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  1. Teenferrarifan

    Teenferrarifan F1 Rookie

    Feb 21, 2003
    2,989
    Media, PA
    Full Name:
    Erik
    I recently saw a copy of victory by design for like the 5th time and every time I see it I am amazed at how easily Alan De cadenet(sp) can shift gears with both his right and left hand. Is this something that can just be taught. When he goes from f-car to f-car he shifts like he is right at home in every one. Yes I know he was a driver all his life, but I don't think if I shifted every day with my left hand I would get good. Can anyone verify how hard or easy it is to shift with your left hand?
    Erik
     
  2. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Easy - its just a case of driving enough in countries where they drive on the left. Each time you switch country you'll find yourself trying to change gear with the window lifters the first couple of times, but then you're back in the groove.

    Now something that I think is strange is driving a LHD car on the left. That I do find confusing - drove a friends M3 (original shape) quite a bit in Japan and overtaking is rather strange.

    I think a lot of race cars that Alain (?rather than Alan?) drove were RHD because of the predominating Right Hand nature of circuits - I guess this makes placing a car on an Apex easier - any racers here care to confirm that theory?
     
  3. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,617
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Eric, i think it's sort of like doing something over and over, all your life... That even if you stop for a few hours/days/weeks/months/years even, you can pick it right back up again... Like riding a bike or something like that...

    i've never driven (or even ridden in for that matter) a right hand drive car... i would imagine, though, that, with practice, one would do fairly well in the newfound act of shifting with the other hand... (At least i hope so; i plan to practice at some point in my life...:))
     
  4. castex

    castex Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    125
    Rouen, France
    Full Name:
    Thomas Daniels
    I can, and frequently do switch between RHD and LHD cars, between driving on the left and right side of the road, and all combinations thereof...It's easy! I'm not even ambidextrous.
     
  5. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
    10,672
    Worldwide
    Full Name:
    Steven
    castex,

    Agreed. it is just something you do. As mentioned earlier, it is like riding a bicycle. usually takes me a bit to get "in the groove" driving a RHD car as usually drive LHD vehicles here in the States. Like you, have driven on both sides of car and road combinations during my travels and you just do it. The first time i drove a RHD car it felt weird, but within an hour or so it felt fine. The more i drive RHD the more natural it becomes. As a drummer/percussionist you adapt and dexterity is a given.

    Enjoy the Drive,

    Steven R. Rochlin
     
  6. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    6,335
    Yes, if you treat the gear shift knob as a tactile feedback device, the whole process comes naturally. But when you treat the gear shift knob as a command and control device, it does not. Just like in the old movie "Feel the force: Luke", on each and every shift, you should be feeling the knob, the linkage, the engagement, the slop, and the movement; listening to the snick of the synchros.

    In effect, treat the gear shift knob as a musical instrument not like a baseball bat.
     

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