Two or Three Pedals - What Do You Prefer?

Two or Three Pedals on Your Sim Racing Rig.jpg

How many pedals do you prefer?

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Sim racing rigs are as diverse as the people behind their racing wheels: Everyone has different preferences, which results in different hardware combinations and setups. As modern racing cars use paddles to shift gears, the clutch pedal is an increasingly rare sight in cockpits both on track and in homes - do you still insist on a third pedal?

Image credit: Fanatec

For many racing cars, the clutch is only needed to get moving from a standstill - which is then often handled either by automatic systems as found in GT3 cars like the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 or Porsche 911 GT3 R (992), or via clutch paddles on the steering wheel. In Formula cars, this happened in the 1990s already to use less space for the footwell, but it has become standard in almost every modern racing car today.

Modern Days, Modern Solutions​

Manual shifting is mostly for enthusiasts in sim racing these days, and those who do will rely on a pedal-operated clutch. They often have to order an additional pedal if they spring for a new set, as many models come with just a throttle and brake - so it is not necessarily surprising that many sim racing rigs only feature two pedals.

Knowing the coordination and dance moves on the pedals needed to put it together, this lap by Ayrton Senna is even more impressive.

While it is possible to drive cars that use an H-shifter with paddles as well thanks to clutch assists, many drivers rarely do - or at least not often enough to warrant the addition of a clutch pedal or a shifter - and go with two pedals as a result. Some even build their rigs specifically to resemble the cockpit of certain cars or types of cars.

How About You?​

We want to know: How many pedals do you prefer on your rig? Is a clutch a necessity for your, or are you doing fine without one? Let us know in the comments below and in the poll!

Editor's Take​

As someone who enjoys both modern and vintage content, a clutch pedal and H-shifter are indispensable for my rig. I tend to drive cars with the type of transmission they actually had, so racing a 1967 Formula One car with paddle shifters, for example, simply does not feel right to me. Manual sequential cars are similar, and I enjoy those massively, too.

On the other hand, it is completely understandable if someone decides against a clutch pedal. It is often cheaper to just get two pedals - certainly once the higher end of the line is reached - to go racing, especially if they know that they are not going to use the extra pedal. Clutch paddles are also available for or with many wheels these days, so the need for the clutch assist to get moving after pit stops, for example, is also eliminated.

In the end, it is a subjective call - if you know that older cars do not interest you, you might as well go with two pedals. If you are on the fence or racing vintage vehicles only sometimes, not grabbing a clutch pedal might bar you from taking in the full experience later on, although most pedal sets can be updated with a third pedal at a later point.
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About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D


2 because none of the cars I drive require a clutch after launch. And for that I have the clutch on the wheel.
I have the G29 and it comes with 3, were it to have come with only two pedals I wouldn't have bought it, I have the 'very floppy ploppy' manual shifter that came with the wheel but it's so crap I don't use it, I do however insist on using the clutch for pulling away whether from the line or out of the garage... and on occasions back onto the circuit after an excursion.
So I don't simply prefer 3 I insist on it.
3, just too much of a pleb to learn heal & toe.

I somewhat recently had to drive an automatic moving bus with 2 pedals..... it was horror. Using two pedals in sim racing for some cars totally messed me up for that scenario xD (IRL only used to H-pattern cars)
I prefer three pedals, but you know what it is.. If you race two pedaled cars and/or three pedaled. You've to find a compromise between the spaces and comfort of the pedals. So often in three pedaled cars heel&toe isn't feasable, and in two pedaled cars the left foot has to be a bit more to the right for braking cause so and then you wanna brake with your right foot when you're in a manual car. If you solely drive paddle/stick cars I would just pick two pedals and set them on shoulder/hip-width or so for comfort.
Three pedals as I want my rig set up with as many options as possible to align with the cars I drive ingame.

Then I just drive with auto-clutch as I'm lazy, But the option is there.

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Yannik Haustein
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