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Guess I'll start with the first question!


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First q for the gurus out there, when do I know I'm ready to "graduate" from HPDE 1 and move on to group 2? Do I just assume I can move on and register for group 2, or does someone(maybe my instructor?) allow me to move on?

Btw, nice forum guys!

Chris

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If you do decide to move up, just remember, the pace picks up for each level on track, so make sure the car is thoroughly prepared before you arrive. There is nothing worse than blowing a weekend due to lack of prep.

Your instructor will also make different reccomendations to you as well for each level you progress to.

As an instructor for HPDE's, I can tell you, that each driver wants to move up fast, so keep in mind, that other drivers out there in your group, might expect you to have the skills of an level 2 driver, so be sure you don't loose focus on the other people on course. There is nothing worse than a driver who thinks he should move up, but isn't ready...have fun out there.

chris stiffler

MWHC competitior

Oh/In instructor

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Good advice MWHC!

 

I'd also mention that if you are going to run a new track or one you are not as familiar with, you might want to start in HPDE 1 if you don't have much track experience. It usually takes a little bit to get used to a new track.

 

-Jim

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Since group 1 & 2 generally run together this move isn't quite as big of deal as 2 to 3. The biggest difference I've seen between 1 & 2 is that group 1 gets first pick on instructors for ride alongs. So make sure you are comfortable running solo before you move up.

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Megabit is right on the money with the Norcal/Socal program. Normally 1&2 are combined and 2 is just about the same speed but without an instructor. If you want instructor help, stay in group 1. Check with your regional director for specifics outside Cali.

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Here's a little more to consider:

 

I went to Lime Rock with another organization in late February. Like with NASA, this organization asks for your experience on your entry form (assuming you register by mail). This organization had 4 run groups, plus an instructor run group. I was put into the 3rd of 4 based on my experience. From a driving ability perspective, this was the correct choice. Unfortunately, I ran on my street tires and mostly everyone else was on r-compounds. To make things worse, my car could out run anything on the straights but was much slower in the turns. This meant that someone was always on my butt coming onto the straights and the fair thing to do it a point-by. Well, I spent most of the day driving in my mirrors (since you can only pass on the straights) watching people close up on me. I then had to back off half of the straight and never got clean laps. I suppose I could have been a jerk and let them close up in the turns and run away on the straights, but it was not quite even enough that I could do this and not hold them up. I hate when people jerk me off my not giving a point-by and I try hard not to do this to others.

 

I say all of this to point out that driving with your mirrors all day reduces the fun that you are having. So make sure that you don't hinder yourself by jumping too soon. Besides, you can feel like Superman out there killing people in supposedly superior cars.

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Thanks for all the feedback! I'm sure I'm not ready to move up, especially since I've only been out on the track once, but I was curious as to how that part of HPDE works.

This forum is perfect for us newbies to get our questions we forgot to ask at the last track session answered!

Thanks again!

Chris

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