Team O’Neil Rally School Shows You How to Adjust Your Seat
Correct seat adjustment is key to being safe and fast when you’re driving at ten tenths.
The New Hampshire-based Team O'Neil Rally School has released a video on how to adjust your seat for performance driving situations on its YouTube channel. These instructions are not necessarily just for daily driving commuters—for coffee and traffic concerns whilst en route to your cubicle—but rather than apexes and oversteer correction. Nevertheless, it may be fun to adjust your commuter car's seat to feel like that of the race car you imagine yourself building one day. The video covers seat position, height, angle, wheel position, and of course, how to plop yourself down in the seat to get all these parts properly adjusted.
The first part of the video goes over the proper distance from the pedals. Being too close to the pedals may make the footwell cramped, which will make quick reactions difficult. Being too far away from the pedals may mean you lack the ability to fully disengage the clutch, or press the throttle all the way to the floor when you have a straight stretch of tarmac ahead of you. It may also leave you without enough brake pedal travel, making the process of slowing down again difficult.
It is next explained that seat back angle plays a key role in safety. Drivers often recline their seats in the name of comfort, which has two negative effects. First, a reclined seat position offers less visibility, and second, drivers who recline their seat will often bring themselves back upright to focus, which removes from the seat, and thus, any bolstering is of no use. This also will become a problem if a driver tries to sit upright in a reclined seat whilst wearing a harness: it will restrain them, and they will find themselves wishing their seat was vertical. Seat height is not adjustable in many road cars, and fortunately, it plays a negligible role in a driver's performance. As long as you can see out of your car, you are fine.
There is also discussion of the buying process for racing bucket seats, but it has little relevance to anyone not building a dedicated race car. Or, that is, anyone who doesn't tell themselves they're building a race car.
And while you're at it, go check out our Team O'Neil's tactical driving How-To's here.