New Driving Tricks

When I was in hospital waiting for my first son to be born I went to the book shop to see if there was anything decent to read. I was not really expecting much but I did come across a gem.

Sports Car and Competition Driving – Paul Frere

This book has lots of pictures and diagrams but more importantly it has force diagrams and mathematics to explain the behaviour characteristics of cars. I haven’t finished reading it but I do intend to. I essentially hope it will make me a better racer in Gran Turismo.

Anyway, one paragraph has particularly stuck in my mind:

There is a strong tendency among drivers to use the steering wheel as a brace against the centrifugal force on bends and corners – a habit which prohibits any sensitivity for the steering. Instead, the driver should sit well back, and if necessary actually dig himself into the seat-back by pushing his body into it with his left foot, so as to get firm lateral support without the aid of the wheel.

So, now I am trying to change my driving habits. When I think a number of gear changes are needed in succession I tend to hover my left foot over the clutch pedal. If I am not using my left foot then I rest in on the floor.


I am now trying to place my left foot on the “rest” bit to the left of the clutch pedal so that I can (even if rarely needed) push my body into the seat-back so I can resist the lateral forces without hampering my steering.


Because I want to try and see if I can improve my driving technique. That’s why.


Oh, by the way, I already heel-and-toe.

Road Names

No, not silly road names like Cock Lane or Red Rose Close. They are very boring. What my wife and I do is name sections of road depending on what parts of race tracks they remind us. This allows us to talk about what idiot pulled out or drove too close and easily describe where this incident took place. No more “you know just past that corner after the big house” now we talk about “just past Petit Eau Rouge”.

So now I need to share these names with you.
A – Heading east along Pilgrims Way – small up movement in road and a turn right – Petit Eau Rouge
B – Heading west along Pilgrims Way – The Esses
C – Heading south along A229, the slip road turning onto the M20 east bound. It can be taken many different ways and hence – Graham Hill Bend
D – A roundabout which is very wide – Speedway
E – There’s a slight kink before a normal right turn around a roundabout hence – Mulsanne
F – A wide right turn at a T junction and so – Arnage

There’ll be more after my wife and I name them. Coming soon: the M25 southbound on to the M20.

Map of Parish road names
Map of Parish road names