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Manual Cars

Driving a Manual Car with RSR

You decided to sign up for renting one of our Manual / Stickshift Cars. Especially in the higher end Porsches the technical wonders of these high performance machines are a true joy to drive for sure. However changing gear manually also includes a certain risk in case of operation error; in particular mis-shifting into the wrong gear).

Please read the following information carefully and completely as it describes not only how to avoid over revving the engine but also describes how to avoid getting in this situation from the start. Please understand that it is of crucial importance you understand the procedures in place for hiring manual cars and the reasons behind it.

What can go wrong?

In a paddle shift / automatic car there isn't the same danger of changing into the wrong gear. The computer controls which gears are possible, and when you want the car to go in a lower gear, the computers first calculate if the revs do not exceed the redline. In the case it would exceed the redline, it simply does not allow the selection of the lower gear. 

In a manual car there is no such protection. For example: if you are in 3rd gear at the rev limiter and want to change up to 4th gear but instead hit 2nd gear, the car will be damaged due to human error. This not only affects the engine, but also the gearbox, clutch, drive-line, drive shafts and more!

In the case of an mis-shift leading to an over-rev you will need to pay for the damages. 

When is it NOT advisable for you to drive a manual / stickshift car?

  • When you don't drive a manual car on a daily basis on the road.
  • When you normally drive a Right Hand Drive car (and the car you want to hire is a Left Hand Drive Manual).
  • When you normally drive a Left Hand Drive car (and the car you want to hire is a Right Hand Drive Manual).
  • When you have NEVER driven a stick shift car on a race track before.
  • When you have had problems before with clutches, gearbox and drivelines on cars .

When one or more of the above is true, then we strongly advise you to switch to a paddle shift car. You can always contact us for advice beforehand. Automatic cars allow you to get down to the business of concentrating on driving on track, not on the task of changing gears in a potentially stressful situation.

What's the best way to change gears?

This seems very obvious right? However even the most experienced drivers miss a gear now and then. Here’s is the best advice we can give you so to avoid having to pay a lot of money due to changing into the wrong gear. 

  • Use the open palm method to change gear
    This way of gear changing makes it almost impossible to select the wrong gear. All variations are built on using the central spring in the gearbox to allow doing it’s work. Being too tense and tight in your gear shifts prevents the spring from helping you. There are various videos on the internet that you can watch to prepare.
  • Change at least 1500 rpm below the rev limiter
    Imagine you want to go from 5th to 6th gear but hit 4th instead. If you change at the top of the rev range in 5th, then hitting 4th will kill the engine. However if you change 1500 or 2000 rpm UNDER the rev limit, There is a much lower potential for breaking anything if you hit one gear lower (4th) instead of one gear higher (6th). However - needless to say, changing from 5th to 2nd or 6th to 1st in any situation will for sure wreck the complete car.  

What happens when I over-rev a car?

Depending on how many revs you exceeded the rev limiter, you will be potentially charged for damages to the car and even be responsible for replacing a complete engine!

For example:

  • A mis-shift with no over-rev: Warning and repeat classroom session in HOW to change gears
  • A low level over-rev: You will be required to pay for a clutch and flywheel (Which can cost upwards of 4000€)
  • A high level over-rev: Contribution to engine repairs / or complete replacement of a new engine for the car (Which can cost upwards of 20.000€)

Please note: immediately following an over-rev the car may look and feel like it is behaving normally (at first). Or, there also might be ‘just’ an engine light on telling you that something is wrong. Damages can take a few KM to manifest, but for sure, any time the car spends over it's redline will cause problems.

What should I do if I over-rev a car?

The best thing you can do is come back to us immediately and tell us what happened.

We can do a cursory inspection of the car, to check for damages. In many cases the car will need to be taken to the manufacturer to read the engine history, and potentially the engine will need to be opened up to check for damage. This can take upwards of 10 working days to have the full report on the table. You are responsible for costs for this. In many cases we will take a deposit, and depending on the severity of the damage any unused money will be returned to you.

I feel unsure now - what do I do?

If any of this document is making you feel nervous, then the best thing you can do is switch to an automatic car. This way, you can get on with the job of driving, without needing to concentrate on the (sometimes stressful) task of changing gear. You should let us know as soon as possible about switching to an automatic car, so we can be sure to have it available and ready for you when you come to drive with us.

If you still want to continue with hiring a manual car, that's also fine. Just keep in mind the above information, and you may also be required to sign a document saying that you understand and accept the above information.

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