Heel & Toe in the S2000
By Rob Robinette
It was almost impossible for me to "heel and toe" with the stock S2000 brake and accelerator pedals. The pedal spacing is so wide most people have to brake with the toes and blip the throttle with the heel. The problem with this technique is you use your large leg muscles, thigh and calf, to control the brake pedal. You can be much more precise with the brake control if you "index" your heel on the floor and roll your foot to use the right side of your foot to blip the throttle. Keeping your heel on the floorboard allows you to use your calf, foot, and even toe muscles to control the brake pedal. I decided I had to make a change so I could brake properly and rev-match downshifts on the track.
Why Heel & Toe?
When running on the race track you normally run your car almost exclusively at high RPM. When braking and downshifting for a corner the engine will drop to idle RPM. If you don't match the speed of the engine and transmission the tires will have to spin up the drive train and engine when you release the clutch which can cause the rear tires to break loose. When you're pushing your tires to the limit of adhesion that can lead to a spin. By "blipping" the throttle just before you release the clutch for a downshift the tires don't have to spin the engine up to speed, the car stays balanced and you can carry more speed through the corner.
Very few people actually use their heel and toe to "heel & toe." Most people, including myself, heel & toe by braking with the left half of their right foot, then roll their foot to the right (while still braking) to blip the throttle.
For a normal corner entry I do this:
Smoothly release the throttle
Pivot my right foot on its heel to begin smoothly braking with the left half of my foot.
Push the clutch in with the left foot.
Near the end of the braking zone I'll roll my right foot to the right and blip the throttle to around 6000-7000 RPM.
Almost simultaneously with the blip I select the desired gear.
Release the clutch while the RPM is still high. I don't move the shifter through every gear, I go directly
to the gear I need for the corner. You normally want to finish the downshift while braking in a straight
line to keep you from spinning in case you botch the downshift.
Smoothly release the brake, usually while beginning the turn (trail braking).
Pivot my foot on its heel and smoothly begin adding throttle.
Practice On the Street
You've got to practice heel & toe'ing on the street. The track is so intense it's very difficult to learn something as complicated as heel & toe'ing.
To close the gap between the accelerator and brake pedals I bolted a Sparco pedal cover on top of the stock accelerator pedal. The aluminum pedal cover is soft enough that you can trim it with tin snips if you want to reshape it or reduce the "protrusion." You can trim the pedal while it's still bolted to the pedal. Notice also that I extended the pedal cover below the stock pedal, again to make it easier to make contact with the throttle for the foot roll blip.
These are the Sparco Pedals I used (only used the accelerator pedal) available for $29 here.
The Sparco pedal is made of aluminum and easy to bend. I bent it slightly to match the curvature of the stock pedal. I drilled two holes in the Sparco and stock pedals to mount the pedal cover. I didn't use the predrilled holes on the Sparco pedal cover. I placed my bolt holes on each side of the stock pedal's "back ridge." The upper hole required a longer bolt than the one supplied by Sparco. Ace hardware had a slightly longer metric countersunk bolt that worked perfectly (same size as the Sparco bolt but longer). The lower bolt was supplied with the Sparco pedal kit.
Before committing to your mounting position move the accelerator all the way to the floor to make sure there's no interference from the pedal cover. Be sure and countersink the holes in the Sparco pedal so the screw heads will sit flush with the pedal and not stick up to catch your shoe.
Here's a very nice set of S2000 specific pedals for $69. They have several other styles available.
See you on the track.