O'Neil Rally School and all of the training revolved around left foot braking. I went in there probably at the same braking level that you are at. Now I always drive with normal left foot position over the brake and can see how the many mistakes I made before I learned could have been avoided.

I would highly recommend a class or spending some time having someone train you on how to do it correct. It's all about repetition and hammer the skill into your driving.

If you are serious about becoming fast with using left foot brake, don't practice it until you learn or understand how to do it the right way. You will pick up bad habits which will just make it harder for you to learn how to do it right.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:43 AM   #23
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It's not a matter of training for me. It's a matter of physically being capable. I put my left foot over there and just think "how the hell..."

Curious about the training though. I'm curious what are some right and wrong methods. It would also depend on the car, like turbo or na and brake bias.

In the end, it's always working towards the same end goal, modulating the traction circles on all 4 corners modulating lateral and longitudinal forces along with the weight over each corner...as complex as you want to think about that.

However, it sort of means the technique is never fixed and adapts to the situation and condition. I don't really see a set method to it because everything varies all the time. It even varies by car setup and would require some readjustment after each car change. When, how much, and at what times all changes depending on what you're doing at that moment. Like most other techniques it becomes dynamic, adaptive.

A simile would be trail braking. The amount of brake force, the application rate, modulation, and if and when you apply steering or even feint, heck even hand brake if there is specific bias intent, all vary depending on the moment and need. It depends on the car, corner, speed, etc.

I do guess you can still train yourself to do dumb stuff though and effectively make the option useless or at least less useful then it could be.

Believe you me, I spent a whole lot of time thinking about car control and trying out methods and figuring out how to manipulate cars back when I drifted my junk cars on a daily basis, just a casual hobby for me but regular. I worked with fwd, rwd, and awd cars, and I spent time making the hunks of junk move right. Left foot braking was on my mind back then, but I never really got to a point that necessitated the use of it over just throttle modulation or alternating between both. It was always enough to get the job done, although I was aware that left foot braking would make it more fluid in some cases. I grew up on gravel, snow, and ice. I'm one who enjoys the days we get freezing rain, and I'll go out and drive my car to and around town for fun. In the end I admire the concept of left foot braking. I think it has its uses. I just haven't personally found that real need for it yet. I've always been able to do something else instead. I've heard the comments about going faster with it, seen stories of the instructor telling the student to run a fast lap and then run it again left foot braking and taking 2 seconds off his lap. I think it can be good, and I think it has its place. I also think that there are alternate approaches to the same end goal. It's sort of like e-brake turns for drifting. It's used a ton but other options exist that can be done in place of it and gets to a point where the e-brake itself really only has a small couple, specific really good uses. Driving technique comes into play as a big factor of necessity. Can the drive functionally drive the car using a different method then left foot brake. Can the braking be substituted with throttle modulation, steering input change, or a slightly different driving line?

I'm just babbling really, just commenting on the fluidity of driving and that there are typically several approaches to the same problem. There may be one best approach and in some cases, that approach includes trail braking. I like the discussion though and hope my babbling isn't too boring or off topic.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:28 PM   #24
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It takes maybe 2 seconds before the fuel cut, so heel toe should be fine, you just can't drag the brakes through a slalom or something like that.
So there is a fuel cut after a certain period of time on both pedals. That's what I was trying to figure out.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:34 PM   #25
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For auto x, lfb would only be necessary for trail braking.
It also helps coming out of a corner in a turbocharged car where it takes some time for the turbo to spool up. The WRX is ideal for this technique, since it doesn't reach peak torque until over 3K RPMs, whereas the Mini hits full torque under 2K RPMs. You can get the turbo spooling and modulate your speed with the brake, so that at the exit to the corner, you're at full boil.
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