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Warpedcow

Why windows down on the track?

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kbrew8991

does 150+ drag racing passes count as windows up experience?

 

what about driving like a total jackass on country roads? (pre-HPDE days of course)

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Warpedcow
does 150+ drag racing passes count as windows up experience?

 

Did you have to give a point by to the dude in the other lane? :P

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getfast

 

Actually, how many of the posters in this thread have done a "windows up" HPDE? As I said, I've done both, and unless you all have done it both ways, doesn't that make YOU the newbies in this situation?

 

I'm not trying to be all bitchy about this, if I sound that way I'm sorry, chalk it up to not being able to express my opinion very well. I just think that changing it's rules would make NASA a better organization that would draw more people. If NASA doesn't want to accomodate those who would prefer to run windows up, that is their loss, there are lots of other organizations we can do HPDEs with.

 

LOL I sure haven't, and it would be a total newbie shock. I can just see myself thinking "where's all the wind noise, and how can I possibly point that Z06 by as quickly and efficiently now?" Although my car's rare Modena Natur Nappa leather interior would probably look a whole lot better as a result.

 

You don't sound bitchy, and it is certainly a fair subject. If the rulebook magically said "all drivers must hand $20 to the pit-out worker at the start of each session" we would have a legitimate "LET'S CHANGE THAT!" discussion going here... but to me the windows-down thing is a safety issue, and they should stay down as a result.

 

And apparently in some ways it depends upon the region - especially in terms of drawing more people. HPDE is almost full already for our late June event out here at Summit Point. We had 500+ cars at VIR both times we have visited already this season. We put on a big, fun, SAFE show. So if anybody thinks running with their windows down is the dealbreaker, maybe they SHOULD go run with other org's? Although I can't think of a single legitimate group around here who doesn't require the same...

 

Maybe it's something they put in the water out here hahahahaha,

 

Jon

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Warpedcow

LOL I sure haven't, and it would be a total newbie shock. I can just see myself thinking "where's all the wind noise, and how can I possibly point that Z06 by as quickly and efficiently now?" Although my car's rare Modena Natur Nappa leather interior would probably look a whole lot better as a result.

 

Don't worry man, it's real easy to learn to use your blinkers, almost as if it's an old habit we've known all along

 

...but to me the windows-down thing is a safety issue, and they should stay down as a result.

 

That's interesting, other posters here have said it's solely a "hand-out-the-window-for-point-by" issue.

 

Do you not agree that depending on the particular car involved, and the low odds of having a car on fire AND an incapacitated driver occurring, maybe windows up is OVERALL safer (for reasons I've already rehashed)? Regardless, if it is the driver's safety that drives this whole windows-down thing, wouldn't you respect the driver's choice to run windows-up if the driver feels it is safer? I mean this is a complicated issue, and there are certainly situations where windows up is safer and other situations where windows down is safer. But if we can trust HPDE drivers to push their cars to the limits on a track full of other cars, surely we can trust them enough to make their own safety decisions with respect to window position in their particular car.

 

And just to give another example of how whacked out my perspective is my first three HPDEs didn't even have required pointbys or passing by contract. The passer simply had to go offline and complete the pass by the end of the straight. The passee was simply instructed to slow down a bit to aid the pass. No signals needed at all. I thought this actually worked really well, I mean we pass w/o contract all the time on the highway. When I had my first HPDE with passing ONLY by contract (hand signals or blinkers required) I thought it was a rather lame and unneeded rule. I still half agree with that thought, though I'm pretty indifferent either way at this point.

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Jim P.
Barber in the summer with the windows up = cool comfort of the air conditioning.

He hit the nail on the head, ANY track in the SE would be much nicer in the summer months with the windows up and A/C on... but no DE groups in the southeast even consider it that I know of.

 

FWIW: I don't think anyone is avoiding our events because we require the windows down, exactly the opposite, they like our events because we stress safety.

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Jim P.
Do you not agree that depending on the particular car involved, and the low odds of having a car on fire AND an incapacitated driver occurring, maybe windows up is OVERALL safer (for reasons I've already rehashed)?

You are probably correct, but I was at a DE a few years ago where the driver backed into the wall jamming the doors shut and crushing the battery in the trunk. The driver and passenger had to crawl out the open windows, had the windows been closed they wouldn't have been able to get out until a worker smashed them. If the car had laminated windows how long would it take to mutilate the windows enough for them to get out? I wouldn't want to be the instructor in that car.

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Frank Corkran
... I'm really surprised there aren't more people in my camp, so to speak.

 

Perhaps that's because those such as myself who have been doing this for a very long time (blinkers is what I started with) as participants, instructors, or safety workers, and have done events both ways, know from experience that the deliberate point-by (one separate point per car - hand off the wheel about 2 seconds max when done properly) works very well. Blinkers, on the other hand, often lead to confusion. I haven't seen an organization use blinkers in many years (more than 15), even though I've instructed for nearly a dozen different organizations and been a participant with many others, from MI to TX and many of the states between. Bumping them on by accident, putting them on the wrong direction, failing to turn them off - all were common in my experience.

 

The hand-out-the-window point works so well that racers running in HPDE are required to leave their window nets down so that they can give proper point-bys. Asking anyone to forego the use of any personal safety device is not done lightly, so you can rest assured that this has been given more than a little thought at all levels of the organization. As far as I remember, all the tracks I've been to that provide their own full-time professional flagging/rescue workers also require any non-comp group car on track to have driver and passenger windows down.

 

I notice that you said some at BIR use blinkers. Perhaps before demanding that the many thousands who run with NASA (and most other performance driving education groups) change just so you can run in the rain without risking a little moisture on your leather seats, you could ask those other groups at BIR why they don't also use blinkers?

 

Your comments about "lame safety excuses" and "I'm not gonna hold it against anyone if I'm burned to death trapped in my car because a corner worker couldn't bust through my laminated glass" would seem to indicate a dangerously under-developed (for someone who's done 6 track events) appreciation for safety and what absolutely can happen on track.

 

my first three HPDEs didn't even have required pointbys or passing by contract.

 

I'm beginning to get the picture. Those weren't "HPDE" events, they were Open Track events. No instructors required either, right? Last one of those I attended that permitted novices was back in the '80's. Did they have classroom sessions, or just a drivers meeting?

 

I'm not trying to be all bitchy about this, if I sound that way I'm sorry, chalk it up to not being able to express my opinion very well. I just think that changing it's rules would make NASA a better organization that would draw more people. If NASA doesn't want to accomodate those who would prefer to run windows up, that is their loss, there are lots of other organizations we can do HPDEs with.

 

You're certainly doing a fine job without even trying then. While I can't speak for every region, most NASA events sell out quickly and have a waiting list of folks who show up just in case someone doesn't make it. I'm glad you have plenty of groups in your area to run with that suit your tastes.

 

Regardless, if it is the driver's safety that drives this whole windows-down thing, wouldn't you respect the driver's choice to run windows-up if the driver feels it is safer?

 

Right, and if someone believes it's better to be "thrown clear" than wear safety belts, should we also respect that choice?

 

 

All right then, who is this really? Fess up so we can all share in the laugh over how well you've been yanking our chain.

I just wish this thread were on my favorite technical website. I'd have a big bowl of popcorn.

 

If the rulebook magically said "all drivers must hand $20 to the pit-out worker at the start of each session"

 

You mean it's not required?!? Wait'll I see Chad again!

Edited by Guest

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getfast

 

That's interesting, other posters here have said it's solely a "hand-out-the-window-for-point-by" issue.

 

It is, and that's WHY it is a safety issue. And to me it's one of those "if it ain't broke don't fixit" things too. Asking everyone doing DE's out here to STOP pointing out the window and START using blinkers or through-the-back-glass signals instead... would, in fact, be dangerous (remember that old adage about teaching an old dog new tricks, and in this case it's potentially 40+ dogs on track at a time.) Furthermore it would cause a lot more black flags and "one-sided discussions" with instructors, so why bother?

 

Agree to disagree I guess,

 

Jon

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UHSAE
Having worked as a corner worker you get to thinking how you would react if a car flipped or caught fire etc, lots of what-if's.

 

If a car catches fire out there, it's our job to run to the car and put it out make sure the driver's ok and safe, or if it's really out of control, get the driver out ASAP. I would imagine most of the time, when cars catch fire the driver gets the "O sh!t" face and piles out of the car as fast as he can. But what if the car is upside down and on fire?? Could you really expect a completely disoriented and likely hurt HPDE driver to be able to find his way out of an upside-down burning car?

 

That puts a HUGE responsibility on the corner workers to be there very quickly with a fire extinguisher, break a window and drag an injured driver out of the car.

 

I think it's a good rule, and it needs to stay that way.

Not to change the subject but where were you trained as a corner worker?

did you go to crash and burn school? I am not saying you are wrong but going on a hot track is very dangerous as is firefighting without the proper gear. That said it is likely that if my station was sufficiently manned and flags were displayed, I would respond to a car on fire making sure that EV was in emergency mode and rolling via radio.

 

This thread got long really fast, so sorry as this will seem a bit off topic.

 

I'm from Houston, TX and was trained at Motorsports Ranch Houston by the track coordinator there. No to the crash and burn school. The NASA events that I've worked have had 3-4 people at each station, 1 radio, 2 fire extinguishers and a general "plan" so to speak. As in, persons A and B watch down track and persons C and D watch up track, and then there's a procedure amongst them for offs. That's really wordy, I'm sorry.

 

In the event of a serious accident the first priority would always be to get the EV's rolling. There's only so much that a corner worker can do, I completely agree, but if a car is on fire, and it's not fully ablaze, I'd do my damndest to get a torn up driver out of the car. Thankfully I've never been put in that position.

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Bruce L.

windows down is definitely not just to enable point-bys.

In addition to the extraction and other issues discussed earlier, there is the simple issue of being able to hear the pit and grid commands and corner workers whistles and commands in emergency situations (e.g. red flag stop situation). Also, lots of HPDE cars have very dark tint and that also hinders communication/observation.

 

There is absolutely no possible way you will change the minds of the vast majority of clubs that have adopted the windows-down rule. If they were to change, and then something bad happened that was determined to have been the result of allowing windows up, and the club didn't have a good reason for the change to windows up (other than, say, preserving some cow hide), the lawyers would rip them to shreds. Organizers have to consider a few more issues than the participants do...

 

Run with the windows-up clubs if it really bothers you - it's a free choice situation.

 

cheers,

bruce

 

NASA RM Group 4 leader

BMWCCA RM Chief of Safety

Edited by Guest

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kbrew8991

what clubs do run with windows up? that really is about the first I've heard of it....

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runningmole
Barber in the summer with the windows up = cool comfort of the air conditioning.

He hit the nail on the head, ANY track in the SE would be much nicer in the summer months with the windows up and A/C on... but no DE groups in the southeast even consider it that I know of.

 

FWIW: I don't think anyone is avoiding our events because we require the windows down, exactly the opposite, they like our events because we stress safety.

 

At least with my car, when the AC is on and you go WOT, no more cold air...

 

Many cars would overheat on a hot track day, AC on and windows up...if you're beating on the car that is!

 

My Mustang has HCI and dumps on the exhaust, I can barely hear the turn signal indicator w/ the windows up, forget about hearing it with the windows down and the mufflers singing along at 5500rpm. The turn signal idea only works w/ nice cars that are quiet inside

 

Besides, you're not going to catch me at Willow Springs in July or August with the windows up!

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nasaregistrar
Having worked as a corner worker you get to thinking how you would react if a car flipped or caught fire etc, lots of what-if's.

 

If a car catches fire out there, it's our job to run to the car and put it out make sure the driver's ok and safe, or if it's really out of control, get the driver out ASAP. I would imagine most of the time, when cars catch fire the driver gets the "O sh!t" face and piles out of the car as fast as he can. But what if the car is upside down and on fire?? Could you really expect a completely disoriented and likely hurt HPDE driver to be able to find his way out of an upside-down burning car?

 

That puts a HUGE responsibility on the corner workers to be there very quickly with a fire extinguisher, break a window and drag an injured driver out of the car.

 

I think it's a good rule, and it needs to stay that way.

Not to change the subject but where were you trained as a corner worker?

did you go to crash and burn school? I am not saying you are wrong but going on a hot track is very dangerous as is firefighting without the proper gear. That said it is likely that if my station was sufficiently manned and flags were displayed, I would respond to a car on fire making sure that EV was in emergency mode and rolling via radio.

 

This thread got long really fast, so sorry as this will seem a bit off topic.

 

I'm from Houston, TX and was trained at Motorsports Ranch Houston by the track coordinator there. No to the crash and burn school. The NASA events that I've worked have had 3-4 people at each station, 1 radio, 2 fire extinguishers and a general "plan" so to speak. As in, persons A and B watch down track and persons C and D watch up track, and then there's a procedure amongst them for offs. That's really wordy, I'm sorry.

 

In the event of a serious accident the first priority would always be to get the EV's rolling. There's only so much that a corner worker can do, I completely agree, but if a car is on fire, and it's not fully ablaze, I'd do my damndest to get a torn up driver out of the car. Thankfully I've never been put in that position.

OK, understood. Jon is right, the firebottle will be best used around the driver and like I said...I would probably respond as well. It is not something to do blindly. 1 car off in any particular spot can just as easily be 2 and I do not want to be standing there with no nomex, no helmet, and no cage and harnesses.

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nasaregistrar

One other thing that came to mind regarding blinkers:

 

Blinkers on the street are to indicate YOUR intentions to the OTHER drivers. Reversing that developed behavior would be confusing. Also,think about multiple cars in a "train"..you have room to let 2 pass but not 3...2 specific points means 2 cars...blinker on means how many? What if the 3rd car thinks they have time but really don't?someone will be going off or a metal to metal may occur. Neither is good.

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white_2kgt
If a blinker is an expected passing signal, you WOULD be looking for it. My blinkers are very bright, and are amber, not red, so they would never be confused for brake lights. Some at BIR use blinkers as a passing signal since most clubs at BIR do run windows up. It works just fine, I think it's far easier to see a blinker than a hand signal. If you dont have blinkers you're probably in a race car where a hand signal is the only option, and thats fine too. Why not use both?

 

You seem to be missing the point. There are thousands of people out there than have learned to use and look for point by's. If I catch a miata in the AI car mid turn I have about 1/2 second to either see the point by or slam on the brakes (in advanced HPDE you CAN pass in the turns). I don't want my eyes wandering between the roof and rear tail lights. If you are looking at someones tail lights you are about to hit something.

 

If passing zones are only on the straights, is it really likely a blinker is gonna be bumped on on a straight? Obviously if a blinker goes on in a non-passing zone, you assume it is an accident. If you're running windows up you will HEAR your blinker and realize you bumped it. If you're checking your guages regularly (as you should on the longer straights) you'll see a visual indicator if a blinker is on by accident. I just don't see this being a big problem or one that occurs more than maybe once a weekend.

 

Passing zones are NOT just on the straights, in HPDE3/4 you can pass ANYWHERE, with a POINT BY .

 

I understand, but why is it even a rule? Why not let cars run whichever way they want? Let a turn signal be another passing signal besides the hand wave. Heck, turn signals work as passing signals on public roads just fine. Very easy to see. Plus, you only have to take one finger off the wheel to hit a turn signal, much safer than waving your whole arm out the window.

 

It is a rule b/c everyone expects ONE behavior, when you put someone else out there doing something unexpected you just added another variable to the equation, which complicates things. You will learn, that making a high speed pass is complicated enough w/o adding another variable. You may not think passing someone on a straight is complicated, and really it isn't, but try it 2 wide in a high speed sweeper.

 

I'll definitely try to get an exception for myself at my next NASA event... I'd rather just have the silly rule changed/removed

 

Don't bother. There's nothing special about your needs to require you to run w/ windows up. Nothing. You will just make life more difficult for the other HPDE1ers out there. Don't waste valuable class time having a 15 minute conversation between you, the instructor and the others in the class, yes I've been in those classes when those conversations took place. It's a HUGE waste of time, sometimes there's nothing you can do about it, in your case there is, roll the window down.

 

Changing the rules to make clear HPDE passing signals more difficult to spot? Why?

 

Because a turn signal is actually far easier to see than a hand wave? Do you hand wave on your way to and from the track in lieu of turn signals?

 

No, it isn't. Not when driving at high speeds on a race track. There's a reason you put your turn signal on well PRIOR to turning on the street and why a point by is an instant thing on track. Hand goes out, pass begins, it should happen that fast.

 

It's much easier to signal a point by to multiple cars with turn signals. Just leave it on while cars are passing and turn it off when you want the passing to stop. Much safer than waving all the way down a long straight, with only one hand on the wheel.

 

Oh my, I don't even know where to being with those one. With the Hand signal it is deliberate everyone knows what you are doing signal. Hand comes out the window, points in a direction and stays in that direction until passing car is along side you, repeat for next car. Turning on your blinker and leaving it on all the way down the straight is going to cause ALL KINDs of troubles, not to mention what were to happen if you 'forget' to turn it off (it takes some cars a LONG time to get down these straights).

 

How to you steer, shift, and signal a point by at the same time with only two hands? No problem if you use a turn signal.

 

It's not hard. You will figure it out, if you have a problem with this I hate to see what happens when you start Heel-Toe or left foot braking.

 

Again, blinkers have worked great on public roads for decades. Why are they taboo on the track? Yes, I know some race cars dont have blinkers. I'm not saying make hand signals taboo. I'm saying let us use blinkers and windows up since that's easier for everyone involved.

 

No. Adding multiple ways to accomplish a simple task isn't easier, it complicates things. I've seen WAY to many people accidentally 'bump' the blinker and leave it on for several laps, I've never seen anyone hold their hand out over the roof for multiple laps (well maybe a few miata drivers, lol).

 

Thanks everyone for the discussion. Please also try to see this from my perspective. My home track is BIR where most if not all clubs run windows up. My first SIX trackdays were there, with windows up at all events. Turn signals worked great for the clubs that do passing by contract. When I finally went to RA with NASA I was surprised as heck that they would insist on windows down, especially when there were a very few weak reasons why it was so. So yeah... I'm really surprised there aren't more people in my camp, so to speak.

 

They are not weak reasons. Maybe to you they are but not to everyone else that has been doing this for quite a long time. When you come run w/ NASA just remember, blinkers off, windows down, hand signals for passing.

 

What did the left/right blinker mean anyway. You were going left/right like on the street or you wanted the pass to happen on the left/right, see confused already.

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jon dawes

i say everybody run with one window up and one down, or both halfway down, and hold a flashing signal out the window for others to know when it's ok to pass!!! there, now everybody's happy! i'll send you my mediation fee by certified mail.

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Warpedcow

Well thanks to the many who have provided insightful counterpoints to mine. And no thanks to the few who seem so high and mighty and set in their ways that they refuse to take my points seriously. Anyway, on with the show...

 

Perhaps that's because those such as myself who have been doing this for a very long time (blinkers is what I started with) as participants, instructors, or safety workers, and have done events both ways, know from experience that the deliberate point-by (one separate point per car - hand off the wheel about 2 seconds max when done properly) works very well.

 

Hand off the wheel for 2 seconds seems like a glaring safety issue, ESPECIALLY in HPDE3/4 when you're doing this in corners.

 

I notice that you said some at BIR use blinkers. Perhaps before demanding that the many thousands who run with NASA (and most other performance driving education groups) change just so you can run in the rain without risking a little moisture on your leather seats, you could ask those other groups at BIR why they don't also use blinkers?

 

Well here's the details scoop on BIR. Until this year, EVERY club that I know of runs windows up there. However this year, PCA has apparently decided to change. Their first event there is this weekend (I'm going) and I will definitely be asking them why they changed.

 

Your comments about "lame safety excuses" and "I'm not gonna hold it against anyone if I'm burned to death trapped in my car because a corner worker couldn't bust through my laminated glass" would seem to indicate a dangerously under-developed (for someone who's done 6 track events) appreciation for safety and what absolutely can happen on track.

 

It could be that I value safety that helps me avoid accidents moreso than safety that might help me survive one (though that is even still dubious at best with my car - the whole windows down making the curtain airbags almost useless thing). I know ANYTHING can happen at the track. I'm trying to play the odds (as I see them).

 

my first three HPDEs didn't even have required pointbys or passing by contract.

 

I'm beginning to get the picture. Those weren't "HPDE" events, they were Open Track events. No instructors required either, right? Last one of those I attended that permitted novices was back in the '80's. Did they have classroom sessions, or just a drivers meeting?

 

They were classroom in the morning, then instructors would take you out in your car, then you'd drive your car with the instructor, then if you did well enough they'd let you out on your own the rest of the day (open track style). If you had already done the classroom/instructor stuff at a previous event, you could go open track pretty much the whole day if you wanted.

 

I'm not trying to be all bitchy about this, if I sound that way I'm sorry, chalk it up to not being able to express my opinion very well. I just think that changing it's rules would make NASA a better organization that would draw more people. If NASA doesn't want to accomodate those who would prefer to run windows up, that is their loss, there are lots of other organizations we can do HPDEs with.

 

You're certainly doing a fine job without even trying then.

 

You seem to be alone in that view.

 

Regardless, if it is the driver's safety that drives this whole windows-down thing, wouldn't you respect the driver's choice to run windows-up if the driver feels it is safer?

 

Right, and if someone believes it's better to be "thrown clear" than wear safety belts, should we also respect that choice?

 

Speaking of "thrown clear"... I'm far more likely to be thrown clear with windows down than up during a crash.

 

Who said anything about safety belts? Topic here is windows up or down. If you want to discuss the merits of safety belts please create your own thread. Thanks!

 

All right then, who is this really? Fess up so we can all share in the laugh over how well you've been yanking our chain.

 

It's nice to see how seriously you take safety issue discussions.

 

 

That's interesting, other posters here have said it's solely a "hand-out-the-window-for-point-by" issue.

 

It is, and that's WHY it is a safety issue. And to me it's one of those "if it ain't broke don't fixit" things too. Asking everyone doing DE's out here to STOP pointing out the window and START using blinkers or through-the-back-glass signals instead... would, in fact, be dangerous (remember that old adage about teaching an old dog new tricks, and in this case it's potentially 40+ dogs on track at a time.)

 

Maybe I'm not being clear. I'm not saying everyone MUST run windows up like I do, I'm saying let the few who want to run windows up do so and use their blinkers. Old dogs dont need to learn any new tricks.

 

what clubs do run with windows up? that really is about the first I've heard of it....

 

Basically every club who runs at BIR does windows up there AFAIK. PCA appears to have changed to windows down this year though (as I mentioned above).

 

Many cars would overheat on a hot track day, AC on and windows up...if you're beating on the car that is!

 

My Mustang has HCI and dumps on the exhaust, I can barely hear the turn signal indicator w/ the windows up, forget about hearing it with the windows down and the mufflers singing along at 5500rpm. The turn signal idea only works w/ nice cars that are quiet inside

 

My car did not overheat with AC on in 100F temps at BIR (probably the hardest track on the engine since it's the fastest track in the nation). Again, if your car is such that windows down and hand signals works for you, I have no desire to make you or anyone else change your ways. I'm just trying to explain why windows up works better for me and my car.

 

 

If a blinker is an expected passing signal, you WOULD be looking for it. My blinkers are very bright, and are amber, not red, so they would never be confused for brake lights. Some at BIR use blinkers as a passing signal since most clubs at BIR do run windows up. It works just fine, I think it's far easier to see a blinker than a hand signal. If you dont have blinkers you're probably in a race car where a hand signal is the only option, and thats fine too. Why not use both?

 

You seem to be missing the point. There are thousands of people out there than have learned to use and look for point by's. If I catch a miata in the AI car mid turn I have about 1/2 second to either see the point by or slam on the brakes (in advanced HPDE you CAN pass in the turns). I don't want my eyes wandering between the roof and rear tail lights. If you are looking at someones tail lights you are about to hit something.

 

Again, I'm not saying get rid of point bys, just give us blinkers as an option. You don't need to look at my car to see my blinker. It's a flash of light, the sort of thing a human's peripheral vision is great at seeing - no need for your eyes to "wander" anywhere as you say. In fact, most drivers licence tests/renewal procedures actually test your peripheral vision for flashes of light (at least MN does).

 

If passing zones are only on the straights, is it really likely a blinker is gonna be bumped on on a straight? Obviously if a blinker goes on in a non-passing zone, you assume it is an accident. If you're running windows up you will HEAR your blinker and realize you bumped it. If you're checking your guages regularly (as you should on the longer straights) you'll see a visual indicator if a blinker is on by accident. I just don't see this being a big problem or one that occurs more than maybe once a weekend.

 

Passing zones are NOT just on the straights, in HPDE3/4 you can pass ANYWHERE, with a POINT BY .

 

Great so when I want to let someone pass me in a corner I have to take a hand off the wheel and stick it out the window? Sounds very safe...

 

I understand, but why is it even a rule? Why not let cars run whichever way they want? Let a turn signal be another passing signal besides the hand wave. Heck, turn signals work as passing signals on public roads just fine. Very easy to see. Plus, you only have to take one finger off the wheel to hit a turn signal, much safer than waving your whole arm out the window.

 

It is a rule b/c everyone expects ONE behavior, when you put someone else out there doing something unexpected you just added another variable to the equation, which complicates things. You will learn, that making a high speed pass is complicated enough w/o adding another variable. You may not think passing someone on a straight is complicated, and really it isn't, but try it 2 wide in a high speed sweeper.

 

Actually I don't think it's complicated at all. I would think it would be very easy for a human to comprehend a turn signal as an alternate signal. It's worked very well for PCA and others at BIR. I would think it's also very easy to avoid whacking the turn stack unless you're a complete klutz. In fact, I think it would be very easy to run HPDEs without passing by contract at all, I've run with groups that do this and it works just fine.

 

I'll definitely try to get an exception for myself at my next NASA event... I'd rather just have the silly rule changed/removed

 

Don't bother. There's nothing special about your needs to require you to run w/ windows up. Nothing.

 

So every other car out there has curtain airbags and leather seats and laminated glass and amber blinkers and no window nets? Yeah we're all the same... right.

 

You will just make life more difficult for the other HPDE1ers out there. Don't waste valuable class time having a 15 minute conversation between you, the instructor and the others in the class, yes I've been in those classes when those conversations took place.

 

One man's waste of time is another's intelligent discussion. This thread is great evidence of that.

 

 

Changing the rules to make clear HPDE passing signals more difficult to spot? Why?

 

Because a turn signal is actually far easier to see than a hand wave? Do you hand wave on your way to and from the track in lieu of turn signals?

 

No, it isn't. Not when driving at high speeds on a race track. There's a reason you put your turn signal on well PRIOR to turning on the street and why a point by is an instant thing on track. Hand goes out, pass begins, it should happen that fast.

 

If speed is a concern, it's far FASTER to move my finger a few inches to the turn stalk than to stick my whole arm out the window and wave.

 

It's much easier to signal a point by to multiple cars with turn signals. Just leave it on while cars are passing and turn it off when you want the passing to stop. Much safer than waving all the way down a long straight, with only one hand on the wheel.

 

Oh my, I don't even know where to being with those one. With the Hand signal it is deliberate everyone knows what you are doing signal. Hand comes out the window, points in a direction and stays in that direction until passing car is along side you, repeat for next car. Turning on your blinker and leaving it on all the way down the straight is going to cause ALL KINDs of troubles, not to mention what were to happen if you 'forget' to turn it off (it takes some cars a LONG time to get down these straights).

 

I think you're grossly underestimating the intelligence of humans on a track. Blinker on means "you can pass me". Blinker off means you can't.

 

Again, blinkers have worked great on public roads for decades. Why are they taboo on the track? Yes, I know some race cars dont have blinkers. I'm not saying make hand signals taboo. I'm saying let us use blinkers and windows up since that's easier for everyone involved.

 

No. Adding multiple ways to accomplish a simple task isn't easier, it complicates things. I've seen WAY to many people accidentally 'bump' the blinker and leave it on for several laps, I've never seen anyone hold their hand out over the roof for multiple laps (well maybe a few miata drivers, lol).

 

That's what black flags are for, telling people they've screwed up. If someone was actually so unaware of their surroundings that they left a blinker on for a few laps, I really don't want to be on track with that person.

 

Thanks everyone for the discussion. Please also try to see this from my perspective. My home track is BIR where most if not all clubs run windows up. My first SIX trackdays were there, with windows up at all events. Turn signals worked great for the clubs that do passing by contract. When I finally went to RA with NASA I was surprised as heck that they would insist on windows down, especially when there were a very few weak reasons why it was so. So yeah... I'm really surprised there aren't more people in my camp, so to speak.

 

They are not weak reasons. Maybe to you they are but not to everyone else that has been doing this for quite a long time. When you come run w/ NASA just remember, blinkers off, windows down, hand signals for passing.

 

Yes, they seem weak to me - that's the whole point of this thread. Those who favorite can try to explain why the reasons aren't weak, and I can try to explain both why they are (for me) and why an alternative method would work just fine.

 

What did the left/right blinker mean anyway. You were going left/right like on the street or you wanted the pass to happen on the left/right, see confused already.

 

What Nordstern (PCA) did was the car being passed would move offline (if the racing line is the left side of the track, they would move right and signal right) for passing. When the passing contract ends, you would put your left blinker on (or just turn off the right blinker) and move back on line. Very simple and straightforward.

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nasaregistrar

I am curious as to the names of the clubs whose rules require windows up.

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getfast
What Nordstern (PCA) did was the car being passed would move offline (if the racing line is the left side of the track, they would move right and signal right) for passing. When the passing contract ends, you would put your left blinker on (or just turn off the right blinker) and move back on line. Very simple and straightforward.

 

Very interesting approach to the passing concept as well. Why would the slower car go off-line? Usually in HPDE it is the faster car's problem ("responsibility") to go offline and complete the pass successfully, just like in roadracing. At least this way you know exactly what the slower car is supposed to do (i.e. stay on-line) and plan accordingly.

 

Applying this principle to the stock 1.6L Miata on street tires vs. modded C6 Z06 (911 Turbo, supercharged Mustang, etc) on Hoosiers example... the Miata driver would pretty much NEVER get a clean lap on-line using your method. It's not fair to the pilot of the slower car, for starters.

 

Granted we are not "racing" in HPDE, but waiting around for a blinker (and/or for the slower car to go offline and make room) would be a huge time-waster IMHO. It would also kill the momentum of the faster car, and create the potential for more "trains" and related session-flow backups.

 

The way we do it, that Miata driver would stay on line and have the arm out the window as the faster car approached to pass offline (this way, nobody has to slow down - in theory at least.) See the signal, make the pass where-ever you can do it safely, then move on to the next one.

 

In the higher levels of HPDE, namely groups 3 and 4, driving the line isn't the issue. You should know the line by this point. What you should be figuring out is where you can still go offline and make a safe pass without going any slower as a result. And I still don't see how the "blinker/offline method" would help that. It seems like it would make everyone go more slowly, instead of only possibly making the driver of the faster car go more slowly if he or she can't find a safe pass.

 

But hey, some groups do things differently (I recently heard of a group out here whose instructors don't even pass in corners.)

 

And I am enjoying the intelligent discussion. It is certainly an interesting subject.

 

Jon

Edit add: taking one hand off the wheel to signal out the window isn't unsafe. It's no different than taking one hand off the wheel to shift gears.

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white_2kgt
What Nordstern (PCA) did was the car being passed would move offline (if the racing line is the left side of the track, they would move right and signal right) for passing. When the passing contract ends, you would put your left blinker on (or just turn off the right blinker) and move back on line. Very simple and straightforward.

 

Ok, I'm done. This is CLEARLY one persons perception of how a DE should be done and he's imparted this upon you. Slower car moves off line to pass, what a crock. What are the Porsche drivers out there learning. Maybe what you were in was a 'lapping' school, HPDE is geared more towards the 'racing' school since most NASA Racers these days come from the HPDE school's. You think the guy in 1st place in a race session is going to move off line and let you pass, ha. If you come to drive w/ NASA STAY ONLINE as someone passes you, unless you want to have a chat w/ the race director, b/c if I see that, I head right up the hill to have a talk.

 

I've said just about all can be said on the issue, and if I see someone in my HPDE group in class whine about wanting to run w/ their windows up and use their blinker as a pass signal for no good reason, I'm going to balk, and I hope everyone else out there does as well.

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Jeff D
Passing zones are NOT just on the straights, in HPDE3/4 you can pass ANYWHERE, with a POINT BY .

Great so when I want to let someone pass me in a corner I have to take a hand off the wheel and stick it out the window? Sounds very safe...

 

I understand some regions handle their HPDE groups differently (instructors only in Grp4 for example) but do they also have passings zones in corners?? Not in OH/IN or Midwest regions.

 

There is no pointing cars by in the corners. In the open passing groups point bys are a courtesy but not a requirement, and in the restricted passing groups none of the passing zones are in a turn, so there is no requirement for giving point by's in the middle of a turn. I wouldn't recommend anyone doing that in HPDE.

 

I’m just curious, but at these events where they require folks to run windows up and use turn signals do they make exceptions for people who want to run windows down and use point by’s?

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nasaregistrar

In HPDE3 and 4 in MA, there is passing anywhere with a point.

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white_2kgt
There is no pointing cars by in the corners. In the open passing groups point bys are a courtesy but not a requirement, and in the restricted passing groups none of the passing zones are in a turn, so there is no requirement for giving point by's in the middle of a turn. I wouldn't recommend anyone doing that in HPDE.

 

In HPDE3 and 4 in MA, there is passing anywhere with a point.

 

You have your answer, and it really isn't a problem If you are in the middle of a turn, and holding on for dear life, yea, you probably shouldn't take your hand off the wheel, but if you are to that point, you probably shouldn't be in HPDE3/4. Lots of times what will happen is you see the guy behind you coming up, but he won't be ready to pass UNTIL you are both in the turn, rather than hold him up through the turn, give him the point by just prior to turn in, then when he's closer to you around mid turn you stay online and he goes off line to make and complete the pass. You gave the point by, so both cars are aware of one another, and kept both hands on the wheel in turn, creating a safe situation for both the passer, and passee. (Jeff, I'm sure you know all this, just stating it for those following along at home).

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kbrew8991
In HPDE3 and 4 in MA, there is passing anywhere with a point.

 

SE is DE3 - point required, DE4 is open (most of our instructors are TTers, so usually both groups are combined)

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DaveCN

My .02 - at all of the NASA events and BMW CCA schools I have been to - windows are down and you point by with your hands - not a blinker.

 

There have been some variations on whether the "passer' or the "passee" goes off line, but it has always been made clear at the first driver's meeting of the day.

 

Having more than a couple DE days under my belt, I can tell you that I am conditioned to look for a hand out the window (pointing me by now) or a hand waving inside the car ("i see you and will point you by in the next passing zone") as signals and the only lights I look for on the back of the car are brake lights.

 

Quite frankly, I'd suspect that within this basic set of customs and practices, someone hitting their blinkers (especially if they do not have amber rear blinkers like on many cars) might be mistaken for applying brakes in some instances, which may in fact cause an inappropriate (and perhaps dangerous) response by the traffic behind him.

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