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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think most of us know about Porsches long gearing on the manual (& PDK to a lesser extent) with 1st redlining at around 46 mph and 2nd at 82 mph...

Just wondering how many of us shift to 1st gear when driving briskly when approaching a slow corner (e.g 20 mph)?

I calculated that it's around 2k revs in 2nd gear so well away from where the power is. My calculation from the power charts (Porsche brochure) that 2k revs produces only 75 hp with base 2.7 and 86 hp with S & GTS where as 1st gear would be around 3.4k revs which produces around 129 hp & 160 hp respectively.
 

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but never into first.
+1 in any car; moreover, after six months becoming acclimated to the Boxster, I am still certain that to H&T at all I need to get an aftermarket pedal set (on my shopping list).
 
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I don't. I only select first gear when stopped or from a very slow roll, which doesn't require heel-n-toe. I do sometimes blip the throttle which smooths clutch re-engagment. When rolling slowly, if the gearbox resists going into first, I'll double clutch then it goes right in. In general, I never force the shifter into any gear.

I agree with you about the long gearing. From slow speeds, second gear acceleration can be a bit soft. Porsche may feel that the gearing is optimized for all conditions, but it's not ideal around town where you want as much second gear punch as possible.
 

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I don't downshift to first unless I'm almost at a complete stop. Heel and toe just doesn't work for me on this car ... combination of big feet and high brake pedal makes it very awkward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I must admit it wasn't something that I tried before with my previous Cayman R but it was noticable that 2nd gear has a slow take up from around 2k revs so I've been experimenting slotting into first and as expected there is noticably more thrust (as expected) from 3.5k revs than 2k revs...

I appreciate that it's not "NEEDED" for road use as we are not setting fastest lap times but the subjective increased acceleration is usually most welcome on a "FUN" scale
 

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When downshifting into 1st gear (at any speed beyond a slow roll), heel/toe is not enough. Much easier on the car to double-clutch heel/toe (shift into neutral, let out the clutch, blip throttle to match revs with foot off the clutch, then clutch in again and select 1st gear, release clutch). I'm curious to know whether the Rev Match function will cooperate with this technique or not...
 

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The only time I've ever heel-n-toed into first with a street car is during an autocross. It's just so rare to find a corner that tight that it requires what is mostly a 'get started moving' gear on a street car to be used.

Race cars are different as all the cogs are for driving, which is why sometimes it feels like your starting in a 2nd/3rd gear hybrid sometimes when launching a race car.
 

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My car is a 987 but FWIW, the only place I might downshift to first while in motion would be in a parking deck :) There are a few corners on the street where 2nd might be a bit tall but it is very doubtful that a downshift to first would be quicker. VERY doubtful. On tracks the slowest corners I have done anywhere are Oak Tree at VIR and Charlotte (T5) at Barber. At both of those a downshift to second is an option but if your entry is good you can stay in third and be a bit lazy as you get back into the throttle but gain that lost time back by avoiding one upshift. It makes very little difference in your lap times if any.
 

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I think most of us know about Porsches long gearing on the manual (& PDK to a lesser extent) with 1st redlining at around 46 mph and 2nd at 82 mph...

Just wondering how many of us shift to 1st gear when driving briskly when approaching a slow corner (e.g 20 mph)?

I calculated that it's around 2k revs in 2nd gear so well away from where the power is. My calculation from the power charts (Porsche brochure) that 2k revs produces only 75 hp with base 2.7 and 86 hp with S & GTS where as 1st gear would be around 3.4k revs which produces around 129 hp & 160 hp respectively.
I can't think of a time where I would be going slower than 40 MPH on a racetrack. There's no corners that are that slow. You'd heel toe and blow your engine shifting into 1st.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can't think of a time where I would be going slower than 40 MPH on a racetrack. There's no corners that are that slow. You'd heel toe and blow your engine shifting into 1st.
No hairpin bends?

Obviously you would not shift down to 1st doing 40 mph hence why I mention 20 mph ;)
 

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I never shift down to first unless it's a craw in LA traffic.

One of the first thing we tell students in autocross and DE is never shift into first except to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Found this info on another forum -

If no one uses 1st gear in (very) slow corners, then one could argue that manual 981 owners have a car that we only use a single gear from 10-84 mph and then we are well past the legal speed limit (exc. Germanys Autobahns) ;)


The max speed in gear for the 981S manual and (PDK)
Gear / Ratio (PDK) / Max Speed (PDK) MPH
1st / 3.31 (3.91) / 49 (42)
2nd / 1.95 (2.29) / 84 (71)
3rd /1.41 (1.65) /116 (99)
4th / 1.13 (1.30) / 144 (125)
5th /.95 (1.08) / 172 (151)
6th / .81 (.88) / 201 (185)
7th / (.62) / (263)
 

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I was taught by Porsche driving instructors to use first gear only to start moving from a stop and at very slow speeds. That's what I now teach my students. I never downshift into 1st on a track at all. For some very slow turns, that means that revs in 2nd drop into a "no man's land" of weak torque. Not ideal. Especially when you're chasing a GT-R or 911 Turbo that fire out of turns like a rocket. But I just brake later and use more trail braking in those turns to carry as much speed as possible, and then get on the power earlier and harder than I could in 1st. Plus, I save a few tenths by not having to downshift into 1st and then shift back into 2nd. Overall, I wish the 981 had shorter (numerically higher) gear ratios.
 

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The only vehicle which I ever routinely downshifted to 1st for slow corners was my BMW R1200 RT motorcycle, as it had very high gearing for 1st - redlining at 53 mph. In addition, the opposed twin was nowhere near as smooth at 2,000 rpm as our boxer sixes.
 

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No hairpin bends?

Obviously you would not shift down to 1st doing 40 mph hence why I mention 20 mph ;)
I don't even think the bends in the pit lane are 20 MPH :)
 
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Don't want to derail too much, but how much of this thinking is applicable to the PDK? Having not tracked or auto-x'd this my '15 CS (yet), I don't know what the PDK will do on Sports Plus mode. Will it downshift to 1st? Would it be in bad form if I tried to force it to with the paddles? Not that I would, just curious.

As far as other cars went, I too always avoided shifting into first except to start the car. As an example, my RX-8 was a very torque starved car, especially in lower RPMS. But, that car did not like being tossed into first unless I double clutched it, and it required a pretty crazy rev match. By the time all that was accomplished, I'd probably have been already closing in on similar power in 2nd if I'd have just left it there.
 

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Forgive my ignorance, but why is it recommended to not shift into first? With perfect rev-matching and modern synchros, I don't understand the problem with doing so.
 
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