Jump to content
Cheap_Thrills

HPDE traffic

Recommended Posts

Cheap_Thrills

I hate to seem like a gripe, but I have to bring up the traffic (train) issue again. Maybe it's just in my area, or maybe just my bad luck. I hope NASA can take this as a positive and can use this info as a teaching tool. I don't know, maybe since the sessions always sell out, they don't feel like it's a problem.

 

After another day of frustration, I posted a video of one of my son's sessions to show exactly the issue:

 

HPDE at NASA is excellent when everyone involved does it right, not so much when one piece of the puzzle is missing. Unfortunately, in reality stuff happens and traffic ensues. Here's what I feel was wrong in this case....

 

- Student: Should point people by. But new drivers are often overwhelmed and just aren't aware...because they're new.Thats ok. That's why there's an instructor sitting to their right. Solo drivers, you don't have that excuse anymore, check your ego and let my 140hp car pass your 350hp car, then if you keep up through the bends I'll let you back by. And I too hate it when people see me behind them through corners, get half way into the passing zone before giving a point by (killing any momentum I'd built up), and then drag race everyone down the rest of the straight. I usually have to back off and give a point by to the folks behind me instead, the ones that have the power to get around the other car.

- Instructor: Advises the student when to let people by. They're mostly good about it, but might be concentrating on the student's line, speed, braking, shifting, safety, etc and forget. I'm not sure what's going on when I spend most of a session in a train where there's an instructor in the car. My last event, we even had an instructor banging on his roof everytime we got to a passing zone with several cars behind them. I took that as, "Follow me, you guys don't need to pass." Instructors dont go to downloads, so we never found out what the deal was.

- Flagger: Shows the blue/yellow flag for traffic. Some tracks are great, others hardly use it at all. But I noticed that when it's used, drivers respond.

- Classroom: Discuss problems openly with positive attitude. Seems like it's in one ear and out the other with some people, like they're only in download because it's mandatory and don't care about everyone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
boxtwo

That was painful to watch (but a great-looking course to drive by the looks of it!)

 

What were your speeds?

 

Student: Albeit overwhelming, situational awareness is as important as keeping the rubber side down on track. If those driver's were THAT unaware of what was going on behind them, I would be concerned about being anywhere near them on track. In NASA-MA, we have the option to closed-fist, pit, ask for space, and re-enter the track. I do that almost every trip to the track since I don't learn well when other people are driving me.

 

Instructor: I agree that the instructor should be the second set of senses for the student. There are things that I never noticed (or didn't even know to look for) that my instructors have picked out for me. This includes traffic behind you in situations such as yours.

 

Flagger: I have seen a couple of the traffic flags, but in a case such as that, would it be unreasonable to show a black flag if 2+ passing zones go by w/o a point-by?

 

Classroom: The start of each session usually begins with a "thoughts from the last session" discussion. Do you guys not do the same out there? If so, is it relayed to the instructors in the instructors meetings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
krystar

man u have so much patience...i woulda pitted by the end of that

 

somebody shoulda honked. corner flaggers were giving him pass flag for sure. black flag shoulda been thrown out after first lap already..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kieranlavin

I didn't have the patience to watch the whole thing. I watched the first two minutes or so.

 

- I didn't notice your son checking his mirrors. Why not? Regardless of the fact that he's "stuck" behind someone, he should still know what's going on behind him

 

- Did your son and/or his instructor seek out the driver and/or his instructor of the car in front?

 

- Did your son bring this up and single out the offender in his classroom session?

 

- Did your son seek out the chief instructor and make the situation be known?

 

It's a two-way street and all of the blame can't be laid on the lead car. What you also don't mention is whether this was the first session of the day and the situation improved in subsequent sessions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cheap_Thrills

Ya, it's hard to watch the whole 12 minutes. But I just wanted to show from green to checkered with no editing (except at 4:57 where I had to bleep out his F-bomb). I don't remember which session this was, but this was a problem the whole day. And other days we've done. If NASA doesn't think it's a problem, that's fine. Like I said, they always sell out their schedule so they must be doing something right. I just posted the video so they can see what we see.

 

I hope I'm not seen as being a tattle-tale or trying to get anyone into trouble here. And I wasn't trying to just pick on the guy in the silver Evo for no point-by's, after him the next 3 or 4 cars did the same thing (although they didn't make it a drag race). I completely sympathize with the new folks, totally understand why they'd be flustered. I remember. But, all appear to have had instructors though, but still not one point by was given. I just don't get that part.

Not one driver gave a point-by, not one instructor advised them to give a point-by or pull into pit lane, and it was addressed in download sessions but I guess it was ignored because it continued the rest of the day.

To the credit of the corner workers, I saw some Blue/Yellow flags waved at passing zones. Maybe after a few sessions of seeing people ignore them, they started giving up.

 

Also, I saw saw my son using his mirrors pretty often and being very polite and pointing by faster cars that could get around the guy that was mashing the gas at every passing zone. Realize he's in a 140ish horsepower Porsche 944. Did he do everything right? No. That's why he's in this rungroup. I think he should move up to HPDE3 when he's ready, not because HPDE1/2 is a traffic jam. He shouldn't have started passing freely like everyone else, he could have been checking his mirrors more, and he could have pitted for space. I too will sometimes pull into the hot pit to get some space, usually helps but often you end up in another train if nobody's giving point-by's. And really, that's not the issue. I shouldn't have to exit because other people aren't following the rules. Why not black flag them after they've been ignore the passing flag and have the steward educate them what they did wrong?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
soundguydave

Just a couple things from the perspective in the right-hand seat...

 

Personally, I absolutely LOVE working with "first timer" students, but it sometimes takes a little while for them to become acclimated to the environment, which is SERIOUSLY different from anything they've ever seen before... More than once, I've been giving instruction to a student, and receiving "uh-huh!" responses, when what they really "heard" was the teacher from the Peanuts cartoons: "wahh-wahh-wannnnhhhh-wannnhhh-wahh BRAKE!!! BRAKE!!! BRAKE!!!" It's not an excuse, it's not a rationalization, it's simple reality. It's been my experience that those same students generally run around so incredibly afraid of flipping their car over, or spontaneously combusting, or whatever, that they effectively have blinders on, where all they can see is a narrow tunnel directly in front of the hood, that extends maybe 40' in front of the car.

 

I'll admit that I didn't watch the whole video, just kind of scanned it, but I personally feel that there should have been about sixteen black flags thrown in the segments that I DID watch. Passing without a point is not only irresponsible, it's dangerous, unless everybody is working under the same rule set. Even then, in TT, the race groups, and also PRO LEVEL races, you frequently see point-by's given! Yes, the Evo should have been brought in, not necessarily for a "talking to," but perhaps to open a dialog about the experiences in a lower-stress situation. Believe me, I could practically see the elevated heart and respiration rates from here. There was stress DRIPPING out of that car. That said, "taking" a pass when it's not offered is a sure sign that the driver(s) needs to stay in that group until they gain the maturity and perspective needed to advance safely. HPDE3 is a BIG step up in speed, and you can easily go from being the fastest guy in 1/2 to getting run over...

 

I honestly can't comment on the behind-the-scenes situations that may have been pertaining at the time, but it looked like the crowd on track was about 50% newbie and 50% cowboy. Oddly enough, the frustrated passers may have actually perpetuated their own problem. Take a rookie driver, completely stressed out, and then suddenly the rules that he thought were in effect are being blithely ignored. The solution? Slow down even more, get more stressed, but try to keep up as best as possible in the ONE place that makes any sense to them: the straights. THAT they know how to handle. This turning business is just scary, though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
whoahstu

In NASA GL HPDE1/2 we have trains as well, but that looked like a bad one for sure. I'm in a Miata, so I know all about the high hp cars not respecting you, but this guy didn't see or care if anyone was behind him, regardless of horsepower.

 

I like the black flag idea. Instead of ruining the other student’s session, why not bring the train leader in to the pits to calm him/her down a bit. They may have been flustered, and giving THEM more open track may be beneficial.

 

I had a group 1/2 class instructor explain it in the best way to have the big motor guys understand, "If you look in your mirror and see a car that wasn't there before, that means he is faster than you; he didn't get there by magic".

 

In class they recommend pulling into the pits. This has worked on and off for me. I've also caught up to, and would have caught this car in less than a lap. What do you do then, pit again?

 

As for being the number 2 car in the train, I personally don't let cars behind me pass so that I don’t have to wait even longer to get around the offending noob. Many times the lead car will let 1 or maybe 2 cars pass on a long straight. If I'm letting people pass too, I've netted zero gain in position. I have to wait, so do you. The cars you let by may be slower than you anyway, so if you ever get around the novice, you may have to deal with them again.

 

Like most have said here, the most effective thing I've done is to ask questions in class, "who was driving the #12 blue Roush 427R Mustang?” You'll immediately hear a collective groan. If the driver is really slow, everyone in the room knows it. "I was behind you in the silver Miata for X number of straight-aways, why didn't you give me a point-by". I've only had to call out the same person twice, one time. As long as you do it in a respect tone, there shouldn’t be a problem. I’d also wait until the second or third session of the weekend before calling anyone out. We were all new at this once in our life. Also, I think people care more about the other students in their run group if they can put a face to the car. Get to the grid early so you have fewer cars ahead of you at the start. Park your car, get out with your helmet off, and make some friends. On the track, when you come up behind that slower car, you’re not just a car in their mirror, but a person they may be talking to on the grid before the next session.

 

I NEVER pass without a point-by. Instructors do talk; I'm not going to let it be about me. It looks like your son, after getting around the Evo, decided that he didn’t need a point-by from the Golf, CR-V, or Z3. That’s VERY irresponsible. I’m surprised you posted the video.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UBR

WOW! Just watched the whole video. There really isn't much I can add other than the whole run group should have been parked for the next session and the HPDE Director should be fired for not policing that mess.

 

I have raced and crewed a lot of things since I was in high school (30+ years ago). I currently crew on an AI Mustang in NASA- Midwest. I will occasionally jump in our AI car and run in HPDE 1/2. Partly to have some fun and partly for testing setups. I am generally one of the fastest cars in the session- partly the car, partly experience. (I run in 1/2 and not a higher group because I don't want to take a spot from those wanting to advance up to a comp license. Our 1/2 group is not generally sold out) BUT, I have NEVER passed without a point by. I HAVE many times pulled in to get a gap.

 

There were many times in the video you could see other parts of the track that had a lot of open space. Despite the student showing decent car control and proper line, he clearly should stay in HPDE 1/2 until he learns patience, maturity and respect for the other drivers.

 

Glad you posted the video. Hopefully national and your regions directors can address the total lack of control in your HPDE program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
xcrider2005

The whole video looks completely awful. Instead of sitting behind the Evo, your son should have either pitted in and waited for some free track or taken the opportunity to work on driving offline (although that may not be such a good idea in a train).

 

I don't know how things work in your region, but in the Mid Atlantic region not giving point-bys would not fly. Most people in the run group were not giving point-bys and I would be more than extremely hesitant to run with that region until there are some serious changes. Although I can understand your son was extremely frustrated (I've been in the same situation), he should NOT have passed people without getting a point-by, regardless if anyone else was doing it. Obviously the driver of the Evo was not comfortable on the track and passing him (and all the other cars) without a point-by was extremely dangerous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ExRacer

Gary you're a saint! Wonderful control of your emotions and when you finally got by, some fairly quick driving. So thank you for posting and some of what has been posted as replies is germaine and some not so.

 

Every region does things a little differently. I assume you are HPDE2 level (no instructor). You were out with some of the most cautious drivers and cars I've ever seen ontrack in 8 years of this stuff. The Honda CRV probably wouln't be let ontrack in SoCal. It's just too high profile a vehicle to get up to speed. The guys in the BMW Z3 were pretty struggling but at a faster pace. When you finally decide to go (screw it - I'm passing) due to the frustration, you also demonstrated very good judgement not taking that pass in braking zone. I was particularly interested in how you drove once you had that level of frustration and you are still demonstrating good judgement. Nice work! And I watched every minute of the video to see how the whole session went and how others handled the situation.

 

Your cautious nature waiting patiently for the never coming point-by was admirable but is the crux of the problem with this individual situation. When you finally said "I'm going!" that was an OK action in my mind and would be fine in our HPDE groups in SoCal. It would be a good discussion topic in the download.

 

Suggestions: 1. Find out who the Group Leader is for your group that day and arrange a phone call. Tell him about your experience. Arrange to have him view the video, and then ask for his advice. The question might be "What would you recommend I do?" then talk to the HPDE Director for your region. Emphasize what your experience was and how frustrating it was (in a positive sense to create a more safe and flexible experience for all participants (you were not the only one held up by this team). 3. Realize this was one session and I'm sure with that great platform to learn on (I race the 944Spec group - blatant plug) you will be moving up soon and we'll see you in the HPDE3 group soon! 4. If that craziness ever happens again, pull into the hot pits and for God sakes get some room earlier to get some clearer track or at least some faster cars around you.

 

When we have our downloads, we always leave time to discuss overall driving on the track. The collective groan of realizing that some "point and shoot" high horsepower car is mucking it up for the rest of the session is reason enough to have the discussions. Also we invite and sometimes mandate that instructors attend the sessions to provide another viewpoint on what was going on ontrack and incar.

 

Bottom line it's never perfect and can always be improved. As a NASA official I thank you for your posting and patience in bringing this to our attention.

 

You rock!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rbrumm

That video was a little hard to watch and I have also been there . but point by rules are for the safety of all I know that the HPDE group instructors are normally in the towers and see most everything that goes on as well as receiving infraction sheets . They don't miss much.. Hopefully at driver down load all driver issues are discussed... Remember , Driver down load is also your time to bring up any issues . concerns etc. For all who have run Thunder hill you know its a large wide open track and is a little foregiving . when to go to Infineon Raceway things tighten up a whole bunch there is not much room for error, so everyone needs to be good and play nice I have gone through the HPDE program over the last few years and have enjoyed every minute of it. even in traffic with my 190 hp car as wise YODA said "Patience one must have"

 

Enjoy..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
whoahstu

So if we forgive the OP’s son for his “safe” pass on the offending Evo, what was the logic behind the other 3 passes without a point-by? How is that “showing good judgment”, "once you had that level of frustration". He passed three more cars without a point-by while having a “wonderful control of your [his] emotions”. I get held up all the time, but don’t just pass whenever I want because I’m frustrated.

 

Whether the slower driver is not giving a point-by because he is an ass or doesn’t see the driver behind them, either way he is not expecting the driver to just go around when even he wants to. That is why the HPDE1/2 point-by rules are pretty black and white. It’s not like anyone gave a point-by to the wrong side of the track, but both parties know where each other are. He (and everyone else) just turned DE1/2 rules into DE1/2/3/4.

 

I was particularly interested in how you drove once you had that level of frustration and you are still demonstrating good judgement. Nice work! And I watched every minute of the video to see how the whole session went and how others handled the situation.

 

“Well everyone else was.” When has that ever been a good excuse?

 

I’m sure glad that the Great Lakers region HPDE rules are defined and established, and not based on any driver’s current level of frustration.

 

I’m going to install a “Frustrate-O-Meter” on my roof so that the car ahead of me will be able to better guess when I will be executing my no point-by pass; I hope he's looking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kieranlavin
When you finally decide to go (screw it - I'm passing) due to the frustration, you also demonstrated very good judgement not taking that pass in braking zone.

 

So wait, you're APPLAUDING him for passing without a point in HPDE2?!? I'd be afraid to be on the track at the same time as you guys. Rules are rules and I frequently reprimand my students for passing or trying to pass without a point. It's never been out of frustration but is always in the excitement of the moment when the car or two in front get a point by and they just assume it's coming for them too. If there's no point, you simply don't go. And it should be like that for every region, not just one or two of us

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
equitonic

I just watched a bit of the video, mostly because I have experienced the same thing. I went to the norcal Infineon event in April running in HDPE1/2 (my first nasa event, but not my first track event). The traffic lines were ridiculous (in addition to the fact that there were students on the track who had no business driving without an instructor). I was also at the Thunderhill event that was shot in the video (but in HDPE 3) Regardless of the qualms with the the passing in the video, the tracks are overstocked in HDPE1/2 and it creates dangerous scenarios with such novice drivers. If I had not been tested into HDPE 3, I would not have come to back to nasa for HDPE. With only 4 runs in one day, its frustrating when you spend more then half of you track time in a train. Pulling into the hotpits and waiting for a gap wasn't sufficient because not even half way around the track you run into the train again. Some of the group leaders were the same for my event April as they were for the Thunderhill event in the video. We brought it to their attention numerous times, and I would bet that the students at Thunderhill did the same. I realize that some amount of chaos/disorganization is inherent with beginner groups but i agree that it is a problem in the HDPE1/2 and should be addressed.

 

Other than reducing the number of cars maybe another solution would be more diligence in making sure student allowed in HDPE 2 were better suited to drive alone (ie drivers that can ID flags while driving and that have the wherewithal to know what going around them and act appropriately...) and thus they wouldn't contribute so much to the traffic. Just my thoughts...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rbrumm

I do feel that the number of cars allowed on the track for HPDE is a little excessive some time 70 cars plus... and even allowing a honda suv with a spare tire on the back on the track. its kinda strange to require the drivers in HPDE to empty their vehicle trunks but a suv with a spare tire mounted to the back of the vehicle is ok. when you look at the race groups they have lot more driving experience but have far less cars on the track. Last month, At thunderhill I think the PRC group may have had 20 cars . (sorry not picking on the PRC Group) This month, I understand that group may have as little as 10 cars. If those numbers are anywhere correct, hopefully NASA will just mix them into other run groups and not allow them to run with that few cars . that should also apply to any small run groups. Doing this should free up some time to allow the HPDE groups to run without mixing them. This may also free up some time to really evaluate ones driving ability before moving to the next group

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dbright007

I have been in parade laps that were faster and more attended to by track officials.

Heck, I don't even blame the driver of the slow car.

The instructor, the flaggers, whoever else was in control of that track .... or should I say not in control...should all be removed.

My goodness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sscguy

Wow. Is NASA SoCal/National seeing this? There were so many things wrong there.

 

-Is 70 cars an accurate count? That is WAY unacceptable for a DE group, and pretty damn crowded even for a race group.

-WTF is a CRV doing out there?

-Why are NONE of the instructors doing anything about their students not giving points?

-Why was there no black flag thrown for anyone?!?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ExRacer

Lots of hand-wringing going on here.

 

Yes we see it (SoCal/National) although it was a NorCal event. No it doesn't happen in SoCal, no black flag, instructor's lack of focus, proper chain of concern to register complaints, poor point bys, no hot pit pull-out, cowboy attitudes, CRV comment already mentioned.

 

Lots of things to improve on here guys. Hopefully the actual people at the event will take a positive approach and contact the officials involved . . .

 

I'll speak to the National Director this weekend about the posts and the event. Positive results come from rational discussions. Thanks for your input . . .

 

Onward to a super track weekend at Big Willow. Take that aggression to the track boys . . . safely!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honda-Junky

Integrity= Doing what is right when nobody is watching.

 

Stupidity= Posting a video and making yourself look like just as much as a jerk as the guy you are complaining about.

 

I'm not saying that the guy in the Silver EVO was right for not letting this guy (or others) pass, but nobody should be giving this guys Son ANY sympathy.

 

We have all been in almost the same situation where somebody wouldn't let you pass, most to a shorter duration though.

 

He (and others) clearly passed other vehicles without a point by, thus Breaking the rules.

 

I am sure NASA has already or is going to be talking to the drivers in question.

 

6.4 Rule Violations

Any rule violations, including spins and off track excursions, may result in harsh

penalties. The first violation will result in a warning. The second violation will result in

exclusion from the rest of that session. The third violation will result in exclusion from

the rest of the day. [Ref:(2.10.6.A)]

 

As frustrating as it was, the point by was never given, so he should not have passed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cheap_Thrills
Integrity= Doing what is right when nobody is watching.

 

Stupidity= Posting a video and making yourself look like just as much as a jerk as the guy you are complaining about.

 

I'm not saying that the guy in the Silver EVO was right for not letting this guy (or others) pass, but nobody should be giving this guys Son ANY sympathy.

 

We have all been in almost the same situation where somebody wouldn't let you pass, most to a shorter duration though.

 

He (and others) clearly passed other vehicles without a point by, thus Breaking the rules.

 

I am sure NASA has already or is going to be talking to the drivers in question.

 

6.4 Rule Violations

Any rule violations, including spins and off track excursions, may result in harsh

penalties. The first violation will result in a warning. The second violation will result in

exclusion from the rest of that session. The third violation will result in exclusion from

the rest of the day. [Ref:(2.10.6.A)]

 

As frustrating as it was, the point by was never given, so he should not have passed.

 

whoa there on the Stupidity, hoss...posting a video of traffic problems at HPDE events so that NASA has a chance to address it, so that everyone has a safer and more fun trackday, even though it incriminates my own son, I would say doesn't deserve being classified as stupid.

 

I did it because I felt it WAS the right thing, even though I could have just done the easy thing and ignored it. I could have just went elsewhere for my trackdays and hope nobody gets hurt. But I dig NASA and thought maybe they just didn't understand where myself and others were coming from when we brought up traffic concerns, so I posted video for example of what we're seeing.

 

And how was he being a jerk? Lifting and pointing several other cars by for alot of the session, when he could easily have been selfish and made them wait behind him? As I said before, it wasn't right to start passing without point-bys like the others, that's part of the reason he still in HPDE2, but at least he did it only in passing zones and when safe, without bullying the cars in front of him. He could have went into hot-pit for space, but that only puts you at the back of the line when you catch back up to the train.

 

And I'll say it again, I'm not criticizing the drivers of the Evo or the other slower cars. They're new, it's OK. Something else was broken in the system though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lucid Moments

I've been watching this and trying to decide if I was going to post or not. I probably shouldn't but will anyway.

 

There is some excuse for the drivers. They are new, or they are newish and frustrated. Whatever. There is NO excuse for the instructors that are in the car. If their driver didn't have it together enough to follow their instructions to point people by then they should make the driver pit. If the instructor didn't have it together enough to tell the driver to point by then they shouldn't be instructing.

 

That being said though I point the biggest finger at NASA. HPDE 1 & 2 groups running together is a BAD IDEA. You can talk all you want to about learning experiences, but being stuck in traffic like that stinks. And putting the two groups together like that IS going to cause traffic problems. They tried it in the Southeast region for a while, and if they had kept to it, and I had still been in DE1 or DE2 then I would have quit coming. Which would be a shame because I have made a lot of friends down here with the NASA-SE group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sscguy

On SoCal vs. NorCal: That's my bad, I don't know the tracks well enough, and thought someone else posted that it was SoCal.

 

I also didn't realize this was a combined DE1 and DE2 group. I drove in that once way back with NASA-OH, and it was terrible. With two combined groups, why not split it up into two separate groups? It requires more instructors (when DE2 is run with instructor-on-request-only, another terrible idea), but there should be no shortage of those. We regularly have 40-50 available instructors in the MA region.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
soundguydave
There is some excuse for the drivers. They are new, or they are newish and frustrated. Whatever. There is NO excuse for the instructors that are in the car. If their driver didn't have it together enough to follow their instructions to point people by then they should make the driver pit. If the instructor didn't have it together enough to tell the driver to point by then they shouldn't be instructing.

 

In general, I agree.

 

That being said though I point the biggest finger at NASA. HPDE 1 & 2 groups running together is a BAD IDEA. You can talk all you want to about learning experiences, but being stuck in traffic like that stinks. And putting the two groups together like that IS going to cause traffic problems. They tried it in the Southeast region for a while, and if they had kept to it, and I had still been in DE1 or DE2 then I would have quit coming. Which would be a shame because I have made a lot of friends down here with the NASA-SE group.

 

This, though, I have to disagree with. The entire reason for existence of the HPDE-2 group is to provide a "safe" place to work on mastering the skills the driver has accumulated in HPDE-1 with an instructor in the car. At some point, the HPDE-1 driver needs to be pitched out of the nest, and sent out on their own to practice what they've been taught, and one of the safety valves is the fact that there are a bunch of instructors on track (in the -1 cars) to keep a general eye out on things. We DO talk to the group leaders if we see shenanigans out on track, trust me! Since the -2 cars are operating under the exact same passing rules as the -1 cars, I see no reason that the two groups can't be combined safely. Part of the "education" that you get in the -1/-2 group is to learn about traffic management, and how to keep your head up out of the car and on a swivel... Last event in the MW region, we had THIRTY-SEVEN cars in the TT group on a 1.7 mile track. If we had all come up the ladder without mastering traffic management, that would have been near disastrous.

 

Also, if you take your argument that the -2 drivers are faster than the -1 drivers to the limit, then really we should have FOUR run groups, splitting the -1 and -2 groups into high-horsepower and low-horsepower sessions. That way you're not infringing on the "track rights" of the Miata crowd with those silly Corvettes, M3s, Vipers and Mustangs... That would be a scheduling nightmare, and start cutting into the overall time available for the race groups and TT group, but not that much more than having separate -1/-2 groups.

 

As an instructor, I support having the -1 and -2 groups running together, as long as the car counts are kept to reasonable levels. I would not be happy seeing as many -1/-2 cars in a session as we had TT cars, but honestly, the speed jump from -1 to -2 just isn't dramatic enough to warrant separate run groups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
03-246

Very hard to watch indeed. Next time...just pull in the pits and ask the flagger to put you back out in less traffic...then go talk with the other drivers instructor and encourage him/her to also instruct good on track courtesy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lucid Moments
There is some excuse for the drivers. They are new, or they are newish and frustrated. Whatever. There is NO excuse for the instructors that are in the car. If their driver didn't have it together enough to follow their instructions to point people by then they should make the driver pit. If the instructor didn't have it together enough to tell the driver to point by then they shouldn't be instructing.

 

In general, I agree.

 

That being said though I point the biggest finger at NASA. HPDE 1 & 2 groups running together is a BAD IDEA. You can talk all you want to about learning experiences, but being stuck in traffic like that stinks. And putting the two groups together like that IS going to cause traffic problems. They tried it in the Southeast region for a while, and if they had kept to it, and I had still been in DE1 or DE2 then I would have quit coming. Which would be a shame because I have made a lot of friends down here with the NASA-SE group.

 

This, though, I have to disagree with. The entire reason for existence of the HPDE-2 group is to provide a "safe" place to work on mastering the skills the driver has accumulated in HPDE-1 with an instructor in the car. At some point, the HPDE-1 driver needs to be pitched out of the nest, and sent out on their own to practice what they've been taught, and one of the safety valves is the fact that there are a bunch of instructors on track (in the -1 cars) to keep a general eye out on things. We DO talk to the group leaders if we see shenanigans out on track, trust me! Since the -2 cars are operating under the exact same passing rules as the -1 cars, I see no reason that the two groups can't be combined safely. Part of the "education" that you get in the -1/-2 group is to learn about traffic management, and how to keep your head up out of the car and on a swivel... Last event in the MW region, we had THIRTY-SEVEN cars in the TT group on a 1.7 mile track. If we had all come up the ladder without mastering traffic management, that would have been near disastrous.

 

Also, if you take your argument that the -2 drivers are faster than the -1 drivers to the limit, then really we should have FOUR run groups, splitting the -1 and -2 groups into high-horsepower and low-horsepower sessions. That way you're not infringing on the "track rights" of the Miata crowd with those silly Corvettes, M3s, Vipers and Mustangs... That would be a scheduling nightmare, and start cutting into the overall time available for the race groups and TT group, but not that much more than having separate -1/-2 groups.

 

As an instructor, I support having the -1 and -2 groups running together, as long as the car counts are kept to reasonable levels. I would not be happy seeing as many -1/-2 cars in a session as we had TT cars, but honestly, the speed jump from -1 to -2 just isn't dramatic enough to warrant separate run groups.

 

I think we have gone back and forth on the HPDE 1/2 groups before and we will just have to agree to disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...