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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:34 PM

Stunt driver Ken Block in his ultimate playground.

His playground in this case is the city of San Fran.

I know we remember Steve McQueen using the "Mean Streets" in the famous chase scene from "The French Connection" in his '68 Mustang, but we've come a long way since then.

Here in this DC Shoes/Ford commercial, Ken Block drives his specially prepared Ford Fiesta through a closed course. Notice the ratchet shifter, front hand brake, rev limiter, and all wheel drive. He's one busy guy in that cockpit:

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Block has set an incredibly high bar when it comes to drifting.

On edit:
This is where it all began. This is a 50 year old MG Midget threading the cones at an autocross. There's absolutely no faster way around this course, and he's doing it on 90hp and no special prep. Considering he has to at once use the brake, throttle, and clutch with only two feet is incredible.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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Reply Stunt driver Ken Block in his ultimate playground. (Original post)
JohnnyRingo Jan 2013 OP
Gold Metal Flake Jan 2013 #1
JohnnyRingo Jan 2013 #2
HooptieWagon Jan 2013 #3
JohnnyRingo Jan 2013 #4
HooptieWagon Jan 2013 #5
Gold Metal Flake Jan 2013 #6

Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:40 PM

1. Re: the Midget, 67 HP was stock for the 1275 engine.

90hp is either a lot of prep to the Austin engine or a swap. This yours? Got specs? I'm guessing Adco sway bars front & rear from the looks of the swang on that tail. Nicely done!

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Response to Gold Metal Flake (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 04:23 PM

2. Not mine...

I was just using the hp figure from my old Spitfire. True, that the Triumph had a 1500cc engine, and the Midget had a smaller mill, but I was just making reference to my belief that performance is not always based on dyno figures, nor is it measured in a straight line as many domestic car fans believe.

That's one good heel-toe driver though, and I can't imagine many people who could get through that course quicker, no matter what they're driving.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 05:28 PM

3. Might have a modified handbrake,

could even have separate R&L rear handbrakes.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 07:11 PM

4. The way it was done in the old days...

Last edited Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:49 PM - Edit history (2)

...was heel/toe shifting.

I can't do it, but the driver would use his heel on the brake, and his toe on the gas while the left foot handled the clutch. That way they would use gas, brake, and clutch together in coordination to break the rear tires loose going into a tight turn.

I can't say for sure that's what this driver is doing, but it was shot at Silverstone Circuit where those kind of experienced drivers would certainly be in attendance.

On edit:

There is another way to cause a drift in an old British sports car in what they called the "fly off" hand brake. Equipping nearly ever British car from the '50s through the '60s, the fly off hand brake affected only the rear wheels and didn't lock when you pulled on it. There was a button on top to push if you wanted to lock it into a position for parking. Otherwise, it could just be used to spike the rear brakes and return to off when you let go of it. Using this method could throw even an underpowered Mini Cooper sideways into a hairpin turn.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 02:39 PM

5. Yes, you can disable the catch on the handbrake.

use a small clamp to prevent the catch from engaging and holding the brake on. Off-road vehicles had seperate L&R handbrakes, which might be used in autocross or drifting.
"Heel and toe" is a technique used in down-shifting, matching engine RPMs to the newer gear. Using a clutch, it prevents the rear wheels from locking up, without using a clutch it prevents gnashing the gears. This is not just for autocross or racing, I did it all the time in my MG and BMW using the clutch, and in my VW van w/o using the clutch (they only need clutch used when proceeding from a standing start, up and downshifts easily done by matching RPM and changing gears).
The Midget in video upthread probably isn't changing gears, looks like he's doing the course entirely in 2nd gear. Without gear changes, theres no heel and toe shifting. He probably has a heavy rear sway bar for lots of oversteer, and front alignment set up for a twitchy response. Probably using handbrakw on the U-turns, also.

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