Jump to content
n80

Happy in HPDE 3 or 4?

Recommended Posts

n80

Been doing 3-5 track weekends a year for the last 3 years. Running at the DE4 level now and beginning to wonder what's next and how others at this level feel. The last track weekend was a 3 day event. First day was a Friday, almost open track all day. Did my best ever lap time for this track early in the day and did not improve on it all day. Got frustrated chasing a time and found that I wasn't having much fun and certainly wasn't getting faster by trying to get faster.

 

I'd thought about moving to TT but based on this experience I'm not sure it would be fun for me.

 

Saturday and Sunday were typical track weekend with a lot of cars on track. Found that I was having the most fun without the lap timer in the car and either chasing or leading a similar car/driver or driving in traffic with similar cars/drivers

 

I do not have the time or money to move into WTW racing.

 

So I'm wondering, how many of you DE guys see yourself staying in DE 4 and just having fun? And if so, does it stay fun? How many of you drive in DE 4 and focus on getting better and better lap times? How many of you see DE as nothing more than a step to get to TT or WTW?

 

Just curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeAtl

George, I feel your pain. I am in a similar situation. Have been in DE3 for a few weekends and am not sure if I want to TT or not. Probably will not W2W for the same reasons you state, unless I decide to buy another car.

 

I was thinking about doing the instructor clinic in March at RA as a next step. I am happy running around in DE3 and find myself having fun just being a track junkie and working on my car.

 

C'mon down to RA in March...

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
n80

I wish they did the instructor clinic at CMP. I've never run RA and it seems like it would be hard ot learn a track while learning to instruct. But I still my try RA in March. I'm having a mysterious problem with my slave cylinder (concentri slave cyclinder) that I've got to get figured out before the next track weekend.

 

It also might be worthwhile to get an instructor or coach in the car with me. A previous instructor saw that I was having trouble with the kink at CMP (I'd gone two-off in the session before) and he volunteered to ride along and was helping a lot when my clutch pedal failed and cut it short. I need to shave off about 4 seconds at CMP to be remotely competative in TT and in honesty I just haven't enjoyed chasing the clock all that much.

 

I think I need to focus more on just on having fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
n80

Thanks Mike. I've seen that thread and might have to go that route. Had problems early on but solved them by wrapping the clutch tubing near the cat with heat wrap and putting in good high temp fluid. And this time the problem started after only two laps, cool outside temps and the car was cooled down. Not sure why I'd lose the clutch pedal in a cool car but have it come back within minutes of pulling off track. No problems on the road. I drive it to work every day. The Wilwood MC would make it easier to bleed though.

 

I may repost my original question in the SE forums. I'm genuinely curious about how long term DE drivers feel about staying in DE. The instructor I mentioned above seems to like the instructing. Not sure how I feel about it but it wouldn't hurt to take the instructor course at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeAtl

Maybe reach out to our former instructor (gas, gas, gas!!!) who seems to know just about everything G and Z related on your clutch issue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
n80

Good idea!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
beerkat

George it's good to see you have done so well. Personally I think you should try TT. It's not all about time. TT requires you to become a top notch drive to do well. You need to manage traffic and run the line correctly to even start to get a good time and unlike the racers you have to stay on track to post a time, spin or put four off you are DQ for that session.

 

You can run TT with the way your car is now and build on it as you go unlike racing. You can rent a transponder for a weekend so you do not have to make a $400 commitment by buying one.

 

Or you could go to the instructor clinic and give someone else some of your knowledge.

 

Running lTT will make you a better racer also if that is where you want to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
t500hps

I went through HPDE first thinking I would never W2W race......althought several of my buddies were racing CMC. By the time I had done 2 DE3 weekends I was looking for a CMC mustang to run against my buddies.

I bought a car and have W2W raced for less than 18 months. When I considered the risk to my daily driver/HPDE car, a >$10K car seemed like a good idea. I was already trailering so that expense was already "covered". Plus, the thought of getting in the car with a stranger as an instructor did not appeal to me.

 

 

 

OMG! Racing is so much more fun! Especially considering I'm racing against guys I spend time with away from the track. We run each other hard but work like hell to keep each other on the track. I've done a few friday practice days and although driving fast is fun, it's just not the thrill of trying to pass someone. A great lap for us isn't measured on the clock..........it's measured by how many cars are kept BEHIND you!!!

 

BTW: Do not build a car......buy one. By far the cheapestway to get into a racecar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
getfast

I'd thought about moving to TT but based on this experience I'm not sure it would be fun for me.

 

Saturday and Sunday were typical track weekend with a lot of cars on track. Found that I was having the most fun without the lap timer in the car and either chasing or leading a similar car/driver or driving in traffic with similar cars/drivers

 

Lined up by lap times after the warmup = you won't find (as much) traffic in TT. That said, theoretically the car right in front of you is just a bit faster so it can be a great rabbit to chase.

 

Personally I think racing is about 300% more fun than TT or HPDE or just about anything else you can do with your clothes on, but to each his own

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kbrew8991

just the racing itself can be fun

some of the extra headaches associated with it make it less so

 

how those balance is a personal thing, esp vs other routes of particpantion (even some that people love to shit on all the time )

 

If you're happy, be happy. Grass isn't always greener. But, may not hurt to try just to confirm....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ILIKETODRIVE
If you're happy, be happy. Grass isn't always greener. But, may not hurt to try just to confirm....

This. I enjoyed thoroughly the 2+ years of racing I did, including the 2012 25hr.

 

I have since taken 2014 off and am planning on coming back as a TTE monstar. Racing just ends up being too many consumables and too much money/time. Good thing is the car is and will still be prepped for racing safety-wise because there is no reason to skimp there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
427R

Been in HPDE since 2009. Taking my time, learning and deciding on where i wanted to go with this new hobby/sport. Moved into DE4 in 2013 and at the end of this season, decided to move into TT3 for 2015. I had been asked a few times this year when I was moving up as my skills and confidence showed the car and I were ready. My lap times are competitive with those in TT3, which was my biggest concern...could I compete well or would I be an obstacle. I even have a friend running in SI thats trying to recruit me. Maybe after some time in TT I'll consider it, if that class is still around. For me the decision to move on came to...was I having fun and wanted more? Did I feel I had more to learn and more to give? Did I want to take the car to another level? Answers mid year were yes. So the journey begins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeAtl

What is the criteria for moving from DE3 to DE4? I always thought DE4 was for instructors, but I may be mistaken. Is it just open passing (DE4) vs. anywhere with a point? (except if you run the NASA 4 sticker)?

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ILIKETODRIVE

It can kind of vary region to region but typically HPDE4 is open passing and HPDE3 is to some degree less than that. At one point in NASA AZ, HPDE1 was with instructor, HPDE2 was restricted passing, HPDE3 was the open passing group, and "HPDE4" was grouped with TT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
n80

It is my understanding that DE4 is open passing (no point by necessary) and that you need a check ride to move into DE4 from DE3. Not sure what the yellow NASA 4 sticker is or how you get one except that when DE3 and DE4 are combined (which they were for all but two sessions the last time I ran with NASA-not a complaint, I liked it) the DE3 cars can pass the cars with a yellow #4 on the back without a point by.

 

I have not run in DE4 with NASA but have run at the equivalent level with other groups. But, having run in the combined 3&4 sessions I don't think I'll have any problems in 4. In reality, when there are a lot of cars in the combined sessions, the passing rules get kind of muddy and there were plenty of times when my point by was merely a formality....the pass was coming no matter what......again, not a complaint at all, I didn't mind and just drove with the mindset that I was in DE4.

 

Interesting that not many, if any, who have responded, have said they were happy staying in DE. And I guess one of the things missing from DE is the social aspect of it. I have gotten to know a number of other DE guys but a good many of them move on to instructing, TT and racing so by nature it is hard to have a consistent group of buddies in DE.

 

Kim, I will definitely consider TT. It is always in the back of my mind. As you mentioned it isn't a huge cash outlay to try it and if I don't like it I can go back to DE.

 

I have wanted to run WTW since I was a kid. But again, realistically I just don't have the available cash and even if I did the time constraints would limit me to just a few events a year and I think I would stay in rookie mode, more afraid of messing up than actually racing.

 

For the next 6 months I'm going to have even less track time and track money. Daughter getting married in the spring. After that I'll hopefully have more time and cash and will have to think seriously about the next step. Thanks for all the input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeAtl

The yellow NASA 4 is a smallish sticker that you put on the rear of your car when running in DE3 IF you are comfortable being passed without giving a point by. As I understand it, you put the sticker in a place on the rear of your car, but where an approaching driver has to look for it (not high up for example) and when they spot it, they know that you are OK being passed without giving a point. Sounds kinda like a DE3.5.

 

Instructors, please chime in if I have misstated anything.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
n80

I need to check the back of my car. I think someone may have sneaked one on there last time I ran DE-3.

 

Seems like they'd just put you in DE4 if you were okay being passed w/o a pointby.

 

Can someone in NASA-SE clarify DE3 vs DE4 vs yellow #4 sticker?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
427R

For Midwest & Great Lakes Regions, once you move into DE4 you place a white number 4 (provided by the group leader) on the back windshield, upper middle. This notifes everyone, DE3 & 4 (we run DE3 & 4 together), you are a 4. 4's can pass 4's without waiting for a point-by, but most still give it anyway...habit. 3's must receive a point-by regardless of the car being a 3 or 4 and 4's still need a point-by from 3's (its all a learning/teaching process). The logic behind this is, once you have progressed into DE4, your passing skills and knowledge should be a level where the needs for point-bys can be reduced. In many cases, even in WTW, you will see drivers giving point-bys...its a good thing and confirms the two cars are aware of a pass taking place. Keeps everyone out of trouble. But sometimes, in the heat of the battle. a point-by isn't possible. This is where each drivers skills and experience needs to kick in, being aware of your surroundings at all times. Watch those mirrors!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
n80

In NASA SE a DE3 does not have to wait for a point by from a car with a 4 on it. No way for the car in front to know if the car in back is a 3 or not.

 

Agree about the point by when you can. I see professional racers do it on TV. It just makes sense and should not be seen as a sign of inexperience. In ambiguous situations knowing which side the lead car wants you to pass on is helpful. But as mentioned, when cornering or braking hard it can be hard to get a point by out the window. While those are not always ideal times or places to pass, DE 3 or 4 is the place to learn how.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
427R
In NASA SE a DE3 does not have to wait for a point by from a car with a 4 on it. No way for the car in front to know if the car in back is a 3 or not.

 

Agree about the point by when you can. I see professional racers do it on TV. It just makes sense and should not be seen as a sign of inexperience. In ambiguous situations knowing which side the lead car wants you to pass on is helpful. But as mentioned, when cornering or braking hard it can be hard to get a point by out the window. While those are not always ideal times or places to pass, DE 3 or 4 is the place to learn how.

 

Agree, thats why its so important to remember one of the important passing rules...car being passed stays "on line" while car passing goes 'off line". I'd say in the 2 years I've been running DE4, this is done maybe 90% of the time. I'm usually more comfortable passing when running with cars in my own Region-Great Lakes, but when we run crossover events, GL & Midwest together, I'm more cautious. I'm sure the Midwest drivers feel the same. You get used to running with the same bunch of drivers/cars, you get a feel for what they'll do or not do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tptplynboxsterguy

NASA NW has been running (most of the time) 1, 2, and 3 in their own groups and combining DE4 and TT. I just moved up to 3 this summer and think I'll be quite happy there, especially since I daily drive the car I drive to/from and on the track. If/when I get a dedicated track car I might think otherwise but right now I'm having a blast where I'm at and with the other folks in the group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
driver14

On the original question, I have been doing HPDE for about 8 years, in HPDE3/4 since about the second year. And still love doing it. I’ve considered instructing, but I just don’t think the passenger seat is the place for me. Considered TT, but chasing that last tenth hasn’t enticed me. And I don’t want to spend the money to be competitive racing, even though that was probably the original plan way back when. I like driving it to the track, everything needed packed in the trunk, no truck/trailer/etc.

 

Why is it still fun this way? Recently I’d say track variety. I’ve had the most fun the last year or so doing Barber, Mid-Ohio and Daytona for the first time - learning a new track and knocking several seconds off over the weekend. And car variety can be fun too. I started out in an Integra that quickly became fully track prepped. But a couple of years ago I went back to my daily driver and had a blast. It didn’t handle as well, so you really had to drive it. I’m currently on my 3rd different dd, each a different drive. Finally, the NASA social aspect is unbeatable. Just because you’re in HPDE doesn’t mean you can’t get to know everybody. I’ve known several current instructors, TT’ers, racers and HPDE’ers for years.

 

And as to HPDE 3 vs. 4, it varies by region. In SE, 3 & 4 pass anywhere, 3 requires a point-by, 4 does not. GL/MW is similar, but passing rules are different, as described above. In MA, 3 is top level, 4 is instructors. I’ve run in 4, but I also sometimes choose 3 when in my daily driver, just for that extra security of the point by.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
n80

Thanks for the reply Len. That may be the way I end up going. Keep it simple and fun. As for regions that put DE4 in TT I don't think I would like that whether I was in TT or DE4. I like the way SE does it. If I screw up in 3 and slow down a DE4 car, he may be ticked off but it won't take him out of contention for a contingency or a podium...........only the highly coveted but rarely seen DE Trophy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
beerkat
If I screw up in 3 and slow down a DE4 car, he may be ticked off but it won't take him out of contention for a contingency or a podium......

 

Somebody is always causing someone to screw up their lap, it's just part of TT. Worrying about the other person's time should come second to your own. As long as you're running your line and point them by it's all good. I don't recommend pointing by in the turns because one tends to jiggle the wheel in the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...