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sperkins

Why mix HPDE 1 & HPDE 2?

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Shawn M.
DE4 or TT out here

 

 

Hmmm. Pity!

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kbrew8991

get less free-riders that way

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dbright007
Thanks to all the instructors also. If that gold mustang was at barbers this past weekend and was TT 007, that was my instructor. He was awesome, thanks JFR!

 

Jimmy

 

That is him. Good dude. He will tell you how good if you ask (or even if you don't) Won his TT class btw.

 

Lately in the SE, DE1/2 are combined and 3/4 are combined. TT has its own sessions. Some of my friends run 4, TT and have 2 students - on track like 16 sessions a day. Crazy busy.

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ExRacer

BTR it's interesting that you challenge the National and Regional wisdom . . . If you want to learn how to do this magic thing called High Performance Driving, you must welcome traffic. As you really get better and understand what PASSING and getting passed is all about you will look back at your HPDE1/2 time as a very important process in your learning curve. Picking through a train takes serious skill.

 

As mentioned you can pit out into the hot pits and personally schedule and fit your car into the track. If you want unencumbered driving ontrack you can always rent it for the day. Of course that would be too boring huh?

 

Also in SoCal use of the "R" word in HPDE gets the Group Directors attention really quickly. And not in a positive way. All chiding aside, the HPDE ladder works super well and when you earn the chops to get into 3 you will see how the seasoning and experience you got in learning the basics in 1/2 sets up some serious challenges in getting around really fast drivers or facilitating clean passes by allowing a safe pass in corners as well as straights.

 

Good luck with your progress and don't forget to ask for an instructor in 2 as well. The winners always take instruction every lap if they can find it!

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vitoal18t

NASA HPDE is a great program!

 

There is really no big difference between HPDE1 and HPDE2 drivers that's why NASA groups it together! HPDE2 doesn't require an instructor, although a driver should request one!

 

The biggest reason there is a train of cars in HPDE 1&2 is because passing allowed only in designated areas (usually front and back straights). People tend to slow down too much for turns causing accordion effect. Same thing exists in HPDE3, but to a lesser degree!

 

HPDE1 & 2 works really well the way it is, although it is much tougher for people in 'smaller' cars. A guy driving Miata or a Honda will have less fun then a guy driving 500HP Corvette.

 

Try to work out with your group and a group leader a "PASS Request Accepted!" hand signal. We used to tap our mirrors to aknowledge that "The Driver behind me is faster, i will let him by on the next straight!" This trains people to check the mirrors, which is a must for HPDE3 and racing. Also some people get intimidated and distracted when someone sits on their bumper. By issuing "PASS Request Accepted" signal the faster driver behind can 'chill out' and wait for his next straight, instead of riding a bumper of a slower car.

 

In case of a 20 car train, it is much better to come into the pits and maybe lose one lap. If you see 20 cars bunched up in one part of the track, it usually means that the rest of the track is nearly empty .

 

And if you do get stuck in the train, don't get mad, keep up with the train and practice remembering what cars you have in front of you and what is their color, look in the mirrors and remember the cars behind you, also wave at the corner workers and flag stations. Practice awareness!

 

 

The main goal of HPDE1 and HPDE in general should be SAFETY!

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Shawn M.

 

HPDE1 & 2 works really well the way it is, although it is much tougher for people in 'smaller' cars. A guy driving Miata or a Honda will have less fun then a guy driving 500HP Corvette.

 

 

I couldnt dissagree more.

 

Showing up in a 500hp corvette or comperable car is 10 times harder to learn to drive FAST than a small, low HP car. The person with the low hp car will learn much more about vehicle dynamics and car control in a shorter amount of time. When you learn to make a momentum car fast is when your ready to add HP to the equation.

 

You can have just as much fun driving a low hp car as a high hp car. Plus being in a low HP car forces you to have great track awareness which is as important as the driving part. Great track awareness is what lessens the trains out there on the track.

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dbright007

 

HPDE1 & 2 works really well the way it is, although it is much tougher for people in 'smaller' cars. A guy driving Miata or a Honda will have less fun then a guy driving 500HP Corvette.

 

 

I couldnt dissagree more.

 

Showing up in a 500hp corvette or comperable car is 10 times harder to learn to drive FAST than a small, low HP car. The person with the low hp car will learn much more about vehicle dynamics and car control in a shorter amount of time. When you learn to make a momentum car fast is when your ready to add HP to the equasion.

 

You can have just as much fun driving a low hp car as a high hp car. Plus being in a low HP car forces you to have great track awareness which is as important as the driving part. Great track awareness is what lessens the trains out there on the track.

 

It is a debate that can go on endlessly.

 

I currently track an older miata. I love how it handles, and flinging that little 2-seater around a twisty track is a blast.

Would I like to have some weekends in a hugely powerful car and just point and shoot it at 140+ mph? Heck yes!

When I had my Rx8 on track, out braking, out handling more powerful cars was a hoot. But I wish I could afford 500 hp sometimes.

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kbrew8991

its easier to be the HPDE National Champion with horsepower though

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Shawn M.
its easier to be the HPDE National Champion with horsepower though

 

 

haha!! HPDE 1 national champ was who again??

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sperkins
BTR it's interesting that you challenge the National and Regional wisdom . . .

 

If you want unencumbered driving ontrack you can always rent it for the day. Of course that would be too boring huh?

 

If you read my orginal post again, you will see that I was simply asking a question and not challenging the wisdom of NASA. There have been several helpful posts in this topic without any chastising such as yours. There really was no need for your better than thou attitude response. I never said anything about not being able to run the track without traffic at WOT. Sure it would be fun to rent the track for a couple of days, but the last time I checked my last name was not Roush. I attend these HPDE's in order to gain general track knowledge and to learn the capabilities of myself and the car which is exactly what these events are meant to allow. This forum is here so that the members can share information. If no one asked any questions, there wouldn't be a need to have it. Next time someone asks a question, consider the fact that it may be just that - a question.

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STRINGER
BTR it's interesting that you challenge the National and Regional wisdom . . .

 

If you want unencumbered driving ontrack you can always rent it for the day. Of course that would be too boring huh?

 

If you read my orginal post again, you will see that I was simply asking a question and not challenging the wisdom of NASA. There have been several helpful posts in this topic without any chastising such as yours. There really was no need for your better than thou attitude response. I never said anything about not being able to run the track without traffic at WOT. Sure it would be fun to rent the track for a couple of days, but the last time I checked my last name was not Roush. I attend these HPDE's in order to gain general track knowledge and to learn the capabilities of myself and the car which is exactly what these events are meant to allow. This forum is here so that the members can share information. If no one asked any questions, there wouldn't be a need to have it. Next time someone asks a question, consider the fact that it may be just that - a question.

 

Well worded and completely correct.

 

Something I remember from another forum...

 

"The one that asks lots of questions just may be the one passing you in the future"

 

I will leave it at that.

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mcolangelo2005
BTR it's interesting that you challenge the National and Regional wisdom . . .

 

If you want unencumbered driving ontrack you can always rent it for the day. Of course that would be too boring huh?

 

If you read my orginal post again, you will see that I was simply asking a question and not challenging the wisdom of NASA. There have been several helpful posts in this topic without any chastising such as yours. There really was no need for your better than thou attitude response. I never said anything about not being able to run the track without traffic at WOT. Sure it would be fun to rent the track for a couple of days, but the last time I checked my last name was not Roush. I attend these HPDE's in order to gain general track knowledge and to learn the capabilities of myself and the car which is exactly what these events are meant to allow. This forum is here so that the members can share information. If no one asked any questions, there wouldn't be a need to have it. Next time someone asks a question, consider the fact that it may be just that - a question.

 

You need to read Mad Dog's post one more time. I think you missed his point. He's speaking from years of experience and is a well-respected and well-liked HPDE 3 group instructor here in SoCal. I've learned a lot from him.

 

Regarding trains, welcome to HPDE/track days! They happen from time to time and as already mentioned here, a necessary track driving skill is the ability to work your way through the traffic. If it gets too frustrating, then just pull into the hot pit to get some space between the train and yourself. I've had to do this a number of times over the past couple of years of track driving. You might lose 30 seconds of track time. No big deal.

 

My advice is to get promoted to HPDE 3 as soon as you safely can. It's much more fun than in HPDE 1/2 since passing opportunities are greater and the drivers are better and more aware.

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sperkins

 

Regarding trains, welcome to HPDE/track days! They happen from time to time and as already mentioned here, a necessary track driving skill is the ability to work your way through the traffic.

 

Understood. I never meant to imply that I was the one ticked about having slower cars on the track. I actually prefer to follow other drivers and watch their line. I have found that some are better and others are not. My original point was that I heard a lot of fussing on the subject and no one else had posted the question so I figured I would. It makes perfect sense to me now and it doesn't bother me a bit having the two run groups together. Like I said, I acually follow HPDE 1 drivers for a while because I know there is an instructor in the car showing him/her the proper line. When I'm on the track, I try to be a sponge for info - not an impatient time trialer wanna be.

 

cheers2.gif

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Lucid Moments

I'm going to bring this back to life a little bit. I just got back from a NASA Southeast event at Carolina Motorsports park where they did the combined HPDE 1 and groups. I am in HPDE 2 and am ready to move into HPDE 3 but have been having some mechanical difficulties with my car so I have not had the chance to do so yet. I was actually getting a check ride to move to HPDE 3 when my motor blew back in Feb. I was driving a friends HC4 car (yes ken the same car) this weekend and it only had one seat in it so no opportunity there either.

 

I absolutely despise the combined 1 & 2 grouping. We had a lot of people that were on the track for the very first time this weekend and they were slow. I understand why they were slow and I am not complaining that they were slow. I am saying that people that are on the track for the first time shouldn't hold up those of us who have been going for a little while. The problem is that I pay the same money they do, and I feel like the first two sessions Saturday were nearly a complete waste for me because I couldn't get the car up to speed enough to find find out where any of its limits were. So out of 8 sessions 2 of them were of very limited value. It was very very frustrating for me.

 

I want to stress that I understand why the people were slow out there. I'm sure I was at least that slow or slower my first track weekend. I'm not complaining about them. I'm complaining about NASA putting me out on the same track with them.

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Shawn M.

What do you propose to fix this problem?

 

So you were stuck behind the slower cars for 2 full run groups?

As someone who is ready for group 3, what was keeping you out on track and not ducking into the pit to find some open track space?

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Lucid Moments
What do you propose to fix this problem?

 

So you were stuck behind the slower cars for 2 full run groups?

As someone who is ready for group 3, what was keeping you out on track and not ducking into the pit to find some open track space?

 

 

I actually like having group 2 without instructors for the reason someone mentioned earlier, it lets me learn how to manage traffic without the pressure of open passing. That being said doing that alone should seriously reduce the work load for instructors so that you can find more qualified instructors that are willing to instruct if they only have to do it for one group. Also, with such a reduced workload you could lessen the incentive to them maybe? I don't know if that would work or not but it might be worth a try.

 

I have not had much success in pitting in to find clean track. NASA SE has grown to the size that the tracks we run on are pretty full, and unless drivers are on a somewhat equal skill level then anything approaching clean track is almost impossible to come by.

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TurboShortBus
I absolutely despise the combined 1 & 2 grouping.

 

We all had to go through the HPDE 1 and 2 combo (in NASA-FL, anyway), so it's not like you're the only person who has to "suffer" through this.

 

I understand exactly why NASA-FL does this. Going from HPDE 1 to HPDE 2 means that they are taking the training wheels off of your first bike, but they aren't going to let you enter the Tour de France just yet. They give you a little longer leash by letting you run without an instructor, but they still keep an eye on you in HPDE 2. I have seen NASA require an HPDE 2 driver take an instructor with him due to his reportedly questionable driving (they called him out during a download session).

 

HPDE 3 seems to be a stepping stone to HPDE 4/TT or the race school (I believe that HPDE 3 is a prerequisite for signing up for NASA's race school). They want to make sure that you are comfortable in traffic before you get into HPDE 3, where the passing rules are a little more liberal, but open passing is still not allowed.

 

Some clubs with large HPDE 1 and 2 groups run HPDE 1/2a and HPDE 1/2b sessions in order to keep the "freight trains" down.

 

But, the bottom line is that you should complain less, get some wheel skills, a reliable car that won't blow up during a check ride (you were likely on your way to HPDE 3 that day, and remember that you do not need a high-horsepower ass kicker to get promoted), and get yourself into HPDE 3. Bite the bullet in HPDE 2 like we all did; it's as simple as that, and you shouldn't be in that group too long, anyway. That will fix all of your "freight train" problems. Besides, if you only brought a single-seat car to an HPDE 2 event, then you knew that there was no way you would have gotten any kind of a check ride into HPDE 3, so you shot yourself in the foot IMHO. Instead, you should have brought the daily driver Wagon Queen Family Truckster and gotten an HPDE 3 check ride from a half-dozen instructors at the same time, and the "freight train" would be a thing of the past.

 

Mark

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Lucid Moments
I absolutely despise the combined 1 & 2 grouping.

 

We all had to go through the HPDE 1 and 2 combo (in NASA-FL, anyway), so it's not like you're the only person who has to "suffer" through this.

 

I understand exactly why NASA-FL does this. Going from HPDE 1 to HPDE 2 means that they are taking the training wheels off of your first bike, but they aren't going to let you enter the Tour de France just yet. They give you a little longer leash by letting you run without an instructor, but they still keep an eye on you in HPDE 2. I have seen NASA require an HPDE 2 driver take an instructor with him due to his reportedly questionable driving (they called him out during a download session).

 

HPDE 3 seems to be a stepping stone to HPDE 4/TT or the race school (I believe that HPDE 3 is a prerequisite for signing up for NASA's race school). They want to make sure that you are comfortable in traffic before you get into HPDE 3, where the passing rules are a little more liberal, but open passing is still not allowed.

 

Some clubs with large HPDE 1 and 2 groups run HPDE 1/2a and HPDE 1/2b sessions in order to keep the "freight trains" down.

 

But, the bottom line is that you should complain less, get some wheel skills, a reliable car that won't blow up during a check ride (you were likely on your way to HPDE 3 that day, and remember that you do not need a high-horsepower ass kicker to get promoted), and get yourself into HPDE 3. Bite the bullet in HPDE 2 like we all did; it's as simple as that, and you shouldn't be in that group too long, anyway. That will fix all of your "freight train" problems. Besides, if you only brought a single-seat car to an HPDE 2 event, then you knew that there was no way you would have gotten any kind of a check ride into HPDE 3, so you shot yourself in the foot IMHO. Instead, you should have brought the daily driver Wagon Queen Family Truckster and gotten an HPDE 3 check ride from a half-dozen instructors at the same time, and the "freight train" would be a thing of the past.

 

Mark

 

Until this year nobody in NASA SE had to suffer though this. It was started with the first event of this season so not really that many people have had to suffer through it and I see no reason why I should have to. You speak as if others having had to suffer though the same situation is justification enough to continue this procedure. That is an attitude that I find unfortunate because it leads to stagnation. You also seem to think NASA is perfect and there is no room for constructive criticism or feedback from their customers. I hope you don't carry that attitude with you out on the track.

 

I came in the car I had available because I made the mistake of signing up for an event before my car was ready. I considered coming in my only other car, but decided not to for a several reasons. 1. I didn't think my bone stock 1996 Accord with 150k miles on it would be fun. I do this because I enjoy it. If I'm not going to enjoy it there is no point. 2. It is my only other car. If something happened to it on track I would have to replace it and I don't want to have to do that right now. The NASA SE management were kind enough to transfer my registration once for this event, and once for a separate event so I was reluctant to ask them do it again.

 

I know I'm not ready for seriously advanced driving yet. I've stayed in HPDE 2 as long as I have because I am well aware of my limitations. I don't think that asking that I not be held down to the limitations of someone who is on their very first track day is unreasonable however.

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dbright007

Aside from specific situations.....

 

It would be hugely beneficial to have a couple instructors dedicated to be able to ride with DE2 students. I don't mean for check rides, I mean for occasional instruction.

I was in DE2 B at CMP this weekend btw.

There don't seem to be free instructors, and anyone avail is giving check rides- good luck getting a ride along for some hints and tips. 1 session in the middle of my weekend would have given me a great baseline to work with. (If it is avail - how would one know?)

And please don't tell me if I want some instruction, I shouldn't be in DE2. A second opinion is always a great learning tool.

 

We all know that the current setup allows for a lot less instructors, and allows a greater quantity of DE1 students. Fine.

But without some rotating DE2 track instruction, DE2 exposure to the art and enjoyment of being an instructor, new folks are not going to want to progress there.

The current program has no investment for the future. You could run 100 DE1 students thru in a weekend, but in the end, you have to quality, learned folks out of DE2 or you don't even have a pool to recruit instructors.

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sperkins

As someone who is ready for group 3, what was keeping you out on track and not ducking into the pit to find some open track space?

 

There was no open track space. I pitted several times to get space, but caught the slower guys by T4. It really was rediculous, but there's nothing we can do about it. That's the way it is and we're going to have to deal with it.

 

The only 2 options are:

1. NASA gets a lot more instructors.

2. Sign up half as many drivers and double the entry fee.

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sweaver

At least you didn't have the Porsche Cayenne in the B run group. I agree with you sperkins about your point on more instructors, but what do you use to entice them? The free track use method is working somewhat but not enough to solve the problem. The other issue is check rides for HPDE3 and having someone available for them. IMO this could handled easier by having someone dedicated that weekend to do check rides. What I mean by dedicated is someone similiar to the classroom instructor whose job is just check rides. I know this may mean that this person will more than likely not on-track his/herself but it is the same situation as a grid or corner worker.

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ExRacer
HPDE 3 seems to be a stepping stone to HPDE 4/TT or the race school (I believe that HPDE 3 is a prerequisite for signing up for NASA's race school). They want to make sure that you are comfortable in traffic before you get into HPDE 3, where the passing rules are a little more liberal, but open passing is still not allowed.

 

We allow progressive open passing as the skill of the participants increase. At the end of the weekend our passing zones virtually match TT/DE4 if the group is capable. We also "mix" in seasoned licensed racers to present situations that cannot occur even within the advanced skill level of the best DE3 students. All of this is orchestrated to present a smooth pallette of faster lap times (NOT the most important thing), situational awareness, fast exits from apex, consistency near the limit, full use of the track surfaces, threshold braking, instant decision-making about lines and setups for passing, and off-line car control to facilitate these advanced techniques. In SoCal we also try to get in some setup and vehicle dynamics discussions. Although many of the concerns about crowded tracks are frustrating and NASA is interested in addressing these concerns . . . packs can be seen as both as a pain in the @#$ or an opportunity to demonstrate stronger skill. Nothing can overcome the 'Vette moving chicane trying to be passed by the Honda other than co-operation and a shared desire to learn. DE3 can be a direct path to a Racing License school, but this may vary according to the region and the individual driver's abilities.

 

Group leaders can have a big part in controlling the traffic with creative pregrid staging and grouping of like speed/talent drivers.

 

We (as instructors) feel bad for the guy who truly wants to improve but canot get in incar DE2 or even DE3 instruction. This is an important area to address. I get as many of my dedicated race guys/instructors as we can to come ontrack and then attend downloads to enrichen our events in SoCal. It seems to work. We also actively recruit and train prospective new instructors from the Race School, tested and experienced racers as well as articulate and seasoned TT drivers. Please understand that getting a person trained to be a competant and talented instructor takes time and effort. All DE participants benefit from this process. We have a VERY short list of checkout instructors to make sure that the next group gets people who are really ready for the jump. Perhaps a signup would help at the start of the day's sessions. We always ask in our very first preload session is anyone is thinking about racing or "moving up". This helps in scheduling as well as assessment rides.

 

Thank you to the individuals who are honestly opening questions about how to improve. It has been noted.

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nasaregistrar

NASA Mid-Atlantic runs a slightly different program in that we have Instructors in every car for both HPDE1 AND HPDE2. HPDE3 is the advanced group with passing anywhere with a point and HPDE4 is our Instructors group. In the events where we offer Time Trials, 1/2 the group practices in HPDE3 and the other half practices in HPDE4. The timed sessions are all TT drivers with open passing anywhere. Come see how we do things.....

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ninetyfourintegra

 

But, the bottom line is that you should complain less, get some wheel skills, a reliable car that won't blow up during a check ride (you were likely on your way to HPDE 3 that day, and remember that you do not need a high-horsepower ass kicker to get promoted), and get yourself into HPDE 3. [...] Besides, if you only brought a single-seat car to an HPDE 2 event, then you knew that there was no way you would have gotten any kind of a check ride into HPDE 3, so you shot yourself in the foot IMHO. Instead, you should have brought the daily driver Wagon Queen Family Truckster and gotten an HPDE 3 check ride from a half-dozen instructors at the same time, and the "freight train" would be a thing of the past.

 

Mark

 

I was in DE3 last year, went to an event with a goal of a check ride to TT. My engine kept overheating (headgasket), so Saturday night I towed half-way home, had my father get my daily driver and meet me on the side of the road and swapped. I was driving a stock car with 160K, crappy brakes, worn suspension and still got signed off... In fact I think it helped because it took me driving the car smooth to make it go, not to mention the additional traffic management it required.

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Robnie0723
NASA Mid-Atlantic runs a slightly different program in that we have Instructors in every car for both HPDE1 AND HPDE2. HPDE3 is the advanced group with passing anywhere with a point and HPDE4 is our Instructors group. In the events where we offer Time Trials, 1/2 the group practices in HPDE3 and the other half practices in HPDE4. The timed sessions are all TT drivers with open passing anywhere. Come see how we do things.....

 

As someone who will/has run with almost any HPDE group running at VIR, keeping 1 & 2 separate and having instructors/coaches in 2 is optimal in my (newbe) experience. I don't think anyone has mentioned mixing in some solo time in 1 or 2 as you do for HPDE drivers that the instructor feels are safe and ready works once you learn how to learn.

Edited by Guest

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