How to do a Handbrake Turn in a rally car
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We can use the handbrake to negotiate tight bends or hairpins, by using this technique we can save effort at the steering wheel and increase corner speed.
| We'll make the following assumptions:|
• We're driving a front wheel drive car.
• The road surface is concrete with loose gravel on top.
• The car is already in second gear.
| As you approach the corner you'll need to slow the car down so you don't enter too fast, on gravel surfaces you'll be looking for an entry speed of about 20-25mph.|
To achieve this we use the foot brake for slowing down.
Performing this left hand turn, grab the steering wheel at 3 o'clock and turn it anti-clockwise to 9 o'clock.
| Once the car starts to change direction grab hold of the hand brake, remembering to keep the button depressed and pull nice and hard, this will lock the rear wheels and the car will start to spin/turn.|
As the car is turning it's important to keep the front wheels pointing in the direction you want to go in. When you see the exit of the corner, you release the hand brake and get back on to the throttle.
| If you're driving a rear or four wheel drive car, pulling the handbrake will in affect stall the engine.|
To counter this you will have to dip the clutch just before pulling the handbrake.
We have made the assumption that you're entering and leaving the corner in second gear, but what would you do if you were entering in say fourth gear?
| Dip the clutch just before pulling the handbrake, as you release it grab the gear lever and go direct from fourth to first, for a swift getaway.|
Common mistakes beginners make performing a Handbrake Turn • Entry speed is too fast, which will normally mean that the car will slide backwards beyond the corner once the handbrake is pulled.
• Entry speed is too slow and the car will not have enough momentum to carry out this manoeuver.
• Holding the handbrake on too long and the rear of the car slides too far around.
We all make mistakes to begin with, but after a couple of sessions in the car our professional instructors will have you performing perfect Handbrake Turns, just like the master himself Colin Mcrae!
Print off this guide to Handbrake Turns for reference?
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this 'How to do a Handbrake Turn' guide and print.