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Old 04-13-2011, 08:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Let's Talk Steering Technique

When I started going to the track, I was taught the shuffle steer technique where, just before you turn in, you move the inside corner hand up on the wheel and pull down. It really made navigating a course easy and comfortable for me.

Now I've developed my skill as a driver over time and i can shuffle steer subconsciously and focus on other parts of my technique that needs improving.

However, this weekend, my instructor had me move from shuffle steering to a locked position at 9 & 3. For the next hour of track time, I continuously missed apexes on the late side of the corner and made virtually no improvement. I kept catching myself shuffling the wheel and kept making myself stay locked at 9 & 3 minus a corner that has a slow 110 degree turn ( so you have to shuffle a little there so you dont over cross your arms!)

Last run of the day I said To Hell with it and went back to my old ways. But what I found is that its much easier to make a slight correction before mid corner when you stay locked at 9 & 3 compared to shuffle steering
( Maybe because when your "locked" your already engaged in the corner with your arms where with shuffle you have to move away from the standard position of staying at 9 & 3 constantly)

Do you find it this hard to learn a new steering technique? I know if I want to lower my times I'm going to have to switch sooner than later..The VTEC guy is way ahead of me!
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've always thought locked was the proper way. Shuffle doesn't give you the freedom to negotiate tight s bends as quickly and efficiently.

From what I've read, the proper way to steer is to be in a locked 9-3 position and to concentrate on using both hands simultaneously (ie, one hand pulls the steering wheel and the other pushes). This is more of a finer technique and in "speed secrets" mentioned that the push, pull is very affective at retaining energy in longer races.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Push dont pull.

Steering technique should be made for the turn. When i'm in the mtns i tend to do shuffle cuz the turns are really quite tight. At the track its mainly 9/3 but shuffle can make its use. It depends on the track of course. I find shuffle to be much more comfy for DD though, civics dont have the closest steering.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Here is my stance on wheel work.

Road course wheel work style (9/3 position hands locked) is a better option for several reasons. Only shuffle if absolutely necessary.

1. Doing this technique properly you are always pushing into the turn with the arm/hand on the opposite side of the turn in. This is a very important technique to learn in a car using a traditional three point restraint system because if you push into the turn with the arm/hand that is opposite of the apex of the corner you can brace your self into the seat with the shoulder on the outside of the corner, this allows you to keep your upper body stable. This also leaves your inside hand free to lightly grip the wheel and this is your "feeler" hand, it allows you to feel much more minute losses of grip, bumps, and camber change due to the light grip.

2. The only way to keep the car on the limit of grip through the corner is to be smooth. To be smooth it makes sense to use a technique that utilizes less movement which in turn also gives you less chances to make a mistake. You will be more consistent with 9/3 locked hand work and you will be smoother during mid corner corrections if needed as well. The moment you take your hand off the wheel you are open to making a mistake and repositioning your hands during hard braking into the turn in point along with pedal work isn't a good combination. The less movements you have to make to complete a revolution around the circuit the more consistent your times will become.

Techniques between autox/road course are highly debated and different though, here is my take on them.

Road course - Hands in the 9/3 position all of the time, you will almost never find a true hairpin that you cannot navigate outside of this hand position. If there is a tight hairpin you can utilize a shuffle.

Autocross - This is a bit of a debated subject because courses can vary so much and most of the time a balance of road course style wheel work and shuffle is the best option. I personally attempt to use road course grip as much as possible and only shuffle when absolutely necessary.

Make sure you are in the proper driving position as well.

1. Adjust the seat bottom so that when you have the throttle/clutch fully extended to the floor you have a slight to moderate bend in your knee. This is a safety/comfort thing. You should ALWAYS be in this position, not just on the track because if you hit something or rear end someone with a perfectly straight leg you are looking at some serious damage to your knees possibly.

2. Adjust the seat back up right so that when you have your shoulders planted all the way into the back of the seat, you can reach out with your arms straight and put your wrists on top of the steering wheel. This will give you the proper amount of reach/freedom to complete a full motion with the 9/3 locked hand setup.

It took me a while to get used to what I mentioned above but now I won't drive outside of that position even on the street, it's second nature to be that close to the pedals/steering wheel. This car has a very goofy setup and even though I have long arms the steering wheel distance in relation to the pedals is just not close enough to the driver. If you are in proper driving position you WILL feel cramped on the pedals and maybe even on the steering wheel if you don't drive like that often. Try adjusting your driving position and using it to drive around every day, the more comfortable you are the better you will be at the track because it will not feel strange.

Last edited by hukdizzle; 04-14-2011 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with a lot in this thread. For track, no brainer: 9-3 locked.

Autocross? I actually do a combo of both. I prefer 9-3 (more like 9:30-2:30) for most elements except for turn around where I shuffle/cross over.


Note 0:39 for the turn around.
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