Originally Posted by Import
Interesting.... Back when I was instructing in the uk, if you pulled the clutch or attempted to change gear, you automatically failed the test... The powers that be reconed that the only important thing is to stop....engine braking helps.....concentrate on that...
I wonder if ten years later that's changed..have to say that I still practise regularly, and never clutch in..
They must be used to old British drum brakes!
FACT: trying to downshift and use the engine to help to stop CANNOT be done quickly enough to actually help in threshold braking (aka stopping in an emergency).
Go out, get rolling and in 5th, then try to downshift as fast as possible. You will quickly find out you cannot pull in the clutch, downshift, engage the clutch, then do it again and again through however many gears and stop efficiently. The way to make as quick a stop as possible involves only braking.
That is not to say do not downshift with the shifter, rather it means do not bother trying to actually let the clutch out to help slowing down. I personally will be "tap dancing" on the shifter as I am coming to a stop, to be hopefully in 1st, but that has nothing to do with my actual stopping.
You might also notice in roadracing when a racer is coming into a tight turn from a fast straight, most often at some point you will see them tapping down two, three, even four gears without engaging the clutch. They will blip the throttle, which does help engage gears and also has them at the proper rpm to engage the clutch and make the corner. There isn't enough time to engage each gear on the way in along with hard braking to make the quickest turn.