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sperkins

Why mix HPDE 1 & HPDE 2?

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dbright007

A good point was made in our classroom session this weekend.

It was basically said that DE2 students are kinda hung out in purgatory.

You can go out there and teach yourself, improve, but there is zero feedback. When are you ready to move on?

 

Couldn't the system be tweeked so if you have DE 1a/1b 2a/2b be something like-

 

A Run Group

1a- Complete Newb - Instructed

2a- I am solo, but a newb to solo - learning to be solo

 

B Run Group

1b- Can solo, but want some pointers - Advanced instructed

2b- Advanced solo- basically ready for 3 with a check ride

 

You have really no difference in the amount of instructors.

The A group is slower, but the newly solo guys dont mind as much.

The B group is faster all around, and the 1b's aren't really newbs, but want some partial instruction and are would be fine running several solo sessions.

 

A little more paperwork in setting up the groups.

Any thoughts?

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sperkins

You guys are gonna hate me, but I was able to snooker Jake into a check ride for the last session of the day. Looking forward to HPDE3. smileydancing.gif

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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.....

 

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.

I forgot to mention that...we do have some(very few) HPDE2 solo drivers but Instructors can and do approve students to SOLO on Sunday.

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snakebit
A good point was made in our classroom session this weekend.

It was basically said that DE2 students are kinda hung out in purgatory.

You can go out there and teach yourself, improve, but there is zero feedback. When are you ready to move on?

 

Couldn't the system be tweeked so if you have DE 1a/1b 2a/2b be something like-

 

A Run Group

1a- Complete Newb - Instructed

2a- I am solo, but a newb to solo - learning to be solo

 

B Run Group

1b- Can solo, but want some pointers - Advanced instructed

2b- Advanced solo- basically ready for 3 with a check ride

 

You have really no difference in the amount of instructors.

The A group is slower, but the newly solo guys dont mind as much.

The B group is faster all around, and the 1b's aren't really newbs, but want some partial instruction and are would be fine running several solo sessions.

 

A little more paperwork in setting up the groups.

Any thoughts?

 

When I first read this I thought, "what a great idea". Maybe with some tweaking it could work. Then I thought , no....not a good idea. You would have about 75% of the cars in the "a" group with instructors, and only about 25% of the cars in "b" group with instructors. Then.....after a few moments of further pondering. Brilliant! it would work! You would have an instructor pool available for group 2b. These instructors could be used for improving those solo guys who are riding around repeating old habits (me), and for checkrides.

 

This would require a few more instructors than the current setup, but not as many as a dedicated group 1 would require.

 

I was at CMP this weekend as well, and the trains were bad. I was fortunate enough to get my DE3 checkride last session Sat. and ran group 3 on Sunday. But, Robert Patton pointed out a few things and it made a huge difference in the way I got thru turn 3, and the kink. OMG, I can't believe the speed I was carrying thru there!

 

I will continue to sign up for some events in group 2, the instruction is too valuable. I had planned to just put one seat in my current project CMC mustang. After listening to Robert's sermon, I will have a second seat.

 

John

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sperkins

The only way I could run at any decent speed was to pre-grid very early so I would be the first on the track. That worked great for the sessions we began under yellow, but there were several sessions where we came on the track to green flag conditions and then I would catch the rear of the field after 1 1/2 laps. That was pretty frustrating, but it's something we'll have to deal with. Luckily, I too was able to get signed off for HPDE3 so I'll post back my findings after Road Atlanta. Here's a quick couple of laps before I got black flagged for scrubbing tires under green. I'm in the camera car.

 

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dbright007

Lol, I did the opposite - I was in DE2, but I gridded up in the middle of DE1 after the first session. They had a bunch of really slow cars that gridded in back, and some quicker ones in front - and I just plopped in the middle.

 

It was my first DE2, and my little miata will barely crack 100. (I was taking the kink at 92 or so, and I watched spec miata vids that show them on clean laps taking it at 102 so I don't feel too bad)

 

I was generally in clean track after a lap or so, and I could easily pick up the Vette, Viper, 996, and maybe 2 other cars I knew would run me down once a session. But I usually had it pegged on what straight you guys would show up, and tried to throw the point Way early.

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sperkins

 

It was my first DE2, and my little miata will barely crack 100.

 

I remember you and you did a great job of timing the point by's. Thank you for that. I'm pretty sure I have some decent video of you on the track with me. I'll look tonight and post what I can on YouTube.

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dbright007

Thanks. Be cool to see the vids. The camera rig I was just ready to install decided to break just before I left.

 

I have had my Rx8 on track and really enjoyed Getting point by's. But I like my little beater. I have learned enough so far to pick off the real slow guys, and don't mind the real fast guys blowing by. I actually like to give a real early point so ya'll can build up some steam before you come by.

It is also a blast to watch some DE1'er in a quick car in the rearview who thinks he knows how to drive have a little spin trying to follow me thru some turns.

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cmchopeful

I can tell you from coming up through HPDE 1,2 & 3 that what you learn from dealing with the traffic was something that has really helped in TT. Don't under-estimate the value of traffic. You'll learn to take different lines and what you car and you need to do in those situations. I don't regret for a minute the time I spent in HPDE and moving up only when I felt comfortable. I also still run street tires in TT, I'm still learning. The car is also an automatic, you want to learn throttle control, that's how.

 

Here is a snippet from my 2nd session last weekend at Mid-Ohio

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5486275572028614079&hl=en

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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.

 

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.

 

Please read my previous post and notice that I put the word suffer in quotes. It's a relative term; I have been stuck in HPDE-1/2 freight trains, but honestly, as long as I'm on a track and not at work, I'm having a great time. Other posts here make a line of traffic sound like it's the end of the world as we know it.

 

Don't act like a slower car might not be running a better line than you are. If you're being held up by a slower car, then keep a safe distance and try to pay attention to what that car is doing; you might actually learn something. Since this is driver education, maybe you can learn something from a classmate. During my HPDE-3 check ride, a driver in a Radical followed me for nearly 2 laps (I was in my 2004 Mustang GT, which is painfully slow by comparison), even though I gave him a point-by on several occasions (not required at the time, but recommended, and I wanted to be sure I wasn't holding him up). He eventually blew past me and drove off into the sunset. In the download meeting, the Radical driver admitted to following me because he liked my line, then drove off to try it for himself.

 

Just because I understand why NASA does something doesn't mean that I think everything is perfect. Would you like a suggestion as proof? In the event of a freight train, I feel that the instructor or driver in the front car should be more aware of what is going on behind them, and voluntarily pull into pit lane for a drive-through to let the faster cars pass and sort it out among themselves. This will also help to reduce pressure on slower, less experienced drivers with a bunch of faster cars breathing down their necks. It shouldn't always be up to the faster cars to pull into the pits to catch an empty spot on the track. But, this is just my opinion.

 

In conclusion, I don't think that you need to worry about my attitude.

 

Mark

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Firebird Man

I realize this thread has a little dust on it but it's very revelant where I sit. I just spent my first HPDE-1 session on Road Atlanta, and I mean first time on any road course.

 

My take?

It's insane to put first time drivers on track with other fast cars and solo drivers for their first session, I was ok by the third session Saturday, and Sunday was a breeze and a heck of a lot of fun. But a lot of us first timers got to talking about how we felt we were thrown to the wolves those first two sessions, and we also felt bad holding up faster cars, but we're only so comfortable our first time out and we have no clue what we are doing, that's why we're in HPDE-1 for the first time.

Also the dispairity in car speeds was unreal.

 

My suggestion: Find a way to send first timers out alone for that very first session, a no passing, half speed, orientation lap where the instructor and you have time to focus on corners, braking zones, flag stands, and passing zones. Do this the entire first session, after that let us join the rest of 1 and 2 for the remainder of the event.

Also, it's our first weekend on track, we should be required to put yellow "rookie" tape on the rear bumper.

Believe me, there was no follow the leader at RA, it was go-go-go from the first session. Several cars on my butt that first session probably wouldn't have been so close if they'd know I didn't have a clue what I was doing.

 

And I did pull way left and point the trains by, RA's back stretch is long enough to do that. The other zones are 2-3 cars max can pass before hitting the turn, then I'm back in line doing what I need to do and learn, like was said earlier, I paid the same amount, I need to learn as well, if I have to take a turn at 50 that you can take at 60, so be it, I'll get to 60 eventually.

 

It's all give, take and patience, especially at the entry level.

Overall I had a blast though, but the first session issue needs to be addressed before something bad happens.

My 2 cents.

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Robnie0723
I realize this thread has a little dust on it but it's very revelant where I sit. I just spent my first HPDE-1 session on Road Atlanta, and I mean first time on any road course.

 

My take?

It's insane to put first time drivers on track with other fast cars and solo drivers for their first session, I was ok by the third session Saturday, and Sunday was a breeze and a heck of a lot of fun. But a lot of us first timers got to talking about how we felt we were thrown to the wolves those first two sessions, and we also felt bad holding up faster cars, but we're only so comfortable our first time out and we have no clue what we are doing, that's why we're in HPDE-1 for the first time.

Also the dispairity in car speeds was unreal.

 

My suggestion: Find a way to send first timers out alone for that very first session, a no passing, half speed, orientation lap where the instructor and you have time to focus on corners, braking zones, flag stands, and passing zones. Do this the entire first session, after that let us join the rest of 1 and 2 for the remainder of the event.

Also, it's our first weekend on track, we should be required to put yellow "rookie" tape on the rear bumper.

Believe me, there was no follow the leader at RA, it was go-go-go from the first session. Several cars on my butt that first session probably wouldn't have been so close if they'd know I didn't have a clue what I was doing.

 

And I did pull way left and point the trains by, RA's back stretch is long enough to do that. The other zones are 2-3 cars max can pass before hitting the turn, then I'm back in line doing what I need to do and learn, like was said earlier, I paid the same amount, I need to learn as well, if I have to take a turn at 50 that you can take at 60, so be it, I'll get to 60 eventually.

 

It's all give, take and patience, especially at the entry level.

Overall I had a blast though, but the first session issue needs to be addressed before something bad happens.

My 2 cents.

 

This is why I respect NASA MA for sticking to separate HPDE 1 groups. Safety should be #1, significant differences in speeds with beginner drivers are not as safe as keeping beginners separate.

 

There are probably other organizations in your area that keep novice drivers separate you may want to consider as an option.

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leggwork

uhhh, do you have any stats, or anything, that shows that combining HPDE 1 & 2 is "unsafe"? If the HPDE 2 drivers are being too aggressive, just speak up and the organizers will speak with them...

With that said, I have seen some good suggestions here.

bruce

 

 

 

This is why I respect NASA MA for sticking to separate HPDE 1 groups. Safety should be #1, significant differences in speeds with beginner drivers are not as safe as keeping beginners separate.

 

There are probably other organizations in your area that keep novice drivers separate you may want to consider as an option.

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dbright007

I don't believe he said anything about DE2 drivers being too aggressive.

He commented on the unsafety of different speeds, which I think speaks to the unpredictablility of new drivers. I don't care if a new DE1 is in a vette and faster than my miata. I just want him to be predictable!

 

I drive around faster and slower cars all the time in DE2, but I know where they are gonna brake, turn, etc. And if a 500 hp car sees me, he knows I see him, and he won't have to even tap to wait on a point by.

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sperkins
I don't believe he said anything about DE2 drivers being too aggressive.

He commented on the unsafety of different speeds, which I think speaks to the unpredictablility of new drivers. I don't care if a new DE1 is in a vette and faster than my miata. I just want him to be predictable!

 

I drive around faster and slower cars all the time in DE2, but I know where they are gonna brake, turn, etc. And if a 500 hp car sees me, he knows I see him, and he won't have to even tap to wait on a point by.

 

You're right. It has nothing to do with drivers being too aggressive. It is all about closing speeds and track experience. Some guys prefer to stay in HPDE2 forever because they don't want to pass in the corners with other guys. I know guys that have been in HPDE2 for years and based on their ability they should easily be in HPDE3, but they don't want to move up because they're scared of the "other guy". Here is a great example of a guy that should be in at least HPDE3 based on his speed and ability, but he has been unable to get a check ride to move up. It is a pretty eye opening video.

Can anyone say that with sub 1:30.xx times and his car control that he shouldn't be in HPDE3? That would have scrared me if it were my first time on a race track.

 

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Firebird Man

I saw on that video where he past me and several other first timers, he was way to fast and advanced to be out there with us.

 

I wonder how you would move someone up that doesn't want to, maybe base it on lap speed as well as experience?

Give them a choice, move up or slow down.

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leggwork

I can see how he would be intimidating. I didn't like the way that he passed trains of cars without individual point-bys (hard to see on the video). I can't believe that "he hasn't been able to get a check ride to move up" - there must be some other reason. These are things that need to be raised at the event - you will not be belittled for talking to your group leader about your concerns.

thanks

bruce

 

 

I don't believe he said anything about DE2 drivers being too aggressive.

He commented on the unsafety of different speeds, which I think speaks to the unpredictablility of new drivers. I don't care if a new DE1 is in a vette and faster than my miata. I just want him to be predictable!

 

I drive around faster and slower cars all the time in DE2, but I know where they are gonna brake, turn, etc. And if a 500 hp car sees me, he knows I see him, and he won't have to even tap to wait on a point by.

 

You're right. It has nothing to do with drivers being too aggressive. It is all about closing speeds and track experience. Some guys prefer to stay in HPDE2 forever because they don't want to pass in the corners with other guys. I know guys that have been in HPDE2 for years and based on their ability they should easily be in HPDE3, but they don't want to move up because they're scared of the "other guy". Here is a great example of a guy that should be in at least HPDE3 based on his speed and ability, but he has been unable to get a check ride to move up. It is a pretty eye opening video.

Can anyone say that with sub 1:30.xx times and his car control that he shouldn't be in HPDE3? That would have scrared me if it were my first time on a race track.

 

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sperkins
I saw on that video where he past me and several other first timers, he was way to fast and advanced to be out there with us.

 

I wonder how you would move someone up that doesn't want to, maybe base it on lap speed as well as experience?

Give them a choice, move up or slow down.

 

It's not that he doesn't want to be moved up - they won't let him yet because he hasn't been able to get a check ride. I also know the guy in the red Viper. He's a great driver and fast also, but he too has been unable to get signed off to HPDE3 because he can't get a check ride. NASA SE is really hurting for instructors.

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Robnie0723
I don't believe he said anything about DE2 drivers being too aggressive.

He commented on the unsafety of different speeds, which I think speaks to the unpredictablility of new drivers. I don't care if a new DE1 is in a vette and faster than my miata. I just want him to be predictable!

 

Thanks for clarifying my point. Having just completed my first year, my experience was similar to firebirdman. Most beginners need a chance to get settled in trying to learn the car, track and much less remember where, when and which sided to give a point to a car closing at a high rate of speed.

 

I've wondered if it could be possible to at least send first timers out for touring laps behind a pace car at street speeds while the drivers meeting is taking place. The lunch touring laps were a big help for me at first. I would not recommend an average first timer start in a mixed HPDE 1/2 group. Find an organization that still keeps beginners separate the few times out.

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nasaregistrar

I am not going to slag on Jim and his program because they try very hard to run a fun, safe event.

The move to HPDE3 in the MA region is determined by several factors. First, the driver needs to be comfortable enough with the move to passing in the corner sand have all 1-2's in the HPDE passport for the HPDE2 skills, second the driving resume is evaluated to see how many days/events the driver has, and third, the driver evaluations by the Instructors are reviewed. We will, and do move drivers that register in HPDE3 back to HPDE2 should the criteria not be met.

 

The problem being discussed seems to be related to the HPDE2 drivers not having instructors for every event and the resulting lack of data to determine the progress of the driver.

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Vroomgrrl
He's a great driver and fast also, but he too has been unable to get signed off to HPDE3 because he can't get a check ride. NASA SE is really hurting for instructors.

 

As a newcomer to the scene, I hesitate to jump into this. But jump in I will With all due respect, any driver who cannot manage to get his check ride? Doesn't want to have his check ride. Or hasn't really done their part to set it up.

 

If he wants his check ride, he knows whom to tell and how to go about it. I saw plenty of check-ride-arranging going on at both events I worked pit & grid. When somebody wanted a check ride and hadn't set it up in advance, the DE folks stepped up and scrambled to find instructors. At times they asked us to have certain instructors paged over the PA to come to track, and most of the time, they were available and showed up ASAP. I only recall sending one person away without getting their check ride, and that was because a) they hadn't planned in advance, and b) they weren't anywhere in sight , when cars were gridding to go out on sessions where they could have done their check ride, instead showing up after the cars had been released & the instructors who had come to help out were long gone.

 

I suspect that this person doesn't really want their check ride, or they'd have made it happen. Even if the event is short on instructors, with a little pre-planning and communication in advance, I feel sure anyone who wants their check ride can get it set up to happen at some point during an event weekend, or if not that one, certainly the next. I'm just sayin......

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CaspersZ06

Sorry about all the problems I seem to have caused with my car. I did ask to move up but there were no instructors I guess. I asked before the second seesion for 2A. Reese Cox of MTI Racing showed me how to drive my car July 4th at Little Talladega and I was just practicing what he showed me as far as what the car can do. We spent ALL day at the track with JUST 12 cars and LOTS of one-on-one instruction and attention! Since then...it's been like night and day compared to how I drove that car on the track before. Before his instruction I had no idea what the car could do. Believe it or not...it is the same setup he had before the new supercharger he debued that weekend minus the wing, spatula splitter and rear diffuser. The car is a daily driver with detuned 580 RWHP for thr track days. It has lots more HP on standby.

 

I hope everyone understand that I was like a kid in a candy store learning on a small track and taking that to a larger one where the turns and transitions are not as hard or as short. I sincerely appoligize for anybody who was frightened. The car is setup to stick and move. I will try to be the first one out from now on and hopefully not lap anyone and show up in their rear veiw mirror. If I see a sign or something on rear of car to let me know a new driver with instructor is on board I will slow it down to try NOT to scare you. I've been flying since 1978 so I think I have a little safety awareness...just give me a sign and know I am out first and may show up in your rear view.

 

Again ...Sorry about that. I was a first timer too at one time. And yes maybe I should have insisted on check ride but BOTH Mr and Mrs Pantas do a great job even without enough instructors and we should not blame them. Just blame me for now and I will look for markings on HDPE 1 cars.

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sperkins

Casper - I definately don't think you did anything wrong. You have to remember that you paid your entry fee just like everyone else did. This is a very complicated problem that there is no easy solution to. No one can blame the Pantas family, nor should they. It is not their fault that the instructors are so stretched in the SE. I cannot imagine what efforts they and others go through to hosts such events so that we all may enjoy our cars on the finest tracks in the southeast. These growing pains are tough, but it sure beats the alternative. I look forward to running with and learning from you in the events to come.

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CaspersZ06

Thanks but I thought I was enjoying myself only to find out I was just making others cringe. I can bet you that if others get the same instruction I got. they would be progressing quicker too. Did not knoe Reese could teach so much in that time for me to be in so much trouble.

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CaspersZ06
I saw on that video where he past me and several other first timers, he was way to fast and advanced to be out there with us.

 

I wonder how you would move someone up that doesn't want to, maybe base it on lap speed as well as experience?

Give them a choice, move up or slow down.

 

I asked to move up. And I am new at this too. That was my 3rd HPDE at RA. I got a whole days worth of personal driving instruction from Reese Cox of MTI Racing on July 4 when we Rented Talladega Grand Prix Raceway for the day. Once he showed me how to drive that car with all that power on a little track; it was much easier to do it on a larger track. I was pushing myself but trying to slowly test the limits of myself and the car's ability to go faster. It is the same setup as his #98 without the wing and spatula splitter but before the supercharger setup which was new that weekend. There a more differences between the cars but my drving that weekend was due to recent driving instruction..NOT years of experience. I've been at it for less that a year with Chin and NASA track days. We are having another MTI RAcing Track Day at Talladega in Oct. If anyone is interested or curious about what Reese is showing us...770-919-7774.

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