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From digest.v5.n40 Sun Jul 28 20:09:36 1996
From: "Robert B. Turnage" <>
Date: Sun, 28 Jul 1996 20:22:47 -0500
Subject: Both Feet In

I saw a few replies to the question "Why both feet in in a spin?" and did not see the most important reason.

When you have screwed up and have put yourself in the position that the rear end of the car is going faster than the front of the car and it is obvious that you aren't going to "catch it", you want to apply both the brake and the clutch because:

  1. To continue along the line of your momentum. All tires are now locked and slidding accross the surface of the track (or street). You will continue in a straight line, although the car may be spinning on its axis. This is almost in all cases better than the following.
  2. Avoid Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. At this point, all four tires are slidding accross the surface of the track. However, if the brakes aren't locked, at some point, one or two of the tires are going to grip, and you will rocket over to an unknown point in the universe, usually where you do not want to be (tire walls, armco, corner workers, etc). Further evidence that you don't want this E Ticket ride, are the people who are now behind you and are trying to drive around you WITHOUT HITTING YOU AND YOU WANT TO HELP THEM NOT TO HIT YOU! (This assumes that you aren't circle track racing in which case they are trying to hit you and you want to make it harder and, well, nevermind)
  3. Apply the clutch so that after spinning in circles and watching people come around the last corner, make awful faces when they see you and sawing at the wheel to avoid hitting you, and you finally come to rest in the grass, you can make a graceful OK gesture to the corner worker and return to the fray with a little less dignity. You lose much more dignity by sitting in the grass with a stalled engine.

To emphasize how wild Mr. Toad's Ride can be, remember the racer's rule: When someone is spinning in front of you, if their wheels are turning (they aren't locked), aim FOR THE CAR and keep your foot in the gas, because they aren't going to be there when you get there. You don't know where they are going to be, so don't even try to drive around them.

This little rule has kept me from harm several times when I have done something stupid, like spinning at Road American in the Kink at 100+ mph and only hitting a pylon.

Hope this helps,

Bob Turnage
88 M3 club racer
74 2002
86 528e
83 Diesel Suburban (go ahead and hit me)

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